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Walnut Creek Magazine

Heather Farm's Contentious Clash

Nov 22, 2023 09:29AM ● By Pam Kessler

(This article was update on December 6, 2023.)

One of Walnut Creek’s most contentious development battles shows no sign of ending anytime soon. At stake is the main entrance to The Glen at Heather Farm—a Spieker Senior Development Partners Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) on historic Seven Hills Ranch.

In November 2022, after numerous public hearings that galvanized the Save Seven Hills Ranch movement, and gained more than 4,000 opposition signatures, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the CCRC. Heather Farms HOA filed suit against Contra Costa County in January 2023, citing CEQA violations and an inadequate environmental impact report.

Today, a key issue remains on the table for the City of Walnut Creek: the transfer of Lot A to Spieker Development to pave the way for a new entrance into The Glen from Kinross Drive. Residents argue it is an unnecessary disruption to city neighborhoods, and protected habitats, when an entrance to the property already exists at 850 Seven Hills Ranch Road.


A sliver of land measuring 1x 50, Lot A was created in 1970 to prevent Kinross Drive from linking to Seven Hills Ranch Road and protect the Heather Farms neighborhood from future development impacts. Subsequent city General Plans reaffirmed this intent, until 2006 when General Plan 2025 no longer included specific language regarding the connection. 

In recent months, the Walnut Creek City Council has convened twice in closed session to deliberate the sale and transfer to Spieker Development. On November 27, the city's Zoning Administrator approved the removal of two highly protected oak trees at the end of Kinross, stating the decision allows the council to move forward with the sale of Lot A. 

Carol Curtis, President of the Heather Farms Homeowners Association, articulates the community's stance, “The city must honor its historical promises put in place to protect communities from the negative impacts of development at Seven Hills Ranch. There's a viable alternative entrance on county land. It's unfair to burden Walnut Creek for a county-approved project."

Documentation on the Save Seven Hills Ranch website reveals that negotiations for Lot A's sale began as early as Spring 2020 between Spieker Development and Walnut Creek officials. 

“Kinross Drive access was included in our application after consultation with city and county staff, elected officials, and local stakeholders,” said Troy Bourne, managing partner at Spieker Senior Development Partners. “The address of the proposed project does not need to match the historical address of Hale Ranch.”

On December 19, the City Council is expected to hold a special meeting to consider the sale of Lot A and road extension on Kinross Drive. 

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