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Yes, We've Been Quiet. A Quick Digest.

We've been very quiet for some time, which is a good thing: there hasn't been a significant amount of worrisome activity from Town Hall since the new Town Manager took over a year ago and the majority of the Town Council's activities were related to land use and housing stock requirements set forth by the State.

We'll likely be a bit more visible as the November election approaches, particularly for the Town Council elections.

Meantime, a quick digest of notable activities from the past several months:

  • The Town settled a wrongful termination lawsuit resulting from the former Town Manager's firing of the Planning Director a few years ago (story here). The terms of that settlement were not disclosed.

  • The Town is now defending a noise and nuisance lawsuit associated with loud weddings at the Hacienda. We covered this issue - along with the Town's failure to develop reasonable noise limits from the outset - extensively. One of our articles is here.

  • The Town refinanced a second set of bonds to reduce interest expenses (which will save a few hundred thousand dollars). The Town previously refinanced a first set of bonds after insistence by the Town Council despite reluctance of the former Town Manager. While this second refi is laudable, the delays caused by the prior Town Manager unfortunately precluded significant, six figure savings the Town would otherwise have enjoyed if it had refinanced sooner.

  • Speaking of land use and housing stock, one item that merits attention going forward is the Council's elimination of "plentiful and free parking" as an overriding objective specifically stated in the Town's General Plan. Several residents expressed concern about its elimination, fearing that Moraga could end up like Lafayette with parking meters absolutely everywhere or an elimination of free parking throughout town, particularly in the shopping centers that ultimately will have housing (apartments). During its meeting, the Council ensured residents that "plentiful and free parking" can be included in other policy documents that are a better fit than the General Plan.


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