Discontent was in the air at a public hearing on an environmental impact report that addresses proposed updates to the town's general plan.

A crowd of about 200 packed into the Danville Community Center and more than 20 speakers told the town's planning commission to essentially leave well enough alone.

Elon Ornsby, a longtime Fremont resident before moving to Danville, said over a 20-year period he saw Fremont transform from a rural community to "a festering cluster of humanity."

"I left that to come to Danville," he said, adding that the new plan would turn Danville into Fremont. "You're starting down a slippery slope."

The updated general plan, called the Danville 2030 General Plan, will be addressed at a series of hearings beginning Dec. 11.

The purpose of Tuesday's hearing was to get public feedback on possible environmental impacts any changes to the general plan might cause, not on the new general plan itself.

But most speakers were there to oppose changes that would increase high-density, low-income housing in town.

To meet state housing requirements, Danville's updated general plan proposes designating at least 9.6 acres around town for higher density, low-income housing.

Throughout the night, statements of opposition to the plan were met with applause and cheers.

"I have a great idea for you guys," town resident Charles Reyna said, regarding the mitigation of greenhouse gases as addressed in the EIR. "Why don't you just stop building on every patch of land available?"


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Some of the crowd's discontent was aimed at the Association of Bay Area Governments, that calculates housing needs for 101 jurisdictions in the Bay Area.

ABAG "is an unelected body that is creating a nine-county general plan that is a cookie cutter solution that creates high-density, low-income housing in all nine Bay Area counties," Danville resident Heather Gass said. "This is not about the environment. I've been going to these hearings for two years and they've been telling us that in order to save the planet we need to get out of our single-family residential homes, out of our cars, and we need to create high-density stack-and-pack housing everywhere in all communities."

"ABAG is telling us if you want your transportation money you will remake Danville into a high-density area," former U.S. Congressman and Danville resident Bill Baker told the commission. "You're being asked by your community here tonight almost without exception to resist this, to say no to it, not to go along with it."

Town Attorney Rob Ewing said state law trumps town ordinances and that failure to comply with state housing requirements would bring fiscal and legal penalties.

Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.