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Dougherty Valley GHAD

The Dougherty Valley Geologic Hazard Abatement District (DV GHAD) is an independent governmental organization which was formed for the purpose of preventing, mitigating, abating, and controlling geological hazards. The City Council members serve as the GHAD Board of Directors and the District is managed by City staff. The DV GHAD boundaries include the West Branch area, located at Crow Canyon Road and Dougherty Road, Old Ranch Summit, and the Dougherty Valley totaling approximately 2,767 acres of open space. Funding for the DV GHAD is obtained through an annual assessment on properties located within the DV GHAD boundaries.


The City of San Ramon formed the DV GHAD in July 1990 and originally it included the West Branch area, located at Crow Canyon Road and Dougherty Road. During Fiscal Year 1997/98, the Board of Directors approved the annexation of the Dougherty Valley into the GHAD. In FY 2007/08 the Board of Directors approved the annexation of the Old Ranch Summit into the GHAD.

Engineer's Report

Annually, the Board adopts a budget for services required to maintain and monitor the DV GHAD. These include the preventing, mitigating, abating, and controlling of geologic hazards. All property owners within both West Branch, Dougherty Valley, and Old Ranch Summit pay an annual assessment.

Each fiscal year, the District Engineer prepares an Engineer’s Report which includes the budget for the GHAD for that year. The annual budget for the District consists of regular site monitoring, annual inspections by a geologist or geotechnical engineer, contract services for annual mitigation and repairs, and administrative costs. In addition to paying for the annual expenditures of the District, funds collected through this assessment are placed into a dedicated reserve fund. The reserve fund is set aside to be used to mitigate and repair large, geologic hazards, such as landslides.

Plan of Control

GHAD assessments are used to fund maintenance activities and projects as defined in the GHAD Plan of Control which is the legal document that states how the GHAD should be maintained. This includes hillside drainage, erosion repair on GHAD owned open space, and other projects such as repair of landslides and creek bank stability within Dougherty Valley, West Branch, and Old Ranch Summit. These features are included in the GHAD because they serve as amenities to the residents within the boundaries of the GHAD.

View the Plan of Control Report (pdf)

If you would like to view Appendix 1, 2 and 3, please contact the Engineering Services Department at (925) 973-2670.

For general information and information regarding assessments:

(925) 973-2683

To report landslides, maintenance issues or for general information:

Robin Bartlett, District Engineer
(925) 973-2683 or
[email protected]



Fire Hazard Abatement

The DV GHAD owns and manages various open spaces in the Dougherty Valley area, and is responsible for vegetation management and weed abatement annually to reduce wild fire hazard.

Many of the open space parcels are leased for cattle grazing. This helps reduce fire hazards by controlling the amount and distribution of grasses and other potential fuel. Cattle grazing is conducted under a highly regulated license based upon accepted principles of range management

The DV GHAD is also required by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) to abate the accumulation of dry grass, weeds, dead trees and rubbish, and mow perimeter or cross-slope fire breaks per SRVFPD’s Exterior Hazard Abatement Program Standards by May 31 each year. In addition to the annual maintenance, the DV GHAD constantly monitors the conditions of trees, brushes and other vegetation in open space and landscape areas, to reduce the amount of debris that can lead to fire hazards. 

All the fire hazard abatement activities are conducted under the supervision of regulatory agencies, such as US Fish and Wildlife Services, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Regional Water Quality Control Board, though the Preserve Managers at Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), to ensure the protection of sensitive environments.

For more information regarding fire hazard abatement, please contact Shane Hsieh, Associate Engineer, at (925) 973-2675. For fire protection standards and fire safety information, please visit the SRVFPD’s website at  

Kami Court Landslide Repair Project

In 2019, the DV GHAD undertook the repair of a large, slow moving landslide that is located in the open space to the east of Kami Court.

The initial Phase 1 work resulted in the removal of approximately 103,700 cubic yards of landslide material. Much of this material was placed as a buttress fill at the base of the landslide and approximately 41,000 cubic yards was trucked to a receiving site located near Longleaf Circle. The results of monitoring indicated that the effort was successful and movement of the landslide mass was halted.

Following initial repairs, further stabilization was undertaken by installing three hydraugers at the site. Hydraugers consist of a perforated steel drain pipe that are installed into hillsides at a shallow angle. The pipes are designed to intercept groundwater within the hillside and convey it to an appropriate discharge point. Groundwater is a substantial contributor to hillside instability as it adds weight to the hillside, can exert hydraulic pressure to help move materials, and can lubricate slide planes. Reduction in groundwater amounts and pressure can therefore provide substantial improvements in stability.

Following completion of the items listed above, analysis indicated that some additional stabilization efforts were required in order to provide an appropriate factor of safety. The most cost-effective method to improve the factor of safety was to continue to unload the landslide mass near the top of the hill. Therefore, the Phase 2 work involved removing approximately 27,000 cubic yards of additional material. This material was trucked to the receiving area near Longleaf Circle. Following placement of the fill, the receiving site was contoured and planted to enhance its appearance and environmental benefits.

Although the landslide is deemed stabilized, staff will continue to monitor for any movement through visual inspections and instrument readings in future years to ensure the stability of the hillside and the safety of the residents. 

Grading Plan (4.6 MB)