Fireworks plan sparks debate at San Ramon forum

Nearby residents fear crowds, fallout, fire

About 50 people turned out Wednesday night to speak out against a plan to bring fireworks back to San Ramon.

In a two-hour long forum, residents in the area proposed for the fireworks launch brought up more than a dozen concerns, ranging from fire danger to streets and trails filled with outsiders coming in to watch the show.

The current proposal is to use Old Ranch Park as a place to shoot off the fireworks, but not as a place to watch them. The park would be secured, allowing access only to the pyrotechnicians, police and firefighters.

The city assembled a team to scout out possible locations for the aerial display, including interim police Chief Joe Gorton, San Ramon Valley Fire Marshal Christina Keifer, city workers, and the fireworks coordinator.

The plan would cost an estimated $167,000 and would close streets in the area at about 8:30 p.m. to prevent spectators from getting near the launch site. The show would begin at about 9:35 p.m. and end near 10.

The area "is owned by the city, including the fallout zone," Keifer told the crowd. "We have a lot of open space in the area.

The show is meant to be for San Ramon resident, and any advertising of it would be local to keep crowds of out-of-towners away. The potential of a large crowd from outside the area gathering in local neighborhoods was the prime concern to most of those at the meeting.

"The vast majority of people (coming for the show) are not from the area," said Jeff Larson, one of those opposed to the proposed location. "They're going to do everything they can to get close to the fireworks. … This is thousands of cars. This is Candlestick Park."

Although the city cannot legally prevent people from elsewhere from attending the show, Gorton said "We would have a large contingent of officers in south San Ramon" in the area near the launch site.

Motorcycle, bicycle and K-9 officer would be spread across the city, he said.

"Our primary concern is emergency access," Gorton said. At the last fireworks show, two years ago, much of the city was gridlocked for hours, blocking emergency vehicle.

Opponent Farrakh Khodadadi said forcing the fireworks on one section of San Ramon could polarize the city, and threatened legal action.

"If you're going to push this forward, you're going to have lawsuits on your hands, because we will fight you," Khodadadi said.

Unlike most meetings where public comment is taken, those on the fireworks team took some time to deliberate and answers residents' concern point by point.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2014 at 8:36 am


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Posted by Dave
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

God forbid that people come to our city and buy things at our stores and restaraunts. We wouldn't want them to come to our city and buy any of our vacant houses or relocate a busniness to our vacant commercial properties either. Maybe someone could call Google and have San Ramon taken off Google maps. Can CalTrans relocate 680 around the city? We must stop the infiltration of strangers to our city!
People, can we start thinking about the bigger picture?
(ready to move to a city that has fireworks)

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Posted by Pololo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

I don't think that San Ramon residents need to be overly concerned about outsiders attending your private fireworks festival. The outsiders will most likely be in your homes stealing your belongings DODO BIRDS!

just because somebody is an "outsider" doesn't mean they aren't clever thieves...tee hee

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Posted by Mololo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 17, 2014 at 9:48 am

It's not likely to rain much between today - July 4th, 2014! Fireworks could set off a few very cute brush fires which could possibly light up the sky for outsiders who live waaaaaaaaaaaaaay far awaaaaaay so that all of them wouldn't insist upon coming to San Ramon.

is that cool or what?

inidentally, what color are the "outsiders"? just axing...

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Posted by Natty
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

I have lived in San Ramon for over 30 years and the fireworks were always a part of the 4th of July celebration. People need to calm down and enjoy the aerial display.
Dave has the right idea. If people are so worried about crowds, stop building up Bolling Canyon Rd. Get rid of Bishop Ranch, there are a lot of "outsiders" commuting here everyday.

Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

If our greedy politicians didn't try to pack as many homes as possible into San Ramon this wouldn't be an issue. I am still trying to find the benefit for long term residents. All I see is more traffic, cancelled traditions, destruction to our scenery and a housing bubble...

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Posted by San Ramon Observer
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

How are "our greedy politicians" packing homes into San Ramon. The California State Assembly and former Governor Swarzenegger (sp?) mandated housing densities. How did our politicians cause the "housing bubble," which by the way is bubbling up again?

Jim, if you find living in San Ramon so distressful now, MOVE!


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