New Homes Jeopardize Community

Juan-Pablo Garcia, Staff Writer

Anyone passing over Rheem Blvd has likely noticed construction of a new housing tract called Bellavista Homes is underway. Developer Summerhill Homes is building 27 single family homes with an average of 4 bedrooms per home. These homes can accommodate between 5-7 family members and can fit up to 3 cars in every garage.

The increase in population as a result of these additional homes will make the already difficult Moraga morning traffic congestion more treacherous and detract from the outstanding learning environments at our various community schools.

My current commute is clogged with cars. According to the Statista website, the average household has a total of two cars. Thus, these new homes will contribute at least 54 new cars to the morning and evening traffic jams.

The student count on campus will also grow. According to Statista, the average family includes 2 to 3 children. If there are 27 homes with 4-5 bedrooms each, there will be approximately 54 new students in the Moraga school district.

Classes are already crowded.  Growth in the school population could inspire the district to build additional campus structures, which in turn, could eliminate athletic fields.  This kind of repurposing of space has already happened at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette.

Unfortunately, the very thing that is luring people into the community is the thing that may be most negatively impacted by the increase in population: A quality high school with small-school character and low student-to-teacher ratios in the classroom.

While the town may be able to earn a few more dollars from property tax as a result of the new homes, it is undoubtedly trading away something of far more value.