Preserve Lamorinda Open Space


Fantastic news! On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 the Moraga Town Council denied the Bollinger Valley development application for 126 houses (along with the similarly damaging 85-lot alternative) on 186 acres in Bollinger Canyon.

Citing numerous inconsistencies with the Moraga General Plan, excessive grading impacts, access problems, safety risks, objections from the City of Lafayette and the Moraga Orinda Fire District, and incompatibilities with neighboring agricultural uses, the Council voted unanimously against the project.

All Council members noted the many public comment letters they received and strong hearing attendance, and thanked residents for their participation.

This decision is a huge win for open space, wildlife, and preservation of Lamorinda’s semi-rural character. In addition to preventing this damaging housing development, it also triggers a new ridgeline-protection rule adopted during the Town Council’s recent rewrite of its hillside and ridgeline policies. The project area had been exempt from those new policies pending a decision on the Bollinger Valley development application. Now that the application has been denied, a strong new rule will take effect protecting Bollinger Ridge from almost all forms of development.

Thank you so much for your help in making this outcome possible. Thanks to your input, the Moraga planning staff’s hard work, and the courage and competence of the Moraga Town Council, Bollinger Canyon has been spared a very damaging outcome.

To see photos of Bollinger Valley click here.


At the 11/7/18 hearing, the Council also directed its planning staff to identify next steps toward permanently zoning the presently un-zoned Bollinger Canyon Study Area at a low development density that adheres to the General Plan, retains the area’s agricultural character, and preserves its natural resources. The Council received a report with staff’s recommendations on this item at its 2/27/19 meeting, and all councilmembers concurred that completion of this zoning process is a high priority. The Council is expected to revisit the matter in May as it prepares the coming year’s budget.


In Spring of 2013 the Town of Moraga circulated a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed “Bollinger Valley” development on 186 acres of open space in Moraga adjacent to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.

The Town received a large volume of comments from concerned residents as well as a detailed legal and technical analysis by PLOS. A Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) responding to those comments was released in the summer of 2018.

Based on information provided in the FEIR, the proposed development would have bulldozed an astonishing 1.8 million cubic yards of soil, cut down more than 200 mature native trees, and added over 1,200 daily cartrips to St. Mary’s Road. Access to the development would have been via Valley Hill Dr., a one-lane country road and that would have needed major widening, re-engineering, and tree removal to accommodate the traffic.

Precious habitat for raptors and songbirds, foxes, coyotes, deer, and bobcats, as well as threatened species such as the California red-legged frog and Alameda whipsnake, would have been destroyed by this project. Public views from East Bay Regional Park trails in and around the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness area would also have been negatively impacted.

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