Town Square

Post a New Topic

Zone 7 initiates eminent domain, hit with new claim in Verona Reach creek erosion

Original post made on Jul 5, 2017

The Tri-Valley may be in the midst of dry summer months, but issues resulting from the record rainy season still linger.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 2:08 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Be Wise
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Boo hoo

Posted by Really
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2017 at 10:17 pm

You bought a house next to a river/creek... there was heavy rainfall.... and now you want a government bailout? Really? Anything else I'd say would get flagged, so I'll leave it at that. I agree with the first comment.. boo hoo.

Posted by Rubicon
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 6, 2017 at 10:23 am

A similar erosion on our bank at Lake Tahoe has caused much grief. We have talked to soil engineers, tree companies, of course, TRPA, the governing body for the five counties, with no coverage under insurance policies, we as a family have had to foot the bill. No Government help there. Bo Ho !!

Posted by Ptown Dad
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

When these people moved in. Wasn't the risk detailed as part of the process? A geologist should have seen this coming a mile away.

Posted by Maggie
a resident of Valencia
on Jul 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

According to the article..."The creek within the Verona Reach is owned by the residents themselves." So why are we going to foot the bill? Once it's fixed they'll sell and walk away with millions thanks to our dollars that saved it.

And the individuals that bought the vacant lot - they purchased it a year ago for $400K and now want $1.5 million? Everyone is out for the quick buck and take no responsibility for their decisions.

You purchase by a stream, you risk flooding and erosion...common sense!

Posted by Kirk
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Some facts that might help....Actually a little more complicated than that as these homes have an easement that was granted to Zone 7 to repair and maintain. The issue is the result of no maintenance which is why the easement is there and constant development upstream over an area of 700 square miles. Zone 7 actually receives money by every new development upstream to maintain and repair the waterways impacted. These lots were approved and annexed by the City of Pleasanton over 20 years ago and they recognized the need for the maintenance. The buyers of these homes were assured that these easements were to take care of this matter. Hundreds of disclosures but nothing on any risk like this....some inquired and were told....that is why the easement is there. The homeowners are just asking Zone 7 to do what they are supposed to do and the board of Zone 7 approved. Zone 7 is not suggesting this is not their responsibility. Nothing more than that.

Posted by Be Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Contrary to the above posts, I personally attended the Zone 7 Board Meeting March 15 as a concerned Pleasanton resident, and the Board did unanimously admit their negligence and voted for immediate emergency repair on the slopes of those homes. It's been almost 4 months with no work on the Arroyo De La Laguna and I couldn't imagine what these families are continuing to go through as the clock keeps ticking towards the Fall and another projected season of rain. Let's not be insensitive or at least get your facts straight concerning their properties. Their deeds clearly stated that their land/home had mandated easements which Zone 7 would regularly access to "protect, monitor and maintain." I empathize with the Belshe family and again could not imagine how they have suffered this past winter. Be kind, Pleasanton...or at least, be educated.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Kirk :"Some facts that might help....Actually a little more complicated than that as these homes have an easement that was granted to Zone 7 to repair and maintain."

The question is what does "repair and maintain' mean here? Zone 7 has an interest in maintaining streams for the purpose of flood control for the benefit of the entire community. So they're probably interested in doing maintenance to ensure that the streams are freely flowing with no blockages or large scale overflowing of the banks. That's what "maintenance" means from Zone 7's point of view. On the other hand, some of the affected homeowners living by the stream seem to have a very different idea of what stream "maintenance" means here. To them it appears that "maintenance" means that Zone 7 has some sort of responsibility or obligation to prevent any of their backyards from being eroded away. I don't think that protecting individual backyards from erosion should really be within Zone 7's scope of responsibility since it doesn't relate to flood control. From an affected homeowner's perspective, losing a foot of backyard to a stream may be a disaster, but from a flood control standpoint it's probably a non-event.

Posted by Be Wise
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Zone 7's easement is simply a formality that allows them to access the stream area at will. It does not in any way relieve the owners responsibilities to care for their own land. That is the difference between and easement and a dedication. A dedication involves the transfer of ownership and all associated responsibilities and assumes all liability.

Unfortunately, these homeowners are failing to mention a Zone 7 meeting approximately 4 years ago, where they were forewarned to perform preventative maintenance. Zone 7 went so far as to give them examples of how best to protect their property, but none of these folks wanted to heed the advice as they felt it would take away too much of their useable land. Its public record, look it up.

Sorry, but the bottom line is they want their cake and eat it too - at the expense of the taxpayer. Perhaps I would support red-tagging these homes and having the city buy them and turn them into public parkland. Win, win.

Posted by Just the Facts
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for everyone's comments, emotions, and opinions just the facts:

1. Zone 7 does not get to define what an easement is and is not after the fact. Standards for easements do and it is included in the homeowner's deeds.
2. The Zone 7 Board did not challenge that this was Zone 7 responsibility. They agreed....all 7 of them.
3. We are not talking about "1 foot of erosion". We are talking 20+ in one storm and the "creek" will go through homes if not fixed this year.
4. We are not talking about a "Creek" or a natural Tahoe creek. We are talking about the tri-valley's 700 miles of development pouring into the backyards. No different than if you keep adding bathrooms to your need to eventually increase the size of the plumping pipes.
5. Zone 7 receives new development funds for this purpose.
6. The river is now 200 yards wide, a big S-Turn blasting water at homes and 40-50 feet deep. It was 20+ feet deep and 100 feet across 20 years ago before all the development
7 The claim of a formal proposal to fix matter did not take place. This was challenged at the board meeting. No proof delivered.
8. If you think the homeowners are allowed to do are very mis- informed. Zone 7 has been trying to get all the permits done for 4 months...and still nothing.
9. Assuming the home owners could get this permit ( way), this would not have stopped the S-Turn and the blasting like a high pressure hose on the banks. Please remember that 20 years ago, the proposed slope was already there. It did not hold because of no maintenance per the easements and significant development. So no value.
10 With all the disclosures you sign when you buy a home including some of the most insignificant you really think this would be left out if homeowners were told this was their risk. NO! This has been confirmed with each homeowner.
11. Homeowners have written documentation asking this question and a response from Zone 7 that is clear that is what the easement is for....them (Zone 7) to take care of.
12. The published statements on the Zone 7 website include flood control and protection of property....not just flood control. Is this property...? Yes!
13. There is only one home owner interested in selling. This was a decision made for personal and financial reasons before this event...not after.

If you have seen the actual know it looks like a war zone and we are not talking about a natural "creek" . If you have not and would like to....I can arrange. I think your perspective will changes as it did for other non-believers (BOD members, city officials, county officials, Newscrews and many others).

Posted by Dave
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:06 am

If anyone would like to see the location to get a better understanding that we are not talking about a natural creek but rather a drain system for ~700 square miles of development that is out of control....please contact me at [email protected]

I am one of the home owners impacted and have watched this progress.

Although we are disappointed with the pace and it is frustrating to hear still some of the statements above that are false, I have been assured by the Zone 7 staff and the board of directors that they are committed to fixing this matter.

I continue to try to support and work closely with this agency and attend every month's board meeting.



Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm


At the time that you purchased your house did the house's owner or real estate agent lie to you and lead you to believe that the water flowing past the backyard was a natural creek and not a drain system for hundreds of square miles of development? What did you think it was?

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Tell Me More About University of California-San Diego (UCSD)
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 1,253 views

The pile of bad City Council decisions keeps growing
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 1,134 views

The sticker shock from electricity bills
By Monith Ilavarasan | 2 comments | 558 views


2023 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here