Valley Times Endorses Measure PP and Says No to Measure QQ Around Town, posted by Pat, a resident of the Foothill Knolls neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2008 at 5:51 pm
Sounds like the Valley Times is smart enough to figure out that Measure QQ is a complete sham measure and that representatives who failed to enact a ridgeline ordinance since 1996 have failed the public. These PP opponents, the ones that support QQ are interestingly enough, some of the ones that failed to do their jobs in the 90s like they should have. I agree completely with the Valley Times assessment.
Here it is.
Yes on PP, no on QQ
BAY AREA NEWS GROUP
Article Last Updated: 10/10/2008 07:29:19 AM PDT
WE HAVE never been big fans of ballot-box policy making. But when our elected representatives fail to carry out their responsibilities, voters are left to do the job. Such is the case in Pleasanton, where voters should approve Measure PP, a citizens initiative to regulate hillside development, and reject Measure QQ, another stalling tactic by the City Council.
The genesis of this battle goes back more than 10 years to the city passage of a general plan that called for developing a ridgeline preservation ordinance. It never happened. Meanwhile, last year, the council approved a hillside subdivision of 51 custom homes, ranging in size from 6,000 to 12,500 square feet.
For some residents, that was the final straw. They collected more than 5,000 signatures to place Measure PP on the ballot. It's a reasonable measure that would prohibit grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline. The measure would also establish a stricter definition of a housing unit, reducing the number left under the voter-approved citywide 29,000-unit housing cap.
Ordinarily, we would encourage Measure PP backers to instead take their case to the City Council and work through the legislative process. But they have waited long enough with no results. Indeed, the council knew for nearly a year that the initiative was coming. Yet, the best response council members could come up with was a counter measure designed to negate the original initiative.
If Measures QQ passes with more votes, it would block Measure PP from taking effect. Yet, Measure QQ is nothing more than an empty promise. In essence, the council-backed measure is a reaffirmation of old policies and establishment of a process for development of hillside guidelines. There is no assurance that the council would actually approve those policies once they were drafted. Meanwhile, at least another year would be lost, providing an opening for even more hillside and ridgeline development.
It should have never come to this. If the City Council had done its job over the past decade, there would have been no need for Measure PP. But, now that it's on the ballot, the council's response with Measure QQ shows that it's still not serious about hillside regulation.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:28 pm
As you all embrace the "5000 voter" mantle about Measure PP that was written by a few without any public process associated with the development of its language, and you rush to vote for it, keep in mind that it will likely be challenged in court because it is deficient in many respects.
These deficiencies were researched by city staff, discussed by the Council, and subsequently Measure QQ was developed to avoid this possible debacle. All of this is likely being forgotten by voters as they read the propaganda being put out by the Measure PP supporters.
Oak Grove is still being litigated as Ayala's second child may well be heading for the same outcome, eventual litigation.
Posted by Reason for the internet, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2008 at 7:04 am
The whole reason people go to the net is to "get the facts". It used to be that we had to rely on editorial opinions such as this one posted by the times. Unfortunately for newspapers, our new media world has enabled the free sharing of information. I encourage everyone to go to the web pages for each measure and make your own decision. Ultimately the facts will prevail and everyone will realize this has become personal rather than what is best for Pleasanton overall. To bad for the lack of perspective.
Posted by Not me man, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Oct 12, 2008 at 10:36 pm
Frank, you are sooooooo naive-or perhaps you just don't pay attention.
You think because "city staff," the "public," or a three vote majority addresses an issue to cull the "deficiencies" that that issue will benefit Pleasanton-or stay out of court?
Oh how wrong you are!
Look at the asinine second developer fee agreement with Signature Properties to pay for Neal School. The same city attorney in place now, Michael R. nearly swore on a stack of bibles back then that that thing was "air tight." Lots of other public officials and public including attorneys (remember Pat Kernan's input on that one?) spoke up for that fiasco which has cost this school district millions so far.
Good old Michael was also was in charge of getting bids to realign Vineyard Ave. Signature Properties waited about 13 seconds to challenge that in court too, and to my knowledge has never paid a penny. We, the chumps of Ptown had to foot almost the entire bill on that one.
Who do you think was in charge of getting the property across the street from the library on Old Bernal from the City of San Francisco for the verbally-agreed price of $500,000? You guessed it, Michael R. City Attorney again! The last I heard we were still looking at the property for the city center expansion/redesign for about three million, all because someone who should know better neglected to get that televised! agreement in writing.
There are so many more examples to list, but frankly, frank my fingers are too tired to list them.
With a record like that do you REALLY want the city staff to try to work the kinks out of hillside protection too? Not me man.
Oh, maybe you want our QQ supporting mayor to help out with the fine print. She went to law school right? Failing the bar five times(hasn't passed yet)along with a history of taking favors and money from the developers of Oak Grove shouldn't disqualify her from this important mission right?
If you really care vote Yes on PP and No on QQ.
And Reason, personal???????? If you mean I don't personally want more houses on our beautiful ridges you are COrrect!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 12, 2008 at 10:59 pm
"Brozosky received a $9,000 donation from Michael Aminian of San Jose-based Fairland Investment Inc. and $1,050 from Mohsen Sadri. The two have a joint application before the city's planning commission, to subdivide a 2.45-acre parcel on Clara Lane."
"Among Hosterman's top donors were Pleasanton residents Karen Chamousis and Alfonso Lopez, who contributed $2,500 each. All other donations were less than $1,000, including $500 each from Safeway Inc. and the League of Conservation Voters of East Bay."
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:16 am
Not me man,
Would that be the same "Good old Michael" that neglected to provide all the necessary documents the court ruled the "Ayala Faction"(as some gleefully refer to them)should have carried - then refused to stand up in court and defend his mistake.
Posted by Not me man, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:32 am
Yep, the same guy. He certified (along with the mayah and council majority) the document after being asked twice if it was correct.
They all then stood up and called the petition gatherers crooks.
Some talent there.
Jennifer was never happy with Michael Amenian because he didn't care for her politics and refused to let her place campaign signs on his property (the gas station near McDonalds).
If he wanted results on the Clara Lane deal wouldn't he have gone to her first? She does seem to get them.
Former supporters did know that in 2006.
Many of us had received these emails in 2004............
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: Jennifer's Campaign for Mayor
Here follows a note from Erline (sic) regarding labeling - we need to get 15,000 pieces out tomorrow - if you have two hours, please come by! Thanks for all of your help. Jennifer
Jennifer, can you forward this to your list.
The time is 9:00 AM Thursday October 7th location is the Conference Room at 4690 Chabot Dr. Ste. 100, please tell them you are there to work on the campaign. If you have any questions I can be reached at 925-XXX-XXXX.
City of Pleasanton
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: Jennifer's Campaign for Mayor
We had quite a turn-out today to affix labels to our mass mailer - and to those, THANK YOU! We have 35,000 pieces which have to go out Friday - 20,000 will go out today, but we have another 15,000 to label. It's easy: sit with other supporters, make friends, talk about interesting stuff, pull off labels and affix them on the mailer piece. We need a repeat tomorrow to get this job done. PLEASE, if you have any time at all, please consider helping out - we will gather at
4690 Chabot Drive, Suite 100
Charter Properties is located in Hacienda Business Park, directly across the street from the Hacienda Post Office.
Please e-mail me or call Erline (sic) Demarcus (XXX-XXXX), and let me know if you can give us an hour or two. Thank you so much! Jennifer (ps - big kids welcome!)
City of Pleasanton
Charter Properties for those who don't know is the home of James Tong who works for the Lin Family developers who want to build Oak Grove and who are supporting Measure QQ. Both of which mayor Hosterman has whole heartedly endorsed.
Erlene Demarcus is a lobbyist who has worked for James Tong/Charter Properties. I believe she is supporting Jennifer on this campaign as well.
Trust me Stacy Jennifer's long-time friends and supporters did take this campaign event in a developer's office as an ominous signal. (I believe this event was never reported as a campaign donation either, as is clearly required by law) Ask her for the paperwork if this statement is incorrect.
By 2006 we could tell we were right. She was supporting Charter Properties and their first version of Oak Grove. By 2008 she is supporting this developer against more than 5,000 Pleasanton citizens. This turnaround was a BIG disappointment!!!!!!
Keep the tools in the tool shed-don't be one yourself. You will regret it.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 11:07 am
The park in my neighborhood is land dedicated to the City by Su-O Chang Lin back in 1984 (note one of the streets is even named Lin Gate). I laughed when I found that out and gazed at the irony. I wonder how many other parks around the City that people enjoy so much and help characterize our City originated from similar developer dedications. Public parks generally come from property owner dedications or purchase by a public entity. We'd be hard-pressed to find parks that came from a property owner giving away their land because some piece of legislation supposedly rendered it undevelopable.
The roller-coaster history of development on the Pleasanton Ridge has come to an end. In a landmark decision that was lauded by environmentalists, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has entered into a power-sharing agreement with Hayward and Pleasanton that would require the three agencies to jointly approve any land-use changes on the 13,000-acre ridge. The accord, adopted Tuesday on a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Ed Campbell and Mary King dissenting, makes approval for ridge
Published on August 5, 1993, Page 1B, San Jose Mercury News (CA)"
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 11:48 am
"NEW PARK APPROVED
Source: DENNIS ROCKSTROH, Mercury News Staff Writer
On the steep slopes of the hills overlooking Alameda County's back country is the core of a regional park that will someday offer hiking, picnicking or just plain open space. The East Bay Regional Park District is buying land on the ridges overlooking Sunol, Pleasanton and Livermore, and last week the board approved the purchase of 619 acres of what is known as the Joe and Wong properties. "Basically the land will be left in open space, but some of it will be
Published on November 2, 1987, Page 1B, San Jose Mercury News (CA)"
Posted by Keep it natural, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm
We don't owe land speculators anything. It's a business like any other where you win some and lose some.
Perhaps the citizens of Pleasanton want to live without the 11/2 mile "trail to nowhere" "gift" from the Oak Grove/Lin family. Maybe they'd just like to leave the hills to the hawks, flowers, trees and endangered butterflies-with no public access.
What's so wrong with that? We can certainly live without the extra traffic, water usage and carbon output from those enormous homes too.
Build flat, build infill, build small, and build green. Save the Hills!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm
Nothing wrong with that but how will you ensure the land stays natural? You can't legislate such a thing since that violates a Constitutional amendment. Remember everyone voting yes on prop 99 to protect their homes from eminent domain seizures by the govt?
Posted by Linda, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 1:23 pm
No we don't owe property owners anything but the city of Pleasanton in order to be credible must honor their word. There is a general plan that has alloted units to particular areas. I think a community of character must act in good faith when negotiating with property owners.
The judgmental use of the words land speculators shows a lack of respect and understanding of the issues. Do we stop people from buying rental property because they are house speculators? Does the rancher or farmer who can no longer afford to raise cattle or grow crops in this now suburban area a land speculator?
Many parks in this city are parks because of the partnership between the developers and the city.
So the units are reallocated and we still have the water usage and the carbon output but it is right in the middle of the most crowded places in the city, not balanced throughout the city as the general plan denotes. We will put right where the traffic is now instead of dispersed.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm
It would really have been better if the valley floor remained undeveloped and everyone lived in the hills. Then we could have grapes, hops, or cattle instead of petitions growing. Those living in the hills could enjoy the sense of expansiveness that a wide flat plain affords. The old seasonal Tulare Lake would still exist and thousands of birds could flock to it (my house is on the shoreline). We could then source local produce for all our food needs and water would be more plentiful. Utopia!
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:03 am
If I read Stacey's "COUNTY, 2 CITIES TO RULE FATE OF PLEASANTON RIDGE" correctly, the ridge land owners had very little choice but to sell to EBRPD since any land-use changes would require joint approval by the three agencies. Does anyone really believe Pleasanton would have agreed to changes.
If the land owners weren't paid full market value at the time, this to me is the same as stealing. I'm aquainted with someone that owned a future home site on the ridge at the time and, according to him, he was refused a permit to build prior to the EBRPD purchase, thus rendering the property useless to him. Although he had no obligation to sell, I recall him saying "they stole it from me". I also seem to recall someone(don't recall who)saying, when the "joint powers deal" was completed and the idea of "parkland" was introduced, "that should get them to understand they have no choice but to sell", or words to that effect.
Would the ridge permit refusal nullify the claim by some that the Lin's "have a right to develop their property". What makes them different from the guy on the ridge that was refused a permit after the "joint powers deal", or, some farmer in the central valley that was told he couldn't farm a portion of his property because it "might be" used by some frog, bug, snake or lizard...
Posted by voter, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:18 am
To Not Me Man, thanks for some very enlightening and well stated information. Stacy's endless posting and rants have already convinced me to vote yes on PP, no on QQ. Anyone who posts dozens of times with the same condescending tone saying the same thing has way too much time on their hands and an agenda to meet. Tell Jennifer you did your best for her.
As for why Michael-the-moron still works here, ask Jennifer, she could get rid of him and has not. Talk about bleeding the city coffers. Guess she just wants to hang around with someone who has actually passed the bar.
Jennifer's close ties with the Lin family are well documented and long standing. We don't need her or them in this city.
Posted by don't like corrupt government, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:40 am
The only remaining question is whether "Stacey" is actually Cheryl Cook-Kallio or Angela Ramirez-Holmes. They’re the only ones that would defend the Mayor and Council majority so vehemently – uh, except for the Chamber of Commerce, of course. No credibility, regardless.
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:49 am
I have followed the supporters of PP and they all appear with NIMBY attitudes. One supporter has the biggest house on the highest ridge in Kottinger Ranch. Can anyone tell me, if PP was in place today, would any of the homes on Remillard Drive, Casterson Court, Grant Court and Smallwood Court (all in Kottinger Ranch) be ok to build? If the answer is "yes" I will reconsider my stand on yes on QQ. If the answer is no, my NIMBY assertion seems well placed.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:16 am
Is that supposed to make me feel bad now? If you want to vote on the Measures based upon your narrow perception of my personality rather than on the pros and cons of the proposed laws themselves, that is certainly your prerogative. Is that fair to the property owners who will be affected by PP? Of course not! Your statement only reinforces my belief that direct democracy is bad.
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:54 am
So, any of you KR NIMBY's want to weigh in on your support of PP when it would appear that if PP was in effect prior to Kottinger Ranch's development you would be living in my neighborhood? Don't get me wrong, I think Kottinger Ranch is a great development and I have friends in that area. The developer of Kottinger Ranch, I believe, funded the extension of Bernal to Valley-a great connector street for our city. Those now living in Kottinger Ranch and against PP are really only against Oak Grove. They could care less about other Pleasanton ridgelines. They are the ones who began the crippling of the ridgelines!!!
Posted by Nail on the head, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:30 am
So much time has gone by since Kottinger was completed, that the neighborhood now wants nothing developed on a piece of land zoned for 98 units. In some ways I think they would actually rather have the 98 units than the 51 units and the park because the park opens up thier very quiet and private (though ungated), neighborhood to the public. It would be very interesting to ask Kottinger neighbors if given the choice to have a choice, which they would chose. My guess is that his is really about public access to the neighborhood when none exists now.
I am sooooooo thankful that past city governments weren't of the NIMBY mentality. I agree wholeheartedly that the authors/supporters don't give a damn about protecting the hils. I not speaking about the signers of the petition either, many of whom were duped into signing a petition with the simple and easy to get behind slogan "save our hills". The irony is that I keep hearing how the Oak Grove "mega mansions" are going to "ruin our views of the hills". Those hills are only visible to a very very few, from any vantage point.
This issue is REALLY about public access to the proposed park through Kottinger Ranch!
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm
I counted 11 no on PP signs on Hearst Drive in Kottinger Ranch. Could someone please weigh in on why Kottinger Ranch residents support PP when their own homes are actually in violation of this ordinance. Since the thread turned in this direction there has been silence. Let's go KR residents!!!
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm
Frank, Are you at liberty to disclose the resident of this ridgeline mansion? Interesting...how many supporters of PP live in an over 4000 square foot home on what used to be a ridgeline or a 25% slope? My guess is the majority. The rest are just voting yes to "save Pleasanton hills".
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:36 pm
Google Earth is available to anyone. The location and addresses of public figures are public information.
Notice in the lower right hand corner the blue plastic tarps covering the 4H club's animal bins, which have usually been visible from Vineyard Avenue. In the top of the picture is the neighbor's property, the neighbor who during the last election complained that mansion owner's dogs killed his sheep. If true, who would know?
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:35 pm
Not me man and Voter,
I hate to burst your bubble, but in 2006, Jim Tong gave more money to Brozosky than to Hosterman. How does that fit into your analysis?
And just for the record, using one's conference room to label and stamp mail is not a reportable item.
Speaking of not reporting, The Committee for Save Pleasanton Hills has still never done any legally required campaign finance reporting for the period when they were collecting signatures. I wonder why...