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Published February 17th, 2021
Bellavista subdivision improvements completed
Map of Bellavista subdivision Courtesy Moraga Public Works Department

After years of negotiations and public input, the Moraga town council Feb. 10 voted to accept the Bellevista subdivision as complete. An initial planning application by Summerhill Homes, LLC was originally submitted in February 2005 for the project - a 35-lot single-family residential project meant to include associated open space and additional public amenities, entitled Rancho Laguna II. Following six years of submittal reviews, public input and hearings, revisions and appeals, Moraga's town council approved a 27-lot single-family residential subdivision in January 2011, for the approximately 179-acre property.
Bellavista is subdivided into Parcels A through H comprising of 27 private lots, common areas, open space, private roadways, public right-of-way and trails. The development offers many important town benefits such as: maintaining open views of the valley, hillside and crest as seen from Rheem Boulevard with no significant impact on other public views; preservation in perpetuity of approximately 162-acres of open space with public trails at no cost to the town; stabilization and repair of Rheem Boulevard along the entire project frontage; creation of a sustainable green community that achieves at least 90 Green Points under he Green Building Program; improved access for Moraga-Orinda Fire District to open space on the project site and adjoining properties; and decreased storm water flows downstream in the intermittent drainage behind homes along Rheem Boulevard.
In June 2015, the town council authorized the town manager to execute three Subdivision Improvement Agreements for: 1) Public Improvements; 2) Private Improvements; and 3) Landscape Improvements (private) in order for the subdivision to be accepted as complete.
The Public Improvements included items such as roadway pavement, storm drain systems, utilities, concrete curb, gutter, sidewalks, signage and striping within Parcels E and G. The improvements have been completed and are recommended for acceptance.
The Private Improvements also include roadway pavement, storm drain systems, utilities, concrete curb, gutter, sidewalks, signage and striping, but will be maintained by the Homeowner's Association for Parcels C and H; and by the Geologic Hazard Abatement District for Parcels A, B, and D. These private improvements have also been completed and are recommended for acceptance.
The Landscape Improvements (private) include trees, plants, shrubs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, lighting, and fencing on Parcels A, B, C, D, and H. They will be maintained by either the HOA or the GHAD depending on established responsibilities. These landscape improvements have been completed and are also recommended for acceptance.
In early 2018, town staff was contacted by residents living on Birchwood Drive who were concerned about the project's impact to them. After frequent meetings with staff, SummerHill and Birchwood residents, an understanding was met. SummerHill agreed to relocate certain traffic signs and trees along Sonora Road ridgeline that were viewable from Birchwood Drive.
Inspections were conducted in January by Moraga's Public Works Department regarding the three subdivision improvements identified in the SIA and were determined to be complete and satisfactory.
On Feb. 10, the town council voted 3-1 (Council Member Teresa Onoda was the no vote) and 1 recuse (Council Member Renata Sos) in favor of accepting as complete the Bellavista Subdivision improvements; and accepting Parcels E and G for roadway right-of-way purposes. The Notices of Completion will be recorded, at which point the one-year warranty period will begin for the associated improvements.
Following the one-year period, town staff will once again inspect the improvements and will require the developer to make any necessary repairs. Staff will then return to the town council with a recommendation to adopt a resolution accepting the warranty period completion and authorize the release of the developer's cash deposit and warranty bonds.

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