More stack and packs for Orinda — Loss of local control — Comprehensive Update of Orinda’s General Plan? 

These issues need your attention if you want to preserve and protect your rights, privileges and the high quality of life you enjoy as residents and taxpayers of Orinda.

Subsidized Sr. Housing - Orinda Major Violation of the General Plan

"Smart Growth" Residential above Major Violation of the General Plan Retail - El Cerrito

Our General Plan, first issued in 1987, shortly after Orinda became an incorporated city, so the residents could control their own destiny, envisioned development characterized as “semi-rural,” and carefully defined those words in the General Plan, and likewise envisioned development of the downtown as“village character” meaning: “As a commercial area of relatively low density with a predominance of small-scale, low-lying buildings of varying architectural styles (generally not exceeding two stories) fronting on streets or landscaped, plaza-like spaces."  Our General Plan has been updated 18 times since its original issue, but these everlasting, important words remain because they define what’s unique and special about our community. 

These words “semi-rural character” and “village character” in the General Plan have had a lasting profound impact on preserving the values that Orindans cherish including first class public schools that are not overcrowded (unlike the packed, out of control development in some of our neighboring cities). 

Today our General Plan is being threatened as never before.  Did you know that city staff and the city council have plans to embark on a comprehensive General Plan update (cost at $500,000 to $1,000,000), to completely replace our workable, suitable city governance document that seeks to preserve our precious semi-­‐rural character and values, in order to rezone the downtown for high density housing, all in the service of an agenda to turn Orinda into something unrecognizable in just a few years?  We can say no to this.  City staff and the City Council told ORINDA WATCH less than 2 years ago that NO general plan update was required, but they have now changed their tune--so we need to show up, and make sure our voices are heard.  ORINDA WATCH is working toward this goal.  Before another expensive consultancy, and the die is cast, we think a Public Right to Vote Initiative by Orindans is the first logical step.    Get involved; it’s your community.