"No on D" guy in front of Amador Valley High School Around Town, posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 9:31 am
There seems to be a big effort from the people who oppose measure D.
On my way to Amador this morning, I saw a lot of NO on D signs, and then I saw a guy standing between the student and front parking lots, holding a "NO on D" sign.
Will the "YES on D" people get organized enough before the June vote?
I am voting Yes on D because I think it is good for Pleasanton. I also think that people like Kay Aayala and Steve B (who was also against measure G) have hidden agendas and do not have the well-being of Pleasanton in mind.
Posted by junebug, a member of the Alisal Elementary School community, on May 26, 2010 at 11:42 am
The No on D people are hoping that voters mistakenly think their slogan "dont mess with our ridges" is referring to Pleasanton Ridge instead of the obscure hillside area SE of town where Oak Grove can only be seen by a limited number of big estate homes who are themselves objecting to the 51 homes and 496 acres of public open space.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm
The No on D people do not have the money that the developer has so holding up a sign is how they get out the message. I have seen so many things in the mail from the Yes on D campaign. The Yes on D campaign spent over $20,000 as of the middle of March, and most of their mailers have been since there so will be interesting to see the next filing on the amount of money they spent. The No on D is a true grassroots campaign; campaigns that Pleasanton is famous for. Don't know how much money the Yes people spent but my guess the filings they do will not be accurate as the developer, Charter Properties, already has multiple campaign finance judgments against them for not disclosing information. For them, the fines by the FPPC are just the price of doing business.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Wondering, I guess that people you do not agree with must have hidden agendas?
The only hidden agendas I see are from our Mayor. She wants to go to higher office and needs financing. James Tong of Charter Properties is known as a big financier of campaigns. Mr. Tong was a major contributor to Tom Pico's campaign for Assembly and has his fingers in quite a few political races. The Mayor knows that if she helps out Mr. Tong now, in any way she can, that Mr. Tong will return the favor in her subsequent campaigns. James Tong has to do special filings with the state since he is considered a Major Donor to political campaigns.
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm
"The Yes on D campaign spent over $20,000 as of the middle of March, and most of their mailers have been since there so will be interesting to see the next filing on the amount of money they spent."
I have not seen a single mailer about YES on D. There was a guy that stopped by my house a couple of weeks ago to lobby against D. He gave me a flier.
I have not received any information about YES on D. In fact, my spouse was planning to vote NO until I talked to about it this morning (will be voting YES). There are NO on D signs on the homes of many people throughout our neighborhood. Only one YES on D.
I did approach someone with a NO on D sign, that person took the sign down after I explained how it was a good thing for Pleasanton. This person had incorrect information given to them by the same guy that stopped by my house a while back.
I think that the YES on D people should promote their message better; otherwise, NO on D people may just prevail.
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm
"Wondering, I guess that people you do not agree with must have hidden agendas?
The only hidden agendas I see are from our Mayor. She wants to go to higher office and needs financing. James Tong of Charter Properties is known as a big financier of campaigns. Mr. Tong was a major contributor to Tom Pico's campaign for Assembly and has his fingers in quite a few political races. The Mayor knows that if she helps out Mr. Tong now, in any way she can, that Mr. Tong will return the favor in her subsequent campaigns. James Tong has to do special filings with the state since he is considered a Major Donor to political campaigns."
Why is NO on D good for Pleasanton? You do realize that it is private property, right? So if the 51 homes do not get built, something else will. I recall Steve B. a while back using the argument that we needed more "starter" homes . So is this what the NO on D people want? Low income housing? Why? Sounds like an agenda to me. Steve B. even has the street with his name, does he want to protect his property or is he really looking out for the well being of Pleasanton?
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm
The No on D people a development plan that conforms to Measure PP. This has nothing to do with starter homes or low-income housing.
As for the mailers, I have seen multi-page ones, one that looks like a handwritten not from the mayor (which is funny because right under her name it says "Paid for by Frederick Lin" indicating Frederick Lin is paying off the mayor). I have talked with some other who have received more so I guess they are targeting specific areas.
Wow, I did not realize Pleasanton was controlled by the Tea Party Conservatives. Interesting but the Tea Party people I know are actually supporting this project.
Posted by sickofit, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm
I am voting No on D.
I have received no less than four very nice and glossy mailers asking for a yes vote on D. In addition, I have received two very slick phone calls from a 'survey' firm who wanted my opinion but was really trying to convince me that I should vote yes on D.
You can see how much has been spent on the City of Pleasanton website. All the filings are there and the Yes on D campaign is spending a fortune. That doesn't count the campaign contributions that they made over the past two years to our Mayor. Check out the spending numbers - don't take my word for it.
I like the hills the way they are. The $2M in schools won't help since Oak Grove will add students anyway and it can only be used for capital and not operations. The City is in pretty good financial shape and the cost of maintaining the free park could easily exceed the amount being paid by the developer. And finally, the development agreement is very poor written and gives all of the advantages to the developer and tries to tie the cities hands.
Vote No on D. Let's have development up there that complies with PP. It would be about 28 homes and wouldn't destroy the rideges (which, by the way can easily be seen from places like Bernal etc.).
After the No on D vote, I am going to vote all of the current incumbants out of office. They don't represent me and I don't believe that they have respected the people who elected them!
Posted by Curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm
Anonymous, before you start accusing the Yes on D folks of not disclosing all their expenditures, I suggest you do a little checking. Alain Roberts was cited by the FPPC for not filing appropriate paperwork during the signiture gathering process. I suspect when and if the Yes on D folks file their latest campaign expenditure/donation report, we'll find that Alain Roberts is the principal/largest donor. But of course his lot abuts the Oak Grove property so this is definitely a NIMBY issue for him--never mind what's the best for the entire city.
I guess its not surprising but the more I talk to people, they think Measure D is about the western foothills and have no clue where the Oak Grove property is. I find that the N on D people have been misleading on that and should be straight forward that the property is located at the top of Hearst Dr and Grey Eagle Ct so that is clearthat many of the supporters live right in that neighborhood.
Anyway, make sure you have the facts before you start making accusations!!!
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 7:10 am
"I suspect when and if the Yes on D folks file their latest campaign expenditure/donation report, we'll find that Alain Roberts is the principal/largest donor. But of course his lot abuts the Oak Grove property so this is definitely a NIMBY issue for him--never mind what's the best for the entire city."
Did you mean "if the NO on D folks file..."?
I agree that most of the NO on D people live in the neighborhood close to where Oak Grove would be. They are doing this for themselves, and they do not care about what is best for Pleasanton.
Posted by No on D, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 9:26 am
The Valley Times Editorial says it best in its STRONG support of NO on D, "this fight could have been avoided. But that would have required the City Council to listen to the residents' concerns rather than overriding them."
Mr/Ms "Wondering" - This paper's editor is a neutral party whom does not live in our fine City. So your theory that all of the NO on D people live next door does not hold up!
Posted by longtime Ptown resident, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 9:27 am
I grew up hiking in the hills that are proposed for development. I am voting YES so that I can once again enjoy the beauty of those hills upclose. Since the building of the Kottinger Ranch, Grey Eagle etc developments, that area has been prohibitive to get to and only an exclusive group gets to enjoy the natural beauty. By voting Yes on D, your kids will get a chance to experience nature & maybe see a jack rabbit or two. That land will be developed eventually and this seems like as good a plan as we can get. $$ for the school district and a park for the community. Also, look at the map and you will see that the homes are hidden from the ridgeview; the park trail will follow the ridge. 51 homes will not be adding excessive financial burdens to the schools, soccer, or little league fields, that some posters have been claiming, that we won't make up in property taxes.
Posted by ADA is not enough, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
The big problem is that ADA does not cover the cost of educating our students. That point has been made over and over. I wish it did, but as the State budget woes continue to rob money from our schools, ADA does not cover the whole cost to the PUSD. If the ADA falls short say, $5 per student per day, more students means more shortfall.
Posted by sickofit, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 9:44 am
This TriValley Herald Editorial says it all:
Tri-Valley Herald editorial: Pleasanton residents should vote no on Measure D
Posted: 05/27/2010 12:01:00 AM PDT
FOR THE second time in as many years, Pleasanton voters are being asked to weigh in at the ballot box because their City Council has been deaf to their concerns about hillside development.
In 2008, with the passage of Measure PP, voters said they didn't want development that requires grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater, or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline. On June 8, voters will be asked to rule on a development that violates that measure.
We urge residents to vote no on Measure D and reject the Oak Grove proposal for 51 custom hilltop mega-homes ranging in size from 7,000 to 12,000 square feet. We believe voters have been clear about their hillside development concerns. Those concerns should be respected. The developer should be required to comply with Measure PP.
This showdown has been nearly two decades in the making. Jennifer and Frederic Lin own the 562-acre parcel that's at the center of the dispute. In 1992, they won city approval for a 122-unit development that included an 18-hole golf course, but opponents launched a successful referendum drive to overturn it.
In 2003, the Lins returned with a plan for 98 homes on the site. Environmental review and negotiations between the city, the Lins and nearby landowners led to a 51-unit compromise that sets aside 500 acres for permanent open space. Unfortunately, it also involves cutting as much as 43 feet off hilltops.
Long before the Lins submitted their 2003 proposal, the city adopted a general plan that called for developing a ridgeline preservation ordinance to guard against "negative visual impacts" of building in hilly areas. But the city never followed through on the hillside guidelines.
It all came to a head in 2007 when the City Council approved the Lins' proposal, infuriating residents concerned about the visual impact of hillside development. Those residents collected signatures for a ballot initiative to establish the hillside regulations the City Council refused to adopt. They collected signatures for a separate ballot measure, a referendum, to overturn the City Council's approval of the Lin proposal.
Voters approved the initiative, Measure PP, finally establishing the city's hillside ordinance. They did so despite the City Council's sleazy attempt to confuse voters with a gutless competing measure.
As for the referendum on the Oak Grove development, the Lins filed suit to try to block it. A state Court of Appeal finally ruled in July 2009 that the referendum could proceed, setting the stage for the June 8 vote on Measure D.
In the referendum, voters will be asked whether they support the City Council approval of the development. Thus a yes vote would allow the project to proceed, while a no vote would block it and force the Lins to come back with a new proposal that complies with Measure PP.
It should have never come to this. If city officials had complied with their promise more than 10 years ago to develop a hillside ordinance, the Lins' 2003 proposal and the subsequent compromise would have been drafted to comply with the rules. This fight could have been avoided. But that would have required the City Council to listen to residents' concerns rather than overriding them.
Posted by Educated, a member of the Foothill High School community, on May 27, 2010 at 10:21 am
It's just my guess, but I don't think "tea-party conservatives" are the people fighting this measure. Conservatives tend to be very pro-property rights. I'd bet it's mostly the wacko liberal environmentalists that are fighting it.
(I am a "tea party conservative" and an environmentalist, but not the wacko liberal variety. My only concern about measure D is Hosterman is for it and I tend not to agreee with her on much. I fear ulterior motives, but will most likely vote yes.)
Posted by confused? vote NO, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 10:32 am
Dear Educated, you name represents a person that would look at the facts in a neutral and intelligent manner. My suggestion is that you do not use your "guess" "think" "tends" "I tend not to agree with her much" etc. and learn the facts. The best research balanced with your own values will lead you to vote in an "educated" manner.
Either way, you will need to address how you feel about 43 ft. cut off the ridges, 62,000 truck loads of dirt moved, the city's own general plan that protects the ridges-in spite of this "grandfathered-in " development, 7,000 to 12,500 sq. ft. houses, etc. in exchange for a hiking trail. If you want this development, vote for it, but not because of someone else's opinion. If you think the developer could do better, as I do, then vote NO and let them come back again, because they can do that in 1 year + 1 day.
Posted by HappyParent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 10:37 am
Just yesterday my teenager commented that she and her friends are planning to hike the Pleasanton Ridge over the Memorial Day weekend. I am so delighted she and her friends are choosing to spend their free time doing something healthy and fun! And it's lots cheaper than going to the movies or Six Flags! Some folks won't be happy with seeing homes in that portion of the hills, however many more acres will be kept as open space and accessible to ALL Pleasanton residents. I'll be voting YES on D and I hope others do, too!
Posted by Donna, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 10:48 am
It is not just a "hill" if you live close by. Please don't forget the folks that make up that side of town. It is not just some small area, this will effect a lot of people. Vote no on D, save the "hills". Just look at the Dublin "hills", do you want Pleasanton to look like that? I don't!
Posted by confused, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 11:07 am
Ok, I am confused. If D fails, does that stop any building on the ridge, or does it mean that building will go on anyway, but instead of 51 homes and a park, there will be 98 houses and no park? I think there are already too many snobbish people in Pleasanton already. Think about what kind of people these mega mansions will bring, and how much water and energy they will use. In this economy, who can afford to build and maintain these types of homes? Just something to think about.
Posted by junebug, a member of the Alisal Elementary School community, on May 27, 2010 at 11:09 am
Im surprised by the naivety morphed into conspiracy theories about media and ballot measure funding. Why shouldnt the Lin Family and Charter Properties pay to prepare and mail informational materials to support their right to develop their property? Or why shouldnt they file a lawsuit to try to protect their interests. They have spent argueably millions of dollars and over a decade trying to reach a compromise solution so they can build on land they pay taxes on, pay for maintenance and liability insurance. Why make them into villians when the entire process has been publically debated and analyzed for years. And the Mayor supports Measure D so why shouldnt the informational materials have her testimonials? I personally want to know the position of my elected officials.
As a side bar, Im piqued that people stand on Santa Rita/Valley Intersection with their protest signs because they know how much traffic is funneled through that west/east arterial, and yet they are some of the same people who object to Stoneridge Drive/Staples Ranch being completed which would relieve traffic from the Santa Rita/Valley neighborhoods.
Posted by Chuck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 11:51 am
I, also, am voting YES on "D". Campaigns that start off with a lie, usually become even more dishonest as time goes on. For instance, I heard the signature collectors in Front of Lucky Stores saying that Senator Feinstein supported this measure. I know -- this was a long time ago, but it gives you a pretty good clue as to the mentality of the NO people, for starters. And, I am also aware that that claim has since been repudiated. But, it WAS SAID and WAS USED!
Hidden agendas? YOU BETCHA! Karla Brown just doesn't want any traffic by her front door -- classic NIMBY approach. Kay Ayala ? Any agenda that promotes Kay would be a good starting point. She still hasn't got over losing the last election she ran in. Too bad.
And finally: Will voting NO solve anything? NOT ON YOUR LIFE. It will just make some more attorneys even richer THIS MEASURE IS GOOD FOR PLEASANTON OVERALL, AND FAIR TO THE PROPERTY OWNERS. I AM VOTING YES, AND I URGE YOU TO DO SO ALSO.
Thanks for reading this far............................
Posted by Stay focused, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm
The "no on D" campaign is really quite simple. Those living on the ridges in Kottinger Ranch DO NOT want others navigating through their neighborhood to get to the proposed trail head! All of the paths that exist today in Kottinger have signs posted notifying all that they are for the use of Kottinger residents only. Please vote yes on D and give everyone in Pleasanton access to this land. Kottinger Ranch consists of many more that the proposed 51 homes on ridges.
If D does fail, I hope the Lins build the ugliest 98 homes anyone has ever seen as payback. They have owned this land MUCH longer than the most existing residents who live in Kottinger have lived in Pleasanton.
Posted by Educated, a member of the Foothill High School community, on May 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm
My "guess" IS educated, based on a numerous conversations with "tea party conservatives". Dee's assertion was based on a perception that "tea party conservatives" are against anything which will help Pleasanton in general and schools in particular, and that is very far from the truth.
I HAVE read quite a bit about measure D and do have some concerns which I will resolve before I vote. I think I explained that in my previous post.
There are always tradeoffs in situations like this. The main question behind this measure is whether or not the Linn's property rights have been fairly balanced with the interests (pro AND con) of the community. From what I know so far, I think they have.
Posted by D W, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm
It's too easy for most people just to dis the City leaders. How about realizing that there are people who are voting NO not because they agree with the Ayala side or they disagree with the Hosterman side, but because they don't trust the Lins? Think about it. What percentage of NOs feel that the Lins are not only shafting us voters but also shafting the City government? In other words, how many NOs think the Lins are stealing our money?
The Lins are known to get what they want when they want no matter how long it takes. I'm convinced there are more citizens who despise the Lin way of doing business than one would believe.
Posted by Kathy, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm
The Sierra club does NOT support Measure D - please check before you make claims. The opponents of Measure D are not opposed to property rights, but it is important to remember that all property owners are subject to the rules and regulations of the municipalities within which their property lies. Measure PP was approved by a majority of Pleasanton residents to help preserve our ridgelands. Defeat of Measure D would allow for an additional proposal for development of the Lin property that would conform to Measure PP. Once the rideglines are gone, they are gone for good. Please be careful and informed when you vote. I think you will join me in voting NO.
Posted by reasonable, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm
I love the hills around Pleasanton - I especially love hiking around in them, but I'm surrounded by 'private' hills such as Kottinger Ranch that I'm not allowed to step foot in. So I am voting Yes on D. Pleasanton is not wilderness, it is a suburb!! So even though I am actually a member of the Sierra Club I will break ranks this time. Measure D will provide access to nature in an area that will be developed (or fenced off) someday anyway.
I do appreciate the grassroots energy of the No on D campaign, but just because Yes on D is supported by the developer does not make it a bad idea. NIMBYism can be just as bad as corporate self-interest. This time, my nature-loving ways happen to tie in with the property owners!
Posted by DB, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on May 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm
Of course the Mayor is for proposition D: take a look at her list of campaign contributors available on the City of Pleasanton website: predominantly realtors, who of course are pro development and pro D.
No wonder the Mayor is sending post cards in support of D (thinly veiled mailing from developers under her name).
D is full of falsehoods: Many have pointed out the financial lies of funding to schools that will never materialize and is misrepresented. But the "open space" is also a farce: For example, what they're counting in the "90%" open space is what they cannot develop anyway because it is comprised of ravines and steep slopes.
And there's no attempt by the pro-D folks to make anyone think it is Pleasanton Ridge at issue: at the Farmer's Market they display the topo maps, and these aren't "obscure ridges" as one comment above states: many of us are in full view of these ridges and enjoy them as they are in all their rural rangeland splendor.