Latest News Articles From The San Ramon Tribune

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Campaign to Save Our Ridges

Please support the legal challenge of the Sierra Club and East Bay Regional Parks to hillside development at Las Trampas known as the Northwest Specific Plan. Read detailed information about Saving Our Ridges in San Ramon. The challenge is to require the City Council to abide by the General Plan which requires hillside developments be voted on by the citizens of San Ramon before approval.

If you support this legal challenge you can contribute by making your checks payable to:

"Sierra Club Foundation"

Add a note in the memo area to read "San Ramon Litigation".

Mail your contribution to:

San Francisco Bay Chapter

Sierra Club

2530 San Pablo Avenue, Suite 1

Berkeley, Ca. 94702-9918

This donation is a tax deductible contribution with no maximum limit to the Foundation!


Please contribute as much as you can. We are looking to gather $10,000.00 by the end of this year and the same next year. The Sierra Club is donating $20,000.00 and has asked the citizens of San Ramon to match that amount. We will be campaigning throughout the summer for contributions.

If you can contribute $100.00 we can meet our goal. Groups and Homeowners Associations can contribute more to get to our goal. If you have already pledged money to the lawsuit, please send it in to the address above.

If you would like to help by having a meeting of your neighbors to raise funds, we would be glad to speak to the group about the lawsuit and the City's future.

Help us help San Ramon maintain our quality of life, our green hills and open space.

Thank you,

Jim Gibbon, AIA

Jim Blikenstaff, Sierra Club


This information was submitted to San Ramon News. We at San Ramon News support the efforts involved in maintaining a good quality of life, and keeping the hills and open space open for future generations to come. What we do now, will have a major impact for the future.

This City Council, Mayor H. Abram Wilson, Council Members: Scott Perkins, Carol Rowley, David Hudson, and Jim Livingstone, think they don't have to abide by what the voters have said about not building on the ridges.

So, if you can help in any way, it would be much appreciated.

The San Ramon News Team

Sunday, July 29, 2007

San Ramon City Council Election Signups Deadline Aug. 10

Three San Ramon Council Seats are up for Election

The November General Election is right around the corner, and three seats are up for election.

August 10th is the final day of sign ups for the general election. The filing fee is $900.00.

Anyone interested in running and also interested in having a voice in the current state of affairs, should consider running on a team ticket. Each candidate will have as much as $28,000 to spend maximum on this election. Three good candidates, to make a difference, is what is needed. Having an organization to back a group of three that stands for truth in city government, maintaining a good quality of life in San Ramon, maintaining open spaces and hillsides, and bringing an openness back to the City Council, would be the ideal solution to the current state of affairs.

The Mayor and two City Council seats are up for election. Mayor H. Abram Wilson and council members Scott Perkins and Carol Rowley have said they are running for re-election.

Mayor H. Abram Wilson plans to jump ship from Mayor, if re-elected, and run for the Assembly District 15 seat, currently occupied by Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, if Houston is termed out. Houston is currently in his third term. News Media Source: Contra Costa Times

Wilson, Perkins, and Rowley want to increase traffic and congestion, increase building on the hillsides, and continue in their back room dealings with Alex Mehran of Sunset Development with a downtown center that has not been fully exposed for what it is. Namely, the City Center as it currently is being portrayed will be a divider of San Ramon, not a uniter, and the financial terms which have never been fully exposed to the people are yet to be determined what the final cost will be to the San Ramon taxpayers. The cost has been reported to be more than $750,000,000.00 to build it.

Here is what we know so far about the City Center. Planned eight story office buildings, more traffic and more congestion that will spill onto other city streets, a proposed upscale shopping area with an upscale anchor store (which has not been found to date), and a upscale hotel which also has not been found. It is important to note, that just because someone wants an upscale anchor and hotel for the shopping center, does not mean that an upscale anchor wants to set up a store or hotel in this part of San Ramon.

One has to wonder, what type of land swaps, reduced or elimination of city taxes and building fees, and other under-the-table dealings has the City Council agreed to with Sunset Development. What is Sunset Development holding over the head of San Ramon? Could it be that there are some hidden clauses in properties that have been given to San Ramon by Sunset Development, in exchange for a major reduction or elimination of permit fees and taxes? What type of liability issues are the San Ramon taxpaying citizens facing in the future with this San Ramon City Center deal?

The San Ramon News Team.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Las Trampas Hike Great Time For All

The Las Trampas hike, sponsored by the East Bay Regional Parks District on Sunday 7-22-07 was a great time for all!

The hike involved going to the edge of the Faria property and looking down from 1200 feet on to the property below. The view from up there was spectacular! The East Bay Regional Parks Guide told everyone that they were the first people other than the owners of the property to have ever been there ever, except maybe native Indians.

Beverly Lane, the East Bay Regional Park District Director attended and hiked with the group to the top of the mountain. The EBR Park District recently acquired 250 acres of land adjacent to the Faria property to expand the Las Trampas Ridge public lands.

For those who were not able to be there, this was also a fund raiser to support Sierra Club's North West Specific Plan lawsuit. If you would like to contribute to the fund, send an email to SRCommunity @, and we will forward your interest in helping Save Your Ridges from over-development.

Note: The contribution is tax deductible.

Keep San Ramon Beautiful

The San Ramon News Team

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Las Trampas Regional Park Hike

San Ramon, CA
East Bay Regional Parks Hosting Las Trampas Regional Park Hike
July 22nd 9 AM

Las Trampas Regional ParkLas Trampas Regional Wilderness

East Bay Regional Parks will be hosting a HIKE at Las Trampas on Sunday July 22nd. This hike is an informational hike to help raise money for the Sierra Club in the lawsuit against the North West Specific Plan.

All age groups are welcome............ come spend some quality family time hiking our beautiful ridgelines.

Please put it on your calendar for:

Sunday, July 22nd at 9 AM
Meet at the end of Bollinger Canyon Road (Las Trampas Regional Park) Staging Area.

Information from:
East Bay Regional Parks

Meet at 9 am, Sunday, July 22 for a 2-3 hours hike along the ridge of Las Trampas Regional Park. Please bring water, sunscreen, hat, and sturdy shoes. There is a sharp uphill trek to start and a flat trail on the ridge.

We will meet at the Bollinger Canyon staging area, north of Crow Canyon Road, go up the Chamise Trail to the Las Trampas ridge trail, go south along the ridge to the edge of the Faria property border, retrace our steps on the ridge trail to the Chen property (newly purchased by the Park District) where we can hike down to Bollinger Canyon. (need some cars there)

If hikers want to return to the staging area they may retrace the ridge trail and return via Chamise to their cars. More avid hikers could easily go longer if they'd like, traveling north along the ridge trail.

Bob Doyle is getting permission to go through one private property (Elworthy) which covers the ridge trail.

Difficulty? Chamise does zig-zag uphill and will take time for the novice hiker. But, once on top, the trail is flat. I would plan for 2-3 hours, bring water and a hat. Fabulous views!

The Las Trampas Ridge trail is part of a longer, overlay trail, the Calaveras Ridge Trail, which will eventually extend from Briones on the north to Sunol on the south.

Las Trampas
Las Trampas Park Area
Click Map for a larger view of the area.

For more information about the area.
Visit the East Bay Regional Park District Las Trampas Park info.

Contact the San Ramon News Team. Questions or comments will be forwarded on to the organizers of the event.

Please read the San Ramon News Introduction for article submissions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Save Our Ridges"

The REAL information regarding NWSP (Northwest Specific Plan)

San Ramon City Council recently approved a development and zoning plan to locate over 800 homes on the ridgelines of the NWSP. They claim this approval does not require the vote of the citizens of San Ramon. This assumption has since been challenged by two lawsuits, one by the Sierra Club and another by the East Bay Regional Parks. Many residence of San Ramon support these lawsuits to preserve the Las Trampas Ridge and hope you will also.

A few reasons for the lawsuits are listed below:

Las Trampas Ridgeline

The aesthetic impact of housing on what is now open space will compromise the integrity of the adjacent Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. It will have major impacts on environmental and biological resources, and park users. The land includes the southern end of the Las Trampas Ridge. (See map below. Click map for larger map size.)

Las Trampas Ridgeline
Faria Ranch Development Site
Faria Remainder Parcel
East Bay Regional Park District

San Ramon's General Plan and Ordinance 197-

Ordinance 197 specifically prohibits development on or adjacent to Major and Minor Ridges. These lands are to be preserved for open space. It also provides that exceptions to such policies "must be approved by the voters of San Ramon."

It prohibits:
  1. Development within 100 vertical feet of major ridges and within 50 vertical feet of minor ridges;
  2. Development on slopes greater than 20%;
  3. Development within 100 feet of the center of a creek bed; and, construction of dwelling units in excess of 32 feet in height.

The city and the developer are planning to build approximately 800 homes on our lovely view shed!! They will be grading over one million yards of earth and MOVING a creek (this means filling it in and actually moving it vertically). The land contains three majors ridges, two creeks, and the Calaveras fault line.

Any exemptions regarding Ordinance 197 must be put to a vote of the people; which this San Ramon City Council has refused to do. The General Plan has Ordinance 197 embedded in it at least 25 times and it has not been modified at all by vote of the people over the years. If we let the City of San Ramon have their way on this development where does it stop?! This project is in direct violation of Ordinance 197 and should not stand.

School or Open Space-

The General Plan called for a school and if a school was deemed not necessary by the San Ramon School District then that dedicated land should revert to open space.

As approved by San Ramon City Council, that the developer could use 2.4 acres for an Educational Facility or Outreach Facility. SRCC is not requiring the developer to maintain 15-20 acres of usable land in case a school is later needed (which is sure to happen due to the increase of approximately 200 students with the NWSP development and even more when another development known as the Crow Canyon Specific Plan comes into effect). Do you know what that does to the residents that already live here? They will need to drive their kids clear across town to another school because Twin Creeks Elementary will be so overcrowded. This overcrowding of our schools could potentially threaten our "Blue Ribbon" standards.

Problems with the EIR (Environmental Impact Report)-

On the Draft EIR pertaining to Air Quality: Air quality could not be mitigated. Then miraculously on the Final EIR (with nothing changed!) it states that the air quality would be OK. In regards to the traffic problems that are going to arise, the EIR used data from 1992 in order for the numbers to all work out. SRCC does not plan on changing any roads to accommodate all the traffic that is going to be using Crow Canyon and other roads. There will be a minimum of 1,600 more cars on the road with the NWSP development and even more when the Crow Canyon Specific Plan goes into effect.

Community Park Size

A big push by the City was to have a community park within walking distance (3 miles) and approximately 2.5 acres per 1,000 residents. Well guess what? The Community Park that was approved is only big enough to support the NWSP neighborhood, not the surrounding residents.

The County Option

The City Council has tried to spread seeds of fear by threatening that the project could end up in the County and be much larger than the developer is asking for right now……………. BUT, the County is no longer in the business of developing next to cities and that just isn't going to happen.


This flyer is just the beginning of trying to get more concerned residents involved. There will be more information to follow and anyone interested in finding out how they can help, please contact the San Ramon Community general E-mail box.

Warm regards from concerned San Ramon citizens.
"Save Our Ridges"

Feel Free to Save and Print Save Our Ridges PDF Flyer

By-the-way, read the Introduction to San Ramon News.

San Ramon Google News


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