25A Orinda Way: The big picture

*Decision day for 25A Orinda Way is this Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 PM at the Orinda Library Auditorium - we hope to see you there!*

The view of the proposed development at 25A Orinda Way from the Orinda Library plaza. 

The view of the proposed development at 25A Orinda Way from the Orinda Library plaza. 

As you’ve learned from our previous posts, WUDO is knee deep in the details of Tandem Development’s 25A Orinda Way project. The latest plan renderings are now online, along with a helpful 3D video (click into the agenda for 3.22.2016). 

Inquiring minds want to know what our official position is on the project.  Here it is: We’re divided.  

Like any good organization, ours is comprised of a wide variety of opinions and desires. From the get go, we’ve been in 100% agreement on two things regarding 25A Orinda Way:

1. We need to do our homework to find out as much as we can about the project and what it means for our downtown.

2. We need to share information with our supporters so everyone knows what is being proposed, and they can choose if they want to support or oppose it.

To date, we have met with the Developer, dozens of WUDO supporters, city officials, other developers, leasing agents, longtime Orinda residents, various commercial property owners in Orinda, and many others.  We’ve attended the many Planning Commission hearings and study session meetings on the project.  Our Steering Committee has pondered the project ad nauseum.

The following is what we are hearing from those with concerns about the project:  

  • The project is too large for the constrained site and does not fit with the existing Village aesthetic. 
  • The configuration and size of the retail spaces will only attract undesirable, national chain retailers.
  • Parking on the top of the building is undesirable.

Here is what we’re hearing from our stakeholders in support of the project:

  • Let’s not forsake the good for the perfect.  Anything is better than a vacant lot in the heart of downtown.
  • Orinda needs more retail and restaurant options and this project will provide just that.
  • The configuration and size of the retail spaces are just examples at this point and can change based on the need of desired retailers.
  • The Developer has gone out of its way to make changes to the project based on Commissioner and community feedback.

Here is what we ask of you, our dear WUDO followers: please weigh in. Your opinion matters and helps to shape the future of Orinda. The Planning Commission is listening. If you haven’t already, please read each of our blog posts on this issue here, here and here. Let the Planning Commission know how you feel about the project by emailing Senior Planner Derek Farmer at dfarmer@cityoforinda.org (cc Senior Admin Assistant Tiffany Morlin at tmorlin@cityoforinda.org).  

We’ll be at the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday and we hope to see you there!