MORAGA -- After nearly two years of consideration, a proposal to build 26 high-end single family homes on a stretch of undeveloped Moraga land specially earmarked for housing and revitalization is a go.

The Town Council's March 12 greenlighting of a development agreement between the city, developers SummerHill Homes and property owner C&C Equities makes effective a number of Planning Commission approvals earlier this year. They include the project's environmental review, conceptual and general development plans, and permits allowing hillside development and grading.

Despite lacking full council backing, the approval allows for the creation of more housing stock in a town where growth is typically slow and housing demand is high.

Proposed for a 14.25-acre site off Camino Ricardo in the Moraga Center Specific Area designated for residential, retail and recreation growth, the development calls for five styles of 2,700- to 3,700-square-foot two-story homes and two single-story residences on lots averaging 12,600 square feet. Prices are estimated to start at $1.4 million.

Camino Ricardo isn't the only development SummerHill is proposing for Moraga. Planning commissioners are set to consider several related applications for the developer's Rancho Laguna II project at a hearing Monday. The conceptual development plan, approved in 2011, calls for 27 homes on 180 acres and includes the creation of a protection plan for a nearby wetlands area.


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The two projects join several others pitched by developers eager to build in Moraga. Proposed and suggested projects include the 126 single-family home Bollinger Valley development, the 18-home Via Moraga plan and 36 townhomes suggested for three acres on Moraga Way.

In addition to the 26 homes, the town will receive a number of public amenities outlined in the Camino Ricardo development agreement. Those benefits include:

  • Creation of a 2.5 acre public park/open space before a building permit is issued for the development's 16th home

  • A public "outlook point" within the subdivision.

  • Pedestrian trails and two bridges leading to and through the public open space. These would also have to be constructed before a building permit is issued for the 16th home.

    At a council meeting last month, SummerHill representative Denise Cunningham touted the development agreement, saying it offers significant benefits to the town.

    "We feel these improvements go above and beyond what would be required in this community," Cunningham said.

    The town estimates the value of the public improvements, including the construction of a sidewalk along Camino Ricardo from the project to Moraga Way, at $2.69 million. SummerHill will also contribute $55,000 to the town for other pedestrian improvements and pay impact fees of about $573,000, according to a staff report.

    Additional public safety improvements, including a high-visibility crosswalk from a bridge and trail crossing to the Moraga Commons Skatepark, are valued at $77,572. Construction is slated to begin in the fall.