Millbrae residents oppose land plan

Several Tuolumne Court residents who live downhill from a major new project and fear a host of negative impacts from it are hoping to derail the project with an appeal tonight.

The cash-strapped Millbrae School District declared a long-empty school site, located at 1 Alp Way, surplus property in 2005 and agreed last year to sell the property for $20.1 million as part of a fiscal recovery plan.

Danville-based developer Braddock and Logan proposed turning the 10.7-acre site into 37 single-family homes, a project that had been praised by commissioners during months of study sessions. The City Council is scheduled to review the residents’ appeal tonight.

Tuolumne Court residents Barbara Pascone, Marie Pascone, Catherine Lucio and Mark Murdoch, the same homeowners who have a pending lawsuit against several city officials regarding the 1 Alp Way project, appealed the Planning Commission’s quick April approval of the development. They fear problems with drainage and landslides once the project is built.

“It’s just unacceptable,” said Barbara Pascone, who filed the appeal on April 11.

Barbara Pascone and Lucio, noting that the city planted trees decades ago to prevent slides into her property, said that storm water from the new development and displaced earth will fall into their properties by the bucket loads.

The developer’s initial study of the site, dated Feb. 22, found that there are potentially some active fault zones there, but the developer may construct a retaining wall, among other measures, to make sure that surrounding properties aren’t damaged. Project Manager Peter Ziblatt said that the drainage has also been taken into account and that all the runoff from the project will drain into a system located under the subdivision.

The City Council was scheduled to review and vote on the project at its last meeting, but the appeal pushed that review back to tonight, according to City Manager Ralph Jaeck.

To further her cause in preparation, Barbara Pascone said she has requested documents from the Millbrae School District that shows that the property should remain a school.

She said that she and her neighbors, in addition to fearing the potential geological problems from the project, are concerned that their property values will fall once the school site is officially removed from the map.

“Schools and property values go hand-in-hand,” Pascone said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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