Auto mall, senior living community sail through Planning Commission

After Wednesday's approval, portions of Staples Ranch project will move on to City Council

A number of seniors walked away from the City Council Chambers Wednesday night with smiles on their faces as the Planning Commission gave its approval to a new senior living community on the Staples Ranch property.

Three Staples Ranch items went before the commission at their meeting: Continuing Life Communities' proposal for a 749-unit senior residential community, Hendrick Automotive Group's plans for an auto mall on 37 acres and a development agreement that will allow for the Staples Ranch property to be transferred from Alameda County ownership to the city of Pleasanton. All sailed through with unanimous support by the commission.

Roughly 50 seniors who were in attendance expressed their support for the residential community proposed by San Diego-based CLC, saying time is of the essence for the project to move forward.

Described by CLC chief executive Rick Aschenbrenner as "casual elegance," the gated community to be named Stoneridge Creek for those 62 and older will be built in phases and could take eight to 10 years to complete.

"I would like to live the rest of my life here," said Howard Matthews, adding that time is ticking for an aging population that desires to live there.

There was only one real bone of contention during Wednesday night's discussion --the housing cap. Commissioner Arne Olson suggested adding a condition to the approval for Stoneridge Creek that the units not count against the city's 29,000-unit threshold, which is nearing closer. But commissioner Phil Blank said he wouldn't support that because he didn't believe it was in the commission's purview to get into politics and Olson decided to drop his motion.

The city is currently under fire for its housing cap, with a lawsuit pending to invalidate it. Just hours before the Planning Commission meeting, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced he was joining a San Francisco affordable housing coalition in the legal fight, which was filed in 2006.

"Pleasanton's draconian and illegal limit on new housing forces people to commute long distances, adding to the bumper to bumper traffic along (Interstates) 580 and 680 and increasing dangerous air pollution," Brown said in a statement. "It's time for Pleasanton to balance its housing and its jobs and take full advantage of its underutilized land and proximity to BART."

Not part of the commission's discussion were the other highly-anticipated portions of the development, to be built on a 124-acre parcel in northeast Pleasanton, bordering El Charro Road and the Livermore border. They include a Sharks Ice facility and a community park, which will be brought separately. Assistant City Manager Steve Bocian said the city has received a development proposal from the Sharks organization for the ice rink facility and the two parties are currently working on a ground lease. It's expected to go before the City Council in August, he said. A proposal for an 11-acre retail development that would include a restaurant, shops and market by Fremont Land was dropped recently and the city is looking for another developer.

Late last year, after several years of public hearings, the council agreed to develop the land in concert with an agreement with the county and at the same time to allow the extension of Stoneridge Drive through Staples to connect to El Charro and Livermore.

The city is also in the midst of a supplemental environmental impact report, ordered by the City Council, which will analyze negative effects to the environment and offer ways to mitigate them and includes the extension of Stoneridge Drive to connect to Livermore. Bocian told the commission the supplemental report will be ready for the public's review later this summer. It will be completed before pieces of the Staples Ranch development move on to the City Council for approval.

Two environmental groups and a citizens' coalition called "Safe Streets Pleasanton" have asked the Alameda County Superior Court to halt the Staples Ranch project until a study shows the consequences of developing Staples and extending the roadway.

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Like this comment
Posted by Beth
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Good article but I don't think Blank is the Chair of the Committee anymore.

Like this comment
Posted by Janet Pelletier, managing editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Good catch Beth! It's been corrected.

Like this comment
Posted by Eric Semmelmayer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jun 26, 2009 at 8:19 am

What happened to the proposed sharks ice facility!?

Like this comment
Posted by We Love Development !
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:34 am

Hosterman has packed the Planning Commission with pro-growth Chamber lackey's who will give a rubber-stamp approval to anything that comes before them. Funny - she made her name and first got elected as slow-growth advocate in the Tarver-Pico mold. Political ambition does funny things to people! Since the outcome of the entire project EIR is still under litigation it seems odd that these projects would be approved by the commission. Can anyone say: We love development?!?

Like this comment
Posted by Joe Crosslin
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:32 am

"Pleasanton's draconian and illegal limit on new housing forces people to commute long distances"! Does that mean that everyone who would buy a new home in Pleasanton would work in Pleasanton? Besides, who forces a person to take a job in Pleasanton.

I'm guess the state has extra money that allows Jerry Brown the time and money to join in the litigation!

Like this comment
Posted by Barbara Ann Roby
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:40 am

Staples Ranch? where is that? It is SOOO frustrating when you report issues and you assume we all know exactly where something is located. Better reporting would at least give some clue and indication physically where things are. Im interested in knowing about senior development but from this article leaves me clueless.

Like this comment
Posted by Lynne
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I have a question - isn't the Staples Ranch project under the flight path of the Livermore airport? If it is, isn't this just going to cause more of an uproar about airplane noise coming from people who move near the airport and then complain about it? Maybe it isn't where I think it is, so this is a non-issue.

Like this comment
Posted by Marcia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Hostermann wised up and discovered the pond of frogs (Kay, Matt, Ann, Brian, and a few others) she was croaking with back then were up to no good. Look around and discover that a community dies if it doesn't recognize the future and the needs that come with it. My hat is off to Jennifer! She got it!
BTW, "WE LOVE DEVELOPMENT" because it brings in the revenue we need to keep alive. This is especially exciting when it is planned with great detail to the needs of the MAJORITY community (take note special interest group(s) have cost us way too much damage as it stands today).
Livermore finally got it and look at them now! WOW!
As for the Sharks...."slow growth" is an understatement. The Sharks have been trying far too long to get this project up and running. Keep this pace up and they will leave as well. Stupid is as Stupid does. Ptown's arrogance is disgusting and it's costing us...alot!
Enough of the catering to a few...move forward before it's too late.

Like this comment
Posted by Campaign $ Speak
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm


Hosterman wised up, alright. She found out that the "frogs" didn't have much to contribute to her campaign coffers, and that developer’s and their friends at the Chamber of Commerce had plenty. When your eye is on a bigger prize than the Mayor of Pleasanton you need those $$$ and connections. Viola! You decide that Growth is Good. And Marcia – those tax revenues come nowhere close to paying for development over time.

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I didn't know all the Planning Committee members are also members of the Chamber of Commerce...really?

Like this comment
Posted by Lynne
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Does anyone know the answer to my question up above re Staples Ranch being under the flight path of the airport?

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 26, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Barbara Ann Roby,

Good point. Staples Ranch is a piece of corner property on the south and west side of the El Charro off ramp on 580. Livermore owns the east side and plans an outlet mall there while Dublin is planning on some "village" development on the north.


Yes. The senior community is being built with the usual mitigation requirements like air conditioning and double-pane windows, but mitigation doesn't usually work for some people. If you've followed the stats on the noise complaints gathered by the airport, you'll notice that generally 50% of the complaints are from Pleasanton and 90-100% of those are from only two Pleasanton households. For some, nothing will be "good enough".

Like this comment
Posted by Amazing
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm

You want the breakdown of the Planning it is:

Pierce - started out slow growth and now is rah rah rah
Olsen - so pro growth, it is embarassing
Narum - just like Olsen but much more subtle
Blank - thinks he is smart but just a big ego
Pentin - consolation prize waiting to run again
O'Conner - just the opposite of Olsen

If you are bored one Wednesday night - go to a meeting. Better than reality TV

Like this comment
Posted by Want to know more?
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:20 am

Kathy Narum has been Jerry Thorne's campaign manager each time he has run for City Council. She was also Jerry Pentin's campaign manager in his unsuccessful run last year. She was appointed by Hosterman who passed over the only slow-growther on the PC, alternate Greg O'Connor. Hosterman appointed Pentin earlier this year – again passing over O’Connor – while kicking Anne Fox off the commission. Narum and Pentin were leaders of the so-called Save Our Park committee who worked to undermine the citizen’s referendum of the Oak Grove project. I won’t even bring up Angela Ramirez Holmes, who is a political consultant to both Hosterman and Councilmember Cook-Kallio, and who coordinated the anti-referendum activities of the Oak Grove developer. This political dynasty is fueled by developer spending and the Chamber PAC. This is just the tip of the iceberg in the dirty little world of pro-growth, special interest politics in P-town. Want to know more?

Like this comment
Posted by PW should investigate
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:25 am


The PW should do some investigative reporting about the political corruption in Pleasanton. Then you would really be doing the public a service with your rag.

Like this comment
Posted by Amazing
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 28, 2009 at 2:20 pm

You don't really expect to get any 'hard news' from the weekly do you? Especially if it might expose who is connected to who in City Politics and the Chamber PAC. Afterall, where do you think the Weekly gets its ad dollars from. No, we have the feel good paper in Pleasanton.

Like this comment
Posted by the real facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

to: Want to know more and Amazing

Jerry Thornes campaign managers were:
1st campaign - Becky Dennis and Dolores Bangston
2nd - Tanya Ludden
3rd - Tanya Ludden
4th - Ellen Pensky

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm

It's amazing to me that people have nothing better to do than to bash volunteers (Yes - Commissioners are volunteers) who spend countless hours on behalf of the City and its residents.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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