Planning Commissioners OK homes near Foothill High

Owner changes development from six lots to four

The Pleasanton Planning Commission has voted unanimously to approve development of four custom home lots on Foothill Road, across the street from Foothill High School.

The commission already had recommended approval for six lots on the same 29.8-acre site in August 2008 pending the installation of a 6-foot bicycle lane along the entire frontage of the lot along Foothill Road, which is 1,200 feet.

The applicants, William and Lydia Yee, and their consultants found that for 200 of these feet along Foothill Road, installing the bike lane would necessitate filling a drainage channel. Because the waterway is open, it comes under the jurisdictions of the Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Fish and Game, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

"The commission said they wanted to see a bike lane and the preservation of trees but we found they couldn't have both," Associate Planner Marion Pavan told the commissioners. "We chose to exclude the bike lane from this proposal."

"That's the most critical 200 feet," commented Commissioner Jerry Pentin.

"There are other stretches of Foothill Road that do not have a bike lane," answered Brian Dolan, director of Community Development. "We looked at every feasible option except the moving of the ditch. There were compromises - they ended up losing two lots."

The reduction in the number of home lots from six to four reduced the number of trees impacted, from 168 to 67. Dolan also noted that a silt fence would be installed around construction sites when the homes are built to protect the Alameda whipsnake, which could exist farther up on the Pleasanton Ridge.

Planning Commissioner Phil Blank said he was surprised that the disclosures did not include the proximity of Foothill High School or the railroad tracks.

"When we were standing on the site the train went by and it didn't seem worth disclosing," said Pavan. "We can add it."

He also remarked that the high school is right across the street and that people are aware of the noise and traffic that would come with it. The railroad, he added, leaves Foothill Road several miles south to go under the freeway and toward downtown.

Commissioner Kathy Narum said she wanted to make sure that construction was mandated to work around the morning traffic on Foothill Road and was assured this was included in the development plans.

The site is accessed from Foothill Road via a private road, which already exists. Plans call for a gate at the road to be moved farther onto the property about 75-80 feet. Residents want the safety and privacy the gate affords, according to the staff report, and have had problems with trespassing on their property and a number of burglaries.

The city of Pleasanton discourages more gated communities, said planners, since they inhibit a sense of community and make services more difficult to provide. But planning staff agreed it was justified to maintain the gate.

The Foothill Road development, which the Planning Commission approved at its April 28 meeting, is tentatively scheduled to go before the City Council for approval June 1.

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Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

First the Lin's and now the Yee's paving over the hillsides. Is this how we're paying off our debt to the Chinese?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

No...they just happen to have more money than you have...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

America is changing...get used to it!


Like this comment
Posted by NatureArt2
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

It is unforuntate that the Yee's have to bulid houses on this property that will not be affordable to the average Joe. I guess they do not see the beauty in the hills and land on Foothill road. If I had their money and land I would build something for the community like a hiking and biking area. Keep the nature and beauty we do not need to become a concret Jungle..

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

Get off the pity pot, Manifest Destiny has resulted in the deforestation of the why not the ridge?

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Quick! Someone put an initiative on the ballot restricting hillside home development near schools to one housing unit!

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If we make it difficult to build, they'll just give the land away as a tax writeoff!

Like this comment
Posted by Ridge Dweller
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

Why is there such a negative campaign against building 4 beautiful high end homes on the ridge, (which increase property values in Pleasanton), when the real travesty is the thousands of cracker box, cookie cutter homes and apartments in the valley which continue to replace our majestic views of beautiful hay fields and open space? High density housing is what puts increasing stress on our roads, our schools, and our utilities.

Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

But Ridge Dweller, can't you just imagine the splendor, beauty & diversity that a development such as that lovely community on the north side of 580 has done to utterly "transform" a once barren hillside in Dublin & could happen here as well if we only don't let our values & sensibilities corrupt the real issue of what is "fair."

I mean c'mon, if [portion removed by staff for simply wreaking & dripping with sarcasm unfit for public consumption] then why can't we?

Like this comment
Posted by cinco de mayo
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm


When you look back on your accomplishments at the end of your life, will you be proud of the fact that you're an illiterate, anonymous, internet tough guy?

Pleasanton Weekly really, really should REQUIRE registration to filter out noise like yours. You bring nothing to the table. Nada.

Can the grown-ups continue their conversation now, or do you need a nap?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

get back under your rock WALDO!

How come you can't tolerate diverse opinion? hmmmmmmmmm...?

just sayin...

Like this comment
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Where does it say the Yee family is in China? Perhaps they're locals like you and me?

Didn't EBRPD recently open up a lot of acreage (1100 acres)to go along with what's already available (including Agustine Bernal Park) on the Pleasanton Ridge from Sunol to North Pleasanton?
Web Link

Ridge Dweller,
Aren't the lots on Foothill Blvd across from the high school and not up on the ridge?

Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Wow Steve - way to be xenophobic. I barely want to dignify your comment with a response, but just so the record is clear - the Yee family is a longtime Pleasanton family.

So go crawl back under your rock, Steve.

Have any of the rest of you looked at the plans? This is a very small number of homes for this property - much smaller than they could have put there.


Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

The land across from Foothill high school is not beautiful...its a vacant field of grass and I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want a home directly across from the HS with all the traffic and really bad teen drivers (and many of the parents) just waiting to hit you as you drive to get onto foothill.

Like this comment
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

The Yee property was approved for 16 homes back in the late 80's. I don't think many people are today aware of that approval. Unfortunately, the approval did not have a time limitation on it like is done today. The Yee's recognized the aesthetic value of having fewer homes on it and came to the Planning Commision a year ago for a PUD modification to only have 6 homes and with stringent guidelines. Part of the modification was that the project needed to create a bike lane along Foothill for their property. Unfortunately this involved filling in a drainage ditch alongside the road. Various agencies said wait a minute. Long story short, they came back to the Planning Commission with a further modification limiting the PUD to just 4 homes but not putting in a section of bike lane along their property so that the trees along Foothill could be saved.

Something unique about this PUD is that the building pads aren't going to be graded until someone buys a lot and designs a house to put within the building envelope and gets approval. So the house will fit the land.

The Yee's live in a home on the land and have been long time residents. Bottom line, this is a far superior proposal to what is approved for the land.

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

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