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Council OKs study of east side development

EIR will look at plan for 2,279 housing units

The Pleasanton City Council agreed Tuesday to move forward on a plan to allow homes, apartment buildings, retail and commercial businesses, and a public elementary school to be part of a major land development on the city's east side.

Recommended by the East Pleasanton Specific Plan task force , the development would occur on 400 acres of mostly vacant land on the city's east side. Except for the Pleasanton Garbage Service's recycling plant, the property is part of undeveloped quarry land east of Valley Avenue and continuing along the north side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Stanley Boulevard.

As a result of the Council's 5-0 vote after a public hearing that lasted late into the night, city staff and consultant Wayne Rasmussen will seek an environmental review of the task force's preferred, or base plan. That calls for 2,279 new homes and apartments on the site, although Council members indicated they want fewer housing units when the plan is finalized.

"There's no way we will permit that many homes and apartments to be built on the east side site," said Mayor Jerry Thorne. "The environmental impact report (EIR) of this base plan will give us the information we need on the best kind of development for the property."

Sometimes called Pleasanton's last frontier because it's the largest piece of undeveloped vacant land in the city, the East Side development would make use of a 1,000-acre site with 600 acres of lakes that are controlled by Zone 7. Quarry-related activities have long since stopped and large landowners there are now interested in converting their properties for residential and retail use.

Also, Pleasanton, which just gained state and court approval of its rezoning actions to meet requirements for more affordable housing, faces new requirements to meet its mandated housing numbers in the 2014-2022 planning period, and the East Side development could meet those demands. Otherwise, the planners might have to search for other available housing sites, which is not an easy task in a city largely built out from border to border.

Both city planners and the Pleasanton school district are looking at the east side site for public uses that would be financed by housing and commercial developers. The school district has asked the task force to include land for a new elementary school that would be provided by one of the developers and also wants the city to require developers to build the school. The estimated $1 million a year in ongoing staffing and operating costs for the school would be paid by the school district.

Planners also want to extend El Charro Road from its current terminus as a public road through the east side development to connect to Stanley Boulevard. The estimated $60 million cost, including an underpass beneath the Union Pacific tracks, also would be paid by developers, as would several parks and trails contained in task force plans.

The concern expressed over the 2,279 housing units is that it's more than anyone on the task force, City Council or Planning Commission want. Most would prefer no more than 1,000 units, which is one of the alternative plans, but there seems to be an agreement that 1,600 would be manageable.

But with the city and school district asking developers to pay for millions of dollars in new roadways and a school, it's unclear just how many housing units will be needed to pencil it out for developers.

"That's what the EIR will tell us," Thorne said. "We may find out that no one wants to develop this land if it's not in their financial interests."

Comments

Posted by Corrupt, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 17, 2013 at 8:26 am

Wonder how much money our corrupt City Council will get from their Real Estate buddies on this one.


Posted by Julia, a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

BUILD, BUILD AND BUILD SOME MORE. WHO CARES...NOT THE CITY COUNCIL.

WHAT A SHAME

Just My Opinion. Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from (thank God) Alamo.

PS...I think you made a great statement Corrupt, but you do know, no one cares


Posted by brad, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

I have been in real estate business for 40 years. You above are WAY off base about Pleasanton Councilmembers.
Whether you agree with them on not - and I often do not- they have all been meticulously honest ( possibly one exception ) and dedicated to what they each believe is best.


Posted by clare, a resident of Walnut Hills
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

Why wasn't all of this available land considered a few months ago, when we were scrambling to comply with the Urban Housing Coalition's demand for more affordable "workforce" housing? Seems a perfect solution to put most, or at least some, of those high density projects there, instead of squeezing them into existing neighborhoods. Just curious........


Posted by Longtimer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:38 am

Butt out! Alamo Julia! (Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)ho is so obviously CLUELESS!! Why don't you get involved with our lousy legis and ABAG who are the ones destroying OUR lives and dictating to Pleasanton. ..best to not spout off until you're informed.


Posted by Joan, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

Oh great. More people! LOL
Why isn't that land used for the high density housing that is going to be built on W. Los Positas. That apt complex is going to be right across from Hart Middle school and traffic is going to be horrid.
Why the mayor and city council is letting this happen is just mind boggling.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

i say the more the merrier...PLUS...i rest my case...tee ha ha


Posted by Longtimer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

So clare, you think piling more into the YET TO BE STARTED Eastside, while ignoring all the infill pockets throughout Pleasanton is an easy solution to our assignment.
Actually, infill near several job centers would be quite the sensible solution.
I say "search for other available housing sites" , which is much BETTER than building a whole new Eastside 'town' (the size I was born in). It's permanent, so OPT for BETTER, NOT easier!!!


Posted by Donna D., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

"Pleasanton's last frontier" - how sad!!


Posted by Al, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I'm moved here for small town charm. It's gone. I'm out.


Posted by k, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I feel the same, Al. Moved here 25 years ago to escape San Jose and over the past 5 years or so, the rate of destruction has become enough to drive me back to the South Bay. (Cue losers bidding "good riddance" and talking about doors hitting fun places.) I grew up here, this is home; ... it's infuriating that we can't do a damned thing about it but ,,, anonymously on a forum. Unless anyone's ...off enough to try to do something collectively. (Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.)


Posted by JT, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

We should hold off in doing anything in the east side (and all of Pleasanton). The California courts have said that inclusionary housing, something that Pleasanton does, is illegal. So whatever a developer 'agrees to' in doing 'affordable housing' will be thrown out in a suit later since the California courts have deemed this illegal. So developers are today saying they will help with the affordable housing 'issue' and once they have a signed agreement they will not build the affordable units because of the court decision. We will then be stuck in court trying to defend this. This will be just like Signature Properties signing an agreement to build the Neal Elementary School, building all their homes, and then saying the agreement was illegal and they do not have to do it.

I feel sorry for the next few generations of people who will not be able to make any decisions on any land use decisions of the city since every inch of dirt will be developed now.

As for developers paying the council members, you can go to the city website and see all the campaign filings. From there you will see donations from Can-Am Plumbing, BRE Properties, Ponderosa Homes, Pleasanton Lakes, Auf Dermaur properties, Barry Swenson Builders, Dublic Active Investors,
Acacia Partners, Marty Inderbitzen (attorney for Charter Properties), Pleasanton Gateway, Charter Properties, James Tong, Center Point Properties, ..., and that is just in the last special council election for one candidate. Many more out there...


Posted by Purcell, a resident of Ironwood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm

And you think the left turn afternoon traffic on Valley from Santa Rita is a problem now!!!
2300 units is probably another 5000 cars. The El Charro Rd extention may help some, but aren't these units suppose to support people who work in Pleasanton? Urban Housing was looking for that in their law suit, right? I hope the environmental impact covers quality of life issues for everyone.


Posted by Integity, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

Reading JT's comments now e know how candidates get elected. I'm sure they owe no obligations to campaign donors who throw in $50K to get someone elected and even still they get only 4000 votes. Hope our voting block of 3 on the City Council can sleep at night.


Posted by lrm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm

JT is exactly on point. Follow the money.


Posted by Follow the $$, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Speaking of fund raising for our politicians, the Mayor is already inviting all of his development and chamber friends to a bash to build up his war chest a FULL 1 year in advance of the election! The beginning of the pay-off for future development starts Nov. 14th.

What is wrong with this picture?


Posted by factchecker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Folks, the vote of the Council was 5 to 0!!


Posted by Simon, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Oct 19, 2013 at 12:32 am

Why does 5:0 make a difference? I saw the meeting on TV. We need a council and mayor with some guts to fight for us. Doing an environmental study on such a huge number of new houses is insane. My neighbors are fighting against 50 new houses in our area, not 1700 or 2000.

Only 1 council person at the meeting fought to bring down the number to a 1000, but that is still too high.

Listen if you are reading this, fight for the smallest number of houses possible- please. Work to keep Pleasanton great, not ruin it like Dublin.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

Simon,
What do you have to say to the people who were against the development of Bridle Creek?


Posted by Simon, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Oct 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm

If you believe in something, fight for it. Elect people that will help you keep the community great. And if your elected people told you they would support your ideals- and they don't, vote them out so fast their head will spin.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

S,
Do you feel that the citizens who opposed Bridle Creek were justified in their positions? Were they trying to preserve what they felt was Pleasanton's greatness. Did the development and construction of your new home in Bridle Creek make the city greater? When you refer to "having a Council and Mayor who have the guts to fight for us" do you mean all of the citizens of Pleasanton, or does "us" just those who agree with you?


Posted by Tessa , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I am going to agree with Simon on this one. I have lived in Happy Vally almost 30 years and I don't know of anyone that fought against Bridal Creek, do you? Hell yes, they would have had the right to fight for their rights.

I also may be an idealist, but campaign promises are real, and I expect elected officials to keep their promises. Call me old fashion, but I would say, don't make promises you do not intend to keep. This is all a demonstration of your personal ethics.

My grandpa used to say a man's word used to mean something. I guess politicians don't understand that.


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