Walnut Creek City Council Gives Careful Endorsement Of Housing Project Near Oak Grove & Ygnacio

April 22, 2021 8:00 am · 26 comments

By Tony Hicks – The Walnut Creek City Council gave a tentative go-ahead Tuesday night to a developer that wants to convert the Woodlands Office Park near the city’s eastern border and Ygnacio Valley Road to 46 units of housing.

The council voted 4-1 to further consider the necessary general plan amendment, with Mayor Kevin Wilk dissenting.

V&T Sunny LLC wants to convert the 3.5-acre site, where two two-story office buildings now sit in the 3000 block of Citrus Avenue, into 14 smaller buildings of housing.

The development requires a general plan amendment to re-zone the area from offices to low-density, multi-family housing.

The site is just north of Ygnacio Valley Road, east of Oak Grove Road, and south of the Citrus Marketplace Shopping Center, encircled by Citrus Circle.

After about a half dozen members of the surrounding community weighed in on the potential problems of the development, mostly concerning traffic, council members expressed their own issues.

“I’m not a hard no on this project, but I am at a point where there are issues around traffic and the public benefits package that will need to be dealt with before I would be comfortable,” said council member Cindy Darling.

They also questioned the project’s lack of low-income units, what would happen to trees on the site, and the commercial viability of the existing buildings, which were constructed in the 1970s and purchased by P/A Design Resources in 2015.

The developer said both have high vacancy rates and need considerable repair, as does the parking lot. Assistant City Manager Teri Killgore said the buildings’ current vacancy rate — 15 percent — is comparable to rates in the nearby Shadelands business park and overall rates in the East Bay.

Council member Loella Haskew said the city needs to get its housing numbers up, but also sympathized with some of the nonprofits using office space in the building that might not find comparable space nearby.

“I can see trying to save it and keep it what it is, and I also feel the need for housing, so, I think there are possibilities for this to develop into something,” she said.

Wilk — the council’s only dissenting vote — said eliminating jobs and adding housing to the city’s edge would only increase traffic going down Ygnacio Valley Road and Treat Boulevard.

“I have serious concerns about rezoning office space to housing,” Wilk said. “We’ve made decisions as a council over the last dozen or more years to approve new housing downtown, where cars aren’t as needed — close to BART, and downtown stores, and help to prevent the suburban sprawl and keep our neighborhoods as congestion-free as possible.”

The proposal was only before the council to get feedback and an indication whether it should move forward. It would still require approval from the city’s design review board and planning commission before coming back to the council, which would likely take another 8-12 months.

Bean Burner April 22, 2021 at 8:26 AM

So funny to read the nimbys on Nextdoor losing their minds over this “the added traffic” “why not keep it as offices” “the developer is shady ” etc etc

Of course, these are the same bleeding hearts that think we can solve the homeless problem by building more stack housing in dwntwn WC with the “affordable housing” units costing 700k or more…
All fun and games till they build in your neighborhood.

Dr. Jellyfinger April 22, 2021 at 8:48 AM

Whatever happened to the “Save the Ground Squirrels” people?

Original G April 22, 2021 at 11:11 AM

Outstanding, … had forgotten all about the, Squirrel People.

Gittyup April 22, 2021 at 12:31 PM

Stack and pack housing in Walnut Creek has been the direct result of “gentrification” in Oakland.

Specksynder April 22, 2021 at 9:15 AM

You want to see the “homeless” problem of the bay area cleaned up in a hurry? Move them to Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Blackhawk and stuff a couple in Diablo for good measure.

RANDOM TASK April 22, 2021 at 9:43 AM

They also questioned the project’s lack of low-income units

in other words they have not been greased enough

as in their own words
The council voted 4-1 to further consider the necessary general plan

I am at a point where there are issues around traffic and the public benefits package
what is a public benefits package
i have never received one

Council member Loella Haskew said the city needs to get its housing numbers up….why ???
did anyone ask why

now i as a rule refuse to acknowledge council members as being for a city first instead of the pockets
yet this is the most sensical i have ever heard a council member be
“I have serious concerns about rezoning office space to housing,” Wilk said. “We’ve made decisions as a council over the last dozen or more years to approve new housing downtown, where cars aren’t as needed — close to BART, and downtown stores, and help to prevent the suburban sprawl and keep our neighborhoods as congestion-free as possible.”

yet per usual the other members will get ” donations ” to as they say pass it forward

and lastly here is the nut in a shell as to why this even happened

The proposal was only before the council to get feedback and an indication whether it should move forward.<<<<<<so no reason other than to get paid off
(It would still require approval from the city’s design review board and planning commission)<<<<< then why even have this meeting if it has to go through more tape …..
before coming back to the council, which would likely take another 8-12 months.<<<< again a council looking out for its self and thats about it as they have given a timeline for their payoff of 8-12 months

again typical council jargon and typical fashion for members to rake it in

now a business that wants to do this is fair
but using our money and our resources and our futures to line their pockets
is absurd and the people allowing councils absolute power to push low income and reduced business space
is pointing to the demise of small cities being swallowed up and turned into housing pods for government controlled work force

this is what you wanted
other people dictating what happens to your childrens futures

it appears blm and marxism is acceptable to the people as they refuse freedom

ManBearPig April 22, 2021 at 5:16 PM

The state is pushing all cities to have more housing units built. For
Most cities it’s into the thousands. The governor has previously threatened to fine or sue cities that cannot or choose not to comply with his demand for additional housing. The state has been cramming new housing laws every year to help “streamline” the process for approval by overruling local regulations.

Where he thinks these cities will come up with not only the space but the water for all these thousands of new residential units is anyone’s guess.

cornfed April 26, 2021 at 10:41 PM

The left is trying to kill the suburbs. With the carpetbaggers running local govt they don’t have to try hard.

Led April 22, 2021 at 9:55 AM

Build it, you crazy people! Normal suburban houses are going for a million bucks in non-fancy parts of Concord. Housing is ruinously high. This spot is located right next to the free Shadelands bus line, so it does have convenient BART access for those who want to deal with BART…

The guy talking about sprawl is being ridiculous. This isn’t sprawl, its infill.

WC---Creeker April 22, 2021 at 10:04 AM

Seems like a 2 story office complex generates more traffic than a 14 building housing unit.

SB April 22, 2021 at 10:12 AM

This is great news. Any time housing is built, it is a good day for our economy. Walnut Creek should build as much housing as possible in the downtown area, and out the Ygnacio Valley Road corridor. The Shadelands area is in transition, and high density, multi-family housing should be part of it. A bus rapid transit, or just reliable bus service, to downtown and BART, could connect it to the rest of the region as well.

Never Enough April 22, 2021 at 10:54 AM

I live in that neighborhood, it is the perfect project for that location. With 46 office spaces there traffic net net will actually be less. And it will look better, current building is very high, townhouses are only two story.

American Citizen April 22, 2021 at 10:59 AM

Stand by by for trash, loitering, vehicle break ins and drug dealing.

Led April 22, 2021 at 12:30 PM

Yeah, because underused old office parks strips with vacancies are so much better than pricey townhomes for public safety and cleanliness…

double dzzz April 22, 2021 at 11:21 AM

People used to move out here to get away from all that big city high density living. and now they’re bringing the S#it out to the so called country living advertised years ago.

Natalie April 22, 2021 at 4:29 PM

That area is hardly “country living”. The location is directly adjacent to shops, restaurants and office spaces. The homes in the area are not ranches and farms.

The project is not high density. They are town homes, not apartments. 3.5 acres divided by 14 proposed units gives each unit a quarter acre of land. If the developer builds the town homes to each have a compact footprint, there’s still room for each town house to have a little garden.

This might be a good project for seniors who want to downsize, or starter homes for younger people.

remember April 22, 2021 at 5:41 PM

@N

just like someone who believes prostitution is OK as long as there is no pimp, you are wrong and values are perverse

JJ April 23, 2021 at 5:55 AM

It’s 14 buildings that will end up 46 units.

remember April 22, 2021 at 12:02 PM

what a shock, a city council that votes to get more tax revenue

what about resource shortages, i.e. water, power (bet most folks have forgotten about the blackouts)

Obamavirus April 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM

The regime has expanded by executive order the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing policy where single family zoned housing must be replaced by multi-unit flexible zoning if a town seeks to receive any federal HUD grants for development
The policy is specifically designed to subsidize housing in order to introduce historically urban black populations to the suburbs to redress racial inequities and “systemic racism in housing”
This deranged Marxist land grab will destroy the right to live in safe and cohesive neighborhoods for residents in CCCounty in order to further the ideology of a minority of people
This particular project is seeking to change zoning and may be just the first of many that will result in WC being irrevocably changed
Council needs to address this and halt development using HUD grants
Tax paying residents need to become aware of this oncoming locomotive and get ready

JJ April 22, 2021 at 1:02 PM

Can Val Verde, Foothill, and Northgate handle more students?

Oh, never mind, they are ALL in private schools, now. Darn that pandemic. 🤓

Original G April 22, 2021 at 1:16 PM

Happened in Pittsburg a few years back, SW corner intersection of Buchanan Rd and Kirker Pass Rd. Is called Woodland Hills Apartment Homes, appears to have been done well . . . .

Full effects of newsom’s CV19 lock down on commercial real estate and office buildings have not even begun to hit. Expect rental price per square foot to crater and there may even be commercial real estate company bankruptcies. Also believe companies moving offices out of CA will continue.

Randy April 22, 2021 at 1:23 PM

..this is my second post on this… notice how the original column on this subject was taken down along with our comments? As soon as this revised column posted this morning I said the same thing as I am here…. let’s see if this one will stay… really disappointing 🙁

CLAYCORD.com April 22, 2021 at 1:29 PM

The original is still up.

Anon April 22, 2021 at 4:20 PM

You’ll need to look up and see if the Mayor is a part of the “sustainable” cities baloney. If they are = there’s your answer….they have to play ball regarding “The Agenda” if they want federal money.

Tired April 22, 2021 at 6:16 PM

Good Luck!

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