News


Developer's plan for homes on Lund Ranch continued again

Pleasanton Council adjourns hearing to Jan. 5 after scaling back development

Bowing to threats of law suits or an expensive and time-consuming voter referendum, the City Council Tuesday night voted to adjourn a final public hearing on a proposed development on Lund Ranch to Jan. 5 when it will likely approve a scaled-back plan.

It was the fifth time the council has delayed a final vote on the controversial project planned by Greenbriar Homes Community, the developer that is seeking approval to build 48 upscale homes in Pleasanton's southeast hills with access roads slicing through two heavily populated neighborhoods.

Tuesday's 3-1 vote to "adjourn" the hearing came after opponents of Greenbriar's latest plan said five of the proposed homes would be built on hillside slopes greater than 25% in violation of Measure PP, a voter-approved measure that now rules against hillside construction.

Councilwoman Karla Brown voted against the adjournment plan, and Councilman Jerry Pentin again recused himself from the discussion and voting because he lives close to one of the proposed access routes to the project.

In emails, letters and comments to the council, opponents made clear that they will go to court to stop the development and might seek a voter referendum as well.

In another review of the plans, council members seemed convinced that at least five of the proposed homes would be built on lots steeper than 25%, although the developer insisted that those slopes were "man-made," created by grading years ago that raised the level of portion of the lots.

Councilman Arne Olson noted that Measure PP doesn't differentiate between man-made and natural slopes.

"25 percent is 25 percent," he said.

As it became clear during the late-night discussion that there was enough concern the Measure PP proponents were right, Mayor Jerry Thorne, after consulting with City Attorney Jonathan Lowell, recommending taking the five homes out of the earlier-approved agreement. By adjourning the hearing, city staff has the time to rewrite the final ordinance for a vote at the special Jan. 5 meeting.

"We've been through these referendums and they can be nasty," Thorne said. "They are filled with sound bites and no one ever listens to the facts. I don't want to go there again."

Greenbriar's spokeswoman Angela Ramirez Holmes briefly commented that the developer had relocated and downsized the five lots to keep homes off 25% slopes. But she did not respond after the council indicated it intended to reject the five lots.

The adjourned hearing will resume again at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, which was a regularly scheduled council meeting that had been cancelled earlier.

Public debates over building homes on the 195-acre Lund Ranch II site in the hills south of Sunol Boulevard started in 2002 and at one time involved a builder's bid for 113 homes.

Comments

15 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

The fact that we all voted to approve Measure PP means it is good for Pleasanton. Now get on with it and listen to your citizens.

Hopefully we won't have to gather signatures to find a new Mayor next time.


9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Go developers!

Our schools will get better and better, just like they did in Dublin as more and more highly motivated and ambitious parents and students move in.


23 people like this
Posted by Jeannie
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Dec 17, 2015 at 10:16 am

just like the Oak Grove plan, another hugh hillside area that has just 50 homes or less but guarantees acres of public open space Is thwarted by the neighbors who themselves live on top of the ridges above the rest of us and who don't want to see or share their world with any one else. Talk about hipocracy and elitists disguised as do gooders. Do the neighbors pay the property taxes and costs to insure and maintain the pretty scenery they enjoy for free? Maybe they should chip in and give the property owners money for view protection. . If it were my land, after years of working in good faith with the community to design a plan to no avail, I would build a big wind turbine there and say how do you like lthat view?


15 people like this
Posted by Suzie Q
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Dec 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Sounds like Jeanie works for the developers or Realtors. You do not represent the majority. Are you sure you don't live in Dublin?


11 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm

@Suzie Q - the majority of whom? Most Pleasanton residents couldn't point out the location of Lund Ranch on a map and certainly don't care about 30-40 houses. It's ridiculous, really, the time and expense wasted in arguing about a small number of houses. And don't point to PP; even the drafters of PP disagree as to its implications.

If you want the land to stay vacant, buy it.


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2015 at 1:40 pm

To Julie, a resident of Birdland:

So easy to dismiss this issue when it doesn't affect YOUR neighborhood.


7 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I think you nailed it. Developer or realtor- which one is it?


19 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2015 at 6:03 pm

It's all about money,it always is. What everybody needs to do is leave Ptown the hell alone! We are CHOKING on all the "new and improved". The town is becoming just like every other surrounding crowded city,but if you have lots of cash,or clout,you can do, and get whatever you want here. It's the truth and YOU ALL KNOW IT, and just don't give a damn. We don't need more ANYTHING in this town. You are making it into something it was never meant to be. There will be no more hills, fields, trees. We are well on our way to the end of our sweet, peaceful town. You can't say the truth though. Pride goeth before the fall! I'm sure you won't post this either !!


10 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

To Bob B -- You must have a slice of the pie coming your way!!! Let me guess,.... you're one of em.


10 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Have seen a lot of changes to this town in my 40+ years here and not liking where we are heading!! We have a planning commission and a city council that won't be happy till every square inch of available land is developed to the wishes of the highest bidder, too many banks, real estate offices, nail salons, and hair salons downtown, too many massage parlors on 1st street and in every other little strip mall in town and way too many cut-through-full-speed -ahead commuters who love our long green signal lights favoring those same cut-through-commuters!! Let's bring back that plan from years ago to make main st. a one way st. running north to south, it would sure put a damper on those evening commuters and get rid of those illegal u-turns on main!!


2 people like this
Posted by walk the talk?
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

How many of you who have expressed concerns wrote a letter to or attended either the planning commission or City Council meetings?

If so, thank you and you have every right to complain here. If you did not, shame on you. We are a democracy and we owe it to our leaders to share our concerns publicly.

Would love to see posters note if they wrote letter or spoke at meeting as it gives them much mroe credibility with their posting. If you do not note this i will assume you are just complaining anonymously.


4 people like this
Posted by Bill B
a resident of Avignon
on Dec 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Why doesn't the city just buy the property and keep it open space in perpetuity?


17 people like this
Posted by Dave C
a resident of Old Towne
on Dec 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Proposition PP spells out the peoples agreement to a T.There shouldn't be discussion on and on about something the community as a whole agreed to. The city has a moral and legal responsibility to uphold the referendum of which we agreed to. As Americans we cherish the right to vote and have an affect on the outcome of policy. Let us not lose this right!


4 people like this
Posted by Artificial or Natural Slope- Slippery Slope
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

IF the slope is now over 25%, does PP apply?

What if the nice Developer goes in with bulldozers and knocks the hills down,
and then claims slope is less than 25%?

Rip Van Winkle was about a developer trying to steel his land.

Same attitude now?


12 people like this
Posted by Cheryl
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 18, 2015 at 12:23 pm

We have been to meeting after meeting fighting the fight against the 2,000 plus units being built here in P-town. We joined the slow growth group last year to try & scale the building down...but our efforts were lost in the maddess of the passing for overwhelming growth for our small P-town. I wonder, in the next year what we will be looking at...well, lets see: 2,000 plus units + 2 adults,+ 2-4 children, + two cars minimum per unit, you do the math. Traveling on Hopyard & Valley Avenue & Stanley will be a nightmare, it will take 45 minutes to 1 hour just to get to the freeway. I have one thing to say to the builders: Greenbrier & such...STAY OUT OF PLEASANTON, we have seen enough of you to last a lifetime


4 people like this
Posted by Jeanne
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Dec 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

My family of native Californians for generations know first hand the costs of taxes and maintenance of ranch lands and dealing with new next door residents who protest everything we do to operate and yes sell a portion of land to help pay for expenses.
To think Pleasanton or anywhere in the Bay Area is not going to have development is unrealistic. Even if we didn't, traffic will still increase and having good schools will attract more families with more children especially from Asian countries. Development will provide the money for streets and school improvements. Sorry that is today's reality. We are native Californians and have seen more changes than most people here.


8 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 19, 2015 at 11:44 am

As a "native Californian" I liked this town a lot better before it became a giant parking lot at commute time, we don't need to build on every square inch of land to improve our schools and streets everything is already over crowded and will only get worse, the only gain is for the property owners and developers and churches reselling to developers!!!


13 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

@Map,

I'm thinking the families moving into the new houses and owners and customers of new businesses would benefit also.


5 people like this
Posted by Josephine
a resident of Mission Park
on Dec 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Just who are these new people going to benefit? Not me but maybe the businesses and developers.


13 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

@Josephine,

It will benefit the people moving in. Is everything about you?


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

BillB and BobB must work for the same developer.


7 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2015 at 11:12 pm

@Hmm,

I'm not a developer. Who benefitted when your house was built?


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

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