Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 21, 2010

Letters: Ridge homes will be in view

Dear Editor,

I couldn't figure out just where these Oak Grove homes are going to be, trying to wade through the ads and argument. However, voters trying to separate spin from fact are fortunate to have today's technology. Page 60 of the Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet we received in the mail has Figure 36, showing the location of the 51 lots in question. If a voter can read a topographic map, one can see that the lots are all on the top of ridgelines - no question. One can go to Google Map/Satellite view and see the current path along the ridge lines where the lots are located. Google Map/Terrain View shows that these are indeed ridgelines between valleys. So not to be accused independently of spin, the Yes-on-D ad is technically correct that the park includes the highest ridge on the property. However, Google Earth can provide one a 3D view showing how the lots dominate about 10,000 feet of ridgeline; people in Pleasanton will see a long line of homes on the ridge. Good information has changed my view and I will now be voting No on Measure D.

Please note that I am not in the area of the development, I am not affiliated with either campaign nor the group who took this to court, and until I realized where the lots are located, had been a supporter of the "tradeoff" of lots for parkland. Not anymore.

Mick Hanou


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 21, 2010 at 7:41 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, Google Earth is a great tool! Here's a screenshot from Google Earth: Web Link

It shows lot placement overlaid on the Google Earth satellite image. It also shows the elevations of various lots, including the elevation of the highest Kottinger Ranch property and the elevations along the primary ridgeline of the southeast hills.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 21, 2010 at 7:56 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I dunno Mick, the only "long line of homes" I can see on Google Earth is in Kottinger Ranch. The Oak Grove lots are spread out.

Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 21, 2010 at 10:55 am

Yes they'll be visible. From about a 1 mile stretch of Vineyard Ave., parts of Stanley Blvd.,from the top of the water slide @ Shadow Cliffs & a few 100 feet of Bernal. From ANYWHERE else in Pleasanton you cannot see the ridge line.

Posted by No Topo Maps, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

Go see the entire Oak Grove property first hand on a tour. Then you will see for yourself what is proposed and how the current surroundings fit in. Topographical maps can't show it all, especially the views.

Posted by John, a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Don't really care whether they can be seen or not. I still support Measure D. "Save the Ridgelines" is a bunch of hooey. The Ridgelines are owned by someone. Guess "Save my nice view" wasn't catchy enough for the lawnsigns. I'll take the 496 acres of land - almost five times the size of the Sports Park - in return for 50 nice houses that most of us will never see, and call it a fair trade.

Posted by Did tour, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2010 at 12:02 am

Google is very misleading. I've seen the Oak Grove Plan and been on the tour. I suggest that, rather than google.

Posted by Jennifer Hosterman, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

To all,

There are eight homesites that will be somewhat visible, but with oaks over them, and the highest ridgelines behind them, but only to those who currently live in Grey Eagle Estates - namely, our most vociferous opponent, Mr. Alan Roberts. In fact, Mr. Roberts had a HUGE home application into our Planning Department, and pulled the same plan, many months ago, when it became clear that this issue was becoming heated, and it became clear to him that he would have to underwrite the opposition, if they were to get any traction, whatsoever.

They've done well. Their message is clear - "don't mess with our ridges" - but the truth is, this devopment agreement, which took four years to hammer out so that everyone could agree, including the support of Councilmember Matt Sullivan, includes less grading, less homesites, and no disturbance of view sheds (with the exception of Mr. Roberts and his neighbors who already live on ridges)! And, if you drive up Hearst Road (which for those of you who may be confused - this is off Bernal in the hills behind St. Augustine's - NOT the Pleasanton Ridge (which has been re-deeded and saved forever from development) you will be amazed at the "No on Measure D" signs that line the roadway, homes which currently sit on a ridgeline, including Karla Brown's home.

Let's get real. This project is a great project for the people of Pleasanton! And, its a great project for the environment. Here, we preserve, by deeding to the People of Pleasanton, almost 500 acres of pristine oak wilderness in perpetuity. I'm excited about this project, and I hope you are, too! Vote "Yes" on Measure D on June 8. It's the very best project we've been able to bring to you in many years!

ps - if you want, you can schedule a tour - I've taken many people to see this gorgeous country, myself.

Posted by Karla Brown, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on May 23, 2010 at 9:37 am

Jennifer.... I hope your ability to read a topo map is better than your source of addresses. In fact- and I ought to know - I live in a valley - not a ridge. I will not be able to view any of the lots, roads, trails etc. from myhouse, if this plan is approved by the voters, but that does not make it right. Please check your facts before you blog. Thank you.

Posted by Diva, a resident of Birdland
on May 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

I think the NO on D people don't really care about the ridge. It's more about playing politics considering that all this crap originated from a troublemaker. I don't care about those 500 acres of land although it's a great gesture from the property owners. I strongly believe in property rights and don't think these troublemakers should be allowed to jerk other people around just for their own political gain.

Posted by Tired of NIMBYers, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Who doesn't want to have a 496 acres park in their community?

How many communities even have the land available?

The Oak Grove proposal is a compromise which will benefit all of Pleasanton. Yes, some nearby resident's may have to SHARE THEIR views but I'm not eager to support their "exclusive" views and their "private" extended backyards.

Drive around Kottinger Ranch and Grey Eagle Estates (sorry NO ACCESS as they have a gate to keep people like us out)and count the number of "NO on D" signs. It honestly looks like a "NO on D" theme park (don't they have an ordinance against littering front yards with campaign signs?). Too bad you can't get to see some of those Grey Eagle Estate homes. Where were all the "No on D" proponents when that was approved? Waiting for their Kottinger Ranch homes to be built?

Take a drive along Hearst Drive and count the number of "No on D" signs. You'll get the idea about who is really lobbying for their "park" to stay private. All of a sudden everyone is an environmentalist concerned about oak trees and habit destruction. How many oak trees were removed to make way for the Kottinger Ranch pool, tennis courts, and hilltop homes? Everyone was eager to purchase land from the Lins and build then but where is the public access? Sorry Kottinger Ranch is a private community.

Wake up Pleasanton and vote Yes on D unless you like being played for a fool and have a few million to help the city fight more lawsuits and/or purchase the land from the Lins.

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