Walnut Creek senior housing progress satisfies resistance

WALNUT CREEK — For almost a century, 7 Hills Ranch has been owned by the Hale spouse and children, whose members have served as steady stewards of the scenic 30.4-acre wildlife habitat in the hills of unincorporated Walnut Creek, a stone’s throw from Heather Farm Park.

Currently, on the other hand, only a caretaker nevertheless life in the outdated property on the property right after Sheridan Hale, the relatives patriarch, died in 2015.

Following his death, Hale’s household decided to market off the land and is now closing escrow with Spieker Senior Enhancement Companions, a Menlo Park developer that owns continuing care retirement communities across California, like one particular in Pleasanton.

Spieker programs to build a retirement local community on Seven Hills Ranch with 302 flats, 52 cottages, a substantial clubhouse with a card space, a physical fitness and spa centre with an indoor pool and practically 600 under- and higher than-floor parking spaces. Included would be an 85,000-sq.-foot skilled nursing centre with 100 beds for residents who need a increased degree of treatment as they get older or acquire ailments.

But open up-room advocates already are working to head off the undertaking at the go. A grassroots group identified as Help save 7 Hills Ranch late last 12 months urged the Walnut Creek Town Council not to offer the developer a general public route off Kinross Generate that would provide as a main accessibility place to the senior housing community.

Additional a short while ago, a Modify.org petition opposing the project has collected far more than 2,500 signatures to date.

The hillside residence is worthy of conserving, Michelle Sheehan of Help save 7 Hills Ranch claimed, alluding to its “oak-noticed terrain,” meandering creeks and landscape views for website visitors of Heather Farm Park.

“It genuinely is a concealed treasure,” added Jim Martin, a Walnut Creek resident of 12 many years who would like to see the land conserved. “The sights throughout the valley flooring are actually spectacular.”

Kristen Lomasney, who has lived close to Heather Farm Park considering the fact that 2012, stated she regularly bicycles all over the area and anxieties that the retirement local community would bring way too significantly traffic to roadways that just can’t assist it.

Troy Bourne, a Spieker project formal, reported in an e-mail the property’s beauty will be preserved, even right after the retirement community is constructed.

“We’ve been careful to design and style the group all over waterways, look at corridors and important trees so that our inhabitants and their neighbors can proceed to enjoy the site’s natural magnificence,” he stated.

The residence sale is anticipated to shut right after the developer secures specific entitlements as effectively as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ approval of a typical approach amendment allowing multi-household developments on the web-site, which is at this time zoned solitary-spouse and children residential.

And as with any big progress, an environmental affect report will have to be prepared to assure the challenge will not negatively impression the space in a substantial way. Walnut Creek Metropolis Supervisor Dan Buckshi claimed in an interview that the City Council won’t choose whether to sell the city’s path easement right until it evaluations the report, which is even now in the early phases.

The 7 Hills Ranch is found from this drone check out in Walnut Creek on Monday. The 30.4-acre parcel of ranch land on the easterly conclude of 7 Hills Ranch Highway would grow to be a senior group for far more than  400 inhabitants if the Spieker Senior Development Associates proposal is permitted byContra Costa County. (Jane Tyska/Bay Region Information Team) 

“Traffic impacts are likely to be a thing we look at carefully,” county planner Sean Tully explained in interview. “We’ll also search at biology, drinking water programs. That home has been left by itself for an prolonged interval of time, and I’m assuming there will be a species up there that may perhaps qualify for security.”

Tully expects the venture to go to the Scheduling Commission in close proximity to the finish of the year and in the end to the Board of Supervisors for ultimate approval.

Bourne stated the Hale family members approached the developer to market the residence immediately after reaching out to conservationist teams with out achievement. A household member declined a request for comment on this story.

Sheehan of Help you save Seven Hills Ranch advised that the relatives may possibly have felt otherwise if it experienced read from the myriad of neighborhood voices that have sprung up considering that the project was introduced.

The 7 Hills Ranch is viewed from this drone see in Walnut Creek. The 30.4-acre parcel of ranch land on the easterly finish of 7 Hills Ranch Street is upcoming to Heather Farm Park. Spieker Senior Development Associates wants to acquire a senior group for additional than 400 people on the web page. (Jane Tyska/Bay Space Information Team) 

Spieker Senior Enhancement Partners presently has held numerous workshops to get public feed-back, and Bourne reported it would welcome far more.

“The Hales’ house and ranch are gorgeous, and it’s comprehensible that some will oppose the family’s proposed use of their property,” Bourne explained. “However, it is not open up place — the standard system has known as for its enhancement for many years.”

Stoneridge Creek, a related housing group owned by Spieker in Pleasanton, has a shift-in rate of approximately $400,000 for a studio and up to $2 million for a penthouse, even though a huge part of the deposits are paid out back again when a resident leaves or dies. An added month to month company charge that handles foods, drinks and other amenities ranges from $4,000 to $6,000.

Bourne explained the proposed Seven Hills Ranch community would supply commencing entrance charges of $500,000, which he known as “a considerable investment decision but about half the cost of an typical Walnut Creek dwelling.”

“The wonderful landscape and amenities can give the effect of luxury, but most citizens are attracted to the fiscal benefit and peace of brain,” he said.

WALNUT CREEK, CA – MARCH 08: The 7 Hills Ranch Open up House is viewed from this drone view in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Monday, March 8, 2021. The 30.4-acre parcel of undeveloped land on the easterly end of Seven Hills Ranch Road would develop into a senior group for around 400 residents if the Spieker Senior Development Partners proposal is recognized by the county. (Jane Tyska/Bay Spot News Team)