Oak Grove development plan back before City Council tonight

With mayor gone, vote to kill project or send to voters likely to be delayed

A plan to build 51 luxury homes in the hills above Kottinger Ranch will come back for consideration by the Pleasanton City Council tonight, but it's unlikely any decision will be made on the next steps in its 2-1/2-year-long approval process.

The council adopted an ordinance approving the development in November 2007, which included a gift to the city of 492 acres of land as part of the proposal by developers Jennifer Lin and her brother Frederic, the longtime owners of the property.

Since then, the proposal has gone through several legal hurdles after former Councilwoman Kay Ayala and a citizens' coalition she helped organize petitioned the courts to overturn the council's decision. In the end, the state Supreme Court on Oct. 14 finally rejected the Lins' appeal of a Court of Appeal decision to allow the citizens' petition to move forward.

Tonight, the council is expected to accept the certification of the referendum petition. That will require the council to reverse its 2007 decision and deny the Lin project or to ask voters to decide the issue in a referendum.

But with Mayor Jennifer Hosterman in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, the council will likely delay any action on reversing its decision or calling for a referendum until its next meeting on Feb. 2 which all five members of the council are expected to attend.

If the council decides to call for a referendum, it must place the issue on the ballot either on June 8 during the state's primary election or on Nov. 2, the date of the national election.

Also tonight, the council is expected to approve a plan to move forward with a plan to renovate or redevelop Kottinger Place and Pleasanton Gardens, two affordable senior housing facilities on Kottinger Drive near downtown.

This would allow city staff, working with the Kottinger Place Task Force and the Pleasanton Gardens board of directors, to select a nonprofit developer to prepare more detailed project designs, plans and financial information for a new 128-150 unit senior rental development.

The developer also would look at plans to build a smaller facility on the Kottinger Place site or to rehabilitate that housing complex along with renovating Pleasanton Gardens.

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Posted by Amazing
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Of course they will not make a decision tonight. They don't have the folks necessary for a 'block vote'. It will be yet another 3 versus 2 decision. We will have three folks who will want to have it go back to yet another 'vote of the people' and two who will say based on Prop P and Q, let's not do this development in its current form. It is nice that our City Council is not polorized or entrenched in its positions of 'pro growth' veruss 'no growth'.

While I supported Jennifer in the last election, I am disappointed that for one of the most important votes that the City Council has coming forth, she is at a conference in Washington D.C. Couldn't she 'call-in'? That has happened in the past with one council member calling in to make a vote on a critical issue (it was another block vote but at least they made the attempt). How come our mayor cannot do the same.

Oh well, politics as usual...

Like this comment
Posted by Kafka-esque
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Shouldn't we be asking Jerry Brown & the coalition for fair, equitable &...whatever housing group they call themselves if it is appropriate to be building homes for the "privileged" few while there are more deserving souls who should be afforded low-cost housing within Pleasanton first? It only seems fair to allow these [portion removed due to insensitive feelings as to the plight of former Section 8 tenants & welfare recipients] equal access to our beautiful city?

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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:28 am

I am also "amazed". It's odd that if the council disagrees with ones point of view it is a "block" vote as opposed to part of the council supporting the other position. The council's job is to look at the information, balance the needs of the community and then make a decision. This council is not pro-growth. Look at the statistics and use facts to make your assertion.

Oak Grove was passed by a 4-1 margin, not 3-2. That is a fact. Nine public meetings and four years in prep before the decision was made. One council member caved into political pressure from a neighborhood interest group. The referendum only puts it back on the ballot. That's a fact.

One of the people who put forth the referendum had plans into the city for a house perched right on top of a ridge overlooking the Lins's property. No vested interest there. Two others live in homes that are on a 25% slope or greater. They already have theirs.

The South East hills are not the defined ridge that the Pleasanton Ridge is. . .that is a fact. Many people signed thinking that was the case.

Get the facts.

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Posted by reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

Since the developer did everything it could to block the voters from making a decision on this plan by suing the city and those who circulated the petition, this should not go to a vote of the people. The council should just revoke the approval. It is obvious that the developers do not want the citizens to have a say so lets just get this over with and let them come back with a plan that does not take the tops of the hills off.

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Posted by Amazing
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Come on Pleasanton Weekly. Your prejudice on this issue really shows. You have removed this from the headline section (when you retained older items) and buried it in the forums.

Clearly, your so-called 'Ethics' Policy allows you to pick and choose what articles you present. Can't have anything too critical out there now, can we.

We may not agree but don't hide us!

Like this comment
Posted by Roger Smith
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

It is true that the Weekly is biased towards the Developers and the supporters. Maybe they pay for a lot of advertising.I agree with others that it will be a 3-2 decision in favor of the whatever the Lin family wants. It is sad that our Mayor and the majority in the council does not care for the feelings or thoughts of the the thousands of residents who signed the petition. They are still trying to do their best to keep helping the developers. It would be good to maybe scale down this development so everyone can come to a compromise. At the same time we should have affordable housing closer to Bart and the freeway so that we can young families move into our beautiful town and not add much to the traffic.

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Posted by curious
a resident of Avila
on Jan 22, 2010 at 11:11 am

Roger, its great to talk about affordable housing closer to Bart. The Mayor and Council majority just voted to rezone 3 parcels near Bart for housing, some of which would likely be affordable. Guess who voted no. . .Mcgovern and Sullivan. Now the neighborhoods in the Business Park are against it. . .we seem to have a vicious circle of Nimbyism. No wonder nothing seems to be getting done in this City. And think of the impact fees that would help the school district from some of these projects.

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Posted by Didn't sign
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

So now it goes to a vote, with the minimum price tag for this being more than $65,000. Great use of funds during the financial crisis. Instead of reaping fees for new sewers, education, permits, creating jobs and then getting property taxes for the city coffers, we will all pay to vote on this. Can we have a referendum to stop special interests from hijacking previously approved development?

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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jan 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

Dear Curious;

I would not consider additional housing as the source of funds to help our schools. There are no elemenary schools in the area over by BART that was rezoned. The additional housing will yeild more students and more demand for classrooms & maybe a new school.

More houses is not a solution to our school budget woes.

Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

Dearest Fact Checker;

Your quote, "Oak Grove was passed by a 4-1 margin, not 3-2." True,four council member were listening to a VERY small group of residents, the parks and rec. group, etc. But when PP & QQ passed, they should have listed to the majority of their consistuents. I wish the other 3 council members listed to their citizens - but alas they did not.

"Nine public meetings and four years in prep before the decision was made." But who was really listening? I went to 2 of these meetings. NO one was in favor of Oak Grove. No one. Notes were taken, but the comments I heard back were more disregard for the local neighbors as NIMBYs. No one was really listening. It was all just going thru the motions.

"One council member caved into political pressure from a neighborhood interest group. The referendum only puts it back on the ballot. That's a fact." Changing a council member's support based on facts and ballot data is not "caved". It is called "listening".

And about who lives on a hilltop, if over 5200 people signd the petition why does it matter where 3 or 4 people live? What about the other 5196 residents?

Measure PP protects all ridgelines in Pleasanton -- period. Check that fact!

Perhaps you should stop considering voters as ignorant fools and start considering them as astute sources of opinions here in Pleasanton!

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Let's see this on the ballot. We don't need the Council to rescind their decision.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

PP doesn't protect the ridgelines. It has an exemption, or did you forget?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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