Pleasanton council approves more housing for Hacienda, sets up task force to study development

Action comes ahead of workforce housing court case set for December

The Pleasanton City Council finalized last night its decision two weeks ago to rezone 32 acres of commercial properties in the Hacienda Business Park for high-density residential use and at the same time established a task force to help shape the needs for a residential expansion before actual development plans are proposed.

The action came after a lengthy discussion of the target goal for the task force to complete its study and make recommendations to the city Planning Commission and council. In the end, council members agreed to accept a planning staff recommendation to have the task force report back to the council in roughly 12 months, but with a strong possibility that the deadline could be extended.

None of the council members disputed the need for the task force, although its composition and specific responsibilities were questioned. It was agreed that the task force would have 14 to 19 members, including two from the council and two from the Planning Commission, with other members coming from the business park, home owners and rental group associations and property owners. Many others will be invited to participate in planning meetings as "stakeholder" representatives.

The scope of the study will also be limited to residential housing that could be built on the newly-rezoned parcels, which are owned by W. P. Carey, BRE and Roche Molecular Systems. The three sites are located within half a mile of the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station.

Some residents already living in Hacienda have objected to the possibility of another 950 housing units being added in the business park because, in their views, the park lacks adequate retail and grocery stores to serve its current population as well as an elementary school. These are the kinds of concerns the task force will consider in preparing its study.

The rezoning is aimed at fending off a possible court decision later this fall that could find Pleasanton in violation of state requirements to provide more affordable and workforce housing in the community. The rezoning would more than meet the city's share of regional housing needs to provide for at least 521 more housing units, according to City Atty. Michael Roush.

Litigation by the Urban Habitat organization and State Attorney General Jerry Brown is scheduled to be heard in Alameda County Superior Court on Dec. 18.

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