By Tim Hunt
Let the campaign startUploaded: Mar 3, 2016
The majority of the Pleasanton City Council made the right call Tuesday night when they scheduled an election to determine whether the public will uphold their approval of a 43-home development on Lund Ranch on the southeast side of town.
The expense is not-trivial (about $250,00), but it is cheap compared to letting a neighborhood with some wealthy residents pervert a reasonable government process—even if, in Pleasanton’s way, it took way too long. This pits one neighborhood against another and the council did its best to split the baby by routing streets so about 25 percent of the traffic went through one neighborhood, while the rest went through the other one where homeowners were notified when they closed their purchase that there was the possibility of traffic to Lund Ranch as well as to the Callippe Preserve golf course.
Folks in Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhood hired a consultant and paid signature gatherers to mount the petition drive. It certainly was not a community-wide uprising—it was driven by a tiny percentage of Pleasanton citizens to overturn a decision that they should have expected before they moved in.
Just how this will play out at the ballot box given the misleading material used by the signature gatherers remains to be seen. One difference is the developer, Greenbriar Homes, will be engaged with its cash to get its side of the story out to the public.
It was disappointing to see Councilwoman Karla Brown calling for her colleagues to rescind their approval based on finances when family wealth paid for the petition drive.
There is a core principle at stake here—a reasonable process that led to a major compromise (174 acres of open space that is publically accessible unlike Karla’s neighborhood where the open space is private) vs. folks with money buying a way to overturn a council decision. Since the signature-gathering drive hit the required number (barely), then it’s time for the citizens to decide.