In an effort to avert potentially lethal confusion, Orinda City Council voted to rename the streets in the Orinda Grove development, requiring changing the addresses of 28 residences.
Currently the development consists of streets and paseos, or pedestrian walkways. The houses face the paseos and have addresses on them, while the garages front the streets. Thus the addresses of the residences don't reflect the street name from which the residence is accessible, but rather the "paseo" name. With the renaming of the streets, the houses with garages on either side will be given addresses associated with that street name. The city designed the change to affect the fewest possible residence.
In an earlier attempt to clarify, address plaques were affixed to each garage. While Orinda first responders are familiar with this arrangement, other emergency personnel are not, and staff has determined that there is a possibility that confusion could create a deadly delay if another jurisdiction needs to be called upon to respond to a 911 call. In an emergency, a delay of even a few minutes can affect the patient's outcome.
Not all the residents of Orinda Grove are thrilled by the change. Although the city will bear the costs of changing the street signs, and the residents will not have to deal with the U.S. Postal Service regarding the change of address, some residents did appear before the council to object to the associated costs, for example reprinting of business cards and checkbooks. However, the city decided that the change was necessary to assure public safety and voted unanimously on March 21 to go ahead with the change. (See graphic.)
The land upon which Orinda Grove is built was part of a three-way swap that enabled the city to build its new city hall in 2007. Subsequently Pulte Homes developed the 11-acre former school site and the adjacent 3.1-acre city-owned ball fields, building 73 homes and the Orinda Union School District office building to replace the former district offices on the site. The homes were sold starting in 2013.