ALAMO -- Neighbors of the Ball family estate in Alamo listened to preliminary plans for a proposed 35-unit subdivision at an Alamo Improvement Association Planning Committee meeting Thursday night.
The housing plan, still in its early stages, is proposed for 22 of the 66 acres owned by the Gordon Ball family southwest of Danville Boulevard and Camille Avenue. Ball is an engineering contractor who resides in Alamo.
Land planner Vince D'Alo, who made the presentation for the family, said the development would leave 38 acres as open space, and falls midway within the density allowed by the land's current zoning.
"I think it's a unique piece of property; there have been a lot of things done already that will lessen the impact on neighbors," D'Alo said. "We're not asking for a general plan amendment. It's pretty much a straightforward subdivision."
About 25 neighbors attended the meeting, with some residents of Muir and Forest lanes airing concerns about possible impacts on traffic, parking and emergency access.
Committee member Chuck Baumann, who lives on Muir, said more homes could compound parking issues on Camille Lane, used to access a popular East Bay Regional Parks District trail to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.
"For all the neighbors, parking is paramount because we have so many in the community that want to go into EBRPD," Baumann said. "We're going to choke the road down, and there's no provisions for where these cars can park."
The Ball family held two neighborhood meetings on the proposed development last fall. Ball's daughter Shannon Jones, a lawyer representing the family, said the estate has been on the market for years. The family would prefer a single buyer for the property, she said, but would pursue development unless one is found.
"We've been pretty forthcoming with the public," she said. "We have an open dialogue with the neighbors, and we've made a lot of concessions."
Ball submitted the original application for the project in May, but Alamo Improvement Association planning chair Ed Moran said county Supervisor Candace Andersen had found "a number of outstanding issues" with the application. Due to the unresolved questions, the planning committee held off on making any recommendations on the subdivision until a future meeting.
Jones said the Ball family hopes to have a final application submitted to Contra Costa County within the next month. The environmental impact process is expected to take at least a year, and D'Alo said it could be two to three years before homes are built. A portion of the open space, he said, will be offered to the park district.
The planning committee will hold another public meeting on the proposal, possibly on Aug. 15.
Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.