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Published May 3rd, 2017
Wilder development is finally blooming
Photo Sora O'Doherty

It's been a long time coming, but residents are now occupying homes in Wilder.
More than two-thirds of the 245 total lots at Wilder have been transferred to builders or owners and approximately 28 residences are now occupied, according to Bruce Yamamoto of Brooks Street developers, who updated the Orinda City Council Wilder subcommittee on April 18. Committee members Dean Orr and Amy Worth heard updates on the progress of housing, the finishing of the two remaining playing fields, the art and garden center and the trailhead.
The Homeowners Association is now operational and providing fulltime concierge service. Brielle Griffin, the concierge, has an office in Quarry House, and handles booking for the pool, gym and courtyard. She schedules parties for residents and in addition organizes social events, such as a Valentine's Day party and an Easter egg hunt for the children, or a champagne tasting for the adults. Madeline Mallory, one of three resident members of the Homeowners Association, attended the meeting and provided additional information afterwards. She explained that the lots are large, but contain acreage for erosion control, which are maintained by a gardening service provided by the HOA.
Wilder's infrastructure is now complete, with all the roads paved, utilities in place, as well as sewer lines and storm water piping systems. Paths with occasional benches are scattered through the development, and wildflowers and birds abound. Although the annual erosion control season ended on April 15, there are still erosion control measures in place, including straw bottles, and covers on dirt piles to prevent runoff into waterways. During winter storms, some slides occurred in the open space areas.
Wilder spans 1,600 acres, of which 300 are to be developed. The remaining land will be transferred to various public agencies, such as the East Bay Regional Parks District. An extensive trail system will connect over the hill to Robert Sibley Park in Oakland.
Of the five total playing fields at Wilder, three are complete and in use, and two more will be added. Two of the existing fields are artificial turf, and one is natural grass. Orinda requested that one of the two fields to be added also be artificial turf, and the developer agreed to pay $150,000 towards the additional cost for the turf, with the city paying the remaining cost, estimated to be about $180,000. Although artificial turf is more expensive to install, it is less expensive to maintain and provides additional benefits, such as being usable even in wet weather, unlike natural grass.
Yamamoto said that the goal is to have permits for the playing fields and the Art and Garden Center in hand in the next few weeks and construction can begin immediately. Orr expressed the hope that the permits can be granted before the eighth amendment to the Development Agreement, which will be brought to the Planning Commission in early May and the Orinda City Council later in the month. Yamamoto believes that the permits will be available by that time. Currently it is hoped that the Art and Garden center will open in June of 2018 and the new playing fields the following December.
The subcommittee also discussed ongoing plans for the trailhead area, which the city hopes will be transferred to EBRPD, security cameras, and shuttles for to get residents to BART and local schools.

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