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Council places Oak Grove referendum on June 8 ballot

Original post made on Feb 18, 2010

Pleasanton voters will be asked to decide in June if the developers of a 51-custom home project at the end of Hearst Drive and atop Kottinger Ranch can proceed with their plans that the City Council approved more than two years ago.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 18, 2010, 7:39 AM

Comments (52)

Posted by Fred, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

Oak Grove is on the ballot again? How many times will it be on the ballot? When will our City Council notice that the citizens of Pleasanton don't seem to want the Oak Grove project? And the cost of putting it on the ballot in June? $80,000? Please don't bill me for this boondoggle.

However, I do favor an election to solve this issue. I believe that three of our council members are up for reelection this year. Perhaps this would be a good time to give some support to Sullivan and McGovern.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The meeting was transparently political. If I could have written a script for it, my script would have been really close.

Sullivan likes to come off as a politician of principles. He plays up a lot his direct democracy credentials yet when it comes time to put something to a vote of the people, he'll rationalize a way to deny that. Hey, no political skin off his teeth with those votes. Even though he supported the Oak Grove project, he doesn't lose any points by supporting the referendum because he knows the other three will vote a certain way.

Speaking of political skin, putting the vote on the June ballot instead of running in the same election was also transparently political. I bet everyone else, if given the same choice, would also not want to run on the same ballot as a referendum that one opposes. It is unfair to ask others to do that, but it is politically tactical to do so. Make the others look like ***holes.

More political tactics: playing up the idea that signing a petition is just so that something can get on a ballot and give voters a chance to vote on it as a way to gather signatures. Yet when the opportunity comes to actually put it on the ballot, urging it to not go to ballot. Looks hypocritical, like Sullivan's turn on his principles, but it would be tactically dumb to do otherwise! The reason? Because you have a chance to get what you want and the end justifies the means.

Hey! That's politics!

Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

I agree with the decision to allow the community to vote. At this point it seems the only logical course. Bu I strongly disagree with the decision to spend an extra $70,000 (estimated) to rush it to ballot under the auspices that it might affect the political process of the Mayoral and Council elections in November. It will obviously have an effect regardless of the respective election dates.

On another note, I am pleased to discover that Jeb Bing can write an objective piece when he is not invested in the outcome of the subject.

Posted by Jan Batcheller, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

I think it is important to note that the referendum was not a vote on the project, but rather the desire of the citizens to be able to vote on the issue. The Council did exactly that Tuesday night.

In addition, I think that the cost of the June ballot is small compared to the cost benefits to our city and schools from Oak Grove. It is estimated that our schools alone will receive $2,000,000. in school impact fees from the project. And our schools will receive approximately $300,000. annually from taxes that will be generated from Oak Grove.

Posted by Anne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:26 am

I agree. The Council had a difficult decision to make this week and they made the right one. They have to decide what is best for the City and residents of Pleasanton and the impact of 51 residential lots, with nearly 500 acres of open space, is far less than the positive benefits the city will get, especially when considering that this lot is entitled to 98 home sites.

Posted by Does someone know?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

Can someone tell me the arguments against or for the ballot initiative? Is it in the best interest of Pleasanton to vote yes or no?

Posted by Anne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Oak Grove is a good project for Pleasanton. The fact is that the property's zoned for residential - so they'll build something there at some point. They are entitled to 98 houses based on their zoning, and they're not required to give away a large chunk of their land as a park. So their current plan of 50 houses plus giving away 90% of their land - plus the fact that the project will generate $2 million for school fees and a million for traffic mitigation - is a great deal for our city, especially right now when we could use that money.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I think there should be a better explanation somewhere of how a property owner becomes "entitled" with regard to current zoning and case law. McGovern didn't seem to understand.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

This is also an important concept: Web Link

PP includes a 10 house exemption. That means Oak Grove could likely end up as a development with 10 large homes on top of the hills. If it didn't have an exemption, it could probably be considered a "Taking".

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

McGovern often says she doesn't understand something when she clearly doesn't want it to be so. Sullivan is absolutely hypocritical to say he believes in democracy and then votes to rescind. What happened to the vote of the people? He also worked hard for the compromise. He was in favor of Oak Grove. Met with numerous neighborhood groups. I guess the four years of process with one neighborhood was not important compared to the two years of process he went through with the initiative. HUH?

Posted by Jack, a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Did you or Jeb even watch the meeting???? The price tag is $97,500 for June because there are no City items on the ballot, the cost is much higher. Where did Jeb get $70K from? If the item is on the Nov. ballot, the cost to the City is printing costs est. at $10K. That is $87,500 WASTED tax payer money!!

Measure PP said NO developements great than 10 homes on Ridgetops and 25% grades or 100 vertical feet from a ridge. There are no exception for trades/bribes of trails and open space. None!

Three members of this council just threw our money away to avoid political heat. My grandad would call them cowards. Poor leadership at its worst.

Posted by Diana, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm

This article missed the point of why many asked the council to rescind the project approval (as I believe did my favorite poster).

Kay did not say that the Oak Grove project should be rescinded just because they collected the referendum signatures. Kay reminded the council that the initiative stated that the project should be EITHER put to a vote OR rescind the project. But she also reminded the council that a clear message was sent with the passage of PP and QQ, both initiatives passed sending a voter mandate to protect the ridges.

In addition to the signatures gathered for the referendum. Both PP and QQ passed with a strong majority to protect the ridges. Why should we spend another nearly $100,000 and put the community through the burden of countering the money stream that this very wealthy developer will use to influence (confuse) the community.

I think Matt showed great character standing up for the community.

Posted by I Still Don't Get It, a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

The Lin's own this property, it's zoned residential, the planning commission approved a development with 91 homes with a golf course thrown in. That somehow got canned. Along came 51 homes with a gift of about 500 acres to the City as open space. (Something similar to what happened when Golden Eagle Estates was developed and the Bernal Park was donated to the City?) Now there are a few folks who for whatever reason don't want anything built on the Eastern hillside, so they pass around a petition get some signatures and tie the whole thing up. In my view the City Council should have said so what and moved on with the development. Now we get to vote on it. My guess is the development with the land gift will get approved (as well it should) and maybe a few disgruntled folks will try to find another way to stop or delay the process. Why? Isn't this private land, zoned residential? Don't the owner have the right to develop this land? If this project gets voted down, my guess is the owners will petition the court to declare a "Taking" by the City and demand market value payment for the land. Where will that money come from? Come on folks 51 homes will not be an eyesore. Are the homes on the Western ridge an eyesore? What are we really talking about here?

Posted by justwondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

While watching the meeting, I found it curious that Karen Martens could stand at the podium and accuse members of the council being bought by developers as it relates to Oak Grove. Yet she chooses to ignore the fact that Allen Roberts received a letter from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)dated 10/7/09 notifying him that he is in violation of Government code for his independent expenditure of $7,363 made in 2007 in support of gathering signatures to referend Oak Grove because he did not file a semi-annual statment by 1/31/08 for the period of 1/1/07 to 12/31/07. "Your actions violated the Act because you failed to file a semi-annual statement ending 12/31/07 by 1/31/08 as required by Section 84200 subdivision (b)." He was ordered to file a semi-annual statement but yet I can't find that he has filed a statement.

How can she stand at the podium accusing the Mayor of receiving donations which were legally disclosed but yet not mention the money spent by one individual who's property happens to adjoin the Oak Grove property who did not follow the FPPC rules of disclosure? Further, Councilwoman McGovern received $1250 in campaign contributions from Anne Fox-Pugh and Richard Pugh in 2008. She recently appointed Anne Fox to the Hacienda Task Force--was that bought?

I find this all very hypocritical and makes me think that the folks referending Oak Grove are doing it for all the wrong reasons rather then for the good of the City

Posted by Larry Lindsey, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm

The Oak Grove development is good for Pleasanton. Almost 500 acres of open space, $2,000,000 in development fees to the city, on going fees for schools and additional fire equipment. The residence of Plesanton have to be realistic that to gain 500 acres of open space and other benifits you must give up something, just 51 up scale homes clustered into the development that will have design review by the city as to how each fits into the enviroment. This is a "no brainer". Election cost of $70,000 to receive $2,000,000 in fees. Where is the oppositions logic?

Posted by Jackie, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Just Wondering.. the difference is that Allen Roberts was not paying/bribing or what ever you call it, an elected official. Big Difference.

And Larry, do the math. Where is the money coming from to cover the expenses to support these homes, education dollars, fire dept. expenses, road maintenance expenses, and I could go on and on. The builder fees are called Impact Fees because the of the Impact those houses will have on all of the city services. Will the owners have children? Then they have to pay their own share of the education expenses. Will they every have a fire on those golden dry hills in the summer??? Then they need a special fire truck that you and I do NOT need. Will the police ever get called up there? Then where is the line item to cover those costs? It is buried in the Impact fees. Get it?! Those homes are paying for their own extra costs - they are NOT paying for you kids schooling.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Dear Jan;
Yes the referendum poses 2 questions to the council, rescind or put it to a vote of the people. No one knows for sure what the results will be.

However, Measure PP with 60% of the voting population voting to protect the hills - that is a known fact. There were NO strings tied to it - just protect the hills - park or no park - fire truck or no fire truck -don't build on the ridges and steep hills. Period.

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm

The 3 members of the council were afraid to support Oak Grove during a November election - so they spent $97,500 (cost of a June election) less $10,000 (cost of a November election) = $87,500 of our tax payer money just to force it into June.

Why couldn't they have just donated that money to the schools and looked like heros instead of jerks.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Why couldn't they have just donated that money to the schools and looked like heros instead of jerks."

Well, that's the political tactic, to make them look like jerks. But would Sullivan also run on the same ballot as an issue he opposed? Do you think it is tactically a good idea to do so if you were in that position? Politics = the ends justify the means.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"Yet who can the world trust to be idealistic and moral enough to help all of humanity and the environment, and at the same time, be practical enough to make extremely difficult decisions that can and will harm a great deal of people?"

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Democracy lesson: Web Link
" It has been historically proven that republics are much more stable than democracies, since republics have a single and strong head of state and are not easily swayed to current public opinion. "

Haha, this site is great!

Posted by justwondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:38 am

Jackie, so its okay for Allen Roberts to not follow the rules for financing campaigns. . . yet, the Council and the Mayor have followed the rules for campaign finance disclosure. What kind of campaign can we look forward to for the ballot campaign?

Just about every speaker asking the Council to rescind their vote, gave money to Councilmember McGovern including $1,000 from Richard Pugh. Does that mean her No vote was bought?

Posted by Albert, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 19, 2010 at 8:46 am

$70,000. for a special election, you have no sense of financial resposibility. No wonder we have defcits.

Posted by Ben10, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:27 am

When I signed the petition a few years ago, Kay Ayala herself told me that it was so the people could vote on this issue. Now they want to make the leap that my signature meant I opposed it? That's not fair. I think many of those signatures, like mine, were so we could study the issue further and then vote on it. I don't appreciate the bait and switch approach from the anti-Oak Grove people and think the council did the right thing.

Posted by Corporatocracy in Pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

With all the pro-Oak Grove rhetoric on this blog I smell Angela-Ramirez Holmes back in action! And, Stacey, are you on Hosterman's Gang of Three PR payroll?

To make it simple, the Council majority hasn't seen a development or developer they didn't like. Campaign contributions in large amounts seem to have that effect on politicians. You may not like McGovern or Sullivan, but at least they're fighting for the citizens.

And Stacey, you may pontificate all you want about representative vs. direct democracy but it matters little. What we have in Pleasanton (as we do at the state and national level) is a corporatocracy. Look it up!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If Sullivan were really "fighting for citizens", he would support putting the referendum on the ballot.

Posted by Corporatocracy in Pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

And Stacey, democracy is so much more than simply voting. That's why we are in the mess we are in. As Sheldon Wolin says "democracy is about the conditions that make it possible for ordinary people to better their lives by becoming political beings and by making power responsive to their hopes and needs. What is at stake in democratic politics is whether ordinary men and women can recognize that their concerns are best protected and cultivated under a regime whose actions are governed by principles of commonality, equality, and fairness, a regime in which taking part in politics becomes a way of staking out and sharing in a common life and its forms of self-fulfillment. Democracy is not about bowling together but about managing together those powers that immediately and significantly affect the lives and circumstances of others and one's self."

THAT's what it's all about!

Posted by Andy G., a resident of Birdland
on Feb 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

Regarding Ben 10's comment, I too was approached by not Kay but Steve Brozorsky (sorry if I misspelled that) while with my children in front of Safeway & was essentially given the same rhetoric regarding the intention of the referendum. I told Steve that as a part of a past job with the USGS I had a chance to survey many of the land in the area & as far south as the Nuclear facility near Vallecitos Rd. & commented on how beautiful the area was & what an absolute benefit it would be as an open space use park. He seemed to have no interest whatsoever in obtaining these lands for public use & even realized & commented that the majority of homes would not even be visually obtrusive from practically anywhere in Pleasanton other than the specific Bernal, Kottinger & Stanley corridor. This new U-turn of the anti Oak Grove folks have me smelling something afoul in the air & it's beginning to stink if you ask me.

Methinks that there is an agenda of small, yet vocal special interests bent on curtailing this project in particular & perhaps in favor of a yet to be planned project.

Posted by to larry, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

To Larry, we have over 500 acres of open space there now. The developer already developed Kottinger Ranch that is currently there. They could however submit a plan for that space that does not permanently disfigure the way they are by cutting off the tops of the hills. Might not get 50 homes but this speculative developer already made a windfall in developing Kottinger Ranch and the community does not owe any speculative developer to make a minimum profit.

As for the development fees, those are development _impact_ fees. That means that these are not gifts to the community. These are fees that pay for the impacts that development will have on the community. The fees being charged are regulated and are done through a required nexus study so the fees paid are equal to the impacts the development makes, no more.

The fees to the schools are for facilities to cover the additional students from the development. There is no money for operating the schools to pay for teachers except for what we get from the state, and we already know that is not enough. Adding more students and getting the amount we get from the state digs a bigger hole for the school district. To prove that point, if we wanted more students to get more money from the state, we could allow more out-of-city students in our schools. We have a long list of people who want to get into our schools who do not live here and we do not allow them since the money we get from the state does not cover the actual cost of educating the student (at least that is what the district keeps telling us as they ask for more money).

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Corporatocracy in Pleasanton,

Preaching to the choir there. Now when you re-read what you just wrote, think about the Oak Grove property owner, or any property owner.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Angela Ramirez Holmes has gone on to other things. She is not representing anyone in Pleasanton. She works for an assemblymember in another area. I think she is busy.

Posted by Jan Batcheller, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I can't understand how citizens come to the conclusion that they can control another's property. This family bought the land in 1979 and have paid taxes on this land for 30 years. They brought a development plan to the City Council after four years of planning and meetings and negotiations with the City and its citizens. They are abiding by the General Plan. What gives citizens the right to decide what the Lin family may or may not do with their property? The family followed all the required procedures and made concessions beyond what was asked. I think any other community on this planet would welcome such and plan and be grateful for the owner's generosity.

Posted by Hey Jan, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Jan, one of the problems was the Oak Grove development is technically in violation of the General Plan. Even before Measure PP and QQ passed, the General Plan had policies that prevent Oak Grove from being build. This council chose to ignore those policies, saying they were more of a "guideline". Measure PP took away the council's discretion in ignoring the policies already in place.

This developer also subdivided the property already and developed Kottinger Ranch as mentioned above. I am sure the profits from this more than pay for any property tax they have still have. They could have given the rest of the land after Kottinger was developed and there would not have been any taxes.

While there might have been some time the developer was talking with the city on their development, the community was not always in the loop. So the politicians could have been doing behind-door negotiations. I am sure you are aware that this development plan did not even go to the Planning Commission for public input and potential modifications like all other development in Pleasanton. The Planning Commission did not approve the EIR and so that was appealed to the City Council. The City Council did approve the EIR on appeal but they also said they were going to approve the development plan/PUD without that going to the Planning Commission. Someone told me that was illegal but I don't know. The city would probably never admit that as they have enough problems with this developer suing everybody (city clerk, city manager, referendum supporters, ...).

Jan, I assume you were against the protection of the Pleasanton Ridge adjacent to Foothill Blvd. That was owned by private individuals. Do you feel they have the right to build whatever they want, wherever they want?

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Matt Sullivan and Jennifer Hosterman brokered those meetings. Sullivan voted for the development. A look back at the minutes in the fall of 1007 would tell you a lot about what is and isn't true. Much of what Hey Jan mentions is revisionist history. The planning commission's lack of a vote was engineered by someone no longer on the planning commission trying to derail the project. Anyone could find this out by searching city records and reading the minutes.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

2007, it just seems like 1007

Posted by Voter, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I got a phone call the other day...another 1-800 number. I usually ignore these calls, but picked it up for some reason. The person on the other end asked if I could answer 3 short questions regarding living in Pleasanton. I asked her who was sponsoring this poll and she said "the Oak Grove initiative". I told her I was against Oak Grove and she said, "okay" and hung up. I never did get to find out what they wanted.
I've already voted "no" on this and really feel the money spent on putting on the ballot -- AGAIN -- because the majority of the council didn't get their way would be better spent at the school district!

Posted by iwastheretoo, a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The planning commision voted 3-2 NOT to certify the EIR. That was overriden by the City Council. But, in doing so, the council did not send the development agreement or the conditions of approval back to the Planning Commission for detailed work. That is a huge process flaw and, frankly, there are many things that would not normally be allowed in Pleasanton.

Yes, check the minutes of the Planning Commission - it wasn't engineered by anyone...but the City Council really blew the process here leaving the City and its citizens exposed.

The Kottinger Ranch HOA never endorsed this project - contrary to what everyone is saying. There is a tremendous 'ignoring' of the facts and a lot of fiction so check sources first hand and verify, verify, verify based on the written record or audio tapes.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

There were representatives appointed by the HOA who signed off on the project. As I understand it, the vote was 5-4. And last time I checked the HOA of Kottinger Ranch does not speak for the city of Pleasanton. Yes do verify, the very same council member who solicited neighborhood input and said in the minutes what a great compromise the development was is now singing a different tune. . . which is what happens when you are neighborhood centered and pit one group against the other. The same council member who touts direct democracy yet wanted to rescind the project based on a referendum that asked whether the citizens of Pleasanton wanted to vote on the project. Inconsistent? Flip flopper? What good reason changed his mind? The proponents of the referendum who either live in Kottinger (on 25% slope or greater), or live somewhere else on a hill in the city, or has an economic vested interest in NEVER seeing that property developed, or in one case, purely political. Under PP and QQ, the Lin's right now could develop 10 mansions using all the land because ten or less parcels are exempt from the ordinances enacted.

Do your homework. Call council members and talk to them directly about their reasoning. I did and it made sense to me.

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

Anonymous..... Matt S. made a decision based on 3 hand picked KR homeowners (not empowered by the HOA to make commitments) which provided input to the council. There were also local meetings with the public - but those meetings are were a waste of time. I attended the Vintage Hills public meeting - and NO one wanted the development at all. I have never heard that from anyone on the council or in the paper.

Also, The folks that I talked to at KR said they were told by the Lin's attorney, they were going to get this development now or in the future. If this was rejected, the Lins would come back 1 year + 1 day with a MORE than 51 home development until something went through. They would wait, and comeback over and over and over because the Lins have so much money - they can just sit and wait for the next opportunity.

Many homeowners in Vintage Hills and KR did not understand the City's General Plan and process of measures like PP. And you can bet the Lins attorney whom acted like he was on the local people's side, did not offer info. on measure PP. But the City officials did not offer it either.

Face it, the city officials wanted the trail, 495 acres, they wanted a link in their potential trail system and they wanted the campaign funds; and 51 homes was a small "bribe" or "trade" however you want to look at it. Now with the public vs. the 3 man council, it has become an item of wills and egos.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

Dear Jan....
You are involved in our city and you KNOW there are restrictions on land owners here in pleasanton in 2010. There are the General Plan, our zoning laws, green construction guidelines, other building codes, there are roads and traffic flows, etc. There is NO location in the USA where a landowner has full right to do what every they want. And Pleasanton is no different.

What this land owner does with his land affects the city, the neighbors, the school district, the fire department, traffic, the water district, the Park District, the Planning commissioners (as the houses go for approval) and more.

Perhaps 100 years ago, a land owner had ultimate rights, but this is in our city and yes, there are laws and neighbors that the land owner must respect. I personally don't see that as a problem.

Posted by Confused, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

My wife and I voted for PP and QQ, 60% of the voting population wants it, why won't the council respect our wishes? Why are they wasting our tax payer dollars on a ridiculous election? It is crazy that they know what we want and won't listen.

Posted by Wizard of Oz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Because dear Dorothy/Confused... it coes not benefit the council to rescind their approval of Oak Grove. They want it and have formally promised the developer in the development agreement, that they will not do anything to limit the rights of the land owner... and they will never support a referendum of the development.

I think we call that "Paying the Piper."

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

I agree that it's ok to put the project up for a vote....however I wonder how many times this project needs to be voted on! However, I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with the City Council's decision to once again spend more money that it needs to in order to put something on the ballot. In these tight times - any excess spending should be avoided. The ballot measure should have waited until November and the 70K + saved. What's an extra 5 months when the citizens have already spoken several times on this piece of land. City Council - do you spend your money at home as freely as you spend the taxpayer's money of Pleasanton?

Posted by Jack, a resident of Danbury Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Can you say, "Fiscally irresponsible?"

Posted by iwastheretoo, a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I do not believe that it was fiscal irresponsibility but political reality. The candidates did not want to tie their futures to the potential outcome of Oak Grove. With a much shorter timeframe, it does not allow as much fund raising by the opponents and could be seen as an advantage to the pro Oak Grove folks. According to the council, the poor public might get confused and might not be able to discern Oak Grove from all the other initiatives that are on the ballet in November. I love it when our City Council insults our intelligence like this. Politics in the small town - amazing.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I love it when the proponents wanted people to vote on it now. Then decide it is best for all to rescind. This should not be a city that basis it's decisions on one issue. I agree with the council. This should be voted on asap so that the other things the city needs to work on can get done. Delaying to November has its political angle trying to paint the council majority in a particular way. Just a reminder, Oak Grove was approved with a 4-1 vote.

Everyone involved deserves to have this over.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Well, yea. That's politics, as they say...

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

But can a responsible elected official(s) act as though Measure PP never existed? They should take PP into consideration in their decision making processes and they did not - there lies the real problem. The citizens go to all of the trouble of collecting signatures, pay for signs, the city pays for a vote of the people and the majority of the council still think they know better than their constituents!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, let's take PP into consideration. PP showed that people want a chance to vote on hillside issues.

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

Now Stacey, you know a lot better than that! Measure PP is a part of our General Plan and it states- excuse the paraphrasing- NO structures witin 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline... NO structures on a slope of 25% or greater ... NO Grading ridglines ... 10 units per existing parcel are exempt...and it answers the question, "What is a housing unit?"

Absolutely nothing about, we should vote on each and every ridgeline development that comes along.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 26, 2010 at 8:31 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Absolutely nothing about, we should vote on each and every ridgeline development that comes along. "

HAHA! That's because, while the papers were filed for it, that initiative drive never collected signatures!

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and my friend here will have the kibble."
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