Pleasanton's planned East Side development may be scuttled

Study shows city has more than met state's high density housing requirements

A new report showing that Pleasanton has fulfilled its requirements to provide high density housing for at least the rest of the decade and possibly well beyond will be considered tonight by the Pleasanton City Council.

To meet those requirements, some 70 acres of available properties were rezoned over the past two years for high density apartment buildings.

That action not only satisfied court and state Housing Authority orders to provide more affordable housing in the community, but provided more than enough rezoned land and apartment sites to meet the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers of 2,067 housing units at least through 2022.

The report could have an immediate impact on work by the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force that has been meeting for the last 18 months to consider future development of about 1,100 acres of land east of Valley Avenue and north of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Stanley Boulevard. That land, formerly mined for sand and gravel, has been the focus of the task force for additional high density housing to meet more housing needs imposed by RHNA, which, for the next eight years, at least, is no longer needed.

In its discussion tonight, the council will consider three options:

Complete the task force planning process with any annual build-out of the residential portion of the plan subject to the city's annual Growth Management allocation of 238 residential units citywide.

Complete the task force's recommended specific plan for the east side and allow a "phasing" plan for the construction of infrastructure components (water, sewer, roads) and allow some commercial development there, while retaining some areas for future high density housing.

Mothball the task force recommendations for now and be prepared to resume the effort closer to 2022 if it is thought that additional sites for housing will be needed in the 2022-2030 RHNA cycle.

In all of the scenarios, it is unlikely that El Charro Road will be extended from Stoneridge Drive to Stanley Boulevard as planned or that a developer-paid elementary school site would be offered to the Pleasanton school district, which also was part of the task force recommendations.

The council meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.


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Posted by That's A Crime
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:19 am

So how was Pleasanton so foolish to put the low-cost, high density housing, that was crammed down our throats by Moonbeam Brown and a bunch of left wing a-holes, in choice locations like the Bernal property and in Hacienda Business Park, rather than near the dump? It's like the City Council just can't get anything right anymore.

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Posted by Fred M
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:27 am

If our mayor Jerry Thorne approves moving forward with the East Side and we don't need any more high density housing (the whole reason anyone ever talked about putting houses in the Chain of Lakes areas) then tell him I want my $100 donation to his campaign refunded. Vote him out and anyone else that votes to move forward on the Chain of Lakes. This is supposed to be for parks and recreation. GD- Vote them OUT!!!

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Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:39 am

Might I recommend that the council scraps the plan until closer to 2022 when there could be a good chance that the "Moonbeam Types" that push for people-that-work-pay-for-people-that-don't-want-to-work are out of there. Spend money wisely like on our poorly maintained, pothole filled city streets and/or schools.

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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

Seems everyone of these elected officials campaigned for a small town feel, now they are talking about adding up to 2200 new homes! NO! And if I understand this right, the city is letting the landowners hire the pros to run the meetings to plan the east side! STOP IT! Who is running this city, the people or the developers and landowners?

Is this what Mayor Thorne means when he says he is "Pro Business?" Does he mean Pro developer business? Sounds like it. I say NO!

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Posted by Kangaroo
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:58 am


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Posted by brad
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

Three thoughts:
1 If the property is within the City we control it. If NOT within city someone else controls it.
2- No development- no El Charro Rd to Stanley to benefit Santa Rita and valley and Santa Rita & W. Las Positas .
3- why does it have to be mostly housing ? This is planning for our own future not the next 5 years.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

LOL Who do you think pays the mayors and governors!!? It's always been this way!

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Posted by housingcap
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Years back, a majority of the citizens voted for a housing cap. A lawsuit was brought against our city by a small group of people (most not from Pleasanton). A judge (not from our city) ruled against the housing cap. Since then the city council have been telling us their hands are tied to stop additional building in Pleasanton, as they were required to meet RHNA requirements. New we are being told RHNA is satisfied for 2014-2022. Why would any council member now vote for more housing (above & beyond RHNA requirements). How will they explain this to all the voting citizens (who a majority voted for the housing cap)?

I've also heard some comments regarding how the land owners have been promised they would eventually be allowed to build in East Pleasanton. Now is not the time. To the council members: which promise is more important. .. a) to land owners/developers or b) to citizens per housing cap. Even though housing cap was overturned by a judge, does not mean it was right. If citizens voted for housing cap, what is the justification to continue with rezoning more land which would 'exceed' the RHNA requirements (which a majority of residents believed was to high and unacceptable).

We will find out tonight who the council members represent.

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Posted by Norm Gilchrist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

If wePleasantonians are going to have to find a way to keep low income types like uneducated, minorities and other entitlement "victims", keeping them near the dump is a good start. But the city really needs to think about barriers to keep certain unwanted but forced down our throat residents away from the rest of us.

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Posted by george
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

ice rink complex

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Posted by all
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Norm. . If you actually spent the time to read the East Pleasanton plan of 1750 units you would see it is a mixture of various densities. The concern is traffic and impact on schools.. Why are you bringing other items into this? Also the city has already approved plenty of high density land usage. The issue at hand is managed growth.

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

You want me to conserve water while you go out and build high density housing? Forget that, I'm going right out to wash down my drive way!!!

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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Of course all of the politcos are on the take from the developers. It's developers and unions - sure Thorne positioned himself as moderately conservative and pro business, but he follows the corrupt Democrat playbook just like the rest of them.

Pleasanton welcomes diversity - just so long as it's the right type. Put it this way - if you eat curry or dim sum or kim chee - you're all right. Even the taco and tamale eaters are welcome - they've done a great job mowing half of Pleasanton's lawns and fixing our old houses. But if you eat fried chicken, watermelon and "grape drank" - and feel you're entitled to me paying for it as a taxpayer, you'd better keep on "steppin."

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Posted by FollowDublinsLead
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Undeveloped land is always a risk. The faster we develop parks, top-end housing, or whatever for the East side, the sooner we will protect it from worse development crammed down our throats. Somebody is eventually going to build something on that land. Period. Better to plan it ourselves than to let the Leftist in Oakland and Sacramento do it for us.

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Posted by Jenni
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 5, 2014 at 6:58 am

I watched last night and someone brought up a great idea, let's work with Livermore to plan a park full of trails and lakes. East Bay regional park could run it, they run Shadow Cliffs.

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Posted by developerswin!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2014 at 7:46 am

4-1 Developers Win. Ironic that the mayor indicated he was happy they were no longer constrained by RHNA, but then voted for option 1: continuing with reviewing options for the 2014-2022 time frame, which all will suggest approving rezoning for additional units ABOVE RHNA matter how they spin it. In past few years the Mayor/Council had indicated their hands were tied by RHNA requirements, now they are backpedaling, even though the current RHNA numbers show we are already "covered" for 2014-2022. Now I understand why people say the current council (except 1, maybe 2) favors land owners/builders over concerns of current residents.

I understand the need for planning, but any plan should consider 2022 the 'starting point' for any new rezoning.

In Summary, the current City Council voted 4-1 to continue with reviewing options which all suggest rezoning land for housing units. Even though latest reports indicate the city is already in surplus over 1000 units for 2014-2022.

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Posted by Why- Why-Why?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 1:07 am

Most people in Pleasanton don't want to live in Dublin, and are willing to pay more to live in Pleasanton. Let's keep it nice.

Putting houses in remote East Pleasanton doesn't make sense. Building a 4 lane highway doesn't make sense. Packing in the houses will make the area look cheap and tacky. Can someone tell me why the 4 people want houses in east Pleasanton?

Does anyone represent the people anymore?

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Posted by john
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

"Most people in Pleasanton don't want to live in Dublin, and are willing to pay more to live in Pleasanton."

Have you tried buying a house in Dublin lately? Prepare to camp out and overbid like crazy. Times have changed. Dublin's schools are less crowded and have higher API scores than Pleasanton's. I welcome more development in Pleasanton.

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Posted by Minnie
a resident of Kolb Ranch Estates
on Mar 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

We should change our name to south Dublin since that's what we are turning in to. SMH.

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Posted by Jackie
a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I would really like to know who (other than those old timer developers and people that have lived here for 50 years or more) want houses just a few feet away from each other sprawled all over the Chain of Lakes areas?

Seems like all of the people that hate high density apartments and close together homes left town, and only old timers are left behind with their pro developers opinions.

Is anyone like me under 40 years old and not a builder or developer, in favor of high density housing across from Shadow Cliffs? Please no lying on your age.

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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm


Like I said about Dublin, I think they are doing something right. Now if we could improve our schools here in Pleasanton to get them to level of Dublin schools, and reduce our class sizes, that would help. A parcel tax would be a step in the right direction, as would an increased emphasis by parents on academics over sports and recreation (like with Dublin residents).


I'm over 40, but not much, and I don't have a problem with the new developments. I even live fairly near there. It would bring just exactly the people we want to Pleasanton, just as the Workday expansion is something we want. Not to mention an AT&T cell phone tower.

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Posted by Jackie
a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 10, 2014 at 9:48 am

Dear John;
I moved here for a great family life, schools and safe atmosphere. We are constantly battling to reduce the classroom sizes. The schools are too big and many enrichment programs have been cut for budget reasons. More kids are NOT going to make it better. A later article referred to a school board member who is not in favor of this project. Listen to her!

Yes, we need cell towers. What the heck does that have to do with anything? Do you think because I am young that is more important than safety and schools? No.

And finally, WorkDay jobs? Really, is that what we are focusing on as a way to keep Pleasanton wonderful? Growth near the Mall and more growth out by Shadow Cliffs, in addition to apartments by Safeway and apartments in Hacienda? The traffic will be unbearable, apartment crime will rise and kids with no where to go will start hanging out downtown and at 7-11s.

You are from another planet. This will NOT make Pleasanton better - it will be much worse.

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Posted by Resident taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

all, I thank you for your 'traffic' comment. Of course more stacked housing on the books is not good. But, nobody, nobody, at any level has even addressed any 'traffic solutions'. No housing should be allowed without equal traffic planning. It somehow is assumed(wrongly) that anything from El Charro, plus all new construction underway at Stanley & Valley/Bernal, plus hundreds or thousands to be stacked on Stanley, will all just automatically sit in line to join the stopped cars already in line to Valley to Santa Rita intersection....a destination in itself. Why aren't other options, and the lack of other options even intelligently discussed??? Other transportation methods? other transportation routes? Both must be addressed. Solutions offered ??? All of Hacienda's Livermore residents are still clogging Valley. Why? Hacienda Business Park, the City, and builders must offer an alternate intersection to Valley & Santa Rita. All new roads cannot lead to those stoplights on their way to Hacienda. Let the brains get together with a solution before anything else is discussed.

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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm

"..great family life"

How do you define "great family life"? It what isn't "family life" good in Dublin.

Regarding the cell phone tower, I brought it up because some of the no-growth people were opposing that. To some people, any growth of any kind is bad for Pleasanton.

"More kids are NOT going to make it better."

More schools and more teachers and more money from taxes can. Like I said, just look at Dublin.

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Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Don't forget that Dublin receives more per student from the state than Pleasanton does. By having less money per student, the more students you have, the further you dig your hole.

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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

"By having less money per student, the more students you have, the further you dig your hole."

Are you saying the ratio is fixed? That the "per student" money cannot change?

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Posted by Resident taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Hello??? I don't hear any solutions for Valley Ave and the Valley/Santa Rita intersection as the primary route to Hacienda Business Park. Is it a hopeless impossibility?? Valley is full. Feeding Busch into Valley is a really sick assult on the city.

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Posted by Joan
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 11, 2014 at 6:13 am

The Summerhill project on W Los Positas is going to make traffic a nightmare. Ever been on that street in the morning before school? Traffic backs up to make a left turn to the school almost to Hopyard.
So building a couple hundred apartments across from the school is just going to be a traffic nightmare.
Water...we are told its a stage one drought and to cut back our usage and conserve. Great, so they add how many more households that will be using the water we are conserving.
And if the RHNA numbers were met why did the CM capital property get rezoned in the first place.
Something is very wrong in this city. How much money was passed around to get this Summerhill project approved.

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Posted by Development
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

I for one have been here for over 40 years and am happy with the proposed development going on. I think that the areas on both sides of Stanley should be developed with homes. I go back Shadow Cliffs frequently and honestly very little is going on there so to build more lakes and recreation centers would just be another waste of money and time. The area by El Charro should be developed as well and only makes sense with the roads already put in and the Stoneridge Extension done. The expansions to the Livermore Airport will only make our area more desired. They are building more hangers there for private planes and putting in a new restaurant. At any given time you can go by there and see jets parked so that indicates that businessmen are now using this airport to get in and out of rather than Oakland or SF. At some point a small regional carrier would be good for this airport and increased tax revenue.

As one who has been here as long as I have I originally fought all of the growth but as I saw Pleasanton grow from 25,000 to our current 75,000 or so and as Dublin grew I realized that it would be impossible to slow the growth nor was it a good idea.

I do however believe traffic is a nightmare and will get even worse when that toll lane goes in on 580 and also 680 but the traffic just comes with the population growth. Buses and mass transit are the way to go. I no longer work but feel for people who sit in traffic but nothing can be done about it.

For those who harken back to the old Pleasanton days well honestly those days are gone and not coming back ever and if that is how you want to live and are young then you need to move and find that "Pleasanton" because it is gone from here forever.

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

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