Dear Editor, Pleasanton's City Council's action on Sept. 17 opened the door for still more residential development in Pleasanton. Mayor Jerry Thorne once described California's housing requirements as "out of control," but it was the mayor and three other members of the Council who voted to exempt 900,000 square feet of rezoned housing in Hacienda Business Park from the commercial center's overall cap of 9.9 million square feet of development. Jobs created from the additional development certainly will mean more housing required for Pleasanton with no strategy for dealing with any increased housing.
Director of Community Development Brian Dolan irrationally said he didn't believe retaining the office space would result in the need to rezone for additional housing while simultaneously claiming it is impossible to predict the impact on future housing. Well, Mr. Dolan, a clue is recent methodology for housing allocations under "Fair Share Factors" where jurisdictions with higher numbers of jobs received a higher allocation.
The result will be a nearly 10% increase in Hacienda's commercial employment properties in relation Pleasanton's existing housing requirements without a plan to accommodate any future increase in required housing allotments.
Hacienda Business Park was originally developed with a promise of providing jobs for residents. The park's emphasis on its own commercial growth by not balancing housing for the jobs it already provides threatens our quality of life as city streets and services will be strained by building ever more housing. It's time our representatives and city staff showed some backbone against the business park's Owner's Association.
Homes needed for 2 exchange students
Dear Editor, We are looking for host families for high school-aged students who are here for the 2013/14 school year. We accept all kinds of families. Our students have the appropriate visa, medical insurance and pay for all of their own personal expenses. All that is required of a host family is to provide room and bed and an extra plate at the table.
Currently, there are two boys for whom we need homes, one from Spain and one from China. Jiaqi, 16, enjoys playing basketball and table tennis, Chinese calligraphy writing, practicing guitar, and going on trips with his family. GPA: 3.9. Allergies: dust mites, asthma. Jose, also 16, is from Spain. He enjoys scuba diving and skiing. He interested in playing soccer during his exchange year and joining a debate team. He is Catholic and would like to attend services while in the U.S. GPA: 2.5.
The program length is from now (they are being housed temporarily until we find homes) until the end of the school year. For more information email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-445-4126.
Dublin development threatens burrowing Owl colony
Dear Editor, The city of Dublin's land exchange with the U.S. military will allow residential and commercial development on189 acres of mostly open grassland at Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, consequently threatening one of the few remaining breeding colonies of burrowing owls in AlamedaCounty. Camp Parks is one of the few remaining relatively undeveloped portions of the Livermore-Amador Valley. SunCal, one of the nation's largest land developers, is planning six major development projects, including the nearly 2,000-home Dublin Crossing development, and has agreed to construct new military facilities worth $66 million, which will lead to further destruction of burrowing owl habitat.
Burrowing owl populations are declining. California lists the burrowing owl as a "species of concern" but provides no protection for owl habitat and routinely approves eviction of burrowing owls from known breeding locations to allow development. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has provided recommendations to the military that they should conserve burrowing owl habitat at Camp Parks and avoid any impacts to nesting burrowing owls or their habitat. Neither Camp Parks staff nor the city of Dublin have responded to requests for information about whether burrowing owl habitat and nest burros will be protected, or whether there will be mitigation for evicting or displacing the owls.