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MARTINEZ, CA-The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the 1,400-unit Alamo Creek development project this week, despite pressure from Danville residents.

After more than five hours, the board voted 4-1 to approve the 1,400-unit Alamo Creek development project on land adjacent to Danville.

The vote followed a public hearing on a staff report, including comments on questions posed by supervisors at the last hearing on the controversial project. Two weeks ago, few of the scores of public speakers on the issue spoke in favor of the project. This week, no one did, other than the developer.

Donna Gerber, the supervisor in whose district the project is to be built, cast the lone vote against it, and in comments before the vote, her board colleagues said she was bending to pressure from the district’s residents.

Gerber, who spoke at length about what she saw as the project’s weaknesses, rejected the accusation, however, telling Board Chair John Gioia that if the project had been proposed in his district she would have opposed it there as well.

Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier says the project was appropriate for its location but not anywhere else. “This is the best project in my 12 years of looking at land use projects that I’ve ever seen,” he says. “It’s over-mitigated compared to what we normally approve.”

Gioia says state-imposed obligations on the county to provide affordable housing dictated a departure from board custom in following the lead of the representative of the home district of a development proposal.

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