Sierra Club

December 1985 Conservation Resolutions

1-12/85 Oakland Hills Comprehensive Drainage Study

The SFBCSC resolves that:

WHEREAS, the City of Oakland granted a permit to proceed with construction of a subdivision by Schauffler and Watt Company on the "Ridgemont" tract of the Oakland hills, and construction began there about 1982; and

WHEREAS, quarrying is being carried out by Gallagher & Burk Company between the Ridgemont development and Freeway 580, in the same watershed, even though the City of Oakland has not yet received a reclamation project plan from the operating company, nor granted a Conditional Use Permit nor Grading Permit; and

WHEREAS, the City of Oakland has storm drains combined with sewers which were placed immediately alongside Chimes Creek, and whenever pipes are broken, drain directly into the creek, a situation which Mayor Wilson publicly requested on March 15, 1983 to have the Department of Public Works rectify, but which has not yet been so rectified; and

WHEREAS, drainage from the Quarry, the Freeway, and the City appear to run directly into the creek system at Edwards Ave., and Coast Guard analysis of Chimes Creek water identified crankcase oil, soap, sewage, and other pollutants; and

WHEREAS, the three creek branches (Chimes, Leona and Arroyo Viejo) which have their headwaters in the Ridgemont development/Quarry area have all experienced heavy or massive flooding and/or erosions and damage to property in 1983 and subsequently, but not for many years previous; and

WHEREAS, even though 1982-83 was an extremely heavy rainfall winter, other creeks did not have such flooding or erosion problems then, nor since; and

WHEREAS, the flooding and/or erosion problems on these three creek branches are being handled by Alameda County Food Control as three separate and highly-localized problem areas; and

WHEREAS, the watershed's jurisdiction is split up among the City of Oakland, Alameda County, the Ridgemont development, the Quarry owners, and possibly Merritt College, the East Bay Regional Park District, and a number of homeowners; and

WHEREAS, the East Bay Regional Park District is holding off on accepting watershed lands from Ridgemont which need public protection, because responsibility for drainage problems is uncertain;

THEREFORE, be it resolved by the SFBCSC that the City of Oakland, and, in particular, the Department of Public Works, be strongly requested to become the lead agency in:

  1. carrying out, or having carried out, a comprehensive study of the drainage and water flow of surface run-off from the Ridgemont development (including storm drains and sewers) and the quarry, including a thorough analysis of the drainage patterns by a competent hydrologist; and
  2. forming an interdepartmental body to make comprehensive recommendations on the drainage problems of the whole watershed area, including representatives from City Planning Department, Pubic Works Department, County Flood Control Department, Quarry Owners, Ridgemont developers, affected homeowners along Chimes, Leona, and Arroyo Viejo creek branches, and possibly the East Bay Regional Parks District; and
  3. that this body consider the necessity of sewer/storm drain direction correction; adequate construction requirements for the Ridgemont developers for run-off detention, construction of holding basins, porous driveway construction, etc.; and safeguarding of downstream properties by both the Ridgemont developers and the Quarry operators.

The Chapter further stresses that the Drainage Study and interdepartmental consideration of its results be carried out as soon as possible (possibly as a section of the North Oakland Hills Area Plan), and well before propoals currently being developed by the Alameda County Flood Control Department for Chimes and Arroyo Viefjo (and possibly Leona) creek branches are considered by the City of Oakland and before any reissuance of permis for the Gallgher & Burk Quarry; and that Alameda County Flood Control proposals for these creek branches not be considered by the Ciy of Oakland until the study and its interdepartmental consideraton are accomplished.

The Chapter notes that the intent of this resolution is to encourage a study of the North Oakland Hills watershed as a whole system, in order that the city, county, and all other interested parties may have a basis for evaluating proposals for flood control, erosion control, future development, and habitat preservation in the North Oakland Hills and adjacent areas.

2-12/85 The SFBCSC resolves that a moratorium on all construction and development within the area currently under consideration as part of the North Oakland Hill Area Specific Plan should be enacted

and enforced by the City of Oakland until the full consideration, completion, and adoption of the NOHASP by the City of Oakland.

San Francisco Bay Chapter, Sierra Club Headquarters and Bookstore, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Suite I, Berkeley, CA 94702-2000; 1-510-848-0800, bookstore 1-510-658-7470.

Last Update: December 7, 1997
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