CONCORD -- Residents on Olive Drive have complained to city officials that workers for a Seeno company were spraying chemicals on a proposed housing site just days before it was to be examined by an independent biologist.
The chemical spraying and other concerns were raised by residents in meetings with city planners on Thursday and Monday. Rylle Jones, who lives across the street from the site, called police and city hall Thursday morning to report the spraying, and a responding city inspector issued a stop-work order, according to Senior Planner Frank Abejo.
Jones and other neighbors said the unknown chemicals could kill wildlife on the property, including mice, and alter the city biologist's report. The biologist visited the property Tuesday.
"We think they were spraying chemicals to kill wildlife," said Jones' wife, Vicci Stillwell. "They wouldn't tell us what was being sprayed."
The city hired the independent biologist to settle a dispute between neighbors and developer Jackie Seeno over a home for barn owls formerly on the proposed housing site. A biologist hired by Seeno concluded in an earlier report that there were no active nests on site, resulting in the recent removal of a wooden structure on the property. Its removal outraged residents, who say barn owls have lived there since the 1950s.
Another topic of concern among neighbors is the size of the six proposed homes, which would be the only two-story homes on the street. Neighbors also object to a request to remove 11 trees protected under city code.
Seeno has said she is saving her comments for public hearings on the project. A Design Review Board hearing is scheduled for March 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Concord City Hall, 1950 Parkside Drive, Building D.
David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.