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Magee Ranch

Magee Ranch, Copyright Scott HeinIn the original project, a total of 119 acres would have been developed and 291 acres preserved—70% open space.  Seems like a lot—but sensitive areas were still affected. Development was too close to Green Valley Creek. Flag lots were too big, higher in canyons and more visible, and impacted more trees. Most importantly, the Diablo Road corridor would have been carved up.

We told Summerhill that except for the three lots on McCauley, they also needed to purchase the entire western half of the property, the beautiful Diablo Road corridor, and protect it too. They were willing. Eventually Jed Magee agreed.

Here’s the New Plan:

  • 38 acres of 410 would be developed. The number of proposed homes has been reduced from 85 to 69. 
  • Protected open space has increased from 70% to 91% (to 372 of 410 acres).
  • All of the ridgelines will be protected.  The new houses would be on flatter grasslands, at lower elevations than surrounding developments.
  • Only a small part of the development would be visible at all from Diablo Road
  • Protected land will connect and buffer Sycamore Valley Open Space.
  • Green Valley Creek would be protected with a wider development setback from the creek.
  • All trees will be protected, except at the creek crossing at the Jillian Way entrance, and for some road improvements the Town would like at the Green Valley/Diablo Road intersection.
  • An existing ridgeline fire trail across the property to Sycamore Valley Open Space will be open to the public, dedicated to East Bay Regional Park District.  The open space will be protected with a conservation easement.
  • There will be an additional three quarter mile trail parallel to the creek leading to the ridge.
If the Summerhill project is not approved, there will still be a ready seller and there will most assuredly be a future buyer or buyers. The worst possible alternative is another project in the future with no public benefit.

Project Gallery

Magee Ranch project proposal maps

Project Alternatives
Project alternatives studied in the project Environmental Impact Report
(top and middle). Top image:the worst alternative, 5-acre parcels, and a court across from St. Timothy’s church. Center image: the former proposal with lots along the western half and large flag lots in the main project area. Bottom image: the current compromise proposal, which responds to comments by Danville residents, the Town, and by Save Mount Diablo.






Magee Ranch 2/25 compromise

The Compromise
The 410 acre Magee Ranch property is outlined in red and proposed house lots are solid red. Protected open space is green and creeks are blue. Streets are black. Existing, surrounding neighborhoods are in white. The map also shows homeowner open space in the Hidden Valley and first Magee Ranch neighborhoods, as well as East Bay Regional Park District’s Sycamore Valley Open Space. Summerhill Homes has decreased the project size from 85 homes on 119 acres to 69 homes on 38 acres. 91% of the property would be protected.


38 acres would be developedOnly 9% Developed
Only 38 acres of the flat grasslands at the bottom of the property would be developed (of 410 acres)..





Hidden in Hidden ValleyHidden in Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley and existing Magee Ranch neighborhoods wouldn’t see any of the project. View from the property ridge line of Hidden Valley at the upper end of McCauley.





Homes in the Flat LandsHomes off the Slopes
The development would be in the flat grasslands located around the light colored riding arena, at the bottom of the canyon. This canyon, the slopes on both sides, and all of the oak woodland would be protected.





Prevent More Visible DevelopmentPrevent More Visible Development
If this project is stopped, none of the property or resources will be protected. It will be subdivided again and again, with more visible development on knolls or ridges, along with more damaging roads and grading.





Connected Open SpaceConnected Open Space
Project open space would connect with nearby home- owner open spaces to the east and west, and with Sycamore Valley Open Space.





Protected Ridgeline & Public TrailPublic Trail Along Protected Ridgeline
All of the ridges would be protected. View northwest along the ridge from Sycamore Valley Open Space. The ridge line fire road would become a public trail.





The Trees will RemainTrees will Remain
All the oak woodland would be protected. In fact, all trees will be protected, except at the creek crossing at the Jillian Way entrance, and for improvements the Town would like at the Green Valley/Diablo Road intersection.





Green Valley Creek RestoredGreen Valley Creek Restored
Except for the entrance road, Green Valley creek will be protected and restored. Existing houses (at right) are closer to the creek than any of the new proposed ones.




Gateway to Mt. Diablo State Park ProtectedScenic Beauty Protected
The beautiful area on the south side of Diablo Road, winding between Green Valley and Athenian School, will be protected.





372 Acres of Open SpaceContinuing the Ranching Tradition
Cattle would continue to graze the 372 acres of protected open space for fire and resource management, continuing the ranching tradition.




More photos and information on the Magee Ranch project can be seen here.

  Credits | Legal StatementCopyright 2012 Save Mount Diablo. Designed by Alison Martin. Funded by Clif Bar.