Measure Y Passed, Permanently Protecting Magee Preserve as Open Space
Measure Y was on the March 3, 2020 ballot in Danville, CA. Save Mount Diablo enthusiastically supported YES on Y because the measure creates Magee Preserve, the most important missing piece of Danville’s open space.
Measure Y enacted myriad benefits for wildlife, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, and local conservation efforts.
Measure Y made it possible for 93 percent this privately owned land to be available to the public for the first time, including miles of new trails for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.
The views to Mount Diablo and Las Trampas are spectacular.
What Is Magee Preserve?
A project proposed by the Danville Magee ranching family and Summerhill Homes was approved in 2013. It was challenged in court, delayed, and picked up by Davidon Homes.
Today, Magee Preserve is a development project located within the city limits of Danville, south of Diablo Road and the community of Diablo. It restricts 93 percent of the property permanently as public open space, with 343 acres to be owned and managed by the East Bay Regional Park District. The Magee Ranching family began ranching in Danville in 1949. This proposal will allow them to continue cattle grazing on the 381 acres of protected land. Public hearings took place in 2019, and the Danville Town Council unanimously voted in support of the project. Measure Y, in support of creating Magee Preserve, passed in the March 2020 Danville election.
Magee Preserve prioritizes the preservation of the foothills of Mount Diablo and Danville’s unique way of life for future and current generations.
Save Mount Diablo supports the trade-off because of the project’s outstanding conservation values; it restricts 93 percent of the property—or 381 of 410 acres—from development, at no cost to taxpayers. That’s why it’s called “Magee Preserve.”
Measure Y for Danville . . .
- Permanently protects 93 percent (381 acres) of currently privately owned property as open space.
- Preserves the new public open space through several layers of protection—with most of it owned or protected by East Bay Regional Park District, which also endorsed Yes on Y.
- Open space protected from development includes all of its hills, ridges, and 1.5 miles of Green Valley Creek.
- Provides the missing link to already conserved parklands including Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space.
- Maintains a clear view of Mount Diablo along the south side of Diablo Road, and protects the views of the corridor.
- Helps make the first traffic improvements there in years and provides the land for road improvements and an extension of the bike path there to increase bike safety and for pedestrians.
- Delivers a substantial net conservation gain for Danville families and the public.
- Encourages the use of electric vehicles (yes, really).
Here’s How the Open Space Will Be Permanently Protected:
YES on Y set aside 93 percent of the Magee Preserve as new permanent public open space, prohibiting all future development on the property. It will ensure that the Mount Diablo foothills and the gateway to Mount Diablo State Park will also be permanently protected and off-limits from future development.
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) has also affirmed its formal support for YES on Y, announcing that, of the 381 acres of new permanent open space at Magee Preserve, the Park District will take official responsibility for protecting 343 acres to expand Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve and provide 3.5 miles of new trails.
These new trails will fill an important gap in the regional trail network by connecting Mount Diablo State Park to Sycamore Valley Regional Park and the Iron Horse Trail.
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) has agreed to accept 213 acres of land that EBRPD would own and manage, plus 130 acres that EBRPD would hold a restrictive covenant over that would permanently prohibit any potential future development. The 130 acres would also be owned by a Geologic Hazards Abatement District.
The 213 acres of EBRPD-owned land would expand the Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve. An additional 38 acres would be protected as public open space owned by a homeowner association.
Measure Y Is a Huge Win for Danville
It creates a massive environmental benefit for hikers, cyclists, equestrians, and walkers and their dogs across our community.
It is the best environmental trade-off that Save Mount Diablo has ever seen: 13 acres of land protected for every one acre developed.
Magee Preserve connects Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space and several homeowner association open spaces, permanently protecting wildlife and recreational corridors.
Wildlife corridors help to preserve habitat connectivity. Here’s why that’s so important for conservation.
Increasing Trails for Recreation
The project will build about 0.71 miles of multipurpose trail on the south side of Green Valley Creek. Additionally, it will build a crosswalk across Blackhawk Road. This crosswalk will connect to the existing trail along the north side of that road. The project also allows the East Bay Regional Park District to construct several miles of trails. These trails will extend from Diablo Road to the Sycamore Valley, connecting to Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve, the Iron Horse Trail, and potentially Mount Diablo State Park.
And the town of Danville will finally be able to create a multipurpose trail along another portion of the south side of Diablo Road, increasing safety for bicyclists, runners, walkers, and their dogs. The town of Danville has already identified sources of funding for this trail.
Protecting Scenic Views
Without Measure Y, homes could have been built on the hillsides in plain view, scattered across the property. However, passing Measure Y protected the scenic views of this stunning landscape. Because of the way in which the homes will be sited, they will not be visible from Diablo and Blackhawk Roads.
Combating Climate Change
The project will build electric vehicle charging facilities on each residential lot. This will encourage folks to switch from gas-powered cars to electric ones, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s an important benefit!
And of course, land preservation is also one of the most essential actions we can take to address the climate crisis.