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Pleasanton Council meets tonight to ratify high-density housing measures

Original post made on Jan 9, 2012

The Pleasanton City Council is expected to ratify tonight a final plan that will allow 73 acres in various parts of the city to be rezoned for high density housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 9, 2012, 7:45 AM

Comments (30)

Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jan 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Great! Now our esteemed council members are free to line their pockets with development money while watching Pleasanton become the urban ghettopia that San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, Union City and Fremont have become.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

are you saying what you mean and mean what you say...i am so immmmppppprrrrrrreeeeeesssssssssssss...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...


Posted by Resident of 32 years, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

How is it that Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Alamo get away with no "affordable housing." I'll be knocking at the City Councils door when my house or neighbors are robbed, more drug traffic, MORE traffic in our communitiy, and what about the kids in this housing, where are they going to school?Does this mean ANOTHER bond measure to build more school to accommodate these kids in the housing projects. Where will they build more schools? After these projects there won't be more land to build, and what about the government cuts on our schools? I want to keep our town the way it is without influx of more traffic congestion, and away from more crime and drug problems, we already have enough going on to keep our police force busy and in control of matters..I want to feel as safe as I can in our town of Pleasanton, without MORE. I vote NO!!!


Posted by Concerned Californian's, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jan 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Resident of 32 years - Urban Habitat states on their web site that it is their goal to influence the politics (e.g., Democrat registrated voters) in California, so they are "strategic" in whom they sue. It doesn't matter that there are other way more affluent towns with far less affordable housing than Pleasanton already has.

Pleasanton was chosen because there are slightly more Republicans than Democrats - which can easily be changed by adding affordable housing. Alamo and Danville are too affluent to be changed; and rich liberal enclaves like Palo Alto and Piedmont already vote Democrat.

Affordable/high density housing developers by law pay less school impact fees than single-family dwelling developers, so this is an unfunded mandate by the state that will destroy Pleasanton schools. Town leaders should appealed to the Supreme Court or sued the State of California. But, most of our esteemed city leaders are liberal, and most of them line their pockets with developer money; so they like the fact that they shrug their shoulders and say, "the state made me do it" - meanwhile they're smiling all the way to the bank.

If you want to vote "no" - make sure to vote NO for Cook-Kalio for mayor - she's already showed in the "Weekly" that she's the chief faux apologist/proponent of these projects.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Come on Jeb, how many times to people have to ask that links to the pertinent city (or other topics) information be provided in the storyline? No mention that this is on the consent calendar and can be approved with one drop of the gavel either. From the city council agenda: "Items listed on the consent calendar are considered _routine_ in nature and may be enacted by one motion." Emphasis mine . . . how is this topic routine?

For tomorrow's meeting: Web Link
For the January 4 meeting: Web Link


Posted by Bye Bye Pleasanton, a resident of Old Towne
on Jan 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I came to Pleasanton from San Leandro, so when they say there is no increase in crime, etc. due to low cost housing, they are full of it. I too was questioning how the Orindas, Moragas, Lafayettes & Alamos sidestep this requirement, but those locations will probably be the next destinations for those of us that are fed up with this BS. It's too bad, but we will eventually see the deterioration of Pleas. and unfortunately the outflow of quality to other cities. In the future, Pleas. won't be one of the cities quoted as having a great school district. That quote will be saved for the others noted above.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

"How is it that Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Alamo get away with no "affordable housing."

My understanding is that the reason we have to required to have more affordable housing is that we allowed more businesses to set up shop in our town, such as all the businesses in Hacienda Business Park and all the businesses in the Stoneridge Mall. If years ago we had said "No" to Hacienda Business Park and "No" to Stoneridge Mall, things would probably be different. Is this true? If so, we only have ourselves to blame for letting so many businesses get established here. Essentially, it sounds like the Pleasanton city leaders had a philosophy of "slow growth" as applied to Pleasanton housing but "fast growth" as applied to Pleasanton businesses and the courts said that that's not fair.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Not true, Sam ,but I'm curious as to how you came to that understanding.


Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jan 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Only in California does a city that does the right thing and make things easy for businesses to get established and thrive get punished by state-imposed urban ghettopia. And we wonder why so many businesses want to leave the state?

The good news is that the change will most likely be gradual - it will take about 15 years for this town to go completely downhill like San Leandro did from the late 70s/early 80s. So if you have kids in school now--they're probably okay, but after that we'll be like every other East Bay city with poorly performing public schools and a thriving private school market.

Hopefully there will be a market demand for the 80% of market-rate housing, and it won't all turn into Section 8.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Steve,

Why would it not be true?


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Steve said: "Not true, Sam ,but I'm curious as to how you came to that understanding."

Care to elaborate on precisely what the reasoning of the courts was then, Steve? I haven't studied the court ruling at all, so I would be delighted if someone who has studied the ruling would step up and educate us all about precisely what the courts said and the reasoning behind their ruling. Unfortunately, this thread is populated by the usual gang of characters offering their own worthless, uninformed 2-bit opinions. Hopefully, someone who is actually knowledgeable about the court ruling will come along and summarize what it's all about.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The court ruling wasn't anything about the number of jobs in Pleasanton. It was that we had a hard cap on the number of housing units we would allow to be built. The cap meant we would violate State law wherein we need to plan for our assigned Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA, spoken as "ree-na") per planning period. The ratio of jobs to housing only plays a role in how ABAG assigns the Bay Area allocations out to each local agency.

You can read more about the process here: Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Clarification: We would receive new RHNA numbers in the next planning period that would put us over the hard cap, thus violating State law.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Stacey said: "The court ruling wasn't anything about the number of jobs in Pleasanton. It was that we had a hard cap on the number of housing units we would allow to be built."

Perhaps. But in reading a bit on the history of this, it appears that what started all this was Attorney General Brown's 2009 comment letter to Pleasanton's Community Development Department (Web Link) in which he points out:

-------------------

"If the Housing Cap is not changed, the City will not meet the current RHNA, much less any future allocations, and the City will be in violation of state housing law."

"At the same time the General Plan Update restricts residential development, it allows 35,000,000 square feet of commercial, office, industrial and other employment-generating land development in the City. At buildout, this business development would support approximately 105,000 jobs, up from 61,100 current jobs. This means that the General Plan will dramatically worsen what already is an unacceptable jobs/housing imbalance in the City, thereby exporting air pollution, exacerbating already horrendous traffic jams, and promoting greenhouse gas emissions."

"Pleasanton is already a gjob richh community, with more than 1.6 jobs for every working resident. As the City notes, geven if every resident stayed in Pleasanton to work, there would be substantial in-commuting to fill the remaining jobs.h
-------------------------

Now would AG Brown have pressed on this case so forcefully if Pleasanton did not have such an unbalanced jobs-to-resident ratio? I don't know. But a jobs-to-resident ratio of 1.6 certainly didn't help Pleasanton's case much. In retrospect, it might have been better if Pleasanton had said "No" to the establishment of Hacienda Business Park and maybe to the establishment of Stoneridge Mall as well if we wanted to remain a "small" town.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The jobs/housing ratio was just supporting evidence that the city would be violating State law by the conflict created by their legal obligation to plan for the RHNA allocations and the inability to do so via the hard housing cap. A state attorney general has an obligation to uphold State law, although which lawsuits pursued arguably tend to be politically motivated. Sure it plays a role in how RHNA allocations occur. Is there much job growth in Orinda?

Woulda, coulda, shoulda is always the speculation here. I wouldn't say I'm a particular proponent of the creation of the business park, but the fact remains that Hacienda Business Park and Stoneridge are beneficial in that they bring revenue to the City to support our parks and other services we enjoy in this community. To me, it is humorous that housing is wanted/needed in Hacienda since originally it was going to be all business. A slow-growth position would have been to not allow such a large allocation of land for commercial based on speculative need. Tying up such large tracts of land for commercial also has the consequence of making the land zoned for residential a little more pricey (and thus unaffordable to certain household income levels). But you know Pleasanton has to keep up with the Jones', or in that case, Silicon Valley.

That, of course, leads into the aspect of speculation that exists in how RHNA allocations are doled out. Methodology is agreed upon beforehand by an ABAG committee (a process which lends itself to playing politics). If you look at the projected numbers for jobs in the Alameda County analysis, you'd laugh because they were done before the 2008 crash and subsequent recession. It'll be luck if we reach the projected numbers of jobs. Our Mayor and Council have a history of being disagreeable to how RHNA allocations are assigned (if I recall correctly). Councilmember Thorne always takes the opportunity to express dissatisfaction at the loss of local planning control the whole process engenders.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 10, 2012 at 12:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If there were no hard housing cap, Pleasanton would have flown under the radar.


Posted by POed in P-Town, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

This is a sad time for our city and will be a real hit to our home values. We have the left-wing slugs and our famously idiotic Governor Moonbeam to thank for this shafting. People, if you have any sense, you will quit voting in left-wing slugs to political office. It would also be advisable to quit voting in dolts like The Three Stooges to our City Council.


Posted by Marie, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jan 10, 2012 at 8:39 am

I'm sorry most people moved to Pleasanton for a better quality of life I know I did. I moved out of the South Bay thinking P-town was just a better place all in all to live. I'm amazed how much crime we do have, Bart being there isn't helping bringing all the thugs to the mall and now all this building. YES this town will go down hill soon, property values will drop and people will move to be closer to their jobs instead of doing the long commute. What is the point if its going to just end up like some other towns mentioned! It's unfortunate thats for sure.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:11 am

Just to help educate the Monday morning quarterbacks second guessing every past attempt to make Pleasanton a better place to live, without the business park and the mall, we would not have a lot of the infrastructure, high quality schools, etc. that a larger tax base provides. The larger goal has always been to benefit the city's by providing a better quality of life for the existing residents. Most people that have lived in this city for the past decade or more have not lost sight of this goal. Even so, all it takes is someone from outside the city with an axe to grind to screw things up.
Urban Habitats unrealistic utopian goal to get everone who works in the city to commute less than 5 minutes is a means to an end. Their supporters have an agenda to profit from infill development, which produces another desired result for their supporters---the destruction of the quality of life for the current residents. They can't stand the city the way it is....it doesn't fit their philosophy of the way societies should be housed....like sardines. As though that type of community produces more harmony.......Of course, it is a failed vision, but once it's implemented, there's no going back. That's the sad part of all this, especially for those that worked hard to engineer the existing city of Pleasanton.


Posted by look at dublin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:12 am

If you want to know what our city leaders want Pleasanton to look like you only need to drive over to Dublin. Drive to Lowes in Dublin and look at all of that crackerjack housing there. I have never seen anything looking more ugly.

I think Dublin should be sued now for not providing enough jobs for all their new housing. All those people living there will have to drive out of Dublin to get to a job.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

Stacey said: "If there were no hard housing cap, Pleasanton would have flown under the radar."

Yes, it would have been better if a housing cap was simply implemented by city leaders as an unwritten policy. But even with a hard housing cap in writing, Pleasanton might still escaped enforcement efforts by the Attorney General if not for the fact that the Pleasanton jobs-to-residents ratio was so much higher than 1. If we had hard housing cap and a jobs-to-residents ratio of, say, 1.05, would the Attorney General have thought it worth his time to pursue all this? I doubt it. But a hard housing cap AND a jobs-to-residents ratio of 1.6 is pretty difficult to ignore. Pleasanton was stepping not just a little over the line, but way over the line. Sorry, but I'm going to have to place most of the blame for all this on our own city leaders.


Posted by Ruth, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jan 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

If everyone who posted a comment would attend tonight's council meeting or email the council with the same, and express your concerns as stated here, the council will listen and could be persuaded to take another look at the proposed plans and how housing is allocated, or rather should be better balanced throughout the city (i.e., more of the housing at Bernal, close to freeway access so less cross-town traffic). But remember, thanks to Jerry Brown's lawsuit we are now stuck with this mandate (and him as govenor), so we need to find the best way to meet the state requirements without adversely impacting our town. It is a sad state unfortunately. I didn't vote for Brown, nor any of the loons running the state.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

Certainly people can contact the council members, but when items are put on the consent portion of the agenda, it's because they expect it to pass without discussion. People will need to attend to request the items be moved to the discussion part of the agenda or it will be a done deal.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam wrote: "If we had hard housing cap and a jobs-to-residents ratio of, say, 1.05, would the Attorney General have thought it worth his time to pursue all this?"

Yes because we would still end up violating State law when we hit the hard housing cap. The only effect the jobs-to-housing ratio (not jobs-to-residents) has is in how many RHNA housing units we are allocated. Our RHNA numbers would probably be smaller if the ratio were closer to 1. We'd still hit the hard cap at some point. The City tried to argue against the lawsuit saying that we didn't hit the cap yet and our current RHNA allocation would not put us over. What would you do if you tried to stop someone from running into a brick wall and they told you to leave them alone because they haven't hit the wall yet?


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

"Posted by POed in P-Town, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 7 hours ago

This is a sad time for our city and will be a real hit to our home values. We have the left-wing slugs and our famously idiotic Governor Moonbeam to thank for this shafting."

Staunch liberal Democrats from the Penninsula, ie: Palo Alto CREATED
the technology that made the JOBS.

Now Right Wing Snobs are complaining about their little bubble of entitlement.

"Left Wing Slugs"

Grow up, wait till a loved one has cancer, till you lloose your job and can't gget work, or a natural disaster happens... Think about what is really important in this lifetime.


Posted by Agenda item 11, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

This item is to approve a two year contract at 81k per year to provide what amounts to complete physicals for the FD. Considering all city employees receive top-nothch medical benefits that already cost the city upto 19k per employee this appears to be a luxury item that provides a duplicate benefit. My first thought was that it only costs 81k, but then realized that's 81k per year for just this one group of cities employees. If other groups also get this perk it adds up fast amounts to a large sum of a period of time.

This isn't a knock on the FD, but how is this duplicate expense justifiable during a period when costs are already rising? Why cant employeees get their Physical from their primary physician?


Posted by Re: Agenda item 11, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm

This is ridiculous. Why does the FD need a health & Wellness program. Doesn't their contract already provide for dedicated time for exercise? They can retire at 50 so it isn't like we're working them to the age of 65. How stressful can it it be to respond to an average of less then three calls per 24 hour shift, per station.

If the city can't think of a better use for those funds...like providing free stress tests to the homeowners with underwater mortgages that have their tax dollars going to pay for this craziness, maybe they need to spend more time out in public engaging the citizens, and actually listening to the concerns.


Posted by HowMany.org, a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

The California Air Resources Board under S.B. 375 (The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008) seeks to reduce our per capita emissions by 15 percent, to 85 percent of current levels by 2035 (now apparently 7 percent by 2020). But Plan Bay Area has tied this to allowing 903,000 additional housing units, enough for 2.2 million more people, 33.8 percent more than live here now. If 133.8 percent of our current population each emits 85 percent of current levels, then our total emissions rise by 13.7 percent (133.8 x.85 = 1.137).

According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the average U.S. household generates 59 tons of greenhouse gases annually, so that's a Bay Area increase of over 45 million tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases every year (59 x 903,000 x .85). That larger population would have to reduce individual emissions by a much larger percentage to achieve 1990 levels by 2020, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32).

Most of our emissions are not generated locally – they are released into the atmosphere wherever the goods and food we use are produced and transported. Atmospheric greenhouse gases do not respect regional, state or national boundaries.

True sustainability advocates contend that beyond the quality of life issues – more traffic congestion, air and noise pollution – the public will justifiably be angry when they find out that this "smart growth" will do nothing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Yes, building in existing urban areas has important environmental advantages over building in rural regions, but it is simply the lesser of two evils. This much urban construction will vastly increase our emissions no matter how "green" that construction may be. Instead of choosing the lesser of two evils when it comes to our air, water and open space, why not choose the good?

Web Link


Posted by Renee, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

WE moved from San Leandro to get away from what they are going todo
to Pleasanton. We paid the high home prices / the higher property taxes, ect. so are family could be safe. Guess we will be looking for a new area to live, which it sounds like other people are thinking the same. And in this market we will all have to sell our home lower, so pleasanton / property taxes will all be much lower funds that the city will receiving. So everyone loses. WE HAD SUCH A NICE TOWN.


Posted by Libertarian, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Renee, you can run but you can't hide. Stand tall with your tea party, Ron Paul supporting neighbors as we attempt to keep Pleasanton segregated. I'm a store owner, and I'm hanging a sign right next to my George Wallace autographed picture frame: No shoes, no shirt, no 'working citizen', no service.


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