Election 2008--Letters to the Editor Around Town, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:36 am
Confused about PP and QQ?
Over 5,000 Pleasanton voters signed a petition to place a Measure PP, the Hillside Protection Ordinance, on the ballot. PP will Protect Pleasanton's ridgelines and hilltops immediately (November 2008). PP has clear and simple language. It took endless hours of work plus 5,000 signers to put PP on the ballot.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 13, 2008, 4:16 PM
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:36 am
How many of those in support of PP are new to Pleasanton (less than 15 years) and/or live in Kottinger Ranch? Can you say NIMBY? You got yours-why should the rest of Pleasanton get 500 acres of open space?
Posted by Endless Hours?, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:09 am
Please read the entire text of PP. If it took "endless hours" as claimed above then I'm a monkey's uncle. What amazed me when I went and looked at the full text of PP and QQ (I encourage everyone to do the same), that PP is very very short and not very specific on detail. PP could have been written in less than 10 minutes and certainly didn't require much thought.
The irony in the PP vs QQ battle is that QQ does a better job of protecting the hillsides than PP, but PP simply says "save our hills" and assumes/hopes that the majority of voters in Pleasanton are nieve. Please Pleasanton, do your homework and prove them wrong to assume your ignorance.
Posted by Hypocryte, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm
I find it hiliarious to read Carolyn Newton's letter above. I happen to know that she and her husband live in a very large house on the top of Smallwood Court in Kottinger Ranch that LOOMS over the entire street at the absolute peak of a hilltop! It never ceases to amazes that NIMBY's such as Carolyn manage to get their's and then mis-inform others to stop them from getting the same priviledge. Hiding behind "save our hills" is about as hypocritical as she can get.
It is becoming more and more obvious as time goes on, the support and mis-information continuning to be thrown about is primarily from disgruntled Kottinger resident's who don't want a public park with access from their community. Good thing for them people around the Sports Park, Pleasanton Upper etc.. didn't adopt the same attitude when those facilities were proposed.
PP will not save anything but privacy for Kottinger.
Posted by Give me a break!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 7:37 pm
To Hypocryte, Endless hours, etc:
Have you looked at who signed the PP initiative? They are NOT all Kottinger residents, quite the contrary.
PP says that you can't build within 100 feet of a ridgeline or a slope greater than 25 percent. This will PROTECT our hilltops, not cut them off and put huge mansions on them! It also redefines a housing cap so that Pleasanton can't keep approving more developments and say they can't be counted (a way to skirt around the housing cap).
PP is actually very simple to understand, as stated above. QQ says we get some open space, but at what price? Is it worth putting huge develpments on top of the hills? I don't think so.
QQ talks about the ridges becoming a public process. Are you kidding me? Who will be on such a committee? Selected by the mayor? How about if that takes 2 years, do you know how many developments can be approved for those ridgelines in the meantime?
PP will protect the ridges NOW. And by the way, why hasn't the council come up with this "public process" before now? They haven't made it a priority until PP came along.
All I can say is, "Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Posted by Janet, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Give me a break -
Have you even read QQ? It sets a very specific timeline - a year to get it done right.
And here's a question for you PP'ers - how did you vote on the recent initiative regarding eminent domain. To avoid hypocrisy, I certainly you voted all in favor of eminent domain, because that is what you're recommending be done with all this land in the hillsides. It's PRIVATELY owned. It's astonishing that everyone forgets that. It's not city owned - and certainly won't be if PP passes...
Posted by Janet, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm
Give me a break -
One more thing - I hope you don't ever want any senior citizens living in Pleasanton - or you don't want to live here yourself when you need assisted living. PP is specifically targeting that assisted living facility with the housing cap wording, nothing else.
We really desperately need more senior housing, as our demographics suggest. But if PP passes, the assisted living facility planned off of Stanley is off the table.
Posted by Linda, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:14 pm
Give me a break conveniently skips over the part of PP that exempts parcels with ten units or less. Yes, that's right, there is an exemption in PP.
There is no committee in the public process. Read QQ, there is no committee. The mayor does not appoint anyone. It is a public process that includes everyone who wants to participate, including the proponents of PP. Just read the measure.
The people who promoted the initiative are, by and large, people who live in Kottinger or other developments that are on hillsides or on slopes of 25%.
People who signed the initiative did so to get something on the ballot to protect the Southeast Hills. Many signed in response to "we just want this on the ballot so people can vote on it".
One of the main proponents of PP had a plan for a HUGE house on top of hill before the planning department while complaining about the Oak Grove development. He pulled it while collecting signatures. However, his property is exempt if PP passes. He will be able to build. He will just have prevented others from living around him. AND will have prevented public access to open space for the rest of Pleasanton.
Protecting the SE hills is on the Council's priority list created in the fall of 2007. It is public record, just check. It is the first time it has been listed as a priority. Not being done fast enough? The council has been working on the general plan update, the staples ranch property and Stoneridge drive extension. Hours have been spent on the referendum and the initiative, why???? It's political. Someone needed a wedge issue for this election.
What will PP do for Pleasanton? Send the city right to court. The first thing up could be the Happy Valley By Pass road. Much of that is slated for 25% slope. The city is already being sued over the housing cap. The language is vague. Pleasanton will loose big time with PP.
QQ is a better way. It provides an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:33 pm
"It also redefines a housing cap so that Pleasanton can't keep approving more developments and say they can't be counted (a way to skirt around the housing cap)."
Um. You make it sound like a development gets approved and all the units in it are somehow not counted towards the cap. The City _does not_ do that.
"Is it worth putting huge develpments on top of the hills? I don't think so."
51 housing units is a "huge development"? In which country?
"One of the main proponents of PP had a plan for a HUGE house on top of hill before the planning department while complaining about the Oak Grove development. He pulled it while collecting signatures. However, his property is exempt if PP passes. He will be able to build. He will just have prevented others from living around him. AND will have prevented public access to open space for the rest of Pleasanton."
And I'll fight for his right to have his plans considered in an open and fair public process too.
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm
**Don't your kids deserve to know what a Pleasanton ridgetop looks like?Karla BrownCo-author of Measure PP
Karla Brown: Yes, I would have liked my grandchildren to know what the Pleasanton Hills looked like, however, your flat lot in Kottinger Ranch destroyed that wish.
**The developers are ready and their bulldozers won't wait. So if you value Pleasanton's scenic hills, you must vote "yes" on PP, (Protect Pleasanton), and "no" on QQ. Otherwise, by the time the developers and committees finish collaborating about future hillside protection our hills will already be destroyed. Sadly, that's the simple truth.Carolyn NewtonPleasanton
Carolyn Newton: Can you be serious? You live in one of the biggest homes on the highest peak in this town. Any bulldozers involved in building your megamansion.
You both should move to Ruby Hill and take your NIMBY attitude with you.
Posted by Fact checker, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:04 pm
To "Hypocryte"...(your spelling, not mine)
First: Your accusations, "facts", and parks analogy, (like your spelling), are totally screwed up. (A field in the middle of town is not like environmentally fragile hills, that are enjoyed from miles around and are irreplaceable.)
Second: What is hypocritical about wanting to save the remaining hills in Pleasanton? Don't YOU enjoy looking at them??? Criticizing the current hilltop homeowners misses the point!!!! Those people did not create those lots, a developer did! It's too bad that PP wasn't in place years ago...but now the important thing is to make sure that our remaining hills are preserved for future generations!
Third: If you think it's OK to look out at a bunch of houses on hilltops....there are plenty of places you can move...like L.A. But don't ruin Pleasanton's hills for the rest of us, by voting with the developers for QQ.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm
There was only one developer representative (Greenbriar) at the Council meeting (June 26th) asking the Council to put Measure QQ on the ballot. The rest were regular citizens, open space advocates, etc. Look it up: Web Link
That is why I find "Argument in favor of Measure PP" in the voting guide somewhat humorous. It says QQ was "placed on the ballot at the request of ridgeline developers". At least the "Argument Against Pleasanton Measure QQ" is more accurate with "requested by a hillside developer".
Posted by Sacred Cow, a resident of the Foxborough Estates neighborhood, on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:58 pm
There are probably as many houses built on non level lots in Pleasanton as there are on the flatland areas. Why is this one area so important when its on the eastern boundry and not even visable to anyone anywhere near town? Are we going to then put up a huge monument that we've saved a ridgeline?
I completely disagree with Fact Checker that criticizing current hillside owners misses the point. They are the largest oposition to any development adjacent to their property in Kottinger Ranch, and don't want anything to be built there. Even if this were really about saving hillsides, why the sudden passion by such a select few? Oh thats right, they live right next to the proposed new development.
The authors of PP still have not been disclosed.
Yes on QQ.
Please read both PP and QQ before making an informed decision.
Posted by Where exactly, a member of the Harvest Park Middle School community, on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm
I am undecided on this issue as of now. I do have a question that continues to occur to me every time I read about PP and QQ. I've seen literature from both sides and the PP proponents have shown photoshop pictures of what large houses might look like in the Oak Grove project. Can someone clue me in as to what public streets will actually have a view of the proposed lots? It looks to me like the majority of proposed lots in Oak Grove won't even be visable from many public vantage points.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:51 am
The information about where the homes will be visible was in the original staff report. I only know because I heard some council member talking about driving around looking for the visibility. This was before it was approved. It seemed that one might be able to see a little corner in the distance from Bernal near the freeway. I am sure you could get a copy from the city.
Posted by Where exactly, a member of the Harvest Park Middle School community, on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:03 am
I've looked at google earth, but it dosen't give me a perspective of reality as to how something might look from any actual neighbor, or general resident perspective. After driving the area, I think your correct that Stanley is the only area where anyone other than Kottinger Resident's might see any of the proposed homes.
I find this interesting as many of the arguments have been very energetic regarding the fact that Oak Grove will ruin the views of residents in general who will view the supposed large homes. The reality is Oak Grove will be seen by very few public or private. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Comparing Oak Grove to the western hills or even Kottinger's visibility for that matter seems like an apples to oranges comparison.
Posted by Mary, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:13 am
I also have a question for some of the more knowledgable folks. I understand that PP addresses the housing cap. But how does that negatively affect any prospects for senior housing including assisted living that is discussed here as well as other places. Thanks for any clarification or perspective anyone can give!
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:01 am
The exact words in PP is what will be used in the event it passes.
"Policy 15.3: A housing unit is defined to include any residence that includes a kitchen (sink, cooking device, and refrigerator) and a bathroom (toilet, tub or shower). The City Council shall uphold the housing cap and shall not grant waivers that exclude housing units consistent with this definition."
Many units in senior assisted living communities, like Parkview, have rooms with a small kitchen (containing a refrigerator, sink and microwave), although not meant to be a full service kitchen, and a bathroom, but it meets the definition. It impacts other assisted living projects that have not been built but are in the planning stage. These areas are meant to give seniors some choice in how independent they might want to be while accommodating the changing circumstances of living longer.
The purpose of the housing cap was to limit the growth and impact on city services. It can be argued that senior facilities has little to no impact on roads, parks and schools but has great benefit to the seniors and their families by keeping the family structure intact, while allowing seniors' independence.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:16 am
"I've looked at google earth, but it dosen't give me a perspective of reality as to how something might look from any actual neighbor, or general resident perspective"
Yea, that's the only drawback. You can somewhat play around with it and zoom in to a certain point as if you were standing there but still it doesn't work out too well (I wish there were a way to tell it by hand to view the area from a certain point).
When I've driven around I try to spot the existing water tower above Kottinger Ranch (830 ft msl) as a way to locate where Oak Grove is. That water tower is higher than the highest Oak Grove lot.
I've noticed that if you're standing at like the Bernal property, you see Kottinger Ranch and Oak Grove would be only slightly higher than it. But your sense of where the "ridgeline" is of the southeast hills would be further south and clearly visible. I've tried to mark out that "ridgeline" with the "ridgeline" and "peak" pins in the kmz file. That area is meant to remain undeveloped (in fact it is outside of the Urban Growth Boundary) and become part of the 2000 acre trail system of which Callippe Preserve and Oak Grove are part and parcel to.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:21 am
Seriously, most of the southeast hills are already protected from ridgeline development because they fall outside of the Urban Growth Boundary! Measure PP is meant to prevent Oak Grove if the appeals court overturns the referendum lawsuit decision (noticed that Roush also filed for an extension on his brief...that thing is going to take forever!)
Posted by Live in the hills, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm
Live in the hills and stop everyone else. Enough said. Just read about 46% of the Livermore Airport complaints coming from 2 yes only 2 residents Pleasanton. I've heard of and seen the term vocal minority thrown out here before, too bad we don't/can't keep similar statistics regarding saving Pleasanton. We'd likely find it is a very small group pushing for this agenday. The rest of us simply love all that is good about our town!
Posted by Big picture, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm
Unfortunately, Oak Grove homes are nothing compared to what will be built as Lund Ranch II and on the Sportorno Property. Those will have hundreds of homes, that will be a lot more visible and have a lot more impact on the environment, traffic, schools, infrastructure, etc.
Voting for PP isn't about Oak Grove; it's about the other developments that will destroy habitat and heritage oaks and replace them with concrete and asphault....not to mention adding large homes with big energy and water needs.
The NYBY arguement is so petty.... look at the big picture!! Go Green and Go PP.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm
Hundreds? Read the staff report. Web Link It has a chart showing the max unit potential of each property under the current General Plan that would be affected by PP. Lund II is potentially 86 homes. Spotorno is potentially 81 (79 if Greenbriar's proposed changes are accepted).
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm
I noticed in the staff report I linked above that the number of developable units would essentially be zero on that property if PP were to become law. It would be somewhat interesting to see PP pass, the Lin lawsuit on Oak Grove overturned, and then the Lins sue the City for basically taking away all of their vested entitlements on their land, which is already promised to them via the current General Plan (which amounts to seizure by government without just compensation). Then we'll definitely need someone with no-nonsense budget experience like Brozosky as mayor to handle the tight squeeze to City coffers. He'll probably move planning department staff to the legal and accounting departments to handle the problem.
But perhaps that is misleading because there still is the 10 unit exemption in PP, which could mean 50 acre mega-mega-mega mansions right on the ridge tops instead of just mega mansions and no public park. Perhaps some of the Sharks players would live in those 10 mega-mega-mega mansions instead of in Blackhawk and then the drive to the practice rink at Staples Ranch would be quicker for them. Or even better, one of the players could build a rink on a ridge top right in their backyard (as long as it doesn't have a kitchen) and invite all their buddies so they wouldn't even have to drive in all that Pleasanton traffic! It could become even more exclusive than Ruby Hills! Maybe property values in Kottinger Ranch and Grey Eagle would go up even more.
In the meantime, Hosterman moves to Livermore where they are less hostile to falconry than Plutonians and contemplates a run for County Supervisor.
Posted by Mary, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm
Thank you to the person for the explanation about the impact on senior housing. But the reason I asked the question because this is just how I read the measure. My confusion comes from Janet above and others who make similar remarks. Janet stated, "PP is specifically targeting that assisted living facility with the housing cap wording, nothing else. We really desperately need more senior housing, as our demographics suggest. But if PP passes, the assisted living facility planned off of Stanley is off the table."
Now I'm sorry, but I don't see anything in the PP wording that would indicate no more senior housing, assisted or otherwise, would be "off the table." So is this another scare tactic by the QQ faction? It looks to me like the misinformation goes both ways.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm
To answer your question Mary, counting assisted living senior housing would put Pleasanton over the housing cap. Pleasanton has not counted assisted living housing in the past. If PP passes it would redefine how those units are defined conrtrary to state law. Proponents will say that is not the intent and it may not be but the language is clear. Counting them now would eliminate the remaining housing units.
Posted by Mary, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm
I seemed to recall that we have 2000 or so units to build before the 29,000 cap is reached. You seem to be saying that we have 2,000+ assisted living senior units in this city. Where??? That is hard to believe.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:55 pm
I should have said it would put us near the cap. I think it is less than 2000 but I am not exactly sure how much less. The definition could also include extended stay hotels, they fit the definition too. It could also include second units which are also precluded by law.
Posted by iwastheretoo, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm
I just don't get it. With all these people writing how great PP is, why don't they tell who was involved with writing PP? Makes me wonder just how many people were actually involved with the writing of PP. . .
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:36 pm
Regarding Greg O'Conner's letter...
It doesn't seem to matter if the mayor is Hosterman or Brozosky, the problem regarding Pleasanton needing to fulfill its regional affordable housing obligation will still exist. I wonder if Mr. O'Conner is advocating we pour taxpayer money into defending something that may end up being a thorn in our side.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2008 at 4:01 pm
To give another perspective and some answers to questions above:
- There are about 3,000 +/- housing units left to be "built" in Pleasanton under the housing cap. Pleasanton could satisfy ABAG (although most cities do not) if they built all affordable houses with the remainder, but the council has not rezoned land to accomodate affordable housing. They continue to approve expensive houses, with the exception of a small amount of senior housing.
About 750 of the 800 +/- senior units proposed at Staples Ranch are not assisted living. They are apartments and villas and should be counted against the cap. The buy-in is also extremely expensive.
- The city cannot provide "objective" information on PP or QQ; they created and support QQ.
- The Independent and the Valley Times both supported PP. Haven't seen anything from the Tri-Valley Herald.
- If PP passes, second units will not be counted; they are exempt by state law. Also, extended stay facilities will not be counted, as they are commercial uses and are not classified as a "residence".
- The property owners in the southeast hills do not have any vested entitlements and the General Plan does not convey entitlements. Also, the underlying zoning for those properties is A (agricultural). If PP were to pass, there is no "taking" of anyone's property; they can still use it as it is zoned, for agricultural uses, as well as propose development in unrestricted areas.
- Greenbriar Homes is proposing 150 +/- houses for Lund Ranch II (the staff report, and General Plan, indicate 86 units as the midpoint density). Greenbriar is also proposing 79 units on a portion of Spotorno Ranch that is designated for a max of 33 units.
- The southeast hills are visible from the vineyard corridor to Callipe to the Bernal Park property and include (among others) the Oak Grove, Lund Ranch and Spotorno properties.
- PP only restricts uses, it dooen not convey any rights. The exemption for 10 houses or less under PP doen not allow building "right on top of ridges" as the QQ supporters claim; any proposed building would need to follow the city planning process and should follow any Specific Plan and the General Plan (which resticts building on top of ridgelines and slopes greater than 25%). In the past, the council has given waivers on this (hence, Oak Grove).
- My concern with QQ is that they will not stop development until a plan is completed and they will not let our citizens vote on any plan created. A majority of 3 council members could still grant waivers from any plan. If they did both of these things, I think a lot more people would favor QQ.
Try not to listen to the hype. Just read the two measures in your voter pamphlet, follow the money at www.netfile.com/agency/cop/ (QQ just received $20,000 from Greenbriar Homes and the Home Builders Association of Northern California PAC), then vote.
Posted by Becky Dennis, a resident of the Foxborough Estates neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2008 at 5:29 pm
Dear Anonymous -
The concern about the 10 unit exemption is not only the home citing issue, but the fact that the entire parcels like Lund Ranch and Oak Grove will be carved up into 10 lot developments for large acreage private estates.
Under these circunstances, our community will lose thousands of acres of open space planned to be dedicated to Pleasanton for a trail sysem and publicly accessible greenbelt. Pleasanton residents have been working for this outcome for 20 years, and I'll bet they don't want to give it up.
It seems from letters and discussions with the proponents of PP in the neighborhoods that the loss of this extraordinary community amenity would please them. Their letters try to convince us that looking from afar is just as good as hiking, and protecting the natural resources in perpetuity through public ownership.
They did their best to eliminate the staging area for the Oak Grove trail system in order to keep other Pleasanton residents out of the proposed park.
Another neighbor doesn't like the EVA easement that was on his property when he bought it. When parks and trails advocates refused his request to side with him and force the City to abandon the easement, he vowed to his neighbors that he would do everything in his power make sure there was never a park in the Southeast Hills. Then he took out full page Save the Hills ads in the weekly to see if he could rally people to help him. These folks only want to save the hills for themselves. Do the rest of us really want to help them?
Personally, I think it would be a shame if this petty self-centered nonsense ended up depriving Pleasanton of an extraordinary (I mean, how many communities have anything like this?)2000 acre park in the Southeast Hills.
FYI, Greenbriar hasn't proposed anything on a hill at Lund Ranch or Spotorno (which is flat). Dividing Lund Ranch into 10 parcels would definitely put houses on the hills. The real reason that 60% of PP's funding comes from the new residents of the recently completed Sycamore Creek development (look up the addresses of the campaign contributors), is because they do not want the promised bypass road to the golf course completed. Then their main street would no longer be a dead end. They have no problem taking away something that the rest of Pleasanton has worked for over the last 20 years, as long as their street stays a dead end.
Certainly, Southeast Hills property owners hope that PP doesn't pass. But PP does allow lower density development on 100% of their land. They would no longer be required to give the City a majority of their land for the planned greenbelt park, they wouldn't have to pay traffic mitigation fees or protect those pesky oak woodlands in perpetuity. So they get something.
Unless you live on Hearst Drive or around Sycamore Creek,as a Pleasanton resident, you will get NOTHING out of Measure PP's development plan. Instead, we give up hiking, recreation, and community access to the fabulous beauty of our Southeast Hills.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:09 am
Gee Becky, I am so glad you clarified your real goal:
"Certainly, Southeast Hills property owners hope that PP doesn't pass. But PP does allow lower density development on 100% of their land. They would no longer be required to give the City a majority of their land for the planned greenbelt park, they wouldn't have to pay traffic mitigation fees or protect those pesky oak woodlands in perpetuity. So they get something."
Developers (and there are only 4 land owners we are talking about here) run a business. They are land speculators in hopes of making $$ off their investment. If they give land for trails they will NOT not be giving $$ to the city to help pay for OUR infrastructure expenses, our existing city parks like the sports park and new Bernal property parks - and you know their families will be using our facilities.
Money is tight for our city. P-Town has to pay for the develop. of Firehouse theater, Meadowlark dairy, the Bernal property AND continue to maintain all of the local playgrounds and the sports parks, tennis courts, etc. These hilltop megamansions will use all of our ammenities and we will get a trail that goes from one side of the city to the other. Why? Do you hope to get the trail named after you like Dolores did for the swim center?
The reality is that many people view the ridges throughout the south east hills, but only a small few will ever hike them.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:11 am
"If they give land for trails they will NOT not be giving $$ to the city to help pay for OUR infrastructure expenses, our existing city parks like the sports park and new Bernal property parks"
Fact Check: The Oak Grove development plan includes not only land for trails, which will be paid for by the developer, but also infrastructure improvements (such as a light at Hearst Dr.) and other mitigation fees and amenities (a new wildland fire truck).
"Money is tight for our city."
Fact Check: Our city has a surplus of cash.
"P-Town has to pay for the develop. of Firehouse theater, Meadowlark dairy, the Bernal property AND continue to maintain all of the local playgrounds and the sports parks, tennis courts, etc"
Fact Check: Everyone voted yes on the Bernal property plan even though there were no funding sources identified for that project. That is not the fault of "developers".
Fact Check 2: Someone should look up the financial health of the budget for existing parks and recreation facilities before the argument is made that a yes vote on PP will somehow ensure those facilities continue to receive adequate funding.
"The reality is that many people view the ridges throughout the south east hills, but only a small few will ever hike them."
Fact Check: The ridges of the southeast hills that are visible to "many people" are outside of the Urban Growth Boundary.
"Do you hope to get the trail named after you like Dolores did for the swim center? "
LOL! If Oak Grove manages to survive the obstructionist NIMBYS, I recommend that a trail there gets named as Karen suggests!
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Southeast Pleasanton neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm
Money is only tight for the city if you consider that it needs to build out the Bernal park. Otherwise, there is money in the bank.
Keep in mind that all the developers give money to the city when they build; these dollars are called impact fees, because every development has some kind of impact on the city, such as traffic to be mitigated, schools, parks, water treatment, etc. So,if the development doesn't happen, then the city doesn't need the fees. The city doesn't lose anything, because there is no impact that needs money. The impact fees do not go to paying for ongoing maintenance of city amenities.
The southeast hills ridges visible throughout the city are not all outside the Urban Growth Boundary. You can see where Lund Ranch will be built from the Bernal park out to the water slides. And why do people keep saying that the PP proponents don't want Lund Ranch built because they don't want the bypass road built? One has nothing to do with the other. Last year, the city manager and city attorney were on record at a city council meeting saying that Lund Ranch does not pay anything toward the bypass road.
The city has so much surplus money, why don't they put in the bypass road they promised everyone in Happy Valley? And put it where it was supposed to go, not the cheaper place the builder wants to put it - over the top of a hill that is visible to everyone. It's going to look disgusting. And while we're at it, I don't want to see more than the 22 allowed houses on the Spotorno flat lands either. We have 2 acre zoning in Happy Valley and I don't care if Al Spotorno pays fees to the bypass road - putting 80 houses on those 33 acres is rediculous and will ruin Happy Valley.
I want that PP to pass. It is the only way we will ever get protection of the rest of the hills. The city council will never protect our hills. They will do whatever the developers want, just like moving the bypass road to the worst spot ever.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:13 pm
Stacey, I just don't know where to start....
The firetruck is to service Oak Grove. No Oak Grove, no need to charge up steep hills to put out fires.
The Bernal property MUST be paid for, even if the citizens voted for it.
Views of the hills - in the Urban growth boundry or not are just that Views of the hills/ridgetops. Leave them alone and if you have to, build somewhere else!
The math is simple, if you force the developer to give up land for trails, they will NOT be giving land for soccer fields or sports parks - the busiest area in this town. Face facts, this town is a family town driven by parks and school scores. Hiking trails do not contribute to either one.
Vote Yes on PP - the original hillside protection measure
Vote No to QQ - it is all double talk and has no real commitment to the people
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:26 am
"The firetruck is to service Oak Grove. No Oak Grove, no need to charge up steep hills to put out fires."
I believe the fire dept still needs a wildland fire truck with or without Oak Grove. I'll have to check up on this one later.
"The math is simple, if you force the developer to give up land for trails, they will NOT be giving land for soccer fields or sports parks - the busiest area in this town."
Who says this? Where is it written? It looks like you're just making an assumption that isn't based upon any fact.
"The Bernal property MUST be paid for, even if the citizens voted for it."
Again, where is it written? The point I want to make is that citizens want to have the responsibility through direct democracy to be making legislation but don't want to be responsible for the consequences. If an elected official put together and passed such a fiscally irresponsible plan, they'd be hung. So the City is saddled with trying to find ways to get Bernal paid for. And when they try to make deals and compromises with developers in order to get that funding, they're accused of being "pro-development". Where does the illogical thinking end?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm
HAHA! More spin!
"Then two weeks ago, a letter writer to both of the Livermore Valley's weekly newspapers lifted comments from a more recent column about WW and, taking them entirely out of context, and used them to express her support for Measure PP in Pleasanton. "
Posted by Franny, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 5:58 am
Prop. 8 would be discriminatory
Oct. 19 - Jane Barlow writes that she is "a little puzzled at the lack at outrage among Californians" over same-sex marriages. I must admit I am puzzled too. What is so outrageous about two people loving each other and expressing their commitment legally like the rest of us?
The exact title of Proposition 8 as stated on the ballot is "Eliminates the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry." If Barlow and the rest of the Prop 8 supporters really have issues about the indirect impact of the current legislation on churches, religious charities and the public school system, perhaps they should have redrafted the proposition specifically as such. Eliminating rights based solely on sexuality is akin to discriminating against one's color, creed or gender. It's just plain old bigotry, which has absolutely no place in our constitution.
Caroline J. Yu
Would you be happy to see your kids confused when they see that both their parents belong to the male species? How would you feel if their friends start making fun of the fact that their family is abnormal? Why don't you reflect on it for 10 minutes and ask yourself if you're OK with that?
Nobody is eliminating gay rights-- they are free to vote, to cohabit with someone they love, to wear whatever, or eat wherever. The issue of same sex marriage is a moral one. Marriage is designed as a union for a man and a woman, not between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. The US Constitution is explicit on this. If same-sex marriage is allowed, what's next? Marriage with animals?
Don't compare discrimination based on sexuality to discrimination against one's color. There is not point of comparison. Gays did not suffer as much as black people. Your certainly don't know what you're talking about.
People who have high moral value are against same-sex marriage. Those who have none advocate for it. Or maybe they think it's "liberating" to express their anger to people who are pro-Prop 8. Tell you what, your letter doesn't make you a hero at all.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 7:50 am
"Don't compare discrimination based on sexuality to discrimination against one's color. There is not point of comparison. Gays did not suffer as much as black people. Your certainly don't know what you're talking about."
WOW!!! Somehow now people have to have gone through a certain level of suffering before they are afforded equal rights?! That's discriminatory!