But plans for the 9,000-square-foot place has some neighbors upset because it's not a house that is planned but a fire station.
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is looking to replace Fire Station 32, which is old and small, with a new station at a new, busier location at Stone Valley Road and Miranda Avenue. The project awaits approval by Contra Costa County.
The plan has some neighbors upset because the new station — which would be built about one-third of a mile from the existing station — would be close to their homes.
"Would you like to buy your dream home near a fire station? We did," neighbor Dan Haller said angrily.
He and other neighbors are also concerned about traffic and question the need to spend $5 million for a station that averages two calls a day.
San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price said the proposed site is more centrally located than the current site on Stone Valley Road at Austin Lane and is geologically safer. The district did consider building on the original site, Price said, but when the opportunity to purchase this land came up, the district took it.
As for the current firehouse, where six firefighters stay overnight: "It's just a house with a big garage," Price said. The kitchen has a six-burner stove top, a 6-by-9-foot cooking island and room for three refrigerators. There's a place for a flat-screen TV, but Price said the district hasn't decided what TV will go in the firehouse.
Price said a more centrally located facility would overall help the 17,000 people who live in the community.
"We feel like we're doing the right thing for Alamo, putting in a modern facility," Price said.
Station 32 at its current location gets about two service calls a day. The district's busiest station, No. 31 in Danville, averages approximately four calls a day.
One neighbor of the proposed station questioned if spending $5 million on a new station is necessary.
"Is it really worth it?" Lydia Huang asked the fire chief at a meeting Wednesday of the Alamo Improvement Association.
Recently constructed firehouses in Pleasanton and Dublin also have a bedroom for each firefighter. The two recently built stations, which each cost about $5 million, also have three refrigerators, one for each shift, said Dave Rocha, deputy chief of Alameda County Fire, which provides fire services for the city of Dublin. They also have exercise rooms.
The three stations in Dublin get a total of about 2,000 calls a year, Rocha said, which is an average of about two calls a day per station.
Livermore-Pleasanton Fire's most recently constructed station, No. 4, on Bernal Avenue in Pleasanton cost about $3.2 million and is about 7,500 square feet, including the bay where firetrucks are parked. The station, which gets about three calls a day, also has one bedroom for each of the firefighters stationed there overnight, an exercise room and shop area to do vehicle repair, said Livermore Pleasanton Battalion Chief Barry Rose.
The Alamo Improvement Association's planning committee has been reviewing San Ramon Valley station plans for the last two months. At its public meetings many have asked about traffic issues — particularly how fire engines will get on Miranda Avenue and out to Stone Valley Road if firefighters get an emergency call during the school rush, when traffic is often at a standstill.
At Wednesday's meeting, the planning committee members asked the district-hired architects for renderings of what the station would look like to someone driving by. The committee ultimately will give a recommendation to Contra Costa County on the project.
The firehouse will be discussed again at the committee's Oct. 14 meeting.
Reach Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at twitter.com/sophiakazmi.