By Roz Rogoff
From Cemetery to Supervisor?Uploaded: Sep 6, 2014
What is Vice Mayor Phil O'Loane up to now? Is he planning to run for Contra Costa County Supervisor? It sure looks that way with the pied piper of Dougherty Valley leading his followers around the proverbial cliff because they don't want to live near a cemetery.
Phil has been politically ambitious for over a decade. He first ran for Ron Raab's unexpired 2 year term back in 2001, which was only a short time after he moved here. He withdrew from that election for business reasons.
Phil later served on the Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission. He changed his views on moving San Ramon's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) into Tassajara Valley in the draft General Plan. He was the only Planning Commissioner to vote against approving the 2030 General Plan, which was later put on the ballot as Measure W for voter confirmation.
The City Council did not need to put the whole General Plan on the ballot. Only the changes to the Urban Growth Boundaries needed voter approval. Jim Gibbon suggested two measures, one for the western UGB which no one objected to, and one for the east into Tassajara Valley, which the proponents of open space objected to.
Their argument was if San Ramon's Urban Growth Boundary was moved, our City Council would support massive developments out there, which was not true. The property is still in Contra Costa County and San Ramon would not be able to develop it without the County taking the initiative. The only purpose for moving the UGB was to give our City government some say in whatever the County decides to do.
After Phil was not reappointed to the Planning Commission he joined with Save Mt. Diablo, the Greenbelt Alliance, and the Sierra Club to defeat Measure W. Those three environmental organizations contributed a combined total of over $100,000 to the No on Measure W campaign, to keep San Ramon's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) from being moved into to Tassajara Valley.
Literature sent by the No on Measure W campaign described a scenario of 4000 houses being built on Sid Corrie's property in Tassajara Valley. This was totally false. Corrie changed his plans to a cemetery in 2005 and they all knew that. Now they don't want the cemetery there either.
Sid Corrie has two sets of plans for his property in Tassajara Valley. 1. Build a mega cemetery 2. Build housing developments. If the cemetery is prevented, Sid Corrie could go back to his original 1998 plans to build 4000 houses. Phil says the County won't allow that because it is outside of their Urban Limit Line (ULL).
If the County Supervisors are under pressure from ABAG or the One Bay Area plan to add more housing, and there's potentially millions of dollars in developer fees in it for them too, a supermajority (4 out of 5) Supervisors can vote to move their Urban Limit Line without requiring a ballot measure. That could of course be another campaign issue for Phil if he is planning to run for Supervisor.
Phil used his success from No on Measure W to run for City Council. His Council seat will be up for reelection in 2016. Supervisor Candice Anderson's term is also up for reelection in 2016. County Supervisors can vote to move their Urban Limit Line in 2016. Hmm, 2016 should be an interesting year.