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Planning Commission votes 5-0 to OK Walmart's bid for a Neighborhood Market on Santa Rita Road

Original post made on Mar 20, 2012

The Pleasanton Planning Commission voted 5-0 Monday night to approve for a second time the bid by Walmart to open one of its Neighborhood Markets in the vacant former Nob Hill supermarket on Santa Rita Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 8:01 AM

Comments (63)

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Posted by Sal
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

Good news about Walmart. Now Tea Party members can buy produce imported from China and watch 85 year old Walmart "associates" stocking shelves. I bet most conservatives in this area would support a slave plantation on Santa Rita as long as it brought in tax revenue.


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Posted by Ptown Dad
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

Glad to hear the planning commission made a wise decision and didn't cave to outside interests from the union protesters.

Did the unions actually bus people to the meeting as widely speculated last week?


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

An old sales adage to consider: When you've won the deal, stop talking.


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Posted by Billhilly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

@ Sal - at least a plantation would provide full employment for the African American community, unlike the economic policies of the current president.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

Great news--sanity prevails---Gollum and Sal lose. It's all good.
Unions, once again, have displayed their irrelevance in today's business environment.
Now they can go back to the union hall, replay the old episode of South Park that vilifies Wal Mart as an evil empire and pine for the days when they mattered.


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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:00 am


FTA...
"An appeal of last night's decision is expected from City Councilman Sullivan, which could trigger another public meeting before the council, probably in late April."

Councilman Sullivan, if this issue is so darn important to you that you continue to waste the resources of the city, which are few, then I suggest you pay for the damn appeal yourself!. As a Pleasanton residence I am getting sick and tired of all this hyper paranoia revolving around Walmart. Get a grip Mr. Sullivan, you are not our savior. In fact, I think this city would be a whole lot better if you would just go away. Good gosh, this insanity about Walmart will never go away as long as there are fools and union supporting commie-liberal-union-pinko's that think they are doing us a service by bashing Walmart. It is so ridiculous. I say let the shopping begin Mr. Sullivan.


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Posted by Joseph Sesto
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

Bravo Tennessee Jed...........I couldn't have said it better myself.
Mr Sullivan just needs to go away, or at least stop talking altogether!


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Posted by ofthfl
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

As a neighbor of this market, I say "double" Bravo to you Tennessee Jed. You nailed it!


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Posted by Ellen
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

I say Tennessee Jed for Mayor!!!


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

I am glad to see that we seem to be winning the battle against the vilification of Walmart. If the country was run as well as Walmart we will be in a much better position. The Unions have been attempting to break laws for a long time and their leader O,Bama broke all bankruptcy laws in the GM bankruptcy. In the book "Civilization- West and the rest" Niall Ferguson points out that one of the main reasons for the supremacy of the West was respect for contracts and property rights. The Bolsheviks broke everything and we seem to be on our way. The pendulum is swinging back to the East. We don't want to accelerate the swing.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I occasionally shop at WalMart, but I'm not a great big fan of seeing more Walmart stores in Pleasanton. I was hoping another store would step into the old Nob Hill building. Still, old Nob Hill has been vacant for over a year now, so I guess a Walmart Neighborhood Market would be better than nothing.


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Posted by Tyler
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Sal throwns tantrums and flings poo.
ignore the child.


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Posted by Barry
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

It is unacceptable for the appellent(s) not to have cited a specific reason for filing the appeal (other than she doesnt like Walmart)and then not show up for the hearing. What a waste of time and tax payer money to have City staff resources wasted and have residents spend time away from their family and attend a meeting.

Walmart did not slip under the radar as Councilman Sullivan has been bantering about town. I cant figure out if he's paranoid or if he just dis-likes everything. I think he should be RECALLED. He has cost our town enough unhappiness and divisiveness.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I see that David Miller, the Tea-Partier, spoke at the meeting?:

"We're here tonight because America is the greatest country in the world. This property has been zoned for a grocery store and this would be a replacement, It's the rule of law" – David Miller.

Gotta love the non-sequiturs that come out of his mouth.


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Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm

The article is incorrect. Anyone can appeal the item to the city council. A city council member or any member of the public can appeal it or the original appellants. The city council hears appeals all the time, but they are not required to be the appellant.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam,


It sounds like he sympathizes with property owners. Maybe that means he talks on his cellphone while driving because, you know, a cellphone and a car are a person's property and they should be able to do whatever they want.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Perhaps Mr. Miller should have spoken better so that everyone would know what he's talking about and not think that he talks on his cellphone while driving.


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Posted by !
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Consistent with his socialist/marxist ideals, Obama will likely nationalize all Wal-Marts if he is re-elected. Then he will make sure that the essentials...like food...will not be available.


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Posted by Interested Observer
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Good news!


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Posted by OMG
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Yes, zoned for a "grocery store" not zoned for another "crappy grocery store" - looks like I will still be trekking it to San Ramon Whole Foods for quality produce


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Stacey said: "Sam, It sounds like he sympathizes with property owners. Maybe that means he talks on his cellphone while driving because, you know, a cellphone and a car are a person's property and they should be able to do whatever they want...Perhaps Mr. Miller should have spoken better so that everyone would know what he's talking about and not think that he talks on his cellphone while driving."

LOL! Good one, Stacey!


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

There is no decision here. The Walmart store met the conditions of the PUD. It is zoned for a grocery store. The council would be breaking city law if they voted otherwise. If Mr. Sullivan appeals this, he is wasting the time of the council. Worse yet, he has misrepresented the situation to the people of Pleasanton. The Council has already heard the matter and voted.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

fact checker said: "There is no decision here. The Walmart store met the conditions of the PUD. It is zoned for a grocery store. The council would be breaking city law if they voted otherwise."

I don't have any big objections to a Walmart Market store, but I don't think what you've said is true. Precisely what law would the city council be breaking? As I understand it, zoning laws set minimum standards on what kind of business or establishment is allowed in an area. Just because a business meets the minimum standards established by the zoning laws doesn't mean that they have a lawful right to move into a property if the city is against it.


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Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm

The city determined 28 years ago grocery stores were a 'permitted use' of the shopping center. 'Permitted' means allowed by right. It is like 'bicycle shops' and 'jewelry stores' are both a 'permitted use' of the central commercial zoning district meaning they are allowed by right. Also 'household pets' are a permitted use in a residential zoning district.

You can't deny someone the right to have a permitted use when the zoning has already been granted for that use just because you don't like the tenant.

Also, if it had been a 'conditional use permit' (which it wasn't), they run with the land not the applicant. So if hypothetically the Nob Hill had had a conditional use permit to allow a grocery store use there, that would be transferred to any new tenant because the conditional use permit runs with the land, not the occupant.


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Posted by 4x T's
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Yeah! You know I was worried about my 4x Tee's. Secretly I knew that Safeway wouldn't provide me and my wife products that are built for young and old alike.


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Posted by Big Deal
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

God, who really cares if Walmart builds a store at the Knob Hill site? Either patronize it or don't. Free markests and all that. What a waste of city resources, we have $4.50 gal gas, 9% state taxes which Brown wants even higher, unfunded obligations to state employees that will drive CA off a cliff. And you all care so much about a Walmart store in Pleasanton??? I just don't get it.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

Correction said: "You can't deny someone the right to have a permitted use when the zoning has already been granted for that use just because you don't like the tenant."

I don't think that that's how zoning laws work. Again, according to my understanding, the purpose of zoning laws is to set minimum requirements on what kind of businesses or activities are allowed in an area. If Walmart were already in possession of the old Nob Hill site, then perhaps they would have the right to open a market because zoning permits it as a "permitted use". But I've never heard of zoning laws giving a person or business a right to move into an area simply because their activity or business is consistent with the zoning laws. That's like saying that I have a right to move into a residential area in which "household pets" are a "permitted use" but only if I own a cat and not if I don't.


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Posted by Gifford
a resident of Gatewood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

I'm just happy the Pleasanton citizens rewarded Walmart for its excellent world-wide practices. Free markets and all that. My family has been trying to sponsor Idi Amin and his family by bringing them to Pleasanton and rewarding Amin for his excellent political practices. No one would mind if Amin was to live next door do you think?


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Posted by gollum
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

gifford, you really need to figure out how to solve all the ills in the world instead of just tilting at windmills and complaining. Go fix it and shut up. Or vice versa.
By the way, dufus, he died in 2003. If your idea of improving Pleasanton to fit your image includes supporting dead dictators in your neighborhood, you are one sick dog.


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

Sam, you are wrong here. A permitted use is a permitted use. If the law says you can do something at a location, it does not matter who owns that location, the use is allowed. On your comment, a permitted use does not mean you have to have that use, it means you CAN have that use. This is a "permitted" use, not a "required" use. Using your example, if you move into a house and the neighbors do not like your gray cat, or your blue car, you are saying the neighbors can prevent you from living there. If zoning says a use is permitted, you can do that without permission, or the possibility of denial, from the city.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

local said: "Sam, you are wrong here. A permitted use is a permitted use. If the law says you can do something at a location, it does not matter who owns that location, the use is allowed."

If the tenant (say Walmart) is ALREADY in possession of the site, then I agree that the fact that a grocery market is a "permitted use" of that site means that Walmart should be able to open a neighborhood market there. But you and others here seem to be claiming something much more than that. You seem to be claiming that the fact that the prospective tenant has a business consistent with the zoning laws of a site gives that tenant the right to move into that site. I haven't seen any evidence that that's true at all. Zoning laws are drawn up by the city for the benefit of a city to be used against businesses or persons who don't wish to comply with certain zoning standards. Zoning laws are not drawn up by a city to be used against itself by businesses who wish to move into a zoned area. Zoning laws are just a single-edged sword, not a double-edged sword. They are designed to restrict certain businesses or practices in certain areas, not to restrict the options of the city itself. It makes no sense. Why on earth would any city or community want to draw up laws which would restrict its own options in cases like this?


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Posted by Pleasantonmom
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

I find it so funny that people call it a crappy grocery store. Have you ever seen one? No, I did'nt think so. Why don't you wait to pass judgement after the store opens. YES TO RECALL SULLIVAN!!


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

Sorry Sam but you are wrong again.

Even conditional use permits stay with the property; not the tenant. We had problems years ago with a night club on Hopyard which was giving problems. The previous tenant applied and received a conditional use permit for some activity. The new tenant was able to do the same thing without the city being able to do anything. With a conditional use permit, it can be revoked by a hearing for cause but the city would need to go through a process to revoke a conditional use. With a permitted use, nothing the city can do.

Permitted uses, and conditional uses, are with the property; not the tenant/owner. If you have doubts, you should call the City planning department and they will confirm this.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

local said: "Even conditional use permits stay with the property; not the tenant. We had problems years ago with a night club on Hopyard which was giving problems. The previous tenant applied and received a conditional use permit for some activity. The new tenant was able to do the same thing without the city being able to do anything."

Thanks for the info, but I'm still not sure that you're getting my point and question. There seem to be two separate powers or aspects to the zoning laws according to the interpretation of you and others here: (1) The right of businesses or persons ALREADY IN a zoned area to engage in the "permitted activities" of a zoned area and (2) the right of businesses or persons not currently in possession of a lot in a zoned area to MOVE INTO a zoned area if their activities are consistent with the "permitted activities" of the zoned area. Point (1) I agree with. Point (2) I'm not sure about and you and others don't seem to have specifically addressed this point. In the case of your example, was this "new tenant" able to use the zoning laws against the city's wishes to force itself onto the lot of the previous tenant? (i.e. point (2)). Or did the city only object to the new tenant after it was already established in its lot and run into difficulties because of the "permitted use" of the zoned lot? (i.e., point (1)).


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Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

Sam is incorrect. Zoning runs with the land, not the owner. If you put up your house for sale and another party moves in, they don't have to go to the city and have a permission process to 'approve' who will or will not own your house. It is zoned residential and just because it switches owners, it does not change the underlying zoning.

If a church vacates a particular property that is zoned for a church, the city cannot ban a different religious group from moving into the vacated space because the city "doesn't like" the new religious group.

When cities single out or bar particular businesses or groups because they "don't like" them, they are sued in State court for violating zoning laws and Federal Court for violations of the equal protection clause and the first amendment.

Sam, call the attorney general's office and stop posting the same thing over and over and beating a dead horse to death.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam wrote: "But I've never heard of zoning laws giving a person or business a right to move into an area simply because their activity or business is consistent with the zoning laws."

You may not have heard about it, but what you describe is actually rather common. The way to think about this is to remove the person or business from the equation because zoning applies to the land, not to any owner or tenant of the land. The governing agency permits certain activities on that piece of land, which can lead into a digression about the effect that has on increasing or decreasing land value.


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Posted by working person
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

I wonder if Walmart will sell Apple products. I don't see anyone here complaining about their business practices. I am not aware of any Walmart employees committing suicide because of their work environment. Except for toaster ovens, Walmart doesn't have products like the new IPAD that heat up to 125 degrees. The people complaining about Walmart would probably be thrilled to have an Apple store go in. Hypocrites!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"(2) the right of businesses or persons not currently in possession of a lot in a zoned area to MOVE INTO a zoned area if their activities are consistent with the "permitted activities" of the zoned area."

Possession has nothing to do with zoning laws. You can't apply zoning to people or businesses, only land.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam,

And actually your point number 2 is exactly what "by right" development is.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

Stacey said: "You may not have heard about it, but what you describe is actually rather common. The way to think about this is to remove the person or business from the equation because zoning applies to the land, not to any owner or tenant of the land."

OK, thanks Stacey. That makes it a little clearer although I'm still baffled by some of the logic of the zoning laws.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Here ya go, Sam! Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: A Guide to Local Planning . Start reading on page 21. Web Link


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

Correction said: "If a church vacates a particular property that is zoned for a church, the city cannot ban a different religious group from moving into the vacated space because the city "doesn't like" the new religious group."

Yeah, but your example really isn't really a good example illustrating how zoning laws work. You bring in a whole host of other religious and civil rights legal issues with both your church and zoned residential examples.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

Stacey said: "Here ya go, Sam! Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: A Guide to Local Planning ."

Thanks, Stacey. I'll adjourn from any further comments until I've looked at it.


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Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:17 am

The zoning laws must comply with the Constitution, i.e. this Walmart case where the city quickly rezoned land to prevent Walmart from moving in. The jury found they violated the equal protection clause 14th amendment. Corporations cannot be singled out because of their name and cannot be discriminated against, e.g.

"A federal jury has decided that the Frankenmuth City Council discriminated against the Loesel family when it restricted the size of buildings on their land and has awarded the family $3.6 million in damages.

Ronald E. and Arthur Loesel and their brother-in-law, Valerian Nowak, were seeking $3.9 million from the city, claiming the City Council violated their 14th Amendment equal protection rights in December 2005 by improperly rezoning the 37 acres they owned along M-83 in Frankenmuth Township."


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Posted by Angus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:33 am

Walmart is not "crappy", nor is it a whole foods, it lies somewhere between. It is no better nor worse than any other operation. They do not import chineese produce, like other markets, they import from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, etc. They even buy from local farmers. Their dairy products are brand names, their meats meet or exceed health and safety requirements, they employ both young and old as well as those that are challenged and have difficulty in obtaining employment. As to it's lower pricing being a reason for trudging to San Ramon to an acceptable store, please do so, but remember you are increasing your carbon footprint unless you drive your electric car, or walk. My sincere advice to all those that opposed this store, it is over, they are in. Quit your whining, and spreading of falsehoods, put your snobbery, or socialist union sentiments aside, and please sit down, and shut up. Good sense and reason have prevailed.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam,

You will also be interested in reading the section on "Managing the Risk of Land Use Litigation" starting on page 51. It talks about how government is really prevented from making arbitrary or discriminatory decisions. If there is little predictability to approval, a court could interpret decisions as arbitrary. So, for example, the starting point for denying the current Walmart Neighborhood Market application has to be whether or not the application does conforms to what is currently permitted.

That's a good website (Web Link) to learn more about the operations of local government in general and I encourage you to peruse at your pleasure.


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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

When filling the Nob Hill vacancy conversation started, I was of a mind that there was a grocery store to begin with, hence, the vacancy should be filled with a grocery store. Just common sense. What blows my mind has been the delay in getting a tenant.

I am encouraged that some of the above comments have explained that the protocols are base on common sense.

The only downside to a new tenant will mean an increase in parking lot activity, which will make access to Togos a little difficult.

Otherwise...Let the shopping begin!


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Posted by Farmboy Zed
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Look, I know Walmart exploits kids in the thousands of its subcontracted factories overseas. But who cares? I've got hogs out in the yard I've got to attend to.

I know Walmart exploits its workers who are underpaid and can't afford healthcare. But that's what American taxpayers are for. To subsidize Walmart's labor practices by handing out food stamps to its workers and health care in emergency clinics. Why should I care?

I do hate unions. And I'd be happy to cut off my nose to spite my face. In fact, I did that once and my wife was angry, but sometimes hatred for freeloader lazy union blockheads is more important than principle. It's kind of an altruistic thing, the way I see it.


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Councilman Sullivan is the only one wise enough to understand this problem and save us from ourselves. We must continue to vote until we get the right outcome. Who cares about our city's budget deficit and unsustainable pensions? The single most important issue facing this town is a Walmart grocery store!


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Posted by yeah right
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Sullivan gets to say no a lot and then claim he is speaking up for the average citizen. If you follow the council meetings, Sullivan has time and time again promoted something only to vote no when it comes up because it is not exactly the way he wants it. That way he can claim victory either way. He is an obstructionist. He is not interested in anything but no no no! His positions have cost the city huge amounts in legal fees. The fact is that the Nob Hill center is an allowed use for a grocery store. If the council chose to ignore the law, the city would end up writing a big fat check to Walmart's lawyers. This is the worse case of pandering since Sullivan knows the council has no choice but honor the PUD. So he can vote no because he knows the other council members will do what they have sworn to do and uphold Pleasanton's own city ordinance.


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Posted by Farmboy Zed
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

This Sullivan sounds like a big city elitist kind of guy who wants to thwart progress through his obstrucing Walmarts and banks. Is he a socialist? Why doesn't he just shut up? Everyone around here seems to be on to his high-falutin union loving talk. That's his only line. The unions must be paying him BIG TIME.


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Mixing people up. Thorne is the one who is pausing the decision on banks downtown; not Sullivan.

As for legal fees, don't think anything Sullivan has done has caused a lawsuit. The only lawsuit by a decision done on this council that I can think of is the Staples Ranch change for Stoneridge Drive. Sullivan did not vote Yes on that one. Those who voted yes caused the lawsuit because they violated CEQA law by bypassing environmental law.


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Posted by Farmboy Zed
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:30 am

He still sounds like a socialist to me.


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Posted by John
a resident of Rosewood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

I'm always amazed at the people who criticize Walmart for their business practices. You know what I do? If I don't like a business I don't shop their. If enough people don't shop there they will go out of business. And as far as jobs goes no one is forcing anyone to work at Walmart are they? Walmart hires people that no other business would hire. I would be interested to know if the people who complain about Walmart would hire disabled people (having to provide what is needed for them to work) or older people in their 70's and 80's. The answer is no. So for you who are against Walmart if they went away tomorrow who would hire all these people..... NO ONE!

Also I'm so tired of hearing about how Walmart buys stuff from China. Where do you think your shiny new iPad 3 that you just bought came from? Yes it came from the sweat of overworked Chinese workers just like Walmart.

As far as this zoning thing I don't know why people, especially this guy Sam don't get it. It's very simple. A city zones certain areas for certain uses. When a city does this they do it based on how it would impact the community. So for instance where Nob Hill is the city has done the research and they have determined that a grocery store with hours from 6 till midnight will have not adverse effect on the community. So it is zoned for this. Anyone who says I want to open this grocery store under these circumstances is allowed to do so with no permission granted. Which by the way is Safeway wanted to open a small market here we wouldn't even be going through this excersize. Now if I want to open a 24 hour grocery store I have to get approval from the council and planning commission. If they give me permission I will get a "conditional use permit" which allows the city to monitor how I'm doing. If things aren't to their liking my permit can be revoked and I'm out of business.

Let me give you a real world example right in the same neighborhood. Farther down on Santa Rita and old Santa Rita is a small older type mini-mall. There is a vacancy where this bike store used to be. It's been vacant for a long time. Someone wanted to put a 24 hour 7-11 there which it was not zoned for. So for them to do that they had to go through a process where neighbors are notified and a city council meeting is put into place. Well in this case enough people voiced their complaints the city decided NOT to give them a conditional use permit. If this property had already been zoned for a 24 hour convenience store there would have been nothing the residents coudl have done.


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Posted by Skizzy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

Sullivan will cause a lawsuit if the Walmart application is denied. There is no legal basis for denying the application. Be thankful he will be termed out. All the BS is being fomented by the unions, and the danger is that they have bought and paid for Matt Sullivan and The Three Stooges on the Council. People need to put some real heat on those 4 dolts, especially Cook-Callieo and Thorne who are running for Mayor. We need to make those two know if they support the union thugs that neither of them will be the next Mayor. Also, if the Hippy Mayor is going to run for Congress, encourage her to move to Berzerkley and run from there.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

Stacey said: "Sam, You will also be interested in reading the section on "Managing the Risk of Land Use Litigation" starting on page 51. It talks about how government is really prevented from making arbitrary or discriminatory decisions. If there is little predictability to approval, a court could interpret decisions as arbitrary. So, for example, the starting point for denying the current Walmart Neighborhood Market application has to be whether or not the application does conforms to what is currently permitted."

Thanks, Stacey. The section on managing risk of litigation cleared things up a bit for me. I now understand better the factors involved here. Still unclear why the courts have a difficulty with "arbitrary" decisions. As the city council or mayor, I would love to have the power to decide what particular kinds of businesses to allow, say, downtown such as a new locally owned coffeeshop as opposed to a big-chain coffeeshop even though the two businesses would look identical from a zoning standpoint. Or having the ability to stop Hooters from opening a restaurant downtown if a Main Street lot zoned for restaurant use were to become available. So I like "arbitrary"! Without it, the city loses considerable control over the future development of the character of the city.


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Posted by Tired
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

Way to go Tennasee Jed! Matt Sullivan has worn out his welcome! His decisions are very short sided and he truly never stops to consider the that many business and commercial owners are also Pleasanton residents who pay their taxes, support our community and schools. I for one will be very happy when he stops allowing outside union members to dictate what goes in to our shopping centers. All the while creating a severe hardship for the property owner of that site who has had no anchor tenant to pay rent in a very long time. Next we will see him out picketing at Castlewood. It's time that we had a counsil who considers the property owner over the rights of someone else. The rights we hold sold dear are being taken away from by others who have no financial interest in the overall outcomes. Others like Matt Sullivan. Come on Matt quit wasting everyones time and money.


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Posted by Farmboy Zed
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 22, 2012 at 11:59 am

Right! Sullivan and all the other counsillers forget that business owners, unlike union members, are citizens too! Whenever union members join up and pay 38% of their wages to the thug bosses, they forfeit their citizenship in the USA. Like the great Founding Father Edmund Burke said, the union thugs don't pay taxes or support the community. All they try to do is stop people from shopping.


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Posted by franco
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

franco is a registered user.

Sam writes: "So I like "arbitrary"! Without it, the city loses considerable control over the future development of the character of the city."

But Sam conveniently forgets that zoning is simply that, giving the city considerable control over the future development of the character of the city! But the elected politicians have to follow a time honored process called zoning. They can't arbitrary exercise "considerable control".

The "considerable control" has historically been reserved by dictators for their use, and is not applicable to fair, democratic processes.


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Posted by Great comments, Sal!
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Excellent comments, Sal!!!! I completely agree!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What does Sal have against Chinese people? Sounds like a bigot. I go to Ranch 99 when I want Chinese produce. I don't need Walmart for that.


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Posted by gollum
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:12 am

sal, we''d love to see you working in that 'slave planantion' you 'rationally' claimed would fit in our town. In fact, we'd love to see you working, period, instead of collecting tax payer benefits and sitting in your underwear droooling on your keyboard dreaming about your past conquests in berserkely.


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Posted by Ellen
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

Gollum...how is it that you know Sal is not working and is sitting in his underwear droooling on his keyboard dreaming about his past conquests in berserkely???
Some of the utterly stupid comments here just amaze me.


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