Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 28, 2010

Pleasanton's former mayors urge you to vote Yes on Measure D

by Frank C. Brandes Jr., Robert Butler, Ken Mercer, Robert Philcox and Tom Pico

We are taking this unusual step of writing as five former mayors of Pleasanton because we are united in our belief that passage of Measure D is important to our community in so many ways.

Other than our commitment to doing what we each believe is the "best for Pleasanton," we have often held divergent views on development issues, which makes this united appeal something Pleasanton voters should seriously consider. (None of us has a current or future financial interest in the approval of Measure D or the Oak Grove development.)

Join us in voting Yes on Measure D, a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure that:

1. Pleasanton owns, controls and forever protects nearly 500 acres of open space as a public ridgeline park that also serves as a barrier to future development;

2. Our schools get $300,000 each year in property tax for operations;

3. The city receives $1 million in traffic fees and $200,000 each year in tax revenue;

4. Our schools also receive school fees of $2 million for facilities; and

5. We limit to 51 the number homes that are possible to build under strict design guidelines.

Oak Grove went through an extensive public hearing and collaborative approval process and is a well-planned, environmentally sensitive development that provides amenities of great value.

A recent court ruling that Pleasanton's voter-approved housing cap ordinances are pre-empted by State Law makes the passage of Measure D possibly our last chance to protect the oak woodlands in the southeast hills forever as a public park.

Pleasanton's housing cap is no longer valid and the state is now in control of how many housing units we must plan for tomorrow. The city is being forced under state laws to plan for more homes and no longer can require property owners to reduce the number of residential units allocated to their property. Can an attack on our Urban Growth Boundary be far away?

A Yes vote on Measure D allows Pleasanton, not the state, to be in control over the future development and uses of our southeast woodlands.

Vote Yes on Measure D, Oak Grove, keep local control, and leave a lasting legacy of a beautiful oak woodlands park for future generations to enjoy.

--The authors were mayors of Pleasanton in the following years: Frank C. Brandes Jr. (1979-80, 1985-86); Robert Butler (1982-83); Ken Mercer (1978-79, 1980-81, 1984-85, 1987-92); Robert Philcox (1976-77); and Tom Pico (2000-04).

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