http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/04/26/dublin-mayor-says-city-is-growing-getting-better


Pleasanton Weekly

Column - April 26, 2013

Dublin mayor says city is growing, getting better

by Jeb Bing

Mayor Tim Sbranti told a group of Realtors last week that his city is more diversified than most, making it a community with housing, businesses and a city government that welcomes all. In remarks to the Valley Real Estate Network, Sbranti said few cities have managed to build housing for as many different income levels as Dublin with retail and commercial businesses following the population growth. Dublin is now one of the most ethnically-mixed cities in the Tri-Valley, and it is attracting large businesses to locate in the city because their entire work forces can afford to live nearby among friends and compatible retail stores.

Just 12 years ago, Sbranti said Dublin was home to a few good chain restaurants and mostly basic retail stores. Today, it's become a city known for its high-value, Indian, Pakistani, Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants as well as a growing number of recognized eateries. Recognizing a continuing need for mixed housing, the City Council has changed zoning restrictions to encourage more high-end housing as well as affordable to market rate apartments along the Dublin Boulevard corridor that appeal to BART and other public transportation commuters.

Dublin's parks also are becoming among the best in the area, with a new indoor-outdoor aquatic center approved for Emerald Glen Park in the center of the city. The facility will include a sports pool designed for competitive meets, water polo and waterpark type amenities and events planned for all age groups.

Camp Parks, which Sbranti said was too small to become part of the major military base reductions a few years ago, has now become a facility needed by the Army to replace training facilities that were closed. The camp will soon be expanded with at least six new training facilities to replace its old Korean/Vietnam war era buildings and will remain a permanent training installation. That will save hundreds of civilian jobs at the base that were at risk. The Army also has agreed to a land exchange with Dublin, turning over 187 acres of prime land along Dublin Boulevard to a housing developer that is now working with the city on construction plans.

Sbranti said he is proud that Dublin took advantage of the recent economic downturn to re-think its land use laws. Parking restrictions were changed to allow more retail development on some of the wide open, under-developed parking lots in the downtown area. A new housing project geared to senior veterans has been approved for the long-vacant Crown Chevrolet site with more retail stores next to it. Several new restaurants are now vying for permits to build next to Sprouts, the grocer that has drawn shoppers to the old Circuit City site.

"We even have a cricket pitch over at our new Fallon Sports Park, which is another amenity only Dublin has to appeal to a widely diversified and growing population," Sbranti said.

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