City Council to try again tonight to agree on Lund Ranch II development plan

Likely 2-2 tie vote on Nov. 19 could have killed project but for mayor's move to continue hearing

The City Council, hopelessly deadlocked two weeks ago over a developer's bid to build 50 homes in Pleasanton's southeast hills, will try again tonight to reach a majority decision on one of several plans.

At issue is how those who will live in the development will reach their homes as well as if one of the proposed routes would violate Measure PP, the voter-approved initiative that now bans residential and commercial construction on Pleasanton hills with slopes greater than 25%.

More than 150 residents filled the council chamber Nov. 19 for the council's public hearing on plans by Greenbriar Homes Community to build the upscale homes on the 195-acre Lund Ranch II site in the hills south of Sunol Boulevard.

Those from the Sycamore Creek and Bridle Creek neighborhoods were mostly opposed to using streets through their communities to reach the new development from Sunol Boulevard and favored Greenbriar's plan to connect the new development to Lund Ranch Road only.

Those living in Ventana Hills and neighborhoods along Independence Drive and Junipero Street, which Lund Ranch traffic would then use, complained that cut-through traffic, particularly on Junipero, already congests their streets far beyond capacity.

Besides which route should be approved, council members also wrestled with the questions raised by Measure PP if a new road proposed by the Pleasanton Planning Commission to connect Sunset Creek Lane to the new Lund Ranch II development would have to be built on a slope greater than 25%.

So the issue facing the council also was to determine if a road is defined as a structure -- which would then fall under Measure PP's mandate.

It was that issue that caused Councilman Arne Olson to join Councilwoman Karla Brown in voting against the Planning Commission's recommendation. Mayor Jerry Thorne and Councilwoman Kathy Narum supported the proposed road.

Councilman Jerry Pentin, in a surprise move, recused himself from voting on the issue because he lives close to one of the proposed routes. His decision, made at the Nov. 19 meeting, was unexpected because the state Fair Political Practices Commission had ruled that he could participate, a ruling he requested that delayed the Lund Ranch hearing for more than a month.

That decision left a four-member council to vote on the Lund Ranch proposal, which would have ended up in a 2-2 tie, in effect defeating Greenbriar's bid. To avoid that outcome, Thorne continued the hearing.

Although tonight's meeting is technically a continuation of the 3-1/2-hour public hearing on Nov. 19, Thorne could decide to close the hearing once the meeting starts or allow comments from those who did not address the council on Nov.1.

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

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6 people like this
Posted by Matt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Really. Arne thinks a short road is a structure. That is sad. I get Karla being against it because she is against almost everything. But Arne knows better. He is pandering to the few no on everything crowd. I campaigned for him. Never again. A road is not a structure and he damn well knows it.

6 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 2, 2015 at 12:00 am

I can see how "structure" could be interpreted to include roads, especially on a grade where there may be retaining wall work and other visible road materials. But the Measure was sold as a way to keep our hills from being full of visible homes like across 580.

Absent specific guidance in the Measure, I believe it would be reasonable to let the development build the visible road if that is the most logical route, and require them to make it appealing to look at through city approved landscaping and such.

9 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Dec 2, 2015 at 1:34 am

I have voted Yes on 3 Ridgeline protection ballot measures the last 25 years I have lived in Pleasanton and wonder why on earth the former elected officials keep time and time again become a 'consultant' to overturn the ballot measures we voted for. Don't the city council get it? I voted Yes on Measure F, Yes on Measure N, Yes on Measure PP. And I voted for the Urban Growth Boundary in 1996.

Do these elected officials keep losing the paperwork for these ballot measures or do they somehow come up with some imaginary loophole each time?

I have both the purple and yellow Save Pleasanton Hills leaflets that came to my house. It says "They approved massive grading of hillsides, a mile long road spanning the top of may of our Southeast Hills" and the green Measure PP and QQ Fact Check also says in regards to developers: "They will need to design their developments in a way that does not put them on steep slopes or at the tops of ridges."

The green fact sheet says only 10 housing units or less is exempt from Measure PP and approving more than 10 housing units by splitting or subdividing a parcel is not allowed.

7 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 9:10 am

This is such an important issue. Oh wait. It isn't.

Find something worthwhile to spend your time on.

This is so funny!

6 people like this
Posted by Broken Promises
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Dec 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm

They promised to support Measure PP, an important policy setting document voted on by the majority of Pleasanton, not just Ventana Hills residents, as they would have you believe. PP was designed to protect hillsides and ridgelines.

The politicians lied to us.

They told us to support their elections, we did.

They all decided the developer was more important to them than the residents that put them in office. Yes, they all 3 stabbed us in the back .

Narum, Thorne and Olson need to go.

2 people like this
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

DEAR DAVE, probably the reason former councilmembers become consultants is because voter authored initiative measures are always poorly written. Case in point, "is a roadway a structure". In this age of complexity and lawsuits, it takes a team of consultants to include technical and public relations. I think the ballot-box planning initiatives should be dramatically reformed in order to reduce lawsuits and excessive settlement costs. DONT KIDD YOURSELF. No-growth consultants exist as well, and for the correct settlement price, will agree to not challenge a project.

2 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Dec 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

According to this video, Narum snagged the Contra Costa Times endorsement by indicating on the public record that a road is a structure and her vote is public record - see youtube video of Narum Web Link then she suddenly changes her mind?

Sounds like public corruption to me. What was that political scandal that was discussed in the April 16, 2013 city council meeting at Meeting Open to the Public? I have heard it involves police finding two people in some sort of situation.

6 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm

YEP!!! Ended as predicted the flip flopping city council voted for those new homes while ignoring measure PP!! The door is wide open now, no stopping the next money grubbing developer wanting to get a piece of the action. Would love to follow the money trail to the city council and planning commission.

2 people like this
Posted by A Measure PP Purist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Both neighborhoods tried to use Measure PP as a traffic minimizing/control measure. PP does NOT address traffic, it addresses hillside and ridgeline protection. Often that means less traffic, but just because PP passed by over 18,000 voters does not mean you will have less cars going down your street.

By the way, I could not see on the TV but I was told there was about 150 people at the meeting last night. With simple math, that is 0.8% of the voting total. And the developer stated he does not live in Pleasanton so his percentage is 0%. Can someone tell me why less that 1% of the voters that put PP into our city laws are acting like they are all 18,000 voters?

And why would anyone believe Ms. Ayala as if she spoke for all 18,000 of us is ridiculous. She does not.

Like it or not, traffic and hillside protection are mutually exclusive and have no bearing on one another.

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

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