Last year 11-year-old Danville resident, Ella Warburg, decided to share her thoughts online about the SummerHill Homes development planned for the Magee ranch land in Danville (petitioner #489). The very fact that one of Danville’s youngest residents is engaged on such a topic is admirable. But Ella’s grasp of the issues surrounding this development is nothing short of astonishing.
One of Ella’s primary concerns appears to be the abundance of homes currently for sale in Danville. She writes: “There are 250 homes for foreclosure and 380 homes for sale in Danville. Do we really need more houses? … Let's be mindful of the depressed real estate market and prevent unnecessary impact…”
So I thought I would reach out to fellow Danville Patch blogger to see if Ella’s figures are accurate. Lauren is a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty and she confirmed that, as of right now, there are 157 homes actively for sale in Danville (including Diablo and Blackhawk). And, of these, 21 are either short sales or bank owned.
Not too bad, right? Wrong. Lauren went on to state that there are a bunch of homes in foreclosure that are not on the market – as yet. So, in total, there are actually 250 homes in Danville that are either bank-owned, scheduled for foreclosure auction, or in pre-foreclosure.
And this certainly aligns with , which found that the number of unoccupied units in Danville increased from 314 in the year 2000 to 514 in 2010. Certainly Lauren’s data suggests that there is a good chance that this trend has continued through present day – although we will have to wait for the next census report to confirm.
To me, this begs the question, “Do we really need more new development in Danville?”
If you believe Town Planner David Crompton tax revenue is not a driver for such initiatives. In a letter that David wrote to local residents, in late 2010, he stated: “The Town has no desire to see this land developed for revenue purposes. The Town’s largest revenue source comes from Property Tax Receipts…Based upon the scope of the current development proposal, if approved in some form, it would have an insignificant impact on the Town’s annual revenues.”
So why are new housing developments being approved by Danville’s Town Council?
Aside from the proposed Magee ranch development, which has already garnered lots of opposition from local residents through Save Our Creek, several other new developments have recently been given the green light by the Town – including the Elworthy and Weber properties and this is in spite of strong opposition from Danville residents.
Does this mean that resident concerns are falling on deaf ears? Or is the collective voice of Danville’s people just not loud or big enough? Certainly, Save Our Creek hopes the latter is the case. They are encouraging Danville homeowners to get behind their opposition of the SummerHill Homes’ development application. To date they have over 700 petitioners (including Ella), and they are actively collecting monetary donations as part of a legal challenge to the Town’s soon to be released Draft Environmental Impact Report.