J & J Ranch (Moraga Adobe)

J & J Ranch is a proposed subdivision of an approximately 20-acre site into 13 single-family home sites. Preservation of the historic Moraga Adobe, built by Joaquin Moraga, is a critical component of the proposed subdivision.

The property is in the Del Rey neighborhood of south Orinda on a hill backing up to the Moraga Country Club between Del Rey Elementary School and MiramonteHigh School. The proposed entrance to the subdivision is from the portion of Donna Maria Way accessed from El Camino Moraga.

J & J Ranch is named after Joaquin Moraga and his cousin Juan Bernal, recipients in 1835 of the Mexican land grant for the area.


On October 20, 2015, the City Council certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and approved the Vesting Tentative Map for the J&J Ranch subdivision (Major Subdivision 2013-001 and Tree Removal Permit 2010-017). The approved subdivision site is located about four miles southeast of downtown Orinda. The subdivision will divide two existing parcels (APN 271-130-003 [16.5 acres] and 271-150-002 [3.8 acres]) into 14 lots: 13 lots approved for new single family homes, and the remaining 2.3-acre “Parcel A” where the historic Joaquin Moraga Adobe (“Adobe”) is located.

Tree removal and remedial grading for landslide rehabilitation, roadway construction and building pads is in progress on site. Design is in progress for the 13 residential lots. Each proposed new home will undergo design review and will be subject to a public hearing for review by the Planning Commission.

The Adobe building will be restored and rehabilitated to its appearance circa 1848, with all restoration work conducted in accordance with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and with standards for alterations to historical landmarks contained in OMC section 17.25.17. The Planning Commission approved the Landmark Improvement Plan for the Adobe on February 28, 2017 (Design Review Application 2017-005).

Pursuant to the tentative map conditions of approval, on December 5, the City Council reviewed a proposed General Plan and Zoning Map update to convert the Adobe parcel from “Residential Low Density” to “Parks and Recreation” zoning in order to allow the property owner to apply for a General Use Permit to use the Adobe site as a museum or as a lodge for the new subdivision’s HOA.  These changes were finalized on April 17, 2018 (staff report: http://orindaca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=1473).

The FInal Map for the J&J Ranch subdivision was also approved on April 17, 2018.  The staff report for that item can be viewed here: http://orindaca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=1370.

Home designs for thirteen lots at J&J Ranch will be subject to Design Review.  Currently, 7 applications have been received.  

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