Town Square

Post a New Topic

Letter: School dollars from D?

Original post made on Apr 18, 2010

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 16, 2010, 12:00 AM

Comments (60)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

This letter makes some very strong points.
It has bothered me that the Developer of Oak Grove is deliberately misleading the community and exploiting our concerns about school budget cuts. The school mitigation fees are for capital projects only and will have no impact on the current school budget.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Wow Diana, I wonder what the real facts are. You don't seem to know. I guess a $2-3 Million increase to the school district isn't important to you. It is to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

As Laura Danielson writes: "Again, it's more complicated than they want to let on."

This letter doesn't talk about the amount in property tax that will be contributed to the schools for operational costs. Nor does it mention the current bonds. Or put another way, the amount these properties will contribute for the bonds subsidizes what you owe.

Go ahead, call the district and ask them if they think they'll come out ahead or behind with regards to operational funds they'll receive as a result of Oak Grove compared with how much additional costs they'll incur as a result of Oak Grove.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

How many new staff will the district need to add for X number of students generated by Oak Grove? How much additional revenue does X number of students bring (remember, State pays X amount per ADA)? Does the cost for the new staff exceed the additional revenue or?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Just look up on Ed-Data ! Revenue Limit per ADA in 2008/2009 was $6199. Let's fake a number: 51 homes = 51 new students. Multiply 51 new students by $6199. How many teachers does that pay for?

Or maybe look at total per ADA funding from all sources that the district received in 2008/2009, which was $9,992...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Talk about misleading!

The prospective students that might be generated by the development are students included in the district's demographic study, so they are not students on top of what is already projected.

The money is paid to the district as the homes are built, that may or may not be true. No matter when it is paid it means a minimum of 2 million and quite possible at least 30% more than that.

However the property tax revenue to the city and the school district, not to mention the bond money is on going. No matter when it comes it is money to the school district. And the net gain is higher than the cost of the projected number of students.

One thing not mentioned is the number of jobs that will be created in our community.

The open space that will connect the hiking trails from the Pleasanton Ridge to the west to Shadowcliffs to the east. This is a huge gift of publicly accessible open space.

These are not hills even visible from Pleasanton because the Kottinger Ranch homes already block whatever view there may be. If you look at google earth you will see that some of the Kottinger Ranch homes are actually higher than proposed homes in Oak Grove.

Check out the facts.
Vote Yes on Measure D


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I wonder if the district could use some of the impact fees to help pay off the facilities bond and thereby reduce the amount of tax owed by all property owners in Pleasanton. The district has an obligation to taxpayers to pay off its debts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Or maybe they can use it to pay off their interfund loans like from the Sycamore fund.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

It's really kinda funny, or really sad, how the anti-homes folks try to divert our attention. They don't want to talk about the real question: is a development in the foothills that brings 51 homes, but contributes 500 acres of open space, an important link to our trails master plan, and millions of dollars to our schools a good thing, or a bad thing?

Instead, they throw us a question of how many words are in a ballot initiative (funny how that question disappeared, huh?)

Or they ask which pocket of the school district that the increased revenue is going into.

If this were any other town in the Bay Area, the community would be shouting their thanks to the landowners for their generosity. But oh no, here in Pleasanton "we do things differently."

Lets ask ourselves this: if it were the houses that each of us live in today, how would we respond to someone saying "Oh no, you can't build that here where I can see it, it's a McMansion! Go back where you came from!" Really kind of an ugly attitude, don't you think?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't be mislead
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:28 am

Don't be mislead.
If we think unlimited ADA dollars will benefit our district we do not need to build even one more home. PUSD can open its boundaries and allow the hundreds probably thousands of student from other districts to attend Pleasanton schools. Many from other districts try to come every year. Every student that attends who lives in Fremont, Hayward, Oakland Livermore or Dublin would bring ADA dollars. What would the 'quality of life impact' of our already overcrowded campuses be on our students?
Housing growth does NOT pay for itself when it comes to schools, if it did schools in high growth areas (San Ramon) would not be suffering the same budget issues that Pleasanton is.
The point is 51 homes will not dramatically add to our current school impact, but building 51 homes does not produce a 2 million dollar check to help our current budget crisis as the developer is implying.
Don't be mislead.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

Misleading:
"The prospective students that might be generated by the development are students included in the district's demographic study, so they are not students on top of what is already projected."

The current demographic projection shows that we need at least one, maybe two, new schools that the district no longer has money to build as this letter points out.

These 51 home will not produce 2-3 million dollars, the statutory state fee is very small anything over that is at the discretion of the home builder that can just say no. Again misleading.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Apr 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

Does anyone know at what point during the project the proposed 500 acres will be donated? I heard it might not happen until all 51 homes are sold and built.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kurt Kummer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

Hi 'concerned neighbor.' The agreement with the City specifies that the 496 acres of open space at Oak Grove will be given to the City when the final map is recorded, and before a single lot is sold or a single home is built. In addition, the developer must build the trail system and trail staging area before the sixth lot is sold.

And to give you an idea of how this park will compare, it will be about five times the size of Pleasanton's Sports Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

Thank you Kurt, and thank you also for your years of service on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

I sincerely hope that residents will support Measure D. Many of Pleasanton's long time park and trails advocates worked for years to secure a development compromise that would ensure permanent preservation and public access to these 496 acres of gorgeous, walkable, oak woodlands. Do you know of another community that enjoys such a unique open space asset within it's city limits?

Look around at the many homes on Pleasanton's hills. A few more (less visible by comparison) seems a small price for such a big park that all Pleasanton residents will enjoy forever.

Vote Yes on Measure D.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

14 posts and 5 from "Stacy". Shouldn't you be supervising the housekeeper or yelling at the gardner for trimming the bushes back too far? One bit of advice: collect your thoughts, collect your data, make one post and go out and enjoy life!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Repleasnacrat
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Kate
Don't you be diss'n Stacey. She comes up with some great stuff! And she is one of the ONLY registared people on this forum! And why you got to be assuming she's some tyrannical McMansion operator! I know Stacey of Amberwood....and you Kate are no Stacey!

And don't be assuming everyone wants to live like you do! I have a good friend that is a quadriplegic whose major source of entertainment is responding to post on these wacky boards.

Now on that note, VOTE YES ON "D".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Repleasnacrat
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Dang near forgot to ad my thoughts about Ms. Danielson editorial. I doesnt matter how or when PUSD gets the money. No contractor fees are ever used for operational budgets of PUSD. The addition of students from 51 new house is laughable compared to the new 3000 "affordable" units our buddies from the Peoples United Habitat for Free Housing of Bezerkley want to build by the bart station. Very few things devalue a neighborhood/area MORE rapidly than subsidized housing. Do you need specifics? Get a huge map and about 5000 push pins! Oh, please vote yes on "D"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Let them build the homes. There is no sane reason to oppose this. I know people who have lived in Pleasanton for over FIFTY YEARS, and new homes were being built all the while. We are doing just fine. The no on D people are just using scare tactics.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Stacey could build this blog thread all on her own. Who's to say she isn't a few other people too.

A few questions for you "yes" folks...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

1. Since when do people who live in 12,500 sq. ft. homes have just one kid? How many kids will their maid(s) have? How about their landscaper's kids? How about the decorator's kids? Do you really think only 1 more kid will be attending their school? Not even close!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm

2. Is decimation of the ridges a good trade for mega-mansions?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm

3. Does the fact that the Taiwanese land owner has sued the Citizens of Pleasanton, The City of Pleasanton and the City Manager affect your decision to support this development?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm

4. Shall we tell this developer, ALL of their many attorneys, the land owner, the generously paid City Council members and Mayor that our Pleasanton Citizens DO NOT accept gorilla tactics to intimidate or bully?

SAY NO TO OAK GROVE AND NO TO MEASURE D.

Tell the developer come back with a goal to work together or GET OUT OF TOWN FOR GOOD!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Repleasnacrat
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

Joe
Whats up with the antenna on your tin foil hat! Are you for real or what. Decorators kids most often live in their own homes...not at the home of their parents clients. Ditto with the rest of the staff. Who is the "we" telling the developer to head back to Taiwan? Deep breath there little man, put your torch and pitchfork down, slowly turn around and return to your cardboard hovel behind the KFC.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2010 at 8:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

1. Joe, it was a faked number for purposes of illustration and I said so. Call the school district to find out how many actual students they're anticipating from Oak Grove. Also don't forget to ask them if Oak Grove will have a positive or negative affect on their revenue after costs.

2. Which ridges? Point out specific lots. It is up to each voter to decide if the placement is appropriate.

3 & 4. You mean the US Citizen who lives in Taiwan who already has "worked together"? But what are you really trying to say? Reasonable and responsible voters will decide based upon the merits of the project, not upon the characteristics of the property owner.

Diana,

As a growth issue, let's be realistic about the actual impact to Pleasanton of 51 homes in Oak Grove. The district doesn't need to build more schools to accommodate 51 new students. They've actually lost more than 51 students as families hit hard by the Great Recession have had to move out of Pleasanton. To turn down $2MM in capital impact fees plus the large increase in property tax revenue to both the schools and the city (plus 500 acres parkland, etc.) just because of a concern over low impact growth sounds like cutting off a nose to spite the face.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Stacey,

"The point is 51 homes will not dramatically add to our current school impact, but building 51 homes does not produce a 2 million dollar check to help our current budget crisis as the developer is implying."

"These 51 home will not produce 2-3 million dollars, the statutory state fee is very small anything over that is at the discretion of the home builder that can just say no."

As stated above the Developer is exploiting the communities concerns over the budget cuts with misleading information. I believe the 2-3 million is a VERY wrong number given the state statutory limit on mitigation fees. I would like to see the math that justifies that number.

"The current demographic projection shows that we need at least one, maybe two, new schools that the district no longer has money to build as this letter points out."

I was being very realistic in responding to a very misleading statement by another poster. We can not take comfort in the current demographic projections when it shows very clearly we are already beyond capacity. I believe the latest report shows we have gained students overall and are not expected to have any significant decline anytime in the foreseeable future.

I also make the point that the additional students from these homes will have minimal impact on our schools. I remain concerned that all continued growth will accumulate to damage the quality of life for our students because of the districts VERY poor planning for growth.

The district does like to absorb more students to collect more ADA dollar but we do not need to build more homes to do so and this community must consider the cumulative quality of life trade off in continuing to do so.

My bottom line is whether you support this project or not it is misleading to quote figures of 2-3mm and allow the community to believe this project will have a positive impact on the current budget cuts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

"I remain concerned that all continued growth will accumulate to damage the quality of life"

You're joking, no?

" cumulative quality of life trade off in continuing to do so."

Like what? Was that a joke post? You're not serious, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm

The property owner has already said that he will pay the gift tax which I believe is $8.62 a sq ft. He has delivered a letter to that affect to the school district.

With 5000 square foot homes that comes out to 2.2 million. If the homes are larger it will be more up to 3.5 million which is the limit by law. This doesn't take into account the tax dollars and the bond money that will go to the schools whether there are students or not.

All this is easily verified by calling the school district.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

The letter has not been approved by the district or the city which is required. So if the developer has recently "discovered" that people found out he did not sign it, it is still not a done deal. There are also caps in the housing size that is used for the payments so the 12,000 square foot house is not paying more than a 6,000 square foot house. As stated, this money is for facilities to house the additional students, not for operations.

There are no mare tax dollars to the school district. The property taxes do not go to the schools. The schools get paid by the state on a per student basis. We already know that is not enough per student and that is why the district is doing fundraising.

The bond will not be receiving more money. As properties are added to the city, each property pays their percentage of the total value of the city. The amount to the district is the same whether there are 1,000 homes or 1,000,000 homes. The only difference is how much each home, or commercial property pays. Because of the total value of property in Pleasanton, these 51 homes, no matter how expensive they are, are really such a small percentage of the property value of the city that each existing property tax bill might go down a penny. It will be lost in the noise because of other costs.

While the city will receive more property taxes from these houses, they have to provide services also. These homes are not in the 5-minute fire response time so if there is any fire there, it will cost more to service them since there will be more damage by the time the fire crew arrives and there will most likely be an all-call for every available fire crew to go in site because of the high fire danger. Fires here will most likely need air support which is quite expensive.

The developer is throwing around numbers about fees being paid (which are near the same fees being paid by any other new house in Pleasanton that is not in an environmentally sensitive area). These fees will not really help the city as the fees mostly pay for the increased services. You should base your vote on the housing project and the location and not on the fees.

If you voted for PP or QQ in the last election to preserve the ridges, you should be voting no on measure D.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous is WRONG
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

"The property owner has already said that he will pay the gift tax which I believe is $8.62 a sq ft. He has delivered a letter to that affect to the school district."

WRONG! The developer is saying that the homebuilder will pay, NOT a check from the OAK Grove developer!

No matter what the land developer says the only fee that the homebuilder is required to pay is $2.97 SQFT with a cap of 7000 (or 5000 according to the developers). Based on the developers cap this is $757,350. of capital only dollars that are probably 10 or more years away, NOT 2-3mm. There is no benefit to the current school budget cuts and the burden will out weigh any benefit in the distant future.

Beware what you believe from a developer, once they get their approval promises mean very little. Remember that Signature promised to build a school in exchange for millions of dollars in discounted school mitigation fees. They got their approvals and their discount.....we will never have the school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Laura Danielson
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:22 am

Common sense should tell the community that with the addition of Ruby Hill and all the recent development in the Vineyard Corridor the schools are still broke. We all paid many millions in school fees, property taxes and bond fees and weren't even able to get the neighborhood school designated for our area. The fees from 51 homes are not going to save anything.
This developer has not even finished all the paperwork to sign onto the gift agreement as far as I know, and given their already litigious behavior to the city council and citizenry I don't believe that what they SAY they will do, means they may really do it. No matter what side of "D" you are on you must know that there is a very big "IF" here.
Signature Properties should have taught us all a BIG lesson in believing the fairy tales of a developer's good intentions. I was correct when I stood in public and predicted that
S.P's second agreement was not worth the paper it was written on (and the PUSD lost millions) and common sense again tells me that I'm probably right here as well.
Don't reward paid hype, unfinished documents, misleading statements and sue-happy developers. We all lose in the end if things don't work out.
Vote No on D.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

"Don't reward paid hype, unfinished documents, misleading statements and sue-happy developers. "

This is the weirdest issue. You've got your house, so nobody else gets theirs? I still can't tell if you people are joking or not. It is still a free country, right? I have seen some yard signs, so some people must care about this for some reason. Maybe it is some kind of April fools thing?

"These homes are not in the 5-minute fire response time so if there is any fire there, it will cost more to service them since there will be more damage by the time the fire crew arrives and there will most likely be an all-call for every available fire crew to go in site because of the high fire danger. Fires here will most likely need air support which is quite expensive."

Oh, now I see that this has to be a bad attempt at humor. Maybe it is time for you guys to give it a rest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Is $1MM in traffic mitigation fees enough to "save" our traffic problems? Is the idea that existing problems won't be "saved" by the contribution reason enough to turn down $1MM in traffic mitigation fees, $2MM in school impact fees? Should Ruby Hills have not been built because of later problems over Neal school and Signature?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Check, I did. The owner has committed to the gift tax and the district is prepared to execute the agreement. It was discussed at the school board level. Obviously you are making assumptions. The land owner may roll that in to the cost of the land but the buyer will know that. I imagine one of the reasons a person might buy property like that is because of the quality of the schools


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wrong again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

There is discussion but no binding agreement. I checked!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

No signed agreement.

The land owner also does not pay for the fee. It is paid when the house goes for permits by the new homeowner since the fee is calculated on the square feet of the actual house.

The new homeowner technically does not have to pay the high fee as it is a "gift". The land owner might agree to it but the new owner could object paying it since it is illegal in California to charge more than $2.97 a square foot for school fees. Signature Properties already sued the school district on this and won.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm

another resident,

You have to be kidding. Your whole argument is that you have your house, so now nobody else should get to build one?

If you've got a problem with some absurd minutia in the permits, go help them work it out. Don't just get in the way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm

The signature property issue was totally different. It was an agreement in lieu of fees. It was poorly written from the beginning.
The gift fees are part of the school district website and John Casey has said he was going to execute the agreement for the Oak Grove development.

The school district stands to get between 2.2 million and 3.5 million in one time gift fees depending on the size of the homes.

We all know what the Pleasanton Ridge looks like. We can see it from most of Pleasanton. This is NOT the Pleasanton Ridge.

Where are these ridges that you speak of? If it was a defined ridge area like the Pleasanton Ridge, you would be able to see it from Bernal near downtown looking East. Or perhaps from Sunol Blvd looking behind Raley's or even driving up Bernal near St. Augustines? Realy try and get a picture of this from the flats.

You can't seen them from the flats of Pleasanton because the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood is in the way. Some of those homes are higher than the proposed homes among the hills.

You have to be all the way up the hill at the gate beyond the homes to see the hills. See for yourself.

What about the trail connection and the open space? Insignificant? I say no. It protects Pleasanton from encroachment from the South. With the housing cap gone, we need this protection. It makes this space accessible to all the people of Pleasanton, not just the ones on top of the hills in Kottinger and Grey Eagle who enjoy the view and are trying to protect private property from the rest of us so they can enjoy a private open space area in their backyard.

Vote yes on D


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous is WRONG
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 22, 2010 at 2:05 am

Anonymous you are sooooo wrong!!!! The district has far less power to collect the gift agreement than they did the Signature contract which the District claimed was "air tight" at the time.
By law they can only require the $2.97 per sqft capped at 7000ft, unless the homebuilder wants to give a "gift". The developer is NOT promissing to give a "gift" they are saying the future homebuilder will but there will be no legal requirement.
You are foolish to believe the future homebuilders will give millions of dollar they are not reqired to give.
There is currently NO contract and if there was it would have NO legal weight!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tracy
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

You know, I follow these forums but don't comment much but the issues around the schools I find most meaningful as I have 2 kids still in primary education. I lived in Danville for 7 years and found it an okay community and still keep up with the local issues via the danville weekly - they have a post right now about a mom who spit on a child, and a whole bunch of parents defending the mom (apparently the child was pretty troubled).

I'll take the discord here any day - in spite of our differences (and I'm not sure where I stand on this issue) we all want the best for our kids.

Moving here - best decision ever.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2010 at 7:42 am

To quote Laura Danielson, "Common sense should tell the community that with the addition of Ruby Hill and all the recent development in the Vineyard Corridor the schools are still broke. We all paid many millions in school fees, property taxes and bond fees and weren't even able to get the neighborhood school designated for our area." I've always thought that Ruby HillS only care about Ruby HillS but this seals the deal. Laura, please research how many schools were completely renovated or how many new schools have been built and then report back. Poor Ruby HillS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

I think that Pleasanton should stay the same as it was millions of years ago. The ridges were unspoiled (actually, the ridges were not even here yet), there was no pavement or houses or Home Depots. Why can't we just go back to the way it was.

In light of Earth Day, I think we should all agree to move to a different planet and leave this one which will hopefully return to the natural state that existed before humans.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

Kate, A little class envy maybe?

The point that was made is growth does not pay for itself when it comes to schools. Do not be mislead into believing there will be millions of dollars to relieve the budget cuts. Promised school fees should not be a deciding factor in how you vote on this project.

Tracy, After moving here 20 years ago and raising 4 kids here, (two still in PUSD) it is the best decision ever. You are absolutely right, our common bond is we all care about our all of our kids (and community).......welcome.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 22, 2010 at 9:35 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Diana wrote: "Promised school fees should not be a deciding factor in how you vote on this project."

Well, precisely. I don't see the ideas written above about statutory limits, promised gift taxes, etc., as an argument for why someone should turn down the whole of Oak Grove (the 500 acre parkland dedication to lock up land in the southeast hills for open space preservation _IS_ more than a promise).

Also, I don't share the same view as you that anyone is being mislead into believing that the budget problem will be relieved. Who here has written that they believe this? If they are, then that person deserves to be duped. But how is that a good reason to turn away $2MM? That's like if PPIE were to give back all the money they've raised for CORE so far because it won't fix the fundamental issues.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I did receive a call from a "survey" person who I found out was representing the Oak Grove Developers. They are saying that one of the reasons we should vote for Oak Grove is the donation of money to the school district which is badly needed in these economic times.

The developers are trying to mislead the public on the school fees. Stacey, I know you understand the issue but the average person probably does not. I feel that we should remove all the fees from our equation on whether we support this development or not. One-times fees especially. The housing would be here much longer than the one-time fees would last.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Well of course you want to remove any talk about money being given to the schools 'anonymous,' that might make people think that Oak Grove is a good deal for Pleasanton, and we simply can't have that, can we?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

Stacey,

"These 51 home will not produce 2-3 million dollars, the statutory state fee is very small anything over that is at the discretion of the home builder that can just say no."

"No matter what the land developer says the only fee that the homebuilder is required to pay is $2.97 SQFT with a cap of 7000 (or 5000 according to the developers). Based on the developers cap this is $757,350. of capital only dollars that are probably 10 or more years away, NOT 2-3mm.
Beware what you believe from a developer, once they get their approval promises mean very little. "

Many people have reported getting letters and phone calls representing the developer. They feel the misleading message is exploiting the communities concerns over the budget cuts.

Stacey you are great at doing research do you have any facts to counter my information about the statutory fee to make you believe that 2 million is an accurate figure?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The Pleasanton Unified School District has a clearly defined, specifically written mitigation fee schedule for houses built in Pleasanton. Currently residential homes are required to pay $8.62 per square foot when plans have been approved by the Planning Commission. If you take 51 lots at Oak Grove, and assume 5000 sq.ft. homes being designed, the amount given to the school district would be $2,198,100.00 Pretty easy to calculate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Westsiders naive statement proves that voters are being mislead.

The mitigation fee schedule is called the Gift Fee Agreement.

The statutory, or manditory, state fee is $2.97 anything over that is illegal to demand, the home builder can just say NO. It would not be enforceable if the Lins promised that the home builders will pay a higher amount. The Lins are not offering to pay the school fees themselves. Once the project has its approvals there is no incentive for the home builders to "GIFT" 300% of what they are required to pay.

"No matter what the land developer says the only fee that the homebuilder is required to pay is $2.97 SQFT with a cap of 7000 (or 5000 according to the developers). Based on the developers cap this is $757,350. of capital only dollars that are probably 10 or more years away, NOT 2-3mm.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Diana, for heaven's sake! Just call the school district and ask!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oh Please
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm

And what is with those signs...Don't Mess with our ridges? See that is the exact reason we can't have a reasonable discussion on this issue. Hey Kay Ayala, those ridges don't belong to you! If you want the property, buy it. Perhaps instead of referending the project, the opponents of Measure D should have placed a bond on the ballot to purchase the open space!

It is against the law to take away someone's property rights without just compensation. I think with this project, the people of Pleasanton are getting a deal! Half as many homes as they have rights to, money for our schools, and the largest land grant of publically accessible open space. Hey Kay, maybe when you were on the Council you shouldn't have included that property in the General Plan with 98 homes.

Yes on Measure D


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Westsider I have verified my information.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Diana,

Just from a precursory look around for information to answer your question, I come up with different information than you, specifically the amount of the statutory limit. Therefore, it would be fair to you if you could start by explaining what you understand about California's statutory limit on school impact fees and where you're getting that information from. This way we can be talking about the same thing from the same basis.

And from the bigger picture, there doesn't appear to be anything preventing a developer and a school district from signing an agreement for higher fees and it has been done. It appears that the purpose of the statutory limit is to prevent developers from being arm-twisted by school districts into higher fees (i.e., the development won't get approval unless the developer commits to higher fees) rather than it being a limit of what can be agreed to between the two parties. So, for example, if a developer wants to gift more, they do not appear to be prevented by the law from doing so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I have longtime knowledge of the fees and agreements. Also PUSD just had a discussion of fees at which they stated the current state fee is 2.97. It is reported in last weeks Independent.
You are right that a developer can agree to pay a higher amount but this developer is not agreeing to pay a higher amount, they are saying the homebuilder will pay 300% of the required amount. They can not assign that obligation to the homebuilder, it would not hold up if the homebuilder said no. It is just another empty promise from another developer.
I don't think all developers or homebuilders are bad but Pleasanton residents have reason to beware after the Signature mess. And this developer has shown bad faith by sueing the City and residents.




























 +   Like this comment
Posted by Puzzled
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Well said Diana! This mess is like the captain of the Titanic trying to steer away from the iceberg and a group of passengers saying "but the iceberg owns the property!"
Why are so many property rights proponents in this community so stubbornly committed to heading into almost certain disappointment?
We gave Signature Properties the benefit of the doubt and lost millions for our city and school district.
The Oak Grove developers have already bent the truth in their slick advertising and sued the city and it's citizens, so why are folks who teach their kids qualities of character willing to accept this?
Stand up for your community by sending the Oak Grove developers and Charter Properties packing as Livermore did.
Vote NO on D


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Diana,

How are you so sure that "they can not assign that obligation to the homebuilder"? If it's in a contract, the home builder can assume that obligation. What I take from reading Ordinance 1962 is that the City can withhold permits if there isn't an approved program for funds _in addition to_ the State/local required school impact fees. I haven't seen any actual agreements, but I'm going to assume that this is a known issue (with some hefty case law around it) and that some program has been developed to pass on the obligation to the home builder. Do you have contrary information?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Or what I should say is "some program that is binding has been developed to pass on the obligation".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The answer would lay within the "program" developed between the developer, PUSD, and the City and depend upon the City's approval. As citizens, we can hold the City accountable for that approval. They have the police power to withhold the issuance of permits so it depends upon the City's approval.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Diana,

BTW, here's some things I had found on school impact fees: "A Planner's Guide to Financing Public Improvements - New School Facilities" Web Link
"Calif. City, School District Lower Impact Fees" Web Link

There's a "level one" cap and a "level two" cap. The "level one" cap is lower than the number you cited from the school board meeting, which leads me to believe that the higher number is attributed to "level two". Apparently some school districts in California charge something like an additional $4 to $6 per square foot as "level two". So yes, despite there being a statutory cap, many jurisdictions find the ability to charge more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 26, 2010 at 9:01 am

but the fees are optional under the title of "gift" i am told. Oak Grove can't obligate a home builder/developer, the can only suggest they pay the higher rate.

and Oak Grove land owner will pay zip. the individual developer or homeowners will pay.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The valley loses a distinguished and humble leader
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,486 views

Not Endorsements
By Roz Rogoff | 7 comments | 1,081 views