News

Staples delayed despite pleas from seniors

Late notice forces council to move hearing to Aug. 24

Plans to develop Staples Ranch stalled Tuesday when a scheduled public hearing on the development had to be postponed by the Pleasanton City Council because notification of the meeting had not been handled on time to meet legal requirements.

The postponement—now to a special council meeting Aug. 24—angered Mayor Jennifer Hosterman who called the delay "absurd."

"I've had it," a red-faced Hosterman shouted into the microphone. "These (delays) have got to stop!"

It was hoped that Tuesday's meeting would lead to a council vote on a supplemental Environmental Impact Report needed to start the specific approvals of planned developments on the 124-acre Staples Ranch site. These include:

* Hendrick Automotive Group, which wants to build a new auto mall on its 37-acre portion of Staples, next to the junction of I-580 and El Charro Road, directly across El Charro from a 160-plus store outlet mall that Livermore has approved.

* Stoneridge Creek Pleasanton, a 45-acre senior continuing care community to be developed by Continuing Life Communities (CLC), with up to 800 units for assisted living, skilled nursing and independent living residents.

* An 11-acre retail center.

* Sharks Ice Center, a two-story, four rink facility to be built by San Jose Arena Management, a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks, with the facility to occupy about 10 acres of a 17-acre public park that the Sharks would also develop for the city.

Although the Planning Commission approved the Supplemental EIR last month, the council took the latest postponement in stride. A few tempers flared at the start of the three-hour meeting, but the discussion turned calmer at the end. In the closing hour, long after the public had left the council chambers, council members engaged in a somewhat acrimonious, disjointed discussion with questions about the need to move forward on Staples anytime soon sounding much like those several years ago.

Seizing on a comment made during the meeting by John Carroll that the city of Livermore had abandoned its plan to extend Jack London Boulevard west to El Charro, where it would link to an extended Stoneridge Drive, McGovern said there is no need to extend Stoneridge, at least not now.

However, Livermore City Manager Linda Barton told the Weekly yesterday that Carroll's statement was incorrect. She said the Jack London extension is still planned, though the start of that project has been delayed along with a planned adjacent retail center because of the sluggish economy.

"We very much are committed to extending Jack London Boulevard to El Charro Road," Barton said.

McGovern also pointed out that it could be several years before Hendrick builds the proposed auto mall.

But Troy Bourne of CLC said his firm is ready to build the independent living and assisted care facility as soon as the plan is approved. Some have already placed deposits for housing units at Stoneridge Creek and are ready to move in.

One of those, Sarah Albert, said she is 81 years old and accepted the CLC offer five years ago "so that my kids don't have to be my caregiver."

"I am a true believer that responsibility and doing the right thing were and still are of critical importance," Albert said. "That's why I signed up when I received a notice five years ago that this would be built in Pleasanton."

"I urge you to begin building this now because the clock is ticking for many of us—for me and (looking at the council) for you." she said."

Her husband Ysan Albert said he is worried that he now may be rejected for a housing unit at Stoneridge Creek since he recently learned he is suffering from Parkinson's disease. The facility requires that those moving in be in good health, although once in they can stay for a lifetime.

CLC's Troy Bourne also told the council that the Stoneridge Creek project has been under consideration for so long in Pleasanton that his wife gave birth to their three children during the processing period. He urge the council to move forward on CLC's long-standing application.

But if Mayor Hosterman wanted to speed things up, as she vowed to do at the start of the meeting, council members spent the last hour of their Tuesday night meeting arguing with each other over how fast they would agree to move the Staples Ranch plan along.

With structured requirements in place on how the various projects must be handled, the council and City Manager Nelson Fialho set aside the September council meetings in addition to the special meeting on Aug. 24 for public hearings and council debate, but acknowledged even those might not allow enough time.

McGovern added another possibility: that the project, including the proposed extension of Stoneridge Drive, might not win approval at all--chastizing Hosterman for referring to the future meetings as a time when Staples might be "approved." She said the mayor should have said "considered."

After all is said and done, if the project is ultimately approved, it could take another six months before LAFCO, THE Local Agency Formation Commission of Alameda County, hears the petition by Pleasanton to annex Staples Ranch so that development can get under way. That moves the earliest date for CLC to start construction on its first Northern California retirement community well into 2011.

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Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer is Absurd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

Ironic that our red-faced, angry mayor is perturbed and thinks that the delays to Staples Ranch are absurd. In fact, it's her and her Council minions that have caused the delays. A year ago the plan came forward for approval - but without the Stoneridge Extension, which was the compromise reached by the city and the neighbors. At the final minute Jennifer and her cronies changed the plan to include Stoneridge, and since of course the environmental analysis had not been done for that the city was sued and had to redo the EIR. She caused the delay, and now she's shouting at our citizens with legitimate concerns about the impacts of the project!?! But, let's not complicate her quest for campaign contributions and higher office with the facts!

This town needs a new mayor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by in Oaklahoma?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:08 am

Who is watching the store when she is at the Mayor's conferences? Maybe her focus is just not on our city to ensure all of the processes happen from a leadership role.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just wondering
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:10 am

Does anyone know how many lawsuits our little city is involved in? We have the Lin's that are threatening, the housing cap/Green Belt Alliance, and the Staples Ranch's EIR.
Anymore?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

The mayor should be red faced over the fact she spends more time on regional issues and getting voted "wonder queen" in Kansas. Throwing tantrums doesn't compensate for incompetence. I say she's using Pleasanton as a stepping stone. I walked down Main Street last night. It was depressing. It was almost isolated. How can businesses be profitable with no traffic. I guess that's not a political problem, until you begin to see that attention is not focused on the city. But, watch when it comes close to election time. The mayor will be at the Main Street end of the Farmer's Market shaking your hand and saying "Vote for me I'm the good guy".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oust the Hippy Mayor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

The Hippy Mayor is totally incompetent. If you are sick and tired of her incompetence and her loon agenda, get active in this year's political campaign to get her ousted. While you are at it, work to oust the other two incompetents Thorne and Cook-Callio. If you are a Pleasanton business person, get active in the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce to oust thier board of directors. The Chamber contributed in a major way to the election of these three dolts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Jennifer is Absurd,

Way to cherry-pick history. Did you forget that Alameda was going to take the project to either Dublin or Livermore because of the Stoneridge extension issue? Did you forget that Alameda offered to pay for the extension, but only if it got approved that night? It is disingenuous to ignore the role that the party that brought the lawsuit forward over the EIR had in causing the delay. The lawsuit was settled out of court because it was mostly a non-issue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Whoever is going to run for this November is sure ramping up their campaigning early.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

No kidding, and they're neglecting to mention a few facts like all the campaign donations Cindy and Matt received from people in the Stoneridge Dr. neighborhood. One couple alone gave Cindy over $1200 and Matt over $500 in the last election. Seems like the neighborhood is a special interest group trying to block Staples Ranch--amazing given how long Stoneridge Dr has been in the general plan.

Its pretty clear that Matt and Cindy are trying to delay hearing the Staples ranch project until after the election thinking that they'll have one more vote on the Council and can eliminate Stoneridge Dr going through. Way to cater to a special interest group!! I don't think they realize that a majority of people want Staples Ranch completed for the Senior housing, car dealership (tax revenues) and the ice facility and can see through these tactics.

And then there was Sullivan at the end of the meeting going after Thorne even though Thorne was supportive of a compromise (which even McGovern acknowledged)on how to hear the various items related to Staples Ranch. What's that about unless Sullivan is planning to run for Mayor?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

Stacey

As one of the most informed local residents on the forum, I was seriously wondering what your views on the next mayoral election are. Is the current mayor a good one or should we be looking at other candidates. If so, isn't it a little late in the game to start running? I like the way you think (most of the time), so your thoughts would be helpful.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sick of no
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

The no, no, no, selfish obstructionists keep creating roadblocks. BUT, It's an all or nothing deal, or... if they keep acting like jerks, just let the COUNTY put any DXXX , DARN thing they want to on the site ! !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Home
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

The county should turn the parcel over to Dublin so we may build a ridge for new homes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Wow,

I wished I would have attended last night's meeting. Hosterman getting red faced is priceless. It seems like it is now a common occurance with our mayor. Thank God for elections! Hopefully we can come together to save Pleasanton from the Developers, Hosterman, Cook-Calio, and Thorne. Their obvious end-goal is to do away with Pleasanton's building limits and open up our town to Development Corporations!
I am calling for all people who want to save Pleasanton to come together this November and vote out at least one of them!

I was at the February meeting where the guy from Haggerty's office made his $ 6 million bribe and threat to get Stoneridge Drive going. He looked like he could have come from Hollywood's central casting to play the part of the sleazy corrupt politician. I asked Haggerty's guy directly where does this $ 6 million come from, of course he said nothing. Someone that knows procedure did a follow up call to Haggerty's office after February's meeting. The person spoke with a member of Haggerty's staff. She asked how the $ 6 million was ear marked and the person answered that it was approved in a secret closed door meeting! The person identified themself and stated that was a very illegal way to do it, the person then back tracked, stuttered, and stumbled and said it then didn't happen that way!
It's pretty obvious that there is corruption involved!

Does anyone know how to follow up with Alameda County??? I think we deserve to know where that $ 6 million is coming from...

It is VERY CLEAR from Hosterman's flip-flop on Stonridge Dr. (She even held meetings with us saying that it would never happen with her as Mayor)that there is some VERY HEAVY pressure coming from a BIG MONEY source to make her say screw it and side with the developers.
Another BIG CLUE came from Cook-Calio's own mouth the day after Measure D was defeated (See the Weekly's article. She stated that the No on D people were very short sighted and didn't know what they were doing! She insulted the 55% of the people who voted against it. She even stated that they have bigger fish to fry such as PLEASANTON'S BUILDING CAP!!!!!! It seems like she is just a rubber stamp for whatever Hosterman wants.

I think the evidence is very clear that Hosterman, Cook-Calio, and Thorn, are anti neighborhoods and only care about the BIG MONEY out there!

Let's take Pleasanton back!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Understand the issues
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Stacey,

The County made veiled threats about allowing Dublin or Livermore to annex Staples Ranch and develop the property. Legally Staples Ranch is in Pleasanton's Sphere of Influence and the county can't "give" it to anybody but Pleasanton. This idea was whipped up by the Chamber to "scare" their stooges on the Council to push this forward. Best understand the issues before shooting your mouth off as an "expert".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Barry

I'm very much in favor of ousting Holsterman. But, in the election process you don't vote against someone, you have to vote FOR someone. Do you have any suggestions who to vote for?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Alex,

You are sooooooooooooo right we are working on it..... It will be tough but we have to try....

Let's get it organized....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Hi Stacey. I passed my first year of law school!

Anyway, there is also a memorandum of understanding between Pleasanton and Alameda County that Stoneridge Drive connectivity would be emergency vehicle access only.

If the County were to renege on supporting annexation of Staples to Pleasanton based on no Stoneridge Drive open to El Charro the County would have problems in court (Pleasanton would certainly sue) based on the agreement in the MOU.

In addition to Pleasanton's sphere of influence, there are also logistic problems. The Livermore retail development must pay for a pump to get sewage from El Charro to the treatment plant, Staples development would require an even larger pump - who would pay?

Staples to Dublin is a joke, unless there are secret sewage and water pipes hidden in the new El Charro overpass.

CLC, Hendricks and the Ice Arena folks have stated it doesn't matter to them whether Stoneridge is open, plus there is not even a developer for the retail piece of Staples.

Since there is no time table for opening Jack London to El Charro Stoneridge Drive isn't going to be a new route to Livermore anytime soon.

Who benefits from connecting Stoneridge to El Charro now? It's just going to be a long freeway ramp between I-580 and Hacienda Business Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Oh, as to the lawsuit being settled - the City had a very major problem.

Under California Environmental Quality Act the environmental documents need to describe the project.

The Original Draft and Final Environmental Impact Reports for the Staples Specific Plan Amendment repeatedly stated that Stoneridge Drive extension is not part of the project. The City Council majority then voted to include Stoneridge Drive extension on a loosey-goosey argument that the environmental effects of Stoneridge extension were described in a report referenced by the EIR.

I suspect the City believed a judge would find saying you are going to leave something out of a project and then adding it in does not comply with CEQA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Turn out was about 16% of registered voters.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hi Matt,

Congrats on your first year of law school. I hope you survive the remaining years!

The way I see the lawsuit was basically just a formality. All the City had to do was agree to do the supplemental EIR and reconsider the project, thereby making the issue of the lawsuit a non-issue. There's really no overwhelming reason why they would not have agreed and gone to trial. It was in the City's best interest to include the extension, get the money from the County, then face the lawsuit and settle out of court rather than exclude the extension, lose the money from the County and not face a lawsuit. I know that your interest in it was from the environmental standpoint, but the lawsuit was still used as a delay tactic by the neighbors who just don't want the extension at all.

Understand the issues,

Sure a property in one city's sphere of influence can be annexed to a different city. Ruby Hills, for example, was in Livermore originally. It requires action by LAFCO and if you recall, Pleasanton had no representation on LAFCO at the time (Hosterman took Lockhart's seat only later). They were actually rather hostile towards Pleasanton, voting against improving Hwy. 84 because Pleasanton was discussing removing the Stoneridge extension from the General Plan. As for where the idea for annexation came from, I don't know about it being the Chamber's idea, but Livermore was definitely interested in the project.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Alex,

Your question is a bit off-topic. Maybe you can start a new topic and I'll reply there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:49 am

Thanks, Stacey, me too! :~P

I don't remember all the negotiations regarding Ruby Hills, but ultimately Livermore either supported Pleasanton's annexation of Ruby Hills or at least chose not to oppose annexation.

The only interest from Livermore were statements expressed by Mayor Marshall Kamena, not anything formal or support from any other Livermore City Council members or staff.

I feel for the neighbors too, our old initiative would have exempted the auto mall, but kept off everything else so at least the eastern Stoneridge neighborhoods would have some peace on the weekends.

It seems to me the neighbors were resigned to Stoneridge being extended eventually, throwing in the traffic from the ice arena on top was what began to get folks riled up.

I think if the City would take the area of the ice arena and use 8 acres there for an open space easement as mitigation for the threatened species instead of the ice arena, the environmental and neighborhood issues could be resolved. The City could approve CLC, the auto mall and Stoneridge Drive extension and probably get most everyone's support.

The Sharks group could be offered 8 acres on Bernal Park. It might not be the most optimum site according to their studies, but I bet it's still a good one, and heck, the Sharks group are basically getting the land for free.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GBAmember
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

LAFCo cannot re-assign a property from one jurisdiction to another without inviting yet another Grand Jury investigation and lawsuit. Back in the late 1980s, Martin Inderbitzen was representing a development group from Hayward, and tried to convince Pleasanton to remove the Pleasanton Ridgelands from Hayward's sphere of influence so that Pleasanton could annex it, so that Inderbitzen's developers could build thousands of houses there. In addition, Bill Baker put forth an assembly bill to forcibly remove the Ridgelands from Hayward's control (AB 2307). The Local Agency Formation Commission actually voted to re-assign this land from Hayward to Pleasanton. Then a follow-up Alameda County Grand Jury investigation slammed the decision to award the land to Pleasanton to as completely inappropriate and based purely on policial considerations (Alameda County supervisor Ed Campbell and Pleasanton mayor Ken Mercer were part of the vote), the Greenbelt Alliance filed a lawsuit to give the land back to Hayward, and a judge reversed LAFCo's ruling and gave it back to Hayward.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by dave
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

My e-mail address is dfew@juno.com.
We have just signed up with the Stoneridge Creek CCRC and I just stumbled across the Pleasanton News and all the furor that seems to exist about the Stoneridge Creek Retirement Center. We are in our late 70s, we like Pleasanton and thought the Stoneridge Creek development ideal. We do not want to get into the middle of a lot of controversity at this point in our lives. Would someone please enlighten me as to what all the furor is about? I did not see a single comment in favor of the CCRC for seniors yet I know a significant number of the applicants are from Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hello Dave.

The Stoneridge Creek CCRC development I believe is supported in general by most everyone, City Council, neighbors, etc. The company has done a pretty decent job working with the community.

The present controversy over the Staples Ranch property where CCRC is to be located is primarily over two issues, biological and traffic.

The biological issue is deciding the appropriate mitigation for certain threatened plant species found on Staples (San Joaquin spearscale and potentially Congdon's tarplant). The consulting biologist for the project has recommended a 1:1 acre mitigation for threatened plant species found at Staples Ranch. Basically, Alameda County would buy 1 acre at the Springtown Preserve in Livermore for every acre of of species destroyed for the project.

Alameda County and the City of Pleasanton are both members of the Steering Committee for the Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy. The Conservation Strategy has not been finalized, but the draft recommendation from the biologists for the Conservation Strategy call for a 5:1 acre mitigation - Alameda County should purchase 5 acres of habitat for every acre of species destroyed.

This issue seems to be over money, who pays and how much.

There are also related questions about an easement that should have been purchased for the north bank of the Arroyo Mocho to protect threatened and endangered species as mitigation for a prior project that diverted the Arroyo Las Positas away from crossing Staples Ranch. The easement was called for, but never purchased. Now, should the easement be in place, it could interfere with building the two bridges for Stoneridge Drive to cross the Arroyo Mocho to reach Staples Ranch.

The traffic issue involves the extension of Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road. The original plan that was to have been approved back in February of 2009 called for Stoneridge Drive to cul de sac at the CCRC. Emergency vehicles only would have been permitted to pass through the cul de sac to Livermore.

At the meeting for the February 2009 final approval of the environmental documents for the project, the City Council majority approved a plan to extend Stoneridge Drive all the way to El Charro Road, even though the environmental documents stated that the extension of Stoneridge Drive was NOT part of the project.

Had the City Council approved a plan without the Stoneridge Drive extension to El Charro, it is possible that that plan would not have been challenged.

The City Council including the Stoneridge extension to El Charro brought members of the environmental community and the Stoneridge Drive neighborhoods together and a lawsuit was filed against the City of Pleasanton challenging the environmental documents.

The lawsuit was settled during the Summer of 2009 with the City agreeing to do additional environmental work.

The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report was released in November 2009 and the Final Supplemental EIR was released last month (May 2010). We are currently all engaged in the process of reviewing and considering the adequacy of the new documents.

It's a shame that a good project like CCRC basically became hostage as a result of the City Council majority (Hosterman, Thorne & Cook-Kallio) not following through on the originally promised project plan to cul de sac Stoneridge Drive.

The outcome is becoming absurd because the reasons given at the time to extend Stoneridge Drive to El Charro were to reach a proposed retail development on Staples which doesn't have a developer; and as a new connection through to Livermore via Jack London Blvd. Livemore has since scuttled any near future plans to connect Jack London to El Charro.

Basically, the Stoneridge extension the City Council majority is trying to defend is merely going to be a new freeway on ramp from Hacienda Business Park to I-580.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The need for an east-west regional arterial road connecting Pleasanton to Livermore in that area still exists.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stop delays by selfish
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

Since when is it OK for the patients to be running the asylum? The 'city officials' are responsible to doing what has to be done for the good of ALL the residents !. Enough! Stop the sick, petty, unjustified whining, and delays....JUST DO IT ! Extend the damn road. The EXTRA, triple miles of RUNNING ENGINES on Valley, of all the Livermore people trying to get to their jobs in Hacienda....to PROVIDE PLEASANTON TAX REVENUE, is CAUSING EXTRA UNNECESSARY DRIVING. This is a MAJOR CONTRIBUTION to PLEASANTON POLLUTION, and ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION ! ! ! Surely NO HYPOCRITE would dare open their mouths about any form of greenhouse gasses , IF they are SO SELFISH and stupid to allow all that extra engine running ! ! Call in the enviro police and start up the tractors. City, do your job, stop the gridlock, allow residents the right to access, and STOP THE NEEDLESS POLLUTION caused by the selfish. Time's up ! Stop all the extra dirty driving ! Shorten the distance, shorten the TIME ! Save the earth !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Uhhhhh, @Stop the Delays by Selfish...
If you haven't heard, Livermore no longer has any current plans to extend Jack London. The plan was dropped along with the retail outlet center due to the bad economy.
Extending Stoneridge Drive now would not reach into Livermore (except the driving range at Tri-Valley Golf).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

So Matt Morrison and his Sierra Club like cronies have thrown yet another monkey wrench into the wheels of sensible planning. This reminds me of what his kind did when asked to participate in the East Contra Costa County Master Plan a decade or so ago, refused to participate and voiced their famous battle cry of "We will see you in Court".
It appears the start of Stoneridge Creek will be delayed another 6 to 9 months at least and will not complete until late 2013 or early 2014 and Sarah and I may not make it.. this whole thing is very discouraging.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Plans have not been "dropped". Livermore still plans on connecting Jack London to El Charro. The need for the route has not gone away.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hi Dave,

This whole project was like Matt mentions hijacked by Cook-Calio, Hosterman, and Thorne. They tried to ramrod the Stoneridge Extension in a very ham handed slip shod manner. Our Mayor didn't seem to know or care about City Council procedure or the current legal ways of doing things. She just gets red faced and throws tantrums when she is caught doing something wrong.

This has become a mess with many lawsuits on the horizon. There has got to be a better way to do this!

Hopefully we can get organized and take back Pleasanton from these very short-sighted people in November. There is a VERY BIG SMELL FACTOR to this whole mess!

And to Stop the Selfish.... During the February hostile takeover by Cook-Calio, Hosterman, and Thorne there was a little mentioned report about traffic mitigation and that a Stoneridge extension would have very little positive impact on our traffic issues. The Extension of 84 was identified as having a much more beneficial effect on our traffic woes. But, you don't see any of our "leaders" talk about this solution because they are fixated on the Stoneridge Extension and the bribes/threats of the developers and our County money man....

I am calling for all Pleasanton Voters to take a very close look at the 3 members up for re-election this November...Cook-Calio, Hosterman, and Thorne and really look at the details.. PLEASE!
Your November vote may save Pleasanton as we know it!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by expand HWY 580
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

No doubt, there is a problem with traffic going east and west in this area. The problem is HWY 580 which is gridlocked and has been for years. It needs to be expanded, and I don't mean just one new commuter lane! Extending a surface street with all kinds of environmental challenges is not the real answer.

The General Plan calls for SMART growth which can be slow in processing, but will stand the test of time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

Hi again Stacy!

I was referring to plans for extending Jack London in conjunction with the Livermore retail outlet mall, which is delayed indefinitely (not a good sign for a project).

Extending Jack London is a $9.7 million project. I don't know where Livermore would get the money or why they would build the Jack London extension if there is no retail outlet mall. The outlet mall provided the funding and the purpose for Livermore's Jack London extension.

(BTW, 85 degrees at 9:45 this morning, summer's finally here...)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by canttolerateitanymore
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Personally, I would love to see all of the aforementioned businesses take their multi-millions of dollars to either Dublin or Livermore so I can personally see Pleasanton eat crow. Pleasanton truly deserves what they ask for.

Matty and Cindy are to fault; not the other three on the city council. These two have come up with every stall tactic they can to make the lives of businesses wishing to establish themselves in Staples Ranch miserable; not to mention cost prohibitive. Why these businesses stick around, spend more money than they ever planned on for the almighty golden calf Ptown is beyond me. Matty and Cindy (aka puppet) have been bought. They have caused all the delays by silly council rules (only one needs to pull an agenda item per issue), creating the lawsuits or more reports or co-incidentally "notification of the meeting had not been handled on time to meet legal requirements". Hmm, I wonder how that happened....again?
Let's face it, the majority of Ptonwers want this project moving forward and you ya-hooeys that believe that Matt and Cindy are the good guys are truly smoking some bad stuff. Have you no compassion for the elderly?
PS-matty morrison: "The Sharks group could be offered 8 acres on Bernal Park. It might not be the most optimum site according to their studies, but I bet it's still a good one, and heck, the Sharks group are basically getting the land for free." IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE THIS IGNORANT, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND NOTE WHAT THE SHARKS ARE GIVING BACK TO THE FOOLS OF PTOWN AND THINK HOW MUCH ITCHING AND MOANING THE BERNAL AREA PEOPLE WILL DO...SIGNED AGREEMENTS OR NOT.

iwastheretoo: You're calling it correctly! I have been watching this travesty since its birth. Too bad the other knowitall bloggers on this tape don't get it...or could they be getting paid under the table as well? Afterall, there are some quiet, yet powerful, people in the background waiting for the kill. (laundry list available) Is that why the stall til next election? hmmm.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Dear canttolerateit...

Rules are put into place to keep sleazy politicians from making their backdoor deals. I think our Mayor should maybe study them a little. I liked it when you said that Matt and Cindy are paid off!!
By who??? The spearscale slush fund???? Do you have any names or entity that would pay them off?? Pretty far fetched, but I guess you would think that Sarah Palin would make a good President.

Follow the big money and it doesn't go to Matt and Cindy. They are the only ones with some character and honesty in all of this.

The Stoneridge extension was snuck in at the last minute to get around the rules or laws(hence the lawsuits). Pretty shady stuff.

Anyway, we are going to poll and educate as many Pleasanton voters as we can and see where it goes. I bet a majority would think this process is slimy when they see the facts!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"The Stoneridge extension.... Pretty shady stuff"

That's the biggest joke I heard all week! It's a public road, not a speculative land deal!


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Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Barry, look at the campaign contributions Matt and Cindy received during the last election. Each of them received signficant money from the Hearst Dr neighborhood and the Stoneridge Dr neighborhood. As I posted earlier, Cindy received over $1200 from one couple in the Stoneridge Dr neighborhood and Matt received over $500 from the same couple. Funny how they received significant contributions from these two neighborhoods and look how they voted on Oak Grove and the Stoneridge Dr extension. Seems to me these two neighborhood groups could be called special interests. Matt and Cindy are elected to represent all of Pleasanton not just a couple of neighborhoods and do what's in the best interest of Pleasanton. What are they doing to relieve traffic on Valley Ave through Birdland that has become a truck route as an example?

I wasn't going to blog anything about Matt Morrison's comments as usually he's thoughtful though I don't always agree with his conclusions but given where this is going I feel the need to. First, I think it only fair and above board that he should disclose that he lives in the Stoneridge Dr neighborhood and has an interest in not seeing Stoneridge Dr go through.

Fact--Both Stoneridge Dr extension and hillside protection have been in the general plan since 1996.

Why is the Council critized for not having a hillside ordinance when it its in the general plan and criticized for approving Stoneridge Dr extension when it is in the General Plan? Seems like people are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

Why is the Council being criticized for voting on measure d in the June election costing an additional $80,000 and at the same time being criticized approving stoneridge dr extension so that the county will pay for it thereby saving millions of dollars to the city? Again seems like people are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

It appears that the Council is willing to do things to mitigate the extension so as noise attenuating pavement in the existing neighborhood and additional sound walls even though they weren't required. As a resident living in another part of town, I'd like to see noise attenuating pavement on the major street through my neighborhood. My point is that extending Stoneridge dr is NOT new news and the council should be willing to look at outside funding sources as well as do things to mitigate for the neighborhood.

The argument that Livermore's project has gone away and so therefore no need for the extension sounds like which came first the chicken or the egg. Given the delay tatics by Cindy and Matt, combined with the special interest neighborhood, I think its a good bet Livermore will beat us anyway. We need to get on with this to alleviate traffic in other parts of the City that are bearing more then their fair share!!


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:57 am

Uhhhhhhh..., thanks for the bit 'o kind words, but I live on Chippendale Court in Pleasanton Meadows. Santa Rita Road is right over my back fence, so I might even benefit from some freeway traffic being diverted to a Stoneridge Drive extension.

You know, there was a plan in place to do the Staples development and Stoneridge extension in an orderly fashion that the neighborhood, developers, City, and County all agreed to. Then in a very short period of time the County put pressure on the City to renege that agreement and the City Council majority went along.

As I said, it is possible that the environmental groups would have sued over the inadequacies of the biological surveys and mitigations alone, but by reversing a plan for extending Stoneridge THAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD AGREED TO made lawsuits pretty much a certainty since there was no effort by the City to work with the Stoneridge neighborhood and address their concerns before the City Council vote.

Although, in defense of City staff, the City staff up until the final council meeting was still recommending a two-part process for Staples and Stoneridge Drive.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:23 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I wouldn't characterize the neighborhood that way. There were those that were for extending Stoneridge and there were those that actively sought to have the extension removed from the General Plan. The delay tactics have been a tool used by those that really don't want the extension at all. It's pitted neighborhood against neighborhood more than neighborhood against government.


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

Morning, Stacy!

A compromise was worked out which the City Council majority, caving to pressure from the County, bailed on.

I think just about everybody involved expects Stoneridge extension to happen at some point in time. The goal should be opening the extension in a manner that respects the residents who have concerns and have a plan to mitigate as much as is reasonable the increased traffic, noise and pollution/dust.

The City maybe (or maybe not) has decided on some reasonable plans to mitigate for Stoneridge extension. The City has yet to hold any meeting for the Stoneridge residents to present their plans and hear concerns.

This is unconscionable. The Stoneridge residents are stakeholders in the extension as much as any who might benefit from Stoneridge extension, yet they have been isolated from the planning since the compromise was abandoned by the City Council majority.

Ah well, I have to run. Our eldest son turned 21 today! (man, I'm getting old...)


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Posted by Pat Kohnen
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

My husband Jim and I have put a 10% deposit down for a living unit in Stoneridge Creek. We are optimistic that the priject will eventually happen, but we hope the process will move forward at the August 24 special City Council Meeting. I spoke at the Planning Commission Meeting when they approved the SEIR and other documents to move the Staples Ranch Project forware. My husband spoke at the June 15 Council Meeting urging the Council to move forward. It was a disappointment that the item was pulled from the June 15 agenda.

We have lived in Dublin since 1978 and love Dublin, but we have decided to move to Pleasanton because of the Stoneridge Creek project which is unique in the Tri-valley. It will give us an opportunity to live independently and yet have support if needed in the future. We can still participate in our many activities since Pleasanton is so close to Dublin. We have begun to participate in more Pleasanton activities in anticipation of our move. We are members of the Museum on Main and we bought a brick for the new Firehouse Arts Center. We continue to enjoy many of the Pleasanton restaurants. We also have a strong connection to Pleasanton because one of our grandaughters lives there.

I hope the Council will consider all of the advantages of the Staples Ranch Project and keep moving forward in a positive manner. The project is good for Pleasanton and the Tri-valley.


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