The hotel site is above Gale Ranch and noise will be heard across the valley.
Church and Daycare
The hotel site is on a beautiful knoll that is zoned Park land just like the Golf course. It is right next to the homes on So. Gale Ridge Rd and right across the narrow street from The Bridges community pool, tennis and clubhouse. The property is also next to Canyon Creek Church and Little Bridges Daycare and above the new homes being built off New Dougherty (please see the map). The proposed hotel/event center entrance and exit would be on So. Gale Ridge Road about ¼ mile from Bollinger.
How will this affect Gale Ranch and other residents?
Traffic, Accidents and Drunk Drivers
Can you imagine 350-700 cars and limos all arriving at once for a wedding, party or convention and trying to turn left into a narrow driveway, negotiate a sharp turn into the hotel entrance, likely find no parking or needing valet service so the cars will have to go back down? Traffic will back up on Bollinger through several lights. The reverse will happen at the end of each event except many of the drivers could have had too much to drink. The developer's staff told us that their events at The Bridges are fully booked Fridays to Sundays most of the year, so instead of getting relief from traffic on the weekends, it could actually be much worse!
As we have seen at Extended Stay and other hotels in San Ramon, crime radiates out from them, affecting everyone nearby. Drug dealers and prostitutes are common around hotels. Will our children be safe using the Community pool or walking by the hotel to and from school? Will our homes and cars be safe once the criminals are attracted to Gale Ranch? Will crime spread out to the nearby Safeway area just like it has spread from Extended Stay to Costco? Shoppers and their children won't be safe if that happens.
The hotel operation will be on a knoll overlooking Dougherty Valley on one side and the Bollinger Hills area on the other. Loud music from parties that run 'til 11pm will be heard all over those areas. Sound carries!
Hotels operate 24/7 so guests will be coming and going at all hours, beeping and honking their doors shut and carrying on as hotel guests often do. Would you like to live near that? And to top it all off there will be the early-morning deliveries with large trucks grinding up the hill and their back-up beeps sending all of us running for earplugs.
The hotel will certainly diminish housing values in The Bridges and throughout Gale Ranch because even the homes farther away will be affected by lower comps when crime rises and word of the noise from the hotel spreads.
The proposed plan allows for only about 100 parking spaces and the Developer says overflow traffic can use their golf club parking. But San Ramon doesn’t allow a developer to count offsite parking that is more than 200 feet away from an entrance. The golf course parking area is at least 900 feet away and who would want to walk in high heels up and down a steep hill anyway—especially in party clothes, wind and rain?
Where will all these cars park? On the neighborhood streets, of course, which means partygoers will be wandering through neigh-borhoods late at night disturbing everyone. Is this fair to local homeowners?
With open space becoming a precious commodity in San Ramon, we value every bit of it that is remaining, but if this Developer has his way, he will pave over nearly all of his 5.2-acre hotel site (see his Site Plan below) even though it was never intended for uses like hotels or event centers.
This land forms a crucial link in the open space corridor that now extends all the way from South San Ramon, around the back of The Bridges, up past Crow Canyon and continues down into Danville. It is home to many protected species and at least four of them have been identified by the City as living on the proposed hotel site. An environmental impact report will no doubt identify more.
When a wildlife corridor is interrupted by human activity like covering virgin land with concrete, all animal populations diminish because they can’t find mates with enough genetic diversity to keep their populations healthy—if they can find each other at all.
The hotel site as seen from The Bridges Community Center. There is a pool, tennis courts and clubhouse
A Burrowing Owl with her chicks.
Canyon Creek Church with Little Bridges Daycare is on the other side of the hotel site.
Developer's Hotel Design
The hotel will be 35'high at the back, which overlooks Gale Ranch, and 29' high at the street. But the hotel site is also elevated by about 12' above So. Gale Ridge so the hotel will tower over the street and Community Center. Neighbors think this design is not in keeping with the quality and appearance of surrounding buildings.
Cars trying to enter or leave the Hotel will back up on this narrow driveway, then onto So Gale Ridge Rd and Bollinger Canyon Rd.
Most of the land that's green is zoned Park and is owned by the Developer.
Proposed Hotel Site
Developer's Site Plan
The dashed line indicates the property line. Note that most of the land will be covered with buildings or parking lots.
Why would the Planning Commission support this?
The Dougherty Valley Specific plan says that land designated Parks & Recreation might have "small conference/resort facilities." A hotel is not allowed, nor is an event center, so the Developer called his project a "Small Conference Facility/Event Center." We maintain that this is a deception. The Planning Commission will be able to take another look at this land use when it comes up for their vote in 6-9 months after the final filing.
Western Burrowing Owl
Protected Species on Hotel Site
The Bridges Community Center
This home is right next-door to the hotel site.
San Joaquin Spearscale
The hotel site is directly across from a community pool and play area and next to a church and daycare center. It is above the new Toll Bros. homes.
This is the City zoning map. The pale green is zoned Open Space. You can see how developing the land that the hotel site is on would remove a significant piece of this vital wildlife corridor. The dark green indicates land zoned Parks—all the golf course, driving range and hotel site land. The pale yellow and darker yellow areas indicate homes. The dashed red line shows land not yet annexed to the City and includes the new homes being built by Toll Bros.
A Win/Win Solution
Recognizing that the Developer is a businessman and wants to make a return on his investment, in mid-June 2017 one of our leaders proposed a Win/Win solution: He would give up the right to further develop the hotel site in exchange for an enormous tax credit (usually 40-70% of the appraised value) by granting the City of San Ramon a Conservation Easement on the land. In a detailed presentation she showed him how his land would qualify for both State and Federal tax credits that could be used in the first two years or over a longer period. She also explained how he, like Donald Trump, could put Conservation Easements on his Golf Course and Driving Range property to maximize his return without any new investment of capital or resources.
This Developer owns other golf properties in California and could use the Conservation Easement similarly to protect, and receive a major return on investment on, those properties, too.
Alameda Whip Snake
At a Planning Commission meeting on 12/6/2016 the owner of the Bridges Golf Course proposed a 60-room hotel and event center to be built in The Bridges neighborhood. The Commission “supported the land-use concept.”
The hotel plan is 53,610 sq. ft. and the event center is 7,200
sq ft. which can hold about 700 partygoers or conventioneers. It will be 35' high on top of a knoll that rises above So Gale Ridge Rd. Mr. Yadav hasn’t yet filed his formal application but in mid-June he said that he planned to file within 30-90 days.