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Judge Grants Restraining Order Against City Council

Original post made by frank on Jan 15, 2008

Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch granted Jennifer Lin, et al an injunction this afternoon stopping City Council from taking any action regarding the Oak Grove referendum. This order came despite the claims yesterday by Ayala's attorney that the judge would not do so.

In granting the injunction the judge agreed with the claim that plaintiff (Lin et all) would be harmed by City Council action while the city and Ayala et al would not suffer harm by waiting for the February 22 hearing. If that hearing is favorable to the defendents, then they can still proceed to put the referendum petition on the ballot.

Furthermore, in granting the injunction the judge agrees that plaintiffs have a reasonable chance at prevailing.

Comments (42)

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm

CORRECTION

The judge today was Kenneth Burr, Department 30. Frank Roesch is scheduled to hear the original lawsuit.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Gotta love courtroom drama. The legal posturing going on involving this case is highly entertaining.

"Katz is confident the request for a temporary restraining order will not be granted by the court." From: Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm

The Alameda Superior Court's website is pretty good. You can go to this link: Web Link for a service they call DomainWeb and get what seems like realtime up-to-date information regarding these cases. The case number for the Lin lawsuit is RG07361370.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Awesome. I'm watching the City Council meeting and I'm amazed at how many speakers are speaking against the injunction and the lawsuit in general by making emotional claims on how our democracy is in danger due to it. How selective! What about the Lins' rights under our democratic system? How can all of you expect our democracy to be protected if you don't extend the same rights you expect to others?


Posted by Someone who likes the right to vote, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm

The Lins right to sue private individuals and the City of Pleasanton seems to be a tactic to delay, bully and stall the inevitable: A Referendum placed on the ballot to let the Pleasanton voters decide about the Oak Grove Development, which has the necessary signatures as certified by the county and support of a significant number of informed Pleasanton residents. It seems to me the suits are a desperate measure given the popularity of this Referendum and may actually create more empathy and support for the people who are being sued and whose first amendment rights are being suppressed.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Yeah. We must protect the Lin's rights to destroy animal habitat, exascerbate traffic congestion, and suppress free speech in Pleasanton.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Yes, Rick. Back on Dec. 22 you wrote:

" the council will find itself in a precarious position. They will be siding with foreign developer that used its money and influence to effectively squash the democratic process."

This may be the case, as long as the promulgators of the democratic process have not mis-led the public nor should any of them have lied. This is what the lawsuit is about.

The next day on Dec. 23 I wrote, quoting from legal sources:

"....sufficiency of petition...."

"When deficiencies in the exercise of the people's franchise threaten the proper operation of the election process, the courts have been willing to enforce statutory safeguards enacted to protect that process."


"For example, the Elections Code sets forth requirements....and requirements relating to the attachment of the text of the measure to be enacted or repealed."


"The test for determining whether a failure to comply....was set forth by the court in Assembly v. Deukmejian, .....: 'A paramount concern in determining whether a petition is valid despite an alleged defect is whether the purpose of the technical requirement is frustrated by the defective form of the petition'."

So, the other side of the democratic process that everyone wraps around themselves is the rule of fair play and honesty. Therein lies the reason for the Election Code. The practice of direct democracy requires also the practice of rules and practices that insure against abuse by factions.

You can read for yourself the arguments being presented by both plaintiff and defendant (Ayala) by accessing the web resource cited above.

It is now more than three weeks since we wrote our posts and so far the recent legal manuvering by Ayala and her attorneys have not circumvented nor rendered moot the hearing scheduled for February 22 regarding the Lin's original complaint.

I simply look forward to this hearing to see if the petition is good to go or not. Besides democracy there is a thing called justice.


Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Please let's make sure that we use facts. At least one of the Lins is a US citizen not a foreigner and entitled to due process. Also, check the certification by Alameda County. Based on the established statistical sampling, 4200 signatures were certified and not 5200. The signature gatherers collected 5200 but 4200 are being certified valid; meaning that they are Pleasanton residents, registered voter and only signed once. So I would hope that Kay would now refer to having 4200 valid signatures and not 5200. Again, lets stick to the facts.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

Quote from Brozosky at the council meeting from today's Independent exemplifying selective democracy:
"Their lawsuit is a direct challenge to democracy."

Seems to me like breaking election code law is also a direct challenge to democracy. Was election code law broken? Well that is up to the judge to determine. I wonder how Brozosky would feel if he needed to sue in court to protect his rights and someone else called his lawsuit a challenge to democracy.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I would like to expand on a point in the remark by curious. In our great democracy we call America, it so happens that due process as a right is extended to everyone, citizens and non-citizens alike (unless you are a Guantanamo internee, thank's to George and Dick).

I point this out because it is an important point - democracy and the rights derived therefrom apply to citizen and non-citizen alike.


Posted by more curious, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jan 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Aliens outside the U.S. have no rights, and can be refused entrance to the U.S. on any grounds, including religious affiliation. Aliens inside the U.S. do have due process rights - right to notice and hearing prior to deportation. This is why this government relies so heavily on Guantanamo - good reason to shut it down.

The point, here, is that in our system of democracy, we have a judicial system in place wherein all parties to an action can seek legal remedies.

And I thought I knew who frank was! (I still love you!)


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 17, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Perhaps you are schooled in this subject, I am not. But common sense tells me that foreign citizens and entities who do not have a physical presence in the U. S. but have ownership interests in assets (real assets, corporate ownership, etc) that lie within the U. S. are granted due process rights, and in general, our law applies to them and protects their various interests in those assets. I'm not talking legal alien versus illegal alien stuff here.

So, I would conclude that even if none of the plaintiffs in the Lin lawsuit were citizens, the right to legal redress applies to them. Perhaps someone with a legal background can expand on this point.

My objective here is simply a teaching point for readers following the Oak Grove affair. That a property owner may be a non-resident foreigner seems to keep creeping into the discussion in a prejudicial way.


Posted by Susan, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 17, 2008 at 9:17 pm

If "everyone wants to vote on it", then why did all of the speakers at this week's council meeting ask the council to rescind their approval of the development instead of putting it on the ballot? For those of you who think the court issue is causing a delay, it is not. The deadline for qualifying for the June ballot is March 7. The Court hearing is set for February 22, giving plenty of time to put it on the ballot if the Court thinks there are no legal issues to stop it.

I guess we are missing the point here...yes, everyone has free speech rights, but that right is not without limits. Spreading misinformation while collecting signatures to overturn a council decision (also a democratic process) is not allowed. The Lin family (one of whom is a US citizen) has property rights and the ability to protect those in a court of law (also a democratic process/constitutional guarantee).

I am outraged by all of the racial comments in regards to the property owners. What does the race/origin/religion of anyone have to do with this issue? And by the way, the Lin family has owned this property longer than most of us have been in Pleasanton.


Posted by Shelley, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 18, 2008 at 12:39 am

Citizen or not, property owners pay taxes. The Lins are property owners in the U.S. and must pay U.S. taxes, which in the end benefit the residents of the U.S. (ideally). If you own property or a business or you have income that is earned in the U.S., even if you live outside the U.S., citizen or not, you have to pay U.S. taxes. So this issue about being the Lin's being foreigners and not having any interest here is completely superfluous to the real issue.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

Susan,

That is highly perceptive! If this were really about people's right to vote then why do the referendum opponents want City Council to rescind? Are the proponents afraid their referendum is going to fail under a vote? I think you hit the nail on the head, that the whole argument regarding "right to vote" is a ploy designed to incite people's emotions and skew them towards voting for the referendum. It was one of the tactics they used in getting signatures and I see now it continues to be a tactic they push to gain sympathy over this lawsuit issue.


Posted by Pete, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:42 am

Stacey,

People are not afraid that their referendum may fail. It involves persons, you included, that have questions, answers and information,that provide doubt, about this project. Voting on the Oak Grove project, places a better understanding, within residents minds, exactly, where Pleasanton is headed. I don't lean one way or the other. I want to vote. It is important to see, how the core of residents are thinking. You manage well, compliment, to take over a forum. Keep up the good work! Perhaps your leadership, within these forums, will inspire people.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jan 18, 2008 at 10:42 am

I have read the lawsuit by the Lin family and it looks like pure rubbish. It shows you that anybody can file a lawsuit for any reason, no matter how wrong it might be (these laywers are guns for hire and will do anything for a buck).

I hope the Lin family lawyers delay this long enough so the referendum goes on the November ballot so those running for re-election can explain to the public during the campaign of why they support the harassment of these developers. This referendum certainly has more pages of supporting material than the Ponderosa referendum or the previous Lin family referendum.

It is also obvious from this lawsuit that the Lin family is convinced that if this development goes to a vote of the people that it will be turned down. So their only chance to get this approved is with the courts as the people of Pleasanton do not want it.

I have always wondered why our elected officials were out there with signs saying "do not sign petition". So the elected officials must feel that if this goes to a vote of the people, it will be turned down. There must also be some committments of money for their campaigns by the developer for passing this development. James Tong, the developer for the project, has already been severely fined for not disclosing previous campaign contribution, even for contributions made in Pleasanton. To get around his bad name, he recently started a new Political Action Committee (PAC) with some friends called the Green Caucus so he can hide his identity and make it look like it is a "green" organization giving money. You can look up this PAC on the Secretary of State website. The only green there is the color of money. I wonder why the Weekly does not cover this part of it?


Posted by iwastheretoo, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

The reason that the Weekly does not cover these angles is that it is too much like hard news. The editorial staff are so clearly partisan that this newspaper is laughable. Notice, for example, that the lead story on the web is all about the hawk. If our mayor is to run for greater office, she will need the Tong money. In any event, there is little objectivity on the part of the weekly nor has there ever been.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I also read the lawsuit as well as many of the other documents that have been filed and it appears to me that Lin will likely prevail. The arguments in the Ayala's anti-SLAPP lawsuit I found unpersuasive. The counter-lawsuit tactic so far has not worked and has perhaps backfired. The council is now enjoined from certifying the petition. Recall that Ayala's lawyer initially proclaimed how filing anti-SLAPP would prevent the Lin's February 22 hearing from occurring and it would be heard after the March 11 hearing. So far that has not happened. If that were to still happen, with the injunction in place the March 4 date would be missed for getting on the June ballot with a certified petition. I don't think this was the intent. After February 22 and March 11 all of our predictions in these posts will be history, however. Let's hear what he judge says.

These postings in this thread as in others about this subject are again turning toward demonizing Oak Grove proponents and developers and again accusing the mayor of consorting with the developers. Even the PW is now being accused. This unsupported bad-mouthing is proving to be a characteristic primarily of Oak Grove opponents.

With the lawsuits in play, it appears that most people are being quiet and letting everything play out. However, at some point those who actually want the park and the development to go forward will get their voice and be heard. If the Feb. 22 hearing results in the petition being good to go forward to a vote, there will be lots more discussion about the development and hopefully much less demonizing.


Posted by Evelyn, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jan 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm

"One of the tactics used to get signatures"???? A woman in Pleasanton approached me about signing a petition aimed at preventing the building of houses on Pleasanton hills. I don't care where the houses were going to be built, or how many. I am against any, even one, new house(s) being built in Pleasanton. We have horrible traffic now, and a severely overcrowded high school. I wasn't ployed with 'tactics', and I'm sure many people feel the way I do.
By the way, I would appreciate it if The Pleasanton Weekly would stop using the phrase, "As Pleasanton approaches build-out..," Pleasanton will never approach build-out. As long as someone can make a buck, and they always can, they will find a way and a place to build in Pleasanton.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Evelyn,

That may be a fine reason for you to sign the petition, but one of the problems presented in the lawsuit is the fact that two ordinances in effect are being referended. So the petition you signed wasn't _only_ about "preventing the building of houses on Pleasanton hills" and it sounds like you were mislead to believe it was.

BTW, even if the referendum goes through and is successful, that isn't a guarantee that no houses will be built. Don't get fooled.


Posted by Evelyn, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Stacey, What else was it about?
I wasn't led to believe there was a guarantee that no houses would ever be built there, and I'm not surprised that that may happen. Just like 'water will always find a way', so will developers.
So, what else was the petition about? Thanks.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:17 pm

I posted this link in another related thread. For those who actually want to know what the Lin lawsuit is about and not rely upon posters who declare it to be "rubbish" to do your thinking for you, go to:

Web Link

and read it for yourself. This brief was filed yesterday.


Posted by Bill G, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

This is not about homes, because the Council hasn't even entertained a proposal for one house/home in this proposal that all of you are debating. This is about a compromise, reached over almost 4 years, after this same proposal was successfully referended some 14 years ago. This is about compromise. The "no development" scenario is not a reality, but what is a reality is real compromise.

The City Council did not approve ANY homes - not even one. The City Council approved a development agreement which allows for future proposals of up to 51 units (homes) to be determined as to size and scale, which will go through the public process, just like that cartoon guy is going through, at the ened of Crellin road. It's really a shame that those against showcased pictures of ugly behemoths, 3 stories, and over 12,500 square feet, and "VISIBLE" to the entire valley, to get those signatures. If I didn'tknow better, I would have signed their petition, too. So much for transparency.

Matt Sullivan and Jennifer Hosterman helped negotiate a real compromise resulting in almost 500 acres of pristine oak woodland with a conservation easement in perpetuity for the people of Pleasanton, forever. I think they've done a good job representing the best interests of all of us. I'll take that 500 acres, any day. And, I trust that the Planning Commission and the Council will adhere to design constraints that we all can live with. Actually, I think they've been doing a pretty good job.

If you want to know what City Councilmembers are really doing, look at the website. It's pretty interesting, and pretty telling.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:47 pm

For those of you who choose not to wade through the Lin's brief filed in the Oak Grove lawsuit, a link to which is provided above, perhaps it is useful to quote a segment from it that describes our mayor's comments at the November 6 council meeting that proved to be prescient.

"Before voting, however, the Mayor, alluding to Petitioner's objection and the sentiments of other councilmembers, stated as follows:

'I would simply urge signature gatherers to provide all of the information to everyone that you present your petition to for signature. And let the people know that, you know, you are not giving them half of the story but you're giving them the whole story. So I would urge you to include both documents whenever you travel throughout the city in gathering signatures. Just be honest and upfront about it and give people a true opportunity to make a decision based on all of the information.'

(9:1910(emphasis added).) Rather than adhere to the Mayor's request for fairness and full disclosure, Real Parties did exactly the opposite."

Far be it that I'm the mayor's cheerleader, but fair is fair and a stop to painting black hats on her is in order.


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm

So, to determine if I wish to sign/not sign their petition I should read through how many inches/pounds of material??? I wasn't there but did the "Don't sign" people that were supposedly standing near those gathering signatures at the Farmers Market have copies of the petition or the development plan for all to see. Does anyone believe all this would have been necessary if the developer had agreed to build below the ridge line on slopes less than 25 degrees.

One other question - Who worked on the "compromise". Would be interesting to know how many involved would personally benefit financially from this project.... Maybe none - just wondering....

Opps...One more question - Exactly how much of the land to be deeded is actually usable as a viable park. From the "Don't sigh the petition" mailers that was sent to my home, as beautiful as the land is, I only saw two pictures that showed land that, IMHO, would support trails or other family friendly activities, the remainder was steep inclines with deep ravines.

If the city hadn't agreed to accept this deeded land, wonder who would be required to continue paying the taxes on the portion of the property that isn't suited for development. Hmmm, who could be the smart one here......


Posted by Rick, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 19, 2008 at 9:37 pm


The Lin's case is preposterous. Are we to believe that those that signed the petition were misled or did not understand what they were signing? Nonsense. This question posed was very simple: Are you for or against building 58 large homes in the hills above Kottinger Ranch. A question so simple that a child could understand it.

But since the petitioners did not carry around a 10 pound document of the plan for people to read before they signed the petition, we are supposed to bow to the Lin family and allow them to impose their will on this great city! Nuts!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 19, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Jerry,

I agree with you that the photos don't give the full picture. That is why I created a Google Earth file of the site. It will give you a better idea of where the houses are planned to be in relation with the park and trails. Google Earth is a free application available from Google at earth.google.com. You can read more about it and download the file at this older thread: Web Link

The main argument against the Oak Grove project has been the size of the houses I believe. The proposed ridgeline ordinance restrictions would probably not have been incorporated into the development plan since they are an "after-the-fact" proposal. Not all the housing sites are situated on top of the ridge (note that it is the lower ridge of the property being discussed for housing sites).

Regarding taxes, the Lins have owned that property for so long they probably don't pay as much tax on it as you'd think. Instead, if the home sites were developed and sold at their luxury prices, that would end up being a proportionally large amount of property tax from such a small (51 unit) development to the benefit of Pleasanton.


Posted by Confused, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 20, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Someone made a comment earlier along the lines of "no development is not an option for the Oak Grove property". That brought to mind a series of questions that are relavent to my experience of over 20 years as a Pleasanton resident:

Why do people purchase homes at the end of an airport runway, sign documentation from the developer acknowledging they are in the flight path of an existing airport and read that future development of that said airport is virtually guaranteed at some point,and yet when expansion of the airport is proposed want to forget the disclosure?

Why do people buy homes on hilltops in our city then participate loudly in stopping others from doing the same?

Why do residents move to a street with a high school in thier backyard and then complain about the school?

Why do people move into nieghborhood near Stoneridge Rd. or Las Positas road knowing that it is in the cities general plan to have those roads to include future development such as freeway interchanges or extensions only to say when development is becoming a reality "not in my backyard"?

We have fortunately or unfortunately hillside/hilltop development on all sides and in the middle of Pleasanton. To be so passionite that Oak Grove is somehow going to "ruin our ridgelines" is obsurd IMHO.

All or most of what we all love about living in Pleasanton came as a result of our town being a "city of planned progress", not "city of no progress".

It is easy to be passionate about the NO side of any argument and put out rediculous pictures and perceptions without challenge of what Oak Grove "might" look like. I trust that our elected officials (those that we voted into office), have a broader sense of vision and should be truted to do the jobs they were elected to do, rather than face half truths by those unwilling to become expert on what is at stake. The reality is that Oak Grove at 51 homes isn't going to impact traffic in the least in this city, and the hiking trails at Oak Grove will provide a lasting legacy for generations to come.

If I were the Lin's I might start looking at a descrimination lawsuit.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 20, 2008 at 6:36 pm

With all of the demonizing going on regarding any council member who voted for the Oak Grove ordinances, I offer the following information to the readers of this blog, which I formatted as a FAQs. It is intended to simply be a way of summarizing the information that is found in the Lin's recently filed brief, which is the heart of their lawsuit. Rather than have readers worry about the improbability of teacher-mom-long time resident Cheryl Cook-Kalio being "bought" by the Chamber of Commerces campaign contribution, some of which was funded by James Tong (what fraction?), I felt it would be more productive to focus on the issues. The answers to the questions are elements taken from the brief.

WHAT IS THE LIN'S COMPLAINT?

"Real Parties in Interest and Defendants Kay Ayala et al. (collectively, "Real Parties") have violated fundamental principles of California Election Law by circulating a referendum petition that does not contain the full text of the ordinance sought to be set aside...Real Parties omitted from the referendum petition the development plan, the very approval they are asking voters to set aside...

Real Parties compounded their violations by attempting to use a single referendum to rescind two separate ordinances, the second of which was not even mentioned to the voters as a target of the referendum...

Real Parties also knowingly disseminated false and misleading information about the purport and effect of the referendum."

IF FOUND TRUE, WHAT ARE THE LIN'S ASKING FOR?

"Petitioners seek a writ of mandate to prevent the invalid referendum petition from being certified or presented to the City Council or the voters."

IN REVIEWING THIS COMPLAINT, WHAT STANDARD IS THE JUDGE TO APPLY?

"First, as to compliance with the California Elections Code 9238....

The second standard of review applies to the false statements and misrepresentations disseminated and published by Real Parties."

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE FOR THESE STANDARDS?

"THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY FRAMEWORK IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE REFERENDUM PROCESS...

These requirements serve to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process, and to provide elections officials with orderly and clear procedures for determining whether a measure is qualified for the local ballot..."

SO, THE ELECTION CODE DEFINES STANDARDS WHICH ARE TO BE FOLLOWED SO THAT I, THE VOTER, AM PROVIDED ACCURATE AND COMPLETE INFORMATION AT THE TIME I AM ASKED TO SIGN A PETITION?

The provisions of the Elections Code at issue are intended to protect the integrity of the referendum process by ensuring that voters are provided the necessary and accurate information required to make an informed decision whether to sign the Referendum Petition. (See, e.g., Assembly v. Deukmejian, 30 Cal.3d 638,652-53 (1982) (stating that the Elections Code requires certain information to be provided to voters asked to sign the petition); Clark v. Jordan, 7 Cal.2d 248, 252 (1936), superseded by statute, (holding that prospective signers of a petition must be protected from misleading statements). "

WHAT ARE THESE CLAIMED FALSE STATEMENTS?

"(i) that "nearly a thousand trees could be removed" to accommodate the project; (ii) that the project's proposed homes "can be 3 stories tall for a height of 44-feet," (iii) that a "majority" of the project homes will be "visible throughout the community," and (iv) that Petitioners' were the sponsors of 2,450 unit development known as "Livermore Trails" that was rejected in 2005. (Holmes Dec., Ex. A; Phalen Dec., Ex. A.)."

WHAT DO THE LIN'S SAY IS TRUE?

"City report" this allegation alludes to, the Development Plan's Landscape Guidelines and EIR both clearly state that the approved Oak Grove project would result in removal of 58 of the approximately 12,000 trees currently located on the Project Site...

The Conditions of Approval expressly prohibit the construction of any homes on the Project Site that are in excess of 30 feet high. ( 1: 137. ) Indeed, in visually sensitive areas, homes are limited to 25 feet...

The administrative record demonstrates that only 16 of the 51 homes contemplated by the Development Plan would be visible from off-site locations...

The FAQs' allegation that Petitioners' "proposed a 2,450 housing unit development in North Livermore" called "Livermore Trails" is also objectively false. Petitioners' had no involvement with the Livermore Trails project and did not own or control the subject property. A simple internet search at www.google.com using the search terms "Livermore Trails" reveals that Pardee Homes, an entity completely unaffiliated with Petitioners, was the sponsor of such project."

SO, IN THESE BLOGS THE INTEGRITY OF THE MAYOR AND OTHERS IS QUESTIONED. IF THE LIN'S ARE FOUND JUSTIFIED IN THEIR COMPLAINT BY THE JUDGE, WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF THE REFERENDUM PEOPLE?

You decide.





Posted by Shelley, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 21, 2008 at 1:07 am

"So, to determine if I wish to sign/not sign their petition I should read through how many inches/pounds of material???"
Sadly, this is an example of the attitude Americans have towards our political process. There is a reason why we have a representative government and this question by Jerry exemplifies it.
Why would someone so quickly sign anything without fully knowing what the signature is for? Fishing scams work the same way, preying on the weak-minded. Bottom line is California Election Code was not followed properly. It was put in place to protect those who do sign petitions without fully knowing what they are signing, or those who cave into the emotional appeal of the particular sound bytes deployed by the signature-gatherers.
I only hope that the 2008 presidential election won't be subject to the same poor decision-making process.


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 21, 2008 at 3:18 am

Wow Shelley!!!

I didn't realize there were so many "weak-minded" residents in Pleasanton.

Are you saying that one can't use other resources to assist in making an informed decisions.

Now be truthful - did you fully read the entire development plan that was presented to the city council, attend the council meeting and listen to what was discussed or perhaps obtain your understanding from the "Don't sign" coalition.

Do you attend all the presidential, congressional or local political debates, review all position papers or other related material before you form a decision or is it possible you might use other resources - such as the print and electronic media, voter information guides, discussions with others that are involved with both sides of issues or, at times, just plain common sense to aid in decision making.

If none of the above, what method do you use to be fully informed??

Are you absolutely certain the California Election Code was not properly followed. Are you an expert on the California Election Code or are you relying on information provided by others. If the latter, would that be considered "weak-minded". Maybe we should wait for a judge's determination.

By the way, I didn't sign the petition - didn't happen to be where the signature-gathers were located. From the tone of your post, I would venture to say you didn't either.

Also, thanks for the civics lesson..........


Posted by Shelley, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 21, 2008 at 10:52 am

Shelley wrote: "Fishing scams work the same way, preying on the weak-minded."
Jerry wrote: "I didn't realize there were so many "weak-minded" residents in Pleasanton."
Jerry's reading comprehension of my post is incorrect.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm

These last exchanges are another example of a substantive point I made previously in one of these threads - it seems there are certain words which are hot buttons for certain people who then emotionally react by attributing to the originator of the words things that were not said nor implied.

It seems to be a standard response, take the hot button words, re-cast them as something someone said, then hammer them for saying or implying the re-cast. What's good about forums such as this, what is stated originally remains in written form and available for people to review.


Posted by Confused, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm

More accurately, this issue is not about saving our hills, or saving our park.... It is about political agenda's on both sides.

Pleasanton, Ca "City of clip board politics"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm

"City of clip board politics"

Good description! I like it!


Posted by Confused, too, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 21, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Confused, you've got it right--political agendas with one side still having difficulty accepting losing the mayorial race. "City of clip board politics" too funny!!!!!


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 22, 2008 at 1:15 am

Shelley,

Reading the third paragraph of your post where you wrote, "Bottom line is California Election Code was not followed properly" is what lead me to believe you were referencing your post to those that signed the petition and the signature-gathers.

If my interpertation of your post was in-correct, I humbly apologize.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 2, 2008 at 7:34 am

I signed the Oak Grove petition. The signature gather said I would get a chance to vote on the Oak Grove development at the next municipal election. Where is the "mis-truth" in that!? I have been to BOTH websites and I don't want it. Am I informed? YES!!!

Have you seen the Dublin Hills being destroyed through grading and hundreds if not thousands of new homes? Have you seen the mess of mixed bag (one unmatched huge house next to the other) at the base of Fremont's Mission Peak, have you seen Windermere at the end of Bollinger Canyon in San Ramon???? City councils like the one we have now, are so guillible that sweet talking developers and their attorneys can sway their votes. Or perhaps they are just to weak to stand up to the developers. Or is it campaign donations in the works?

Bill G, a person is being misled by statements of, "The City Council did not approve ANY homes - not even one. The City Council approved a development agreement which allows for future proposals of up to 51 units (homes)" What a bunch of rhetoric. Once the development has been approved by the council and not referended, it is just a matter of time before houses are built. If I didn't know better, I might think that you are a person trying to play word games to mislead.

It also means that the council supports their construction or they would have put more limits on the size and locations. I am going to vote "NO" to Oak Grove, when this is out of the courts.

Lastly with regards to the 4 years the council has been working on this -- Isn't that how long Mayor Hosterman has been in office? Did the Lins see an easy target? I guess so.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 2, 2008 at 7:34 am

I signed the Oak Grove petition. The signature gather said I would get a chance to vote on the Oak Grove development at the next municipal election. Where is the "mis-truth" in that!? I have been to BOTH websites and I don't want it. Am I informed? YES!!!

Have you seen the Dublin Hills being destroyed through grading and hundreds if not thousands of new homes? Have you seen the mess of mixed bag (one unmatched huge house next to the other) at the base of Fremont's Mission Peak, have you seen Windermere at the end of Bollinger Canyon in San Ramon???? City councils like the one we have now, are so guillible that sweet talking developers and their attorneys can sway their votes. Or perhaps they are just to weak to stand up to the developers. Or is it campaign donations in the works?

Bill G, a person is being misled by statements of, "The City Council did not approve ANY homes - not even one. The City Council approved a development agreement which allows for future proposals of up to 51 units (homes)" What a bunch of rhetoric. Once the development has been approved by the council and not referended, it is just a matter of time before houses are built. If I didn't know better, I might think that you are a person trying to play word games to mislead.

It also means that the council supports their construction or they would have put more limits on the size and locations. I am going to vote "NO" to Oak Grove, when this is out of the courts.

Lastly with regards to the 4 years the council has been working on this -- Isn't that how long Mayor Hosterman has been in office? Did the Lins see an easy target? I guess so.


Posted by RE Lin Project, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm

James Tong, who is affiliated with the Lin project, was invited to, and attended the Mayor's dinner two years ago. I think his contribution to Pleasanton was as a financial contributor to Mayor Hosterman's election campaign.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm

This recent post typifies the inaccurate information that has been put into people's minds by the propaganda put out from the beginning. The poster claims to being informed. If the poster had actually read the Development Plan, she would then know that the Oak Grove development is an extremely far cry from the three examples she cites, those examples residing in Dublin, San Ramon, and Fremont. For example, the number of homes in Windemere and in the east Dublin hills vastly exceeds 51 homes. Are these examples not highly misrepresentative of the actual development specified in the plan?

Specifically, that is what the lawsuit is all about, a referendum without knowing what is being referended. The referendum petitioners did not make a copy of the Development Plan (the PUD) available to signers at the time they were asked to sign, so if a signer wanted to know what was in the plan that would be subject to referendum, they would not know. This violates the election code. The election code was written "to guarantee the integrity of the process" (quote from 17 Cal. App. 4th, 739).

Bill G is accurate in his post and knows that the council approved the Development Plan. If and when the future 51 homes are built, each will individually be put up for approval if they comply and are consistent with the Development Plan. Build out of the 51 homes may take place over a long period of time. This is exactly how zoning law regarding planned unit developments in California works. What is misleading about that?

Of course, anyone is in their rights to sign this referendum petition without knowing what the Development Plan contains and may join against this development for any reason whatsoever, however these rights don't trump the rights of others who may sit on the other side and that's why we have laws and courts that interpret them.


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