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Information about the Saranap Community

Saranap is the unincorporated area of Contra Costa County south of Highway 24 between Lafayette and Walnut Creek. There are many resources for Saranap residents, and we've gathered information here that you will find useful, we’re sure.

You'll find the following documents and information on this page:

Also be sure to check our Community Emergency Response Team page for information about how you can become involved and help your neighbors during an emergency.

Saranap Community CC&Rs

Protecting your rights and the value of your property

by Dennis G. Collins

Are you aware that there are CC&Rs attached to your property?

“CC&R” stands for Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions. Usually written by the developer of a new subdivision, CC&Rs are a valid civil contract between all the homeowners in that subdivision. They are written to ensure that, over the years, each lot in the subdivision remains dedicated to residential use and that the intended character of the neighborhood does not change except by consent of a majority of the homeowners in the subdivision.

In California real estate law, CC&Rs “run with the land,” meaning that each subsequent buyer of a property is obligated, as a condition of sale, to honor the CC&Rs and to respect the rights of the surrounding neighbors. When you bought your home, the title insurance company did a thorough title search to learn what easements exist (a right-of-way to a lot behind yours, or for utilities access) on the land you were about to buy and what CC&Rs exist. During the escrow period, a description of any easements and CC&Rs was sent to you as part of a full and legal description of the property. This was your last chance to decline the sale if you objected to the CC&R requirements or any easements.

The Saranap area is divided into 15 to 20 subdivisions. The CC&Rs of your subdivision are probably much like those of other subdivisions in the area. Most often, they state that every property in the subdivision is intended for residential use, usually limiting the use to a single-family dwelling. Most limit the kinds and numbers of animals you may keep. Some limit the height or placement of fences.

People have bought homes in our area because it’s a nice, quiet, semi-rural neighborhood, and with CC&Rs, it’s able to stay that way. The value of your investment is protected by CC&Rs — if you know them, and use them wisely.

How do you use CC&Rs? First, be aware of their content. You’ll find a copy with your deed or title insurance papers. In almost every case, CC&Rs are cited with a statement similar to “subject to the restrictions listed in 475 O.R. 324.” This is the CC&R document filed with the County Recorder by the original developer. You would find this fictitious example in Book 475 of the Official Records of Contra Costa County, starting at page 324. It might run five or six pages in length.

If you can’t find a copy of your CC&Rs, ask one of your neighbors — or check our Website. We plan to list all the Saranap area subdivisions and their CC&Rs here. If yours isn’t listed, it should be soon; keep checking. Alternatively, you can get a copy from the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder’s Office at 555 Escobar St. in Martinez. You can get information at the Clerk-Recorder's website. Click here for a map showing the location of the office.

Then, when contemplating a new project, discuss it in advance with your neighbors, especially if it may be seen to conflict with your CC&Rs. Reasonable people will usually be able to find an acceptable middle ground. Please talk to your neighbors before you invest a lot of effort in the project. Remember, the intent of the CC&Rs is to maintain the character of the neighborhood.

The spirit of the CC&Rs anticipates that some homeowner, eventually, will build something that his immediate neighbors will feel violates the CC&Rs. Suppose you decide to build, say, a turkey farm in your back yard. Your neighbors, under the CC&Rs, live in the reasonable expectation that there will never be a turkey farm on your street or block. If you press on after they have objected, any neighbor or group of neighbors subject to the same CC&Rs is entitled to file a civil action to prevent you from raising turkeys on your lot.

Over years, many people forget (and some don’t even know) that CC&Rs exist. Then along comes a turkey farmer. Even though the CC&Rs have laid all but dormant, they are your legal right to object, in Court.

Courts tend to be very supportive of CC&Rs because they protect the value and character of your home and property. A neighbor who resorts to any non-intended use of his property impacts the surrounding neighbors. This is exactly why we have CC&Rs. For the most part, people don’t make serious violations of the CC&Rs, and most CC&R issues are never taken to court. But when they have to be used, they usually work!

You and your neighbors have an obligation to speak up when you learn of a CC&R violation by a neighbor. Generally, the courts assume you have approved a project unless you object, and object PROMPTLY. Promptly means within a fixed period, as specified in the CC&Rs. This is often as little as 15 or 30 days after you become aware of the project. If you don’t object promptly, you may lose your right to object — ever — and may find yourself living next door to an oil recycling plant in a house you can’t readily sell at a fair price. Worse, you could be inviting more oil recycling plants, as you have allowed a precedent to be established.

CC&Rs were invoked in 2003-2004 when plans for the Hidden Oaks subdivision in Lafayette included what would have been a serious violation of Sun Valley Estates Subdivision’s “Declaration of Restrictions” (as CC&Rs were called in the 1940s). Sun Valley Estates includes about 300 homes along El Curtola Boulevard, Acacia Drive, Kinney Drive, Juanita Drive, Sunset Loop, and surrounding side streets and courts. A realestate developer had applied to the City of Lafayette, as part of his subdivision application, to use as a city street one of the Sun Valley Estates’ residential lots on Kinney Drive. This lot has always been intended for a single-family residence, as stated in the CC&Rs. The lot is not in the City of Lafayette but is actually located in the Saranap area, in the unincorporated area of the county. It is still subject to the Sun Valley subdivision’s CC&Rs.

Acting on behalf of the Sun Valley Estates homeowners, the developer and the city of Lafayette were notified that the developer would be in violation of the Sun Valley CC&Rs if he proceeded with this unintended use of the Kinney Drive lot. The County Board of Supervisors, acting on behalf of Saranap residents, notified the City of Lafayette that the County would not approve the use of the Sun Valley Estates lot for use as an access road to a Lafayette subdivision. The developer then changed his application to use a Leland Drive easement that still exists, so a CC&R lawsuit — the final line of defense — was avoided.

Ultimately, the application process properly caused the redirection of the traffic the new subdivision generated — more than 300 vehicle trips a day — into Lafayette. Had it not, we still have a good system of civil laws, and the means and the right to enforce them.

If you haven't read your CC&Rs since you bought your home (or if you've never read them), it would be a good idea to drag them out and read them periodically, as their purpose is to protect the nature and quality of the neighborhood, as well as the value of your property. Intelligent and timely application of the CC&Rs keeps the precedent for maintaining this great neighborhood as it is now. It heads off new precedents that would erode that character.

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Tracts, Developments, and Subdivisions in Saranap

This list of subdivisions and tracts in Saranap maybe incomplete. You may know your subdivision by a name (usually an earlier tract or subdivision) or by a four-digit number. If your subdivision or tract is missing, please send us a note at We would like to have an accurate and complete listing.

You can find the name of your subdivision or tract in the papers from your title company, given to you before you bought your home. The title company provides these documents after you made your offer for you present home, and before title closed escrow. This is part of the disclosure the seller must make to the buyer. The same package of documents must have a copy of the CC&Rs (conditions, covenants, and restrictions), or a Declaration of Restrictions that apply to the property you are buying. For earlier subdivisions, it may be called by another name in the documents, but an equivalent should be there.

In the subdivision list below, some names are indented below another name. For example, under Dewing Park subdivision, there are two indented subdivisions listed. These are sub-subdivisions that were created from parts of the Dewing Park subdivision. By creating new subdivisions, those properties are removed from the original subdivision. However, the CC&Rs from the original subdivision “run with the land” and still apply to the successor properties.

Parts of some subdivisions have been annexed into incorporated cities. For example, residents of the Sunset Loop district of the Sun Valley Estates Subdivision voted to be annexed to Lafayette. These homes are still part of the Sun Valley Estates subdivision, and still subject to the Sun Valley Estates CC&Rs. And, even though it is now part of the City of Lafayette, this neighborhood is still part of the original Saranap Area.

Subdivision maps are filed with the County Recorder. You can get copies of any subdivision map at their office at 555 Escobar Street in downtown Martinez. There is a modest per-page copying fee. Tell the receptionist you want to locate a subdivision map, and CC&Rs, etc. The receptionist will direct you to a record specialist who will help you locate the documents you want.

2605 [Calvin Court]
4953 Kelley Court Subdivision
      Hidden Oaks Subdivision
Bridgefield Tract
Carolynd Court
Dewing Park Subdivision                                     Book 10 Maps             Page 242
      Tract 5199 (tentative)
      6658 (Montecito Townhouses)
Dewing Park Extension
Floraland Tract                                                   Book 10 Maps             Page 241
Hillside Terrace [Tract 1]
Hillside Terrace Unit No. 2                                   Book 238                   Page 03
Subdivision 6563
Sun Valley Estates                                               Book 185                   Page 39
Sun Valley Orchard Tract
Sunny Hollow
Swanson Tract
Walnut Lane Tract
Whyte Park

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Contra Costa Zoning Districts

The following descriptions of zoning districts are provided for general information only. Each of the
districts has additional minimum and maximum standards concerning lot dimensions; front, rear,
and side yards; parking; building height; total lot coverage; and land uses. Click here to view the Contra
Costa County Ordinance Code for specific zoning information and requirements.

Click here to view the Contra Costa County Interactive Maps Page. First, click the large button in the middle of the page to accept the disclaimer and enter the site. Then the fastest way to select an area in the Saranap is to go to the second section, Zoom to Street Intersection, and enter the names of two streets that intersect. You can then scroll using the map arrows at the right, and select the information you're interested in viewing from the list below the map.

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Electronic Waste: Recycling and Disposal Sites

Here's a list of e-waste recycling and disposal sites in the Saranap and nearby locations in Central Contra County County. Be sure to check the websites to determine what they will accept. We've included sites where you can recycle single-use and rechargeable batteries, and to dispose of unneeded pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications.

If you know or learn of others sites, please let us know with the location, hours, and website URL; email to

Where to Recycle Computers and Electronics

Rapid Recycle
110 Second Ave., South B-1
Pacheco, CA 94553
Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Recycle for Breast Cancer
31 Beta Court, Suite C
San Ramon, CA 94583
7 days a week excluding holidays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A completed donation form is requested at the time of donation; this form can be downloaded from their website

Where to recycle Batteries

Single-Use Household Batteries

Residents of Central Contra Costa County can package single-use household batteries in a clear, sealed, plastic bag and place them alongside the blue recycling can on pickup days. Do not include any rechaargeable or specialty batteries; see the next item for locations where these types of batteries can be recycled.

Rechargeable Batteries, Specialty Batteries, and Cellphones

Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority

How and where to Dispose of Unneeded Pharmaceutical and Over-the-Counter Medications

Walnut Creek City Hall
1666 North Main Street, Walnut Creek
Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Look for the green Pharmaceutical Disposal bin
Please don't flush your drugs!

How and Where to Recycle or Dispose of Other Household Waste Items

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
The CCCSD has a two-page Disposal Guide for Central Contra Costa County brochure that can be viewed online or printed. This handy guide tells how to dispose of common household waste in safe, simple, and environmentally healthy ways. Click on the link below to access the brochure.
This brochure requires Adobe Acrobat Reader; you can download and install the latest version of Acrobat Reader by clicking the icon below.

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader

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 Header Image: Google / Map of Saranap area>