City of Concord Set to Approve Final Map for Controversial Six-Home Subdivision on Olive Dr.

July 8, 2014 12:30 pm · 58 comments


The City of Concord on Tuesday night is expected to approve a final map for a controversial six-home subdivision on Olive Dr.

On March 18, 2013, the developer, Jackie Seeno, submitted an application for a tentative map, tree removal, and design review to develop the proposed subdivision, located at 4985 Olive Dr., just past Greer Ave. The proposed subdivision consists of one 1.37-acre parcel, to be subdivided into a six-lot, single-family home development with a private road. On September 4, 2013, the Planning Commission approved tentative map, tree removal, and design review.

Neighbors have raised concerns about tree removal, drainage, sewer capacity issues and parking. The neighbors also requested larger lots with smaller homes, similar to other homes on the street. They also raised concerns about minimizing views and the impact on neighboring properties when the planned two-story homes are built.

Another big concern was barn owls. Neighbors said the owls have lived on the property since the 1950s, however, an inspection by a wildlife ecologist found that although it appeared owls were on the property within a few weeks of the inspection, no owls were currently living on the property.

Concord City Staff is recommending that the City Council approve the final map at tonight’s Concord City Council meeting.

Silva July 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Sorry y’all, Seeno is Concord’s middle name. Any last remnants of open space, no matter how minute is doomed.

Hear no evil... July 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Seeno, evil. Progress is profit, right?
Hope no lefties were offended by this land grab.

Monopolizing July 8, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Leave it to the greedy Seeno’s to take up every bit of land in CoCo possible to fatten their wallets up. I hope they get denied by the city. This is what we call personal gains by $hitting on hard working neighbors so they can squeeze more cookie cutter houses on a tiny plot of land… Boooh Seeno I hope the IRS has a field day with your tax fraud case!

NIMBY July 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Neighbors have concerns about… change.

1.37 arces divided by six is about 10Ksqft per lot (minus common infrastructure). This is larger than most lots in Concord (Ours is under 8K).

The other concerns are immaterial. Parking? They’ll be on a private road. Sewer? That what planning is for — you’ll likely have better sewer and water service after construction. Drainage? Per the design, this will have to be addressed from an engineering standpoint and will improve over the current muddy lot.

the other jj July 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

check out the grading going on on chestnut,,another seeno property

KAD July 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

No one seems to care about the owls. Their home is gone now. They should be forced to build around the trees and not remove them.

Noj July 8, 2014 at 1:34 PM

This is the site of the old Ayers Ranch. History? what history?

BagsFlyFree July 8, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Why is this city supporting a family with an ongoing federal
indictment that defrauded thousands of people, directly contributed to the financial crisis, and directly contributed to lower taxes collected in the city?

All Seeno affiliated construction within city limits needs to be suspended, and or any new proposed development denied until the conclusion of the FEDERAL case is determined.

BFF Out!

StoneyGRL July 8, 2014 at 1:38 PM

I’d never buy a Seeno home. Scape / no union labor and a sub stand product.

Melanie July 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Ugly grading on Walnut too. I just don’t see why they have to clear cut the property. They could work around some of the trees.

Who contributes the most money to the sitting City Council? July 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM


Its all about the money, nothing else matters.

Don’t like it? Elect representatives who respond more to the people than to big money.

I predict that there will be one NO vote tonight on this measure. That will show who has whom in who’s pocket.

fun4all July 8, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Cut the family some slack. If justice is served then its served, but they are not guilty yet. If the neighbors dont want a piece of land built up, make an offer to buy it. Dont be jealous of people that can. Sure, 6 homes on 1.3 acres is a bit much, maybe 4. All its going to do is bring your values up. We have much bigger problems than some homes being built.

Sam July 8, 2014 at 2:17 PM

As someone who lives on Olive Drive we are sad to be losing the view from our backyard, we will soon have the view of the side of a new Seeno house:( Not happy!

The Mamba July 8, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Haha 6 houses to a lot, and people will snap them up too. Sad.

PC July 8, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Here we go again with the City of Concord Staff, Planning Commission, and Council all onboard with higher density and big impact developments. They must have rocks in their heads to think that closely spaced two-story homes with insufficient parking is good sense. More desired homes and neighborhoods give people SPACE. So what if it costs more and you give people a quality home, unlike the crap that these developers are pushing. What is wrong with a basement instead of the two stories above ground?When you’ve got neighbors practically on top of you and maybe robbing sunlight from your solar panels then it will affect the people who were there before. The reason we don’t see basements around here is that contractors have little experience building them. They make good sense on smaller lots. Many good solutions are out there, just don’t ask the Seeno operations to provide any! Please raise the standards for Concord.

BagsFlyFree July 8, 2014 at 2:54 PM

@ funforall.. Supporting companies with pending federal fraud indictments isn’t how any of our community should be built going forward. We cant support a local political system where pay = play and everything else is ignored. That traffic you sit through on highway 4 is a direct result of this behavior, as the highway infrastructure couldnt support the weight of hundreds of thousands of new residents aka Seeno customers.

With the aftermath of previously built Seeno communities here and east, you would think our council and city planners would distance themselves a bit more than what weve seen recently, but I guess that will all come up election time right????

BFF Out!

RANDOM TASK July 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

WELL when you’ve been paid off …you have to push it through fast …elections coming and all

it's not that easy July 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

to deny something like this because they own the property and there are actually state/fed laws that protect them as well. Just because people don’t want them doesn’t mean that is even of a reason. City can get sued big time.

Give a Hoot July 8, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Convenient that the owls are nowhere to be found all of a sudden…..

Vandy July 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

The concept of increasing existing home values by building dense new homes on neighboring open space is inherently-flawed because there is a limited amount of land available. You simply can’t follow the model forever without eventually destroying all natural habitat. It would be much better to leave the land alone. Money is the destructive force here. It makes some folks richer to kill the land. They need to be stopped one way or another to protect our legacy as stewards of the planet. And the first step is to educate people on the value of open space. But denying permits is a decent method to stall destruction until folks like Seeno can learn better why the land must be preserved.

ms. mom July 8, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Seeno wins again.
Concord has the best politicians money can buy.

mutts July 8, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Stop Seeno. What’s wrong with city leaders?

Killjoy July 8, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Actually PC, basements are usually built so that a home has a foundation below the frost line. The colder the ground, the bigger the basement.
Usually a half sized basement is enough. In Canada, you usually find a full sized basement (the same footprint as the house).
In California, at least around these parts, there’s no frost line, so no need for an underground foundation, or basement.
It’s cheaper for the builder to go up, than to dig and pour a basement foundation.

Personally, I’d love a full sized basement. It would make for a great photo studio. 🙂

Bubbles July 8, 2014 at 5:11 PM

I also find it funny that the ecologist finds signs of the owls weeks before. Must of been before Seeno had them “removed” just like the frogs in Pittsburg. I’m not an animal freak but we can’t keep destroying the animals that support the ecosystem.

Seenos entire company is in trouble the one employee was recently arraigned on 17 counts of Bank fraud. This is in addiction the the IRS charges last year. The frauded thousands of home owners. SEENO owns Pittsburg Concord needs to keep them out.

Shelly July 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Yeah, #19, pretty darned convenient! Actually, really suspect.

fun4all July 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Maybe they should just put a hold on it until the federal case is over. They should also be single story houses, saves the views. You have to give to get. Concord politicians should say no to six 2 story houses and maybe yes to 4 single story. Just saying

fun4all July 8, 2014 at 6:12 PM

All politicians are bought. Look at the county supervisors. They hire fire chiefs from different states to come in here and hack the hell out of our services then leave with a hefty pay day. If the fire chief is just gonna do exactly what the supes say then cut out the middle man, dont hire a chief, do the dirty work yourself. They want us to believe they are for us. Sorry for ramblin but all politicians are bought.

@9 July 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM

No union labor? Why aren’t the unions making noise then?

Connie July 8, 2014 at 6:52 PM

I am sad to agree with Vandy. Seeno runs the community with his money!

Shiloh July 8, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Nimby, they will be huge houses taking up the majority of their lots, with nonexistent yards, per the usual for Seeno. They will be COMPLETELY out of place in that neighborhood.
And Jackie Seeno should learn to slow down when she drives through residential neighborhoods!! She’s like a bat out of hell

No chicken little July 8, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Why don’t all you self righteous people teardown your houses and make room for the flora and Fona. The builder of your Cracker Jack house I’m sure helpes old lady’s across the street. And I’m sure your all descendents of the original land grant owners, where you house is built. Good thing someone had the money and vision to develop these Properties. Phony, hypocrites all of you. Always quick to tell others what to do. But never ready, or able to pony up your self.

slagheap July 8, 2014 at 10:21 PM

it is my distinct impression, and one i believe shared with the FBI, that the seenos are gangsters.

Owl Lady July 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM

We live directly across the street from this development. Seeno has treated ALL of the neighbors with utter disrespect this entire time. Our neighborhood has banded together and we have fought her tooth and nail and won many battles over the last two years. One win for us is that there will be 4 two story houses, and 2 single story houses. As far as the owls go, they now live in an owl box in our front yard. At the start of this, Seeno sent workers up the windmill where the owls had lived for decades and they poked at the owls with sticks and tore apart their habitat. We set up the new owl house, and the owls moved in within a couple of days. They are thriving. Come by and check them out anytime-you can’t miss them. It looks like a dog house on a very tall stick.

Olive Drive neighbor July 8, 2014 at 11:05 PM

To: No Chicken Little. Wow. As a matter of fact, our home, across from this development IS the original farmhouse for the area. We live on a 1/4 acre, have a 960 sqft. home with a basement, and we have five large trees on the property, including a Heritage Oak Tree. We have greened up the property with water wise plants. So, your statements and name calling are unnecessary. The average size property in this area is 11500 square feet, and Seeno got away with putting 4000 sqft McMansions on 8000 sqft properties. Sure, that really fits the neighborhood. NOT.

Concord July 9, 2014 at 2:31 AM

High density housing just makes for neighbors that hate each other because there is NO SPACE. Seeno landscaping is ugly and his workers are disrespectful of the existing residences and vehicles around them. I wish Seeno and all his minions would just leave the COUNTRY. “Not in My Back Yard”

Concord July 9, 2014 at 2:34 AM

Oh yes, and deplorable this Seeno workers would do that to those Owls. Those Owls are rodent control for the neighborhood. Seeno’s grading is really gross to; it is really sad some of the trees can’t be saved. One of these days Satan’s money will come back to bite him in the arse.

Mike T July 9, 2014 at 6:30 AM

@ Owl Lady, # 33, Drove by and saw the Owl house you put up, Great job!!
I have to ask, how in the world did you get the house up so high?

..... July 9, 2014 at 6:58 AM

Hey, it’s all about increased property taxes going to the local gubmints. They don’t give a $hit.

They’re just gonna pat each other on the back while they talk about growth being “good.”

ANane July 9, 2014 at 7:53 AM

I’d like to know how to get Seeno buy a property I own! Would make for a perfect subdivision!

No chicken little July 9, 2014 at 8:41 AM

You should have stepped up and bought the property and handed it over to a land trust. It’s inside the urban limit line, Right. that’s what you voted for right. (trampling on other peoples property rights) You know you did. You wanted infill housing. Just not next door to you. Enjoy your new upscale neighbors, and The tax dollars they bring. Get over your self.

Shiloh July 9, 2014 at 9:10 AM

And what’s up with the old Seeno house in Clayton, just sitting there vacant and falling apart? If he tore it down, he could probably squeeze 6 houses on that lot, too! And there are plenty of nice, old trees on the lot just begging to be torn down 🙂

Antler July 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Highly inappropriate density for Olive Drive! And no, that is not my neighborhood. We have empty homes all over the city. Time to put pressure on those owners to bring their properties up to code and place them on the market. Too many properties, including the downtown villas…I suspect….are being used as tax write-offs and/or are lolling in the tidal backwash while the big-money owners wait for real estate to reach a full boom again.

RunDogRun July 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Too bad people come to
California and obliterate
the long-standing history
of the area. Too bad
the neighbor preservation
strategy practiced on the
East Coast hasn’t taken
hold here. We continue
to labor under the mis-
conception that it’s still
the wild,wild west and
anything goes. Someday,
Concord will appreciate
that this property would
have been a wonderful spot
for a small area park to sit
and reflect on that
historical farmhouse.

Owl Lady July 9, 2014 at 1:31 PM

@ Mike T, #33, Hi Mike T. Thanks for the drive by. It was quite a sight to see the owl house go up. Lots of neighbors participated. We mounted the pole first. When the cement hardened, our nimblest and bravest neighbor, who is a contractor, climbed up a cobbled-together scaffolding and mounted the house. Everyone in Concord probably heard our collective sigh of relief when the house was up and the neighbor was safely back on the ground.

No chicken little July 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Any thing goes! are you kidding me. 5 10 20 years to get a project started. Tens of thousands of city,state,federal, codes. Your talking out of you neck. We have enough parks, that the city state and Feds, can’t take care of. What we need are jobs and affordable housing. Then nice young family’s can come raise kids, and make a strong community. I see why you people love trees. You live in glass houses.

PC July 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I attended the City Council mtg. last night to hear what was going on re the Olive Dr. development. The Olive Dr. neighbors (2) only spoke to an issue of the property line communication . What is really going on came later with an extremely boring and drawn out presentation by a planning consultant hired by the City of Concord. In effect, Concord just assumes all the housing needs for the projected future to be as the consultants state. The plan is then submitted to the State of California for their approval. Of course, we have of plenty of low-cost housing. Look people, Concord is taking a disproportionate share of this low-end crap!
Housing that was built during the 1940’s was built all over to accommodate the emergency of WWII. The 1950’s brought a plethora of flat-top, slab floor type homes to meet the fast-growth post war era. Let’s get serious about building some quality that will endure, though. It is cheaper in the long-run to have well-built houses. When neighborhoods disintegrate you see more crime, the schools suffer, and the real estate values don’t keep pace. Just look at Detroit as a case in point. Do you really think WC, PH, and Lamorinda are welcoming low-cost, section 8, and Seeno boxes? I’ll bet “no chicken little” is a vagrant with no commitment to our community.

anon July 9, 2014 at 2:37 PM

All Concord has is fill in space that will be built on. What’s a shame is how the city council is bulled in to believing that the only way a developer can make a profit is to jam as many 2 story homes in a space as they can get away with. If they only did their job, held their ground and made the developer design a project that BLENDED with the neighborhood. How many times driving in Concord have you seen a group of houses that just don’t belong. Come on council represent the people NOT developers.

Mike T July 9, 2014 at 4:38 PM

@ Owl Lady, thanks for the update on the install of the owl house, really wish I could have sen it go together! Congrads to everyone envolved!! Seems llike you have alot of great neighbors.

CANative July 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

For No Chicken:
Good Stewardship and Growth aren’t mutually exclusive. Good Stewardship is, however, at odds with Greed. High Density development is what Greed and Abuse of the Land look like when it’s built. And for what it’s worth, if you can grasp it, I know of no high density housing project that actually gives the homeowners a break on their taxes. So your argument about “Affordable Housing” is bulls hit. “Affordable” requires two parties, namely, the builder/seller/landlord and the client/buyer/renter. And those two entities alone. No municipality could ever define what affordable is, without infringing on the providers and the taxpayers.

I am looking for the time when the City Council, County, and State starts working for the taxpayers instead of the abusers, the Seenos and others like them.

No chicken little July 9, 2014 at 5:01 PM

My family arrived in the Concord area in the fall of 1874. Vagrant, that’s funny. LMAO

BagsFlyFree July 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

@PC… watching that meeting was mixed blessings as Mr. Helix is showing signs of being ready to throw in the politoco towel.. As for the development, this was stamped in when the Planning Commission and its Council to be candidate(s) passed it with flying colors. Once Seeno scared off the owls and concocted some wizardry to “fix” the lot drainage complexities, the approval was a shoe in.

In-fill development is fine; however it needs to pull up values in the surrounding areas, not stagnate it or scare off future buyers knowing their street will be flooded whenever a party in the Seeno breadboxes is going on. This transformation from SFH to townhouse cramped communities is not good for Concord in low density areas. Downtown, yes, here no!

When the CNWS land comes up for sale from the master developer, all parties that want to avoid a rinse/repeat of Pittsburg/BayPoint/San Marcos, or Olive Drive need to pool investment funds together and get some high quality properties filling in the low density sections of this land. At the very least we need mix match development like the Eichlers did in the 60’s on West Street and off Cowell.

BFF Out!

2waySt. July 10, 2014 at 1:59 AM

“Seeno has treated ALL of the neighbors with utter disrespect this entire time. Our neighborhood has banded together and we have fought her tooth and nail and won many battles over the last two years.”

Read that back to yourself a few times and see if there might be a connection.

Vandy July 10, 2014 at 7:11 AM

The treatment of the owls is disgusting. The presence of the owls is why that space should be protected. Owl Lady and other neighbors, I applaud your efforts to provide the new owl house. We’ll probably do a drive-by this weekend to see and admire.

I hope that the development gets stopped or delayed. And I still believe that Seeno can change. But what they did here is disgusting. Something needs to change.

@2wayst July 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM

I assume you are a Seeno family member? When she says that we fought “tooth and nail”, she means at the city meetings. We have all been kind and courteous to the workers (although this ongoing project is quite LOUD and disruptive to every day life!) The major problem I have with them is that so many of them fly down the street at about 40+mph. It’s not a very wide street and there are no sidewalks. It’s dangerous and just plain rude to drive that way in a residential neighborhood.
And now a question for you: do any of the Seeno’s actually live in these cookie cutter houses with no yards?? Also, does Seeno plan to update his style at any point? A more craftsman look with a LOT less stucco would sure be appreciated! I honestly couldn’t believe those ugly houses you guys crammed onto that small hill of a lot of Cowell. It looks like you will add a few more (probably 6!) if these ones ever sell. WHY WOULD YOU USE THE COLOR PURPLE ON THE EXTERIOR OF A HOUSE?!?! So so so so ugly.

@2wayst July 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Correction: small hill of a lot ON Cowell

Dr. Jellyfinger® July 10, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Better watch out! With all that crazy talk, you could wake up sleeping next to a horse’s noggin or find a dead fish in your mailbox. Take a peek under the car before you start it up.

Our Web Page July 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

ecig tanks City of Concord Set to Approve Final Map for Controversial Six-Home Subdivision on Olive Dr. —claycord

Buzz July 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I do agree the work trucks use this street as a speedway. I have three kids who use to be able to play out front, since the first week of work on the houses I quickly learned they no longer can play in the front yard.

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