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July 26, 2011

A meeting of the City of San Ramon Redevelopment Agency was held July 26, 2011 at 6:19 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Vice Chair Livingstone presiding.
PRESENT:  Agency Members Hudson, Rowley, Wilson, and Vice Chair Livingstone. ABSENT:  Chair Perkins.
STAFF PRESENT:  Executive Director Greg Rogers, Agency Council Sheryl Schaffner, Deputy Executive Director Marc Fontes, and Agency Secretary Patricia Edwards.

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Public Services Director Karen McNamara led those in attendance in the pledge of allegiance.

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The Agency Secretary reported there were no requests for public comment.

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(#5.1) Minutes of the July 12, 2011 meeting.

Mbr. Hudson’s motion to approve the minutes of the July 12, 2011 meeting was seconded by Mbr. Wilson and passed 4-0.  Chair Perkins was absent. 

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The Agency Secretary reported that the Agency has not received any written communications.

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(#9.1) Review of the Preliminary Concept Drawings for Redevelopment of the Mudd’s Property located at 10 Boardwalk Place (APN: 209-770-015-3).

Marc Fontes, Deputy Executive Director, introduced Mr. Michael LeBlanc who provided the report.  Mr. LeBlanc described the process required to develop the current plans for Leritáge at Picán Gardens.  He introduced Tanya Belushi of Belushi Design.  Ms. Belushi explained how the proposed building was re-oriented on the property to maintain the Mudd’s footprint.  The design is more horizontal than square with a linear kitchen and dining area so that the porch and façade remain within a similar scale and retain the views.  The main building is 5,864 square feet and the great room is 2,080 square feet and seats 120.  The dining room seats 80 and overlooks the gardens.  The two buildings will be connected by a breezeway.  The outdoor seating will include a water feature.  The building consists of two levels to accommodate a variety of events, board meetings, and smaller weddings.

Mr. Leblanc stated it is not feasible to retain the original structure because it is not financially feasible due to the problems with water, plumbing, electrical, ADA, etc.  He stated that Ms. Mudd’s vision of providing food from the garden to the table will be preserved and that the spiritual, not the physical, aspect of her heritage will be maintained in a pastoral, earthy atmosphere.  He expressed a commitment to reclaim whatever materials they can as a historical homage to Mudd’s and that Leritáge will be a “modern day Mudd’s”.  He noted that the ‘footprint’ is locked but other details can be tweaked and he is open to enhancing the proposal.  He stated that once a site survey of the gardens is completed, the landscaper will be able to start designs.  He reported that investors are interested despite the fact that the current plan provides less restaurant seating than the original plan provided.  He reviewed the timelines for submitting the schematic design, landscaping design, project review, and plan submittal to the City by December 2011.

Vice Chair Livingstone opened the public comment.

Ted Kai, a resident of San Leandro, questioned the need for such a large endeavor.  He asked why Mr. LeBlanc chose Mudd’s restaurant as opposed to something closer to Bishop Ranch.  He asked why this facility is being built on the historical Mudd’s site and noted that once the building is torn down, it will be gone forever.

Vice Chair Livingstone closed the public comment.

Mbr. Rowley invited Mr. Kai to join the San Ramon Historic Foundation.  The Forest Home Farms buildings have more historic significance than the Mudd’s building.  She noted that the cost to bring the Mudd’s site up to code was exorbitant and that Mr. LeBlanc’s plan provides an opportunity to preserve Virginia Mudd’s ideas.  Mbr. Rowley stated that she is excited about the project and likes what has been proposed.

Mbr. Wilson remarked that it is important to understand the historic aspect and importance of maintaining the buildings at Forest Home Farms.  Although he appreciates the history involved, it is important to deal with the reality of the condition of the Mudd’s building.  He noted that the concept of Mudd’s is important and that this new venue will create a “destination” which is unique with its natural landscaping.

Mbr. Hudson commented that people remember the restaurant but the reality is that the owner went bankrupt and that the City bought the property because there were no other buyers.  The site does not work as a park because of ADA issues.  He added that in these economic times, few people are willing to take this financial risk.  Mr. LeBlanc will provide extraordinary Southern cooking.  Although he feels empathy for the site, the site has lost its functionality and this is an opportunity for a new chance.

Vice Chair Livingstone noted that it is a great conceptual plan.  He expressed concern about the issues of noise for the neighbors and parking.

Mr. LeBlanc stated that he was looking for a restaurant location in San Ramon and that Mudd’s picked him.  It is a unique site because of the stream, trees, pastoral setting.  It is a unique setting for the Southern food which he wants to provide.  He noted that it will bring about 100 jobs to San Ramon and other business to the community.

Mbr. Wilson’s motion to approve the preliminary concept drawings required under the DDA between the Redevelopment Agency and Michael LeBlanc was seconded by Mbr. Hudson and passed 4-0.  Vice Chair Perkins was absent.

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Due to time constraints, the Agency elected to address the Closed Session after the conclusion of the City Council meeting.  Mbr. Hudson’s motion to continue the Redevelopment Agency’s Closed Session item to after the City Council’s Closed Session item was seconded by Mbr. Wilson and passed 4-0.  Chair Perkins was absent.

At 7:16 p.m., Vice Chair Livingstone adjourned the meeting.

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(#10.1) Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(b) Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: One case.

The Agency reconvened at 8:08 p.m. to address the Closed Session item.   Chair Perkins was absent. 

At 9:24 p.m., Vice Chair Livingstone reconvened the meeting.  All Agency members except Chair Perkins were in attendance.  Vice Chair Livingstone reported that the Agency had nothing to report and that no final action was taken on the Closed Session.

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At 9:25 p.m., there being no further business, Vice Chair Livingstone adjourned the meeting.

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At 6:58 p.m., there being no further business, Chair Perkins adjourned the meeting


Scott Perkins , Chair
Patricia Edwards, Agency Secretary

Approved at the August 9, 2011 Agency meeting 4-0; Perkins abstain.

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