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Council saves 101-year-old house from wrecking ball--for now

Original post made on Aug 22, 2013

The Pleasanton City Council saved a 101-year-old house just a block from the city's historic downtown from the wrecker's ball Tuesday while at the same time approving a plan to build 12 moderately-sized new homes next to it.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 22, 2013, 7:36 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by Anna, a resident of Castlewood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 8:18 am

What happens to residents of the 32-space trailer park? Or is it vacant now?


Posted by Anxious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

Sorry to hear the house stays. I liked the words of Brad Hirst in another paper to 'tear down the eyesore'. Now we learn there's an illegal second story and a falling down back porch.
And? the 'city'? is paying for street improvements??


Posted by Jorge P, a resident of California Reflections
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

I am disappointed that the PW as a newspaper. You are supposed to be unbiased except for your Editorial, yet here is another article where you own opinion is scattered throughout the piece.

Why do you have such a strong slant on tearing down the old house and putting up new homes? And why is that clear in this article?

I think the council stated it best, old houses in Pleasanton are a rare gem and they are worth saving.


Posted by stick to the facts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

There was no illegal 2nd story. Didn't you watch this on TV?

The upstairs was added 40+ years ago as a way to make more room in the house. That is the way all of us used to add onto our houses, make a bedroom for the kids in the attic, yeah the ceilings were low and there was no way for a wheel chair to get up there, but that was back in the day that you owned your own home and could change it if you wanted to- it was your own home.


Posted by Curt, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

When a somewhat gritty part of a town is removed a bit of that town's character goes with it, in my view. That trailer park and that old house remind me of what a lot of this town was like when I moved here 25 years ago. Those twelve homes will look great, I am sure, but they won't have that character. "Improvement" has a lot of definitions.


Posted by MrsJjhh, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm

>>Ponderosa's Pam Hardy said the developer had acquired the site from a Lutheran Church trust established by the late Jerry Wagner<<


>........ a new owner who would buy the property from the church. <<

Who exactly owns the house? Ponderosa? Or the Church? What is meant here by "acquired?"
Does Ponderosa perhaps own the land and the Lutheran Church the house? Or is there some obscure condition in the Trust stating that the proceeds from any sale of the house must go to the church?

I find it puzzling that neither this article, nor a previous one made it entirely clear exactly who owns what.




Posted by Jill, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 22, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Usually the way this works in Ponderosa has an option on the property. If the development is not approved, or the option price is too high due to market conditions, Ponderosa can walk away from the deal and loose their option deposit and time/money put into it. When the project is approved, it is usually transferred from the current owner, the church, to Ponderosa at the option price. Ponderosa can then develop the property and make as much, or little, money was they want and the church received a fixed price on the sale of their property.

Since the church does not need that piece of property, they will sell it all in order to generate income for other projects or operations. No different than anybody donating their home, property, boar, car to a charity. The charity takes the asset and typically sells it.

This is a typical way that property is developed by a developer but it is also possible that there was already a purchase and transfer without an option. Most developers will not do this because they are then left holding the property should their development not be approved.

This is how the property at Stanley and Valley was also handled for the previous home depot property and the now apartments. Home Depot originally had an option on the property. When the project was not approved, Home Depot walked away after giving the property owner a non-refundable deposit. Then the current developer did another option on that property. The property owner actually makes out quite well if the property is good but plans fall through since they can receive a good chunk of change for selling the option that is never exercised.


Posted by Bat Guano, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

Come on! This house is and eyesore. Time to demolish it, along with the trailer park, and upgrade that whole neighborhood. Speaking of upgrades, when is Pleasanton going to upgrade Old Stanley Road? It carries much more traffic than it was designed for, and the condition of the street is horrible.


Posted by Al., a resident of Downtown
on Aug 23, 2013 at 10:09 am

What a brilliant decision it was to save that old ramshackle house, could have made space for another home or park to improve the neighborhood, who is going to pay for the restoration, don't try taxes, it won't work anymore. The problem with the touchy feely group is that they can make decisions that are popular enough to keep them empowered, but never come up with a solution as to how to pay for them.


Posted by David, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

If the house is not historic and it is just plain old, why should the City Council tell him he has to save it if he does not want to? I drove by and took a good look after living here for twenty years after seeing the articles. I never noticed it before I guess because it is not really much to look at. Im glad no one is telling me how to fix up my house, but maybe now I can report my neighbors to the anti-ugly committee.


Posted by get it first hand, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

After the planning commission denied the project, Ponderosa renegotiated their contract, dropping their option on the parcel with the house on it and the church proceeded to look for a buyer for the property. The new buyers are going to refurbish the house for possible commercial and residential use. If you listen to the meeting, the realtor mentioned that one of the investors used to stay in the house as a child. So if you listened closely to the meeting there was no longer a possibility for Ponderosa to buy that parcel.

Sometimes I wonder how these articles can be so wrong or incomplete! The meetings are taped and available on channel 30. It is not hard to be informed!


Posted by Peter Malloy, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 24, 2013 at 1:11 am

This City council can't seem to get out of it's own way. Yet another poor decision.


Posted by David, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Aug 24, 2013 at 9:09 am

Historic does not always mean historically significant. That house is an eyesore. Knock it down already.


Posted by sknywench, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

I dont care who owns it. The developer, the church, or an investor. And I did watch the meeting on the television. The nosy neighbors and the City Council dont have the right to tell a property owner that they have to refurbish the house because the other part of their property is being sold and developed. I think this town got yet another black eye in the reputation contest.


Posted by Babul Hasan, a resident of California Reflections
on Aug 30, 2013 at 5:16 am

Thanks for posting here a such kind of news. Now-a-days, in order to save houses for our existence on earth is very important issue. Someone can lost land or houses for lack of proper step. You can search here and can get important information of saving houses. I hope you will be very beneficial by clicking here


Posted by Property rights, a resident of California Somerset
on Aug 31, 2013 at 12:01 am

The church has the right to sell the house to whom ever they wish, and to whom ever is willing to pay the best price.

If a long time relative of a previous owner is willing to buy it for a better price, the church should maximize their investment and yield the best deal for their parishners.

Any old timers that call the house an eyesore should think twice about the church's rights.


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