Opposition to Oak Grove didn't surface until shortly before the City Council approved the plan in late 2007. It was triggered in part by a decision by the city Planning Commission not to consider an Environmental Impact Review of the proposal, which its members said needed more study. The council, whose members along with city staff had worked with the Lins and their representatives to bring the land grant proposal and reduced number of homes to a vote, disagreed and gave the Lins the go-ahead. Former City Councilwoman Kay Ayala led a Thanksgiving week effort that was successful in collecting enough signatures to force a referendum on the council's vote. Attorneys for the Lins, believing many of the signatures had been coerced without adequate information, sued to block the referendum. They were unsuccessful both in the Court of Appeal and also on the public relations front where their actions incensed many, including Councilman Sullivan, who had initially supported the Oak Grove plan; he viewed the legal move as a violation of citizens' rights to vote on land disputes such as Oak Grove.
If the question was whether to accept a gift of 496 acres of open space in perpetuity, there'd likely be no opposition, although Councilwoman Cindy McGovern, who has opposed this deal from the start, insists that the city has no money earmarked to manage and maintain the parkland. The 51 proposed luxury homes, especially in a city that needs more affordable, workforce housing near transit centers, add a new pothole on the road to wrapping up the Lins engagement in Pleasanton. Still, with the city under orders to strip itself of a 29,000-unit housing cap and both an affordable housing coalition and Attorney General Jerry Brown (who is the Democratic Party candidate for governor) highly critical of Pleasanton's housing policies, this is no time to leave more than 600 acres of residentially zoned land uncommitted in the southeast hills. The Lins have done what was asked of them. They own the land. It's unlikely they'll be so generous the next time around. We urge a Yes vote on Measure D on Tuesday.