Moraga Canyon Specific Plan: City Council defines approach on Monday, March 18
Posted on 03/19/2024

City Council refines approach for Moraga Canyon Specific Plan

Published March 14, 2024 | Updated March 25, 2024

Update: March 25, 2024: City Council direction regarding development opportunities in the Specific Plan was consistent with the expected approach as described in the original article.

Specifically, the Council directed staff to prepare the Specific Plan to include housing and facility configurations from development scenario Option 1 and Option 3. Option 1 would locate housing on the south side of Moraga Avenue and keep all recreational facilities on the north side. Option 3 would locate housing on the north side of Moraga Avenue with recreational facilities and relocate the City's Corporation Yard to the south side. In both scenarios, market rate and affordable housing would be grouped together.

Original story:
The City Council is expected to provide direction on development priorities for the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan at their regular meeting on Monday, March 18.

This direction will provide a framework for future development of City-owned land in Moraga Canyon, defining a long-term vision for bringing new housing – including affordable housing – to the area. As part of the Specific Plan process, the City will seek proposals from developers and subsequently select and negotiate an agreement with a developer to build and operate the housing.

For the Specific Plan and RFP process to identify a developer, the Council is expected to provide direction that prioritizes:

  • Building both market-rate and affordable housing together, using an integrated design and location to create a cohesive neighborhood
  • Housing that will accommodate more families (2+ bedroom residences)
  • Allowing up to 199 total potential units of new housing, rather than the previously anticipated 132, in order to provide more funding for community amenities
  • Roadway improvements that will enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety on Moraga Avenue
  • Improved recreation facilities, including an under-14 soccer field and youth baseball/softball field

The final plan is not expected to:

  • Identify a single preferred site for housing development. Instead, it would allow for housing to be built on either the north or south side of Moraga Avenue, so long as all housing is grouped together.

  • Include concepts that would require significant infrastructure investment before new housing could be built, such as a new Corporation Yard.

  • Require the inclusion of a skate park. Instead, the plan would seek opportunities to incorporate facilities identified as higher priorities by community members, such as a playground, a dog park, or a pickleball court.

Once the Council provides direction, the project team will begin preparation of the Specific Plan. The draft Specific Plan is expected to return to City Council for review during the summer, with adoption of the final plan expected in fall 2024.

Comments welcome at meeting in-person or remotely

Community members are encouraged to watch and provide comment in-person or via Zoom:

City Council meeting: Monday, March 18, 6pm (Agenda | Staff Report)
Piedmont City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue

Each participant will have the opportunity to speak once on the agenda item after the presentation and before Council discussion. The Council will set a time limit for individual comments based on the number of participants.

Decision follows months of study and public engagement

The identification of a preferred alternative is the culmination of 8 months of research, community engagement, and exploration of possibilities.

Work on the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan began in July 2023, with a deep dive into existing conditions in the plan area. Public engagement began shortly afterwards and has included an online visioning exercise, neighborhood meetings, presentations at all City Commissions, a community workshop attended by nearly 100 residents, and an online feedback survey on proposed development alternatives.

A wealth of resources are available to help community members follow the Specific Plan process:

Moraga Canyon Specific Plan is part of Piedmont’s Housing Element

The Moraga Canyon Specific Plan is one of over 70 programs called for in Piedmont’s 6th Cycle Housing Element – an ambitious plan for how the City can accommodate 587 new homes by 2031.

Learn more about Piedmont’s Housing Element and the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan at Sign up for the Moraga Canyon project email list to stay informed about future meetings and engagement opportunities. With questions, email [email protected].