MORAGA -- Residents concerned about the environmental impacts of a major residential development in eastern Moraga can air their views at a public hearing next week.

Planning commissioners will take testimony Wednesday on a draft environmental impact report for the Bollinger Valley project outlining the development's impacts and the measures that could be taken to mitigate them. The proposed development calls for 126 single-family homes on 92 acres of open space owned by the Bruzzone family on the Lafayette-Moraga border.

The public hearing will follow a brief presentation by the town staff and one by an environmental impact report consultant about impacts and prospective mitigation measures. Comments will be recorded, then addressed in the final EIR.

Commissioners aren't required to take any action at the meeting, and the town will continue to take public comments in writing until April 23. The final report will need to be certified by planning officials before any action or approvals can take place, said planning director Shawna Brekke-Read.

According to a project summary, 92 of the property's 186 acres would be developed for single-family residences. The proposed project alternatives -- required by the California Environmental Quality Act in the EIR -- range from 8 to 121 units on a smaller area of the project site.

To enable the development, city leaders would need to change the area's general plan land-use designation from "study area" to residential to allow for two dwelling units per acre. The area would be zoned for single-family residential planned development.


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Bollinger Valley's developers are also asking for land use and zoning changes for the remaining 94.33 acres; no residences are currently planned on that portion of the property.

The project also requires grading to reduce landslide risks; improvements to Valley Hill Drive to accommodate increased traffic; emergency vehicle access from St. Marys Road in Lafayette to residential developments in the area, and the construction of sewer, water and utility infrastructure.

The town has received numerous responses to the environmental review from Lamorinda residents with concerns about the project. Those concerns include impacts on emergency, police and medical response; increased stormwater runoff; and threatened wildlife. The city of Lafayette is also weighing in on the report, citing the project's traffic impacts on the city among its concerns.

If approved, the development would be the latest among a spate of residential projects planned for Moraga. They include the Rancho Laguna II project which would place 35 homes on 180 acres and establish a wetlands area; the 28-home Camino Ricardo development and the 123-home Palos Colorados project. The Moraga Center Specific Plan also makes room for an additional 630 residential units.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, 1010 Camino Pablo.

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