Project Fact Sheet - Released By Town Of Danville

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What kind of development will this be?

Magee Preserve is a 410-acre project, nestled on the east side of Danville, that improves on what is allowed by Town zoning laws for the property. Current zoning allows development on nearly every acre, meaning 78 homes across the entire 410-acre property. Magee Preserve is a better idea. The proposal guarantees that 93% of the property becomes permanent open space that preserves habitat and breathtaking vistas. Magee Preserve means fewer homes on only 29 acres, consisting of a thoughtfully designed neighborhood of 69 single-family homes clustered together and completely out of sight from Diablo and Blackhawk Roads.  

Magee Preserve is sensitive to the concerns of the community regarding new residential development and has been designed as a balanced project. That means not only homes but permanent conservation, two miles of new public trails, protection of local wildlife and Green Valley Creek, improvements to traffic flow, new pedestrian and bicycle alternatives to Diablo Road, and new tax revenues for the Town, at no cost to taxpayers.

Where is Magee Preserve?

Magee Preserve is located in the Town of Danville, south of Diablo Road and Blackhawk Road and east of McCauley Road. The property is surrounded by single-family residential neighborhoods, including the Belgian Drive, Clydesdale Drive, and Fairway Drive neighborhoods, Hidden Valley development in the west, and the existing Magee Ranch subdivision to the east.

Public and private open space areas are also located in the Magee Preserve’s vicinity, including Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve and Mt. Diablo State Park. As part of the proposal, Magee Preserve in partnership with East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) will add two miles of new public trails through the new 381-acre open space.

How big are the houses, and will the project have multi-family or affordable homes?

Homes will be from 3,200 square feet to just over 5,000 square feet with two or three-car garages, limited to two stories. Ten percent of the homes would include attached secondary units in order to comply with the Town’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. You can view renderings and floor plans here.

How will the project permanently protect open public space?

Approximately 381 acres, or 93% of the site, will be preserved as new permanent public open space. Future development on this preserved land will be prohibited, thus protecting and maintaining this important natural resource and the wildlife and habitat within it for generations to come.

Magee Preserve in partnership with East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) will add two miles of new public trails to be available following the project’s approval, connecting Mt. Diablo State Park to Sycamore Valley Regional Park and the Iron Horse Trail and filling an important gap in the regional trail network. The project also includes a public parking lot and staging area to give Danville residents access to the East Bay Regional Park District trail system.

In addition, Magee Preserve will protect and preserve one and a half miles of Green Valley Creek and is working in close collaboration with environmental resource agencies to prevent and repair erosion and enhance natural habitat in and around Green Valley, creating a more sustainable Creek and improved habitat for the animals that live here. The project also establishes a special conservation easement for preservation of the California red-legged frog and wetland habitat. All maintenance and oversight of the site will be managed by a public agency.

What Are the Facts About the Project’s Impact on Traffic?

Magee Preserve understands the community’s concerns around traffic. That’s why Magee Preserve is doing its fair share to reduce congestion and wait times that have been a major issue within the Diablo Road corridor for a very long time. The project will make much needed improvements at the Green Valley and Diablo Road intersection to extend the westbound right turn and through lanes by a total of 550 feet for additional capacity to speed up the number of cars that can move through each traffic signal cycle and reduce the morning westbound backup that has plagued that intersection for decades. And, pending County approval, the project will install a "smart" traffic light at the Mt. Diablo Scenic intersection to allow more cars to flow more efficiently and safely through the Diablo Road corridor. All at no cost to taxpayers. Please visit the Town’s website for more information on this and other issues.  

How is Magee Preserve Making Safety a Top Priority?

Magee Preserve is making safety a top priority and we understand, in light of the recent California wildfires, that emergency response and evacuation along Diablo Road is a major concern. The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) has reviewed the project with the safety of every family, senior, and child in Danville in mind and have confirmed that the project does not impact their ability to rapidly respond to fires and emergencies at and near the project site within five minutes. In addition, SRVPD has confirmed that this project does not impact the ability to safely evacuate the corridor.

Danville’s Deputy Fire Chief Frank Drayton confirmed that the project actually exceeds California’s fire code, by maintaining miles of fire trails throughout the preserve and adding a half mile route through the project as an alternate emergency access route along Diablo Road. Plus, every home at Magee Preserve will be equipped with its own automatic fire suppression system. Check out the Town’s website for more information on this and other issues.

What happened to the Summerhill project?

Following the Town of Danville's unanimous approval of Summerhill’s 69-lot proposed project in 2013, a lawsuit was filed challenging the project, alleging that the project’s environmental impact report (EIR) was inadequate in many respects and that it was inconsistent with the Town’s General Plan. The only claim upheld by the Courts, however, was that the EIR did not adequately address potential impacts to bicycle safety. 

Davidon Homes took over the project in February 2017 and since has improved the proposal by reducing the development footprint and correspondingly increasing the public open space by 7 full acres, among other improvements including relocating a new corral near Diablo Road to serve cattle grazing operations, and adding sustainable features (such as electric vehicle chargers and solar panels in each residence).

To address the Court’s decision, the Town has further analyzed existing conditions for bicyclists, potential improvements to Diablo Road, and the potential impacts of the project to bicycle safety by undergoing a thorough traffic and bicycle safety study to make safety enhancements and improvements for bicyclists and the community-at-large. Using a nationally recognized method established by the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM 2010), the study concluded the project has no significant impact on bicycle safety. 

Who is the Magee family and what is their history on this property?

Magee Preserve is proud to maintain the property’s historical and cultural heritage with the continuation of the Magee family cattle grazing operation. The family’s history in Danville is rich with community involvement and its cooperation has been an integral piece in the progress of the Town of Danville.  

The Magee family history dates back to 1949, when Harry and Juanita Magee purchased the ranch property and formed H&J Company to own and operate a commercial Hereford cow/calf operation on the ranch.

After Harry and Juanita passed away in 1961, the H&J Company was passed on to their two sons, Hap Magee and Jerry Magee.

Then in 1980, Hap and Jerry physically split the ranch, with Hap taking +/-680 acres on the east side and Jerry taking the west side. In 1980, Jerry began a commercial stocker beef cattle operation on his west side.

The cattle operation continues today on the west side, even after Jerry’s passing in 1995. His son Jed Magee and grandson Tom Magee are presently running the day to day operation and maintaining the property in pristine condition, just as Jerry would expect. 

Magee Preserve will forever protect 381 acres, or 93% of the property, and allow the continuance of the Magee family legacy of cattle grazing and environmental stewardship, as well as continue their dedication to the community by opening the property’s recreational amenities for public enjoyment, dedicating additional street width to the Diablo Road/McCauley intersection and an easement for a bike trail along Diablo Road, and to preserving the scenic viewshed that makes Danville so special.