News


Readers sound off on possible Lund Ranch referendum

Proponents of referendum have until Feb. 5 to gather signatures needed

Letters, phone calls and Town Square postings on the Pleasanton Weekly's website have been coming fast and furiously since the City Council's decision on Jan. 5 to approve a 43-home development on Lund Ranch II.

Since then, an organized drive has started to hold a referendum to overturn the council's decision. Those organizers have until Feb. 5 to obtain signatures from 10% of Pleasanton's registered voters to qualify for placing a referendum on the ballot. Here are some of the Letters to the Editor we've received:

Oppose the Lund Ranch development; support the referendum

Dear Editor,

In 2008, Pleasanton passed Measure PP, the first words of which are "ridgelines and hillsides shall be protected." PP strictly limits hillside development.

The Lund Ranch project will build a 700-foot road across the hillsides behind Raley's, grading 1.6 acres of hillside and moving 650 truckloads of hillside dirt -- all violations of PP. To get around this, the council voted PP does not apply to roads, opening the door to roads developed all over Pleasanton hillsides.

The project will build homes on hillsides -- again a violation of PP. To permit this, the council ignored its staff's definition of ridgelines, arbitrarily cutting natural ridgelines to expand the area available for development. Again, a precedent for future projects.

The city's Environmental Impact Report recommended a different development plan as the environmentally sound alternative -- one without a hillside road. The council disregarded that.

Finally, the council ignored its own history. The council members who voted to approve this development each had voted that PP prohibits roads on hillsides. That isn't surprising, as it is the natural reading of PP and the plain intent of Pleasanton voters. That council members switched positions, for the sole purpose of allowing this development, is surprising and upsetting.

Please support the referendum, which will cancel the Lund Ranch development. Send a message to the council that the voters meant what they said in PP. Send a message for responsible development. Send a message to protect our hillsides. Please visit www.savepleasantonhillsides.com.

-- David Melaugh

Thanks for protecting Pleasanton's hillsides

As a member of a neighborhood committee and longstanding steward of our family community, I have had the privilege of working with several Pleasanton City Councils and supporting staff. The recent Lund II PUD presented our honorable mayor and City Council with the difficult task of approving a new housing development while expertly applying an important city initiative that offers protection for our hillsides.

The decision reached Tuesday (Jan. 5) evening provides a reduced housing footprint, balances the traffic impact on neighboring communities and keeps our hillsides free from unwanted development. I personally want to thank our mayor, council and city staff for their thoughtful consideration and protecting our view shed for all citizens to enjoy.

For more information, please visit: www.ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods.com.

-- Carolyn Spain

Are roads protected by PP?

Much of the discussion about Lund Ranch II and Measure PP has been whether roads should be included in PP protections. After PP was passed, the authors and supporters of PP (including Kay Ayala), the City Council, Planning Commission and city staff all agreed that hillside roads were covered by Measure PP. Even the Ventana Hills Steering Committee agreed roads were structures (City Council minutes 11/27/12).

So what happened? When a proposed access road for the Lund Ranch II development was shown to be subject to PP, our council reversed themselves and voted to abandon protection for hillsides and ridges from road construction. They reclassified a road as "infrastructure" and said PP doesn't apply.

The voter's initiative was to preserve all the hillsides and ridges in Pleasanton, and those protections should not be sacrificed just to approve the flawed Lund Ranch II plan. This is not a choice between Measure PP and traffic in one neighborhood or another; it is about protecting our hillsides for all of Pleasanton.

Measure PP must be followed and both neighborhoods' traffic concerns respected. Please demand that your voice be heard by signing a petition so you can vote on the Lund Ranch II project.

-- Allen Roberts

Lund Ranch II approval process

We elect our local citizens to be City Council members. We trust they will carefully consider all aspects of the issues that come up regarding the welfare, growth and safety of Pleasanton.

Because we don't agree with their decision we decide for a referendum? Why fund an election for a city council? Why have public discourse in open City Council meetings? Why spend 1,000s of dollars on studies to improve the decision process?

Being an elected official is a tough commitment. Our five council members gave us their best in coming up with the Lund II development solution. Discourse was fair, options were considered, and a vote was taken by the people we elected to be our representatives. They deserve our respect, not a referendum to overthrow their good work.

-- Gary Sabo

Please support the Lund Ranch II referendum

We are stunned to see the Pleasanton ridgeline and hillside protections challenged yet again; this time by a city staff and council that seem determined to game the system in the interest of a sole developer, Greenbriar Homes.

How many times do the voters have to say no? The message was loud and clear when the voters passed Measure PP in 2008, amending the general plan with straightforward language on this matter. Now again in 2016, memories apparently have faded with the approval of the Lund Ranch II project.

For those who missed it, politics took its most dysfunctional form on the day of the approval when Councilmember Arne Olson revealed his thought process to the public. "I had to change my opinion on this project in order to get to this point after seeing how Measure PP impacted this (Greenbriar) plan, so I did." Mr. Olson, is that all the voters mean to you? An obstacle in your way to support hillside development?

We would all like to avoid the referendum process, but in this case, our elected officials have taken clear steps to contradict the will of the voters (and their own election platforms). Please sign the petition to have the Lund Ranch II project put on the ballot. Let your voices be heard and help protect Pleasanton from hillside development projects -- now and in the future.

-- Gary Williams and family

Let your voice be heard

The people of the Mission Park, Ventana Hills and the Lund Ranch neighborhoods do not want you to sign the referendum because they are afraid of the truth. They do not want the voters' original intent of PP to be reaffirmed. Their argument is a road and retaining walls are not structures.

The Pleasanton Municipal Code says:

"Structure" means that which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner and permanently attached to the ground, as defined in the California Building Standards Code. (Ord. 2000 Sec. 1, 2009; Ord. 1934 Sec. 1, 2006)

Clearly according to Pleasanton's own municipal code, a retaining wall and a road meet the definition of a structure.

Then why didn't the City Council uphold PP?

1. The city believes it has the right to interpret the code, but when codes are written this specific, it leaves nothing to interpret.

2. The above-mentioned neighborhoods have way too much political clout in this city. The Bridle Creek, Sycamore Heights neighborhoods do not and are not scared of the voters. The Mission Park, Ventana Hills, Lund Ranch neighborhoods are scared; they would rather hide behind a City Council they can manipulate.

Please sign the referendum and let your voice be once again heard.

-- John Patterson

Signatures are void

In the high-paced world in which we live, decisions are often based on limited information.

Misleading voters with blatantly false information and bullying those trying to express dissenting public opinions is not in the character of Pleasanton. This regretfully is the case with the petition for a referendum on the Lund Ranch II PUD-25 project, as Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents (and others) have hired a company incapable of professionally collecting informed signatures.

They haven't been properly trained to share anything about the project, where it is or what it's about. One paid signature gatherer claimed signing the petition would prevent the kind of apartments being built next-door to the Bernal Safeway. Another at Luckys claimed it would stop them from building "Mansions all over the Hills" while pointing to the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.

All of us have rights to our opinions, but when residents hire outside people, all should be held to the standards this city was built upon and signatures gathered to date should be considered suspect and void.

-- Justin Brown

Lund Ranch II ignores local law

Please sign the referendum to rescind the sprawl-inducing Lund Ranch II approval.

The property is located 1/2 mile from the Verona Fault. Not only does its approval violate Programs 20.2/20.3 of the Pleasanton General Plan Community Character element policies that specifies new developments shall preserve scenic hillside features including ridges, plants, streams and wildlife and prohibit grading of slopes 25% or greater, but its approval also ignores Land Use Element Policy 21/Program 21.3 to preserve hillside and ridge views of the southeast hills and the voter-approved Measure PP policies to protect ridgelines and hillsides.

There is no vertical 100 feet buffer zone between the top of street light structures and tops of buildings and the nearest ridgeline. Furthermore it violates the Public Safety element restricting major grading on slopes 25% or greater and doesn't comply with the Pleasanton Municipal Code provisions and definitions in the hillside ordinance adopted by a previous City Council.

An ad placed in last week's Weekly that implied developer ally Kay Ayala authored ridgeline/hillside protection parts of Measure PP; in fact PP ridge and hill protections were slightly revised wording from a measure adopted by the voters of Walnut Creek authored by "Citizens for a Better Walnut Creek." Her role in Measure PP was a line item drafted to reduce the housing cap from 29,000 to 28,000 housing units -- a line item that was dropped prior to its circulation.

-- Anne Fox,

Former planning commissioner

Co-author of hillside/ridge protection sections of Measure PP

Throwing PP under the bus

We are disappointed by the action of the City Council Jan. 5. In a 3 to 1 vote (with Karla Brown voting no), they approved the 43-home Lund Ranch II development.

With their vote for approval, Mr. Thorne, Mr. Olson and Ms. Narum threw Measure PP under the bus. Despite the opportunity to set a far-reaching precedent for no future development in our hills, they voted to carve an access road into and over a beautiful hillside in order to let Greenbriar Homes build out their project. We voted for Narum and Olson, elected on platforms that included support for Measure PP. Their campaign promises vanished Jan. 5.

The access road the council approved includes 6-foot-high retaining walls, a culvert or bridge over a creek, curbs, sidewalks, light standards, hydrants, etc. Their decision permits this road and accompanying structures to be built on a hillside with a slope greater than 25 degrees, and requires the grading and movement of 650 truck loads of dirt -- severe and permanent changes to our natural hillside.

If this happens, a precedent is set and our pro-growth council will be empowered to continue finding loopholes and ways on a case-by-case basis to get around Measure PP requirements for future hillside developments. Our few remaining hills must be protected, not just for us to enjoy, but for future generations as well.

Please sign the referendum petition you will see around town. It only takes one minute and will send the council's decision back for a vote by those who care most about preserving our beautiful hillsides -- Pleasanton citizens.

-- Bill and Carolyn Lincoln

Opposing referendum

Traffic impact on neighborhoods is the heart of our concern over development in southeast Pleasanton dating back to Bonde Ranch in 1991. The Lund Ranch II PUD-25 that passed recently by the City Council honors previous agreements/understandings made by past Pleasanton City Councils, and the compromises agreed to with the Ventana Hills/Mission Hills neighborhoods and city staff represented in their recommendation to City Council for Lund Ranch II.

The Ventana Hills Steering Committee supports council's decision, which represents compromises from all parties. Although all traffic was slated to exit through Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek (who were made aware in their CC&Rs before purchasing their homes), the plan splits the traffic (including 15 homes on Middleton Place in the Bonde development). Twenty-seven will exit Lund Ranch Road in Ventana Hills/Mission Hills and 31 will exit through Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek. We do not support a referendum.

-- George Dort,

Member VHSC

Referendum to overturn Lund Ranch II

As a resident of Ventana Hills for over 15 years, I've enjoyed many a walk with my dog through our beautiful Ventana Hills and Sycamore Heights neighborhood. It saddens me to see that the recent Lund Ranch II development issue has pitted one neighborhood against another; otherwise friends when out walking our dogs.

Though not perfect, it was with relief to see that the recent City Council decision to split the traffic between the neighborhoods would finally bring closure to the issue. Unfortunately, Sycamore Heights does not accept the City Council's decision and is paying aggressive signature gathers to put a costly referendum (up to $350,000) on the ballot.

The referendum will not stop the development; it will just re-hash the issue of where to route traffic, with Sycamore Heights lobbying to have 100% of all traffic to go through our neighborhood. I urge all residents to pause and read more carefully and not sign the petition to overturn Lund Ranch II.

-- Linda Coleman

Lund Ranch: Fact or fiction?

When PP was being written Kay Ayala believed a road was a structure: Fact.

Now because the traffic from Lund Ranch will be coming into her neighborhood she has changed her position: Fact.

The people in Mission Park, Ventana Hills and Lund Ranch Road argue the referendum will cost the city money: Fact.

What they are not telling you is if they had not gotten their way they would have sued, which would have also cost the city more money: Fact.

A road and retaining wall are structures according to both the Pleasanton Municipal Code and the California Building Standards Code. Fact.

The City Council believes they can bend any rule to suit their own purposes: Fact.

The voters have the right through the referendum process to tell them they can't: Fact.

Please sign the petition.

-- Darlene Patterson

They did it again

First Oak Grove, now Lund Ranch II. When will they listen to the voters?

In 2008, the Pleasanton voters overwhelmingly passed Measure PP in order to protect our remaining hillsides and ridges. But on Jan. 5, by approving the Lund Ranch development in the southeast hills of Pleasanton, our pro-development council majority went out of their way to redefine terms in Measure PP that were inconsistent with our own municipal code and the California building codes in order to build on hillsides over 25% slope and within 100 feet of a ridge.

They ignored prior unanimous votes by both City Councils and Planning Commissions that stated Measure PP applied to roadways, and they created new exceptions to PP that were never contemplated or listed in the measure -- they decimated the protections of Measure PP.

This was the first test of Measure PP and sets a very dangerous precedent for future hillside development.

Please sign the referendum petition so the voters can reaffirm their support of Measure PP. This is not a neighborhood vs. neighborhood dispute, as a few would have you believe. The remaining hillsides and ridges of Pleasanton are at severe risk.

-- Greg O'Connor

Petition effort setting bad precedent

At issue of the Lund Ranch II project is whether it violates Measure PP as some people say a road is a structure. I was a member of the group that worked on the writing of Measure PP and roads were never considered to be structures.

Due to the success of Measure PP, this development went from 113 homes down to 43 homes, all to be built in a bowl to minimize the visual impacts. The City Council also eliminated homes that would be on man-made, not natural, slopes of 25%, and split the development so one neighborhood would not take all of the traffic.

I strongly support the right to collect signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. However, I will not be signing this petition. If you intend to sign, I recommend first educating yourself by going to the city website or the project area.

Of great concern to me is the bad precedent of using paid signature collectors for a local issue. Call me "old fashioned," but I value grassroots signature campaigns by passionate residents, like all the campaigns in the past.

-- Steve Brozosky,

Pleasanton City Council 2002-06

Don't be fooled by the illusion

Bridle Creek/ Sycamore Heights residents who want to overturn Lund Ranch II at taxpayers expense of up to $247,000 have branded their efforts under the illusion that they are "Saving Pleasanton's hillsides and PP."

Sounds praiseworthy on the surface to "protect" all of Pleasanton from the "hillside sprawl" as they would lead you to believe, but what this illusion really amounts to is a small group of residents who want to push traffic out of their neighborhood that was developed to accommodate it into another.

These residents purchased their homes knowing the facts regarding the general plan. Now they elect to serve their own interests at taxpayers' expense. A referendum redirecting traffic is not "saving the hillsides" and "protecting" the PP" agenda as they want you to believe.

The illusion that Lund Ranch II violates PP is another falsehood. Simply listen to the voices of truth who authored PP and know they will not be signing this referendum.

By pushing this manufactured idea of "saving hillsides" and "protecting PP" in the media, outside schools, at the farmers market and other local shopping areas by an outside firm hired to collect signatures, the Bridle Creek/Sycamore Heights residents are hoping many Pleasanton residents will believe their illusion and sign the referendum. Please don't be fooled by these catchy phrases and deceptive impressions. I for one stand with the truth-tellers and will not be signing the referendum.

-- Teresa Cross,

Ventana Hill resident

Lund Ranch deception

I saw a full-page ad in the Jan. 15 Pleasanton Weekly. It was a letter from Kay Ayala, claiming to be one of the authors of Measure PP and stating that the Lund Ranch project is exactly what the authors of PP hoped to achieve. Well, the other authors, who wrote the section on hillside and ridge preservation, don't agree with her. Lund Ranch does not comply with PP. Structures are within 100 feet of a ridge and are on hillsides.

Look at the ad closely. In the bottom right corner it says, "Paid for by GHC Lund Ranch LLC," the developer. So Ms. Ayala, and her group advocating for approval of Lund Ranch, are in bed with the developer. I think she should have told us that.

Their second half-page ad is also filled with half-truths. They would have you believe this is a neighborhood vs. neighborhood battle. Again, look at the bottom right corner where it says, "Paid for by Pleasanton Residents who support Protecting Pleasanton Neighborhoods." Plural. But in fact, they only want to protect one neighborhood.

Measure PP is in place to preserve all the hillsides and ridges in Pleasanton for all the residents of Pleasanton. Pleasanton already has enough traffic, overcrowded schools and water shortages. We don't need more housing, especially on our hillsides. Support the voters who asked for hillside protections by signing the referendum, putting this development back onto the ballot for the voters to decide if it is what we want.

-- Nicole Johnson

Lund Ranch II referendum

I voted for Measure PP because I didn't want our remaining hills in Pleasanton to be touched, and so did an overwhelming number of our voters. All the arguing about what things in PP mean, by our council and by some residents who think this development in our hills is acceptable, is embarrassing.

We shouldn't be touching our hills; stay far away from them. The citizens don't want any more houses built anywhere in the city, especially in the hills. Hasn't the council learned anything from the citizen outrage over the east side planning they started but were forced to stop?

The neighborhood that thinks this development is OK is just worried that they might get more traffic later. They need to be thinking about all of Pleasanton, our hills, our schools and traffic.

I signed the referendum, and I'm asking all the other voters to do the same. And if our council doesn't start supporting our citizens, especially the initiatives we have passed, we should certainly vote them out of office.

-- Sean Brusseau

Why we're not signing

As a Ventana Hills resident and Measure PP supporter, I have participated in the well-planned development of southeast Pleasanton since 1991. Traffic flow from the developments of Bonde Ranch, Bridle Creek and Sycamore Heights was designed to ensure that existing neighborhoods were not overburdened from new development.

The approved Lund Ranch II PUD-25, a byproduct of this planning, is located in a bowl in the eastern hills and not visible. Some now suggest roads fall under Measure PP and are petitioning to overturn this development simply to redirect traffic. Go to the facts of what the voters were told prior to voting:

1. June 26, 2008 Special City Council meeting minutes on Measure PP. Proponent Karla Brown spoke clarifying roads were not a part (Page 10).

2. The rebuttal argument from the proponents of Measure PP that was available to citizens in the voter pamphlet.

We were all told that "roads are not a part of Measure PP." They can't change the intent of a measure after it's passed, simply because they want to redirect traffic.

No more time and money should be wasted because Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek don't want planned traffic connected to their streets, something they agreed to in their closing documents.

Paid signature gatherers are giving false information to get people to sign the petition. Don't be misled into signing this petition and wasting up to $247,000.

-- Amy Lofland

Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:09 am

NO MORE BUILDING!
The traffic is unreal already & just getting worse!


16 people like this
Posted by Bill Brasky
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:10 am

Bill Brasky is a registered user.

Champions of the environment or a slick way to buy the land next to their homes to avoid traffic? I guess at the end of the day only they really know...


33 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:24 am

To David Melaugh (and everyone else trying to make sense out of it all):

Your comment, "The project will build homes on hillsides..." is completely FALSE. If you're going make statements, at least make accurate ones.

Read Tim Hunt's blog post this morning. Very cogent. And truthful.

This is all about two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Pleasanton getting what they want-Not In My Backyard (NIMBY).

Our elected leadership worked with all four neighborhoods involved (Ventana Hills, Mission Hills, Sycamore Heights, and Bridle Creek) to help reach an acceptable solution. It's called compromise.

NONE of the proposed 43 homes would be permitted to be built on hillsides or ridges--NONE.

Additionally, if the project were reduced to 10 homes, under Measure PP, as Councilmember Karla Brown has suggested, all of those 10 homes, ironically, could then be built on hillsides or ridges.

Also, if the project was reduced to only 10 homes, what some may not know is that the developer could then sue the City of Pleasanton for what's known as a "takings." What that means is the developer could sue for the value of the number of homes being reduced as an unfair 'taking' of their property rights.

A lawsuit would not only cost the City quite a bit of money to defend against, losing that lawsuit would make the City liable for who knows how many millions of City taxpayer dollars.

If the project was completely rejected, as Councilmember Karla Brown has also suggested, well, it's still not over. The builder, Greenbriar Homes, can then come back with yet another proposal, dragging this matter out for who knows how many more years to come, at additional time and expense for the City.

The Mayor and City Council knew ALL of this before reaching a fair compromise to try to best resolve the matter for all.

Unfortunately, two of the neighborhoods involved, Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, have refused to accept ANY compromise. They have never offered one of their own, either--ever. For example, they could have allowed access to some of the homes via land owned by the Sycamore Heights HOA, something also suggested by City Councilmember Karla Brown--they refused to consider it, rejecting that as well.

The residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills not only offered a compromise during the long debate(s) on this project, they've also accepted the compromise decision the Mayor and City Council approved on January 5th.

Unfortunately, the Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhoods, plus Allen Roberts, are banking on registered voters in Pleasanton to ignore the long history and all of the facts regarding the Lund Ranch II project in order to satisfy what amounts to pure NIMBYism, all under the guise of 'protecting Measure PP.' It's a smokescreen.

Equally ironic regarding this matter is that Councilmember Karla Brown, a supporter of the referendum petition drive, after voting against the compromise decision, lives in Kottinger Ranch, a vast community of some of the most expensive homes in Pleasanton, with many built on ridgelines that would not be permitted under Measure PP.

The Mayor and City Council tried everything they could within reason to strike a fair resolution for the four neighborhoods involved, and they provided a fair compromise.

Part of that compromise involves appreciating how much cut-through traffic will be coming through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills once the PUD-87 project at Bernal and Stanley (350 apartments plus a retail complex) is occupied. Ventana Hills and Mission Hills will suffer with that huge amount of additional traffic no matter what.

Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek? All they're being asked to accept is an extension of what will remain a dead-end road to access 31 of the 43 homes.

But, they refuse. Not In My Backyard.

At the very least, Pleasanton voters should check/review the January 5th, 2016 City Council meeting minutes. They should also check the many previous City Council and Planning Commission meeting minutes regarding Lund Ranch II (aka PUD-25).


105 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

As a resident of Bridle Creek I can say truthfully that when we purchased our home 6 years ago we were provided information of future developments (Lund Ranch) and even possible Golf course customers using our neighborhood streets for access. The compromise reached by the city council in allowing some of the traffic from Lund Ranch through our neighborhood and routing some of the traffic through Ventana Hills is completely fair, does not violate measure PP and is exactly what we (residents of Bridle Creek) agreed to when we purchased our homes. Quite honestly we should be pleased that the original plan of more homes and routing all the traffic through our neighborhood didn't get approved.
The petition being circulated if full of mistruths and will cost the city an inordinate amount of money. This development will still be getting built and ALL of the traffic will be dumped through Ventana Hills and Mission Park creating a strain on that neighborhood. We need to work together as a community to do what's best for ALL of our residents and the city as a whole, not just a select few...and I say that being one of the select few. I urge all Pleasanton residents PLEASE DO NOT SIGN THIS PETITION...


6 people like this
Posted by City said 10 units max on Lund Ranch II
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:01 am

The city has published documents regarding the financial impacts of Measure PP that a maximum of 5 to 10 houses could be placed on Lund Ranch II. Period. That is 5 to 10 houses. Not 43. I will be signing the referendum.

We do not need 43 houses to overcrowd the schools even more than they already are.

I would hope that the signature gatherers could come to school sites at pick up or drop off so it will convenient for all to sign the referendum.


10 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

What about this... no more new homes anywhere in Ptown until there is a plan for new schools? Aren't we forgetting about the kids?


10 people like this
Posted by Jule
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:23 am

@"City said 10 units max on Lund Ranch II":

You're wrong. That's what Karla Brown wanted. Nothing ever came from the city indicating that in its present form, only 10 units could be placed on Lund Ranch II. This is allowable under PP.

And signature gatherers are not allowed on school sites.

I wish people would do their research before spouting off. But this is Pleasanton, so hey why do that?


14 people like this
Posted by City said 10 units max on Lund Ranch II
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

Greenbriar built houses on what was supposed to be a third high school in south Pleasanton because the pro-uncontrolled growth city council allowed the school district to rezone the site from a high school to houses. This was all done in the late 80s and early 90s before ridges were protected in Pleasanton.

Greenbriar houses sit where the high school should have been built.

Not one more shovelful of dirt to build any more housing subdivisions should be approved until the school district:
1) removes all portable trailers from all school sites
2) reduces K-3 to 20 children
3) cancels staggered reading drop offs and pick ups
4) builds at least one more elementary school
5) builds at least one more middle school
6) builds at least one more high school


22 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

Greenbriar is going to build the homes in Lund Ranch II regardless - the issue is what neighborhood the traffic will go through.
If you sign the petition - it will cost the city a couple hundred thousand to put it on the ballot but the issue is whether the proposed access road violates measure PP or not. The houses will be built either way


7 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:45 am

I want to respond to the Ventana Hills resident who stated that Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek never offered a compromise. That is blatantly not true. Our Steering Committee met with Kay Ayala, Carol Spain, Amy Lofland and Justin Brown from their neighborhood on 11/3/15. We emphasized that we wanted to work together to come to an agreement and OFFERED TO TAKE ALL 10 HOUSES through Sunset Creek Lane so that Ventana Hills got NO TRAFFIC and the development was compliant with Measure PP. They said "no" they could not support that.

I would like the greater Pleasanton community to understand why Ventana Hills/Mission Hills would actually support having 12 houses (as opposed to 0 houses)going through their neighborhood and oppose the Referendum. They have been told by their Steering Committee that if the referendum passes they could get more homes, even the full 43 homes. Think about this, if the Pleasanton voters vote against the development, they are saying to the Council "You have to go back to the builder and bring us something Compliant with PP". Unless the Council members would not like to be re-elected, they are going to 1) talk to both neighborhoods to reach a compromise 2) come back with a scaled down plan.

Please take the time to review both sides of the issue to make an informed decision. Signing the petition is not a Yes vote, it merely allows the Referendum to be placed on the ballot. Giving Pleasanton voters a voice in the decision is a good thing. You can read more about the Referendum Efforts at SavePleasantonHillsides.com


13 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

To Member/Resident of Bridle Creek,

When you state, "We emphasized that we wanted to work together to come to an agreement and OFFERED TO TAKE ALL 10 HOUSES through Sunset Creek Lane so that Ventana Hills got NO TRAFFIC and the development was compliant with Measure PP. They said "no" they could not support that."

You're conveniently ignoring the fact that Greenbriar Homes has publicly stated at City Council meetings that they will NOT accept a 10 home project, which is why the Ventana Hills/Mission Hills neighborhood representatives you mention would not support that, because although all four neighborhoods involved could accept just 10 homes as you describe above, Greenbriar will not, and, per the City Attorney, approving that small of a project exposes the City to a 'takings' lawsuit, as I described previously (as did the City Attorney to the City Council and public, too).

A referendum will cost taxpayers at least $247,000--how much more (see millions of dollars) do you want to risk Pleasanton taxpayers being on the hook for in a takings lawsuit?

Yes, everyone would like this project not to be built at all, me included, but that's not being realistic. The Mayor and City Council (sans Councilmember Karla Brown) know that, too, and made the best decision they could under the circumstances.

Regarding other posters upset about the burden on schools, agreed, but adding 43 homes pales in comparison to the hundreds of homes and apartments the Mayor and City Council were forced to approve be built in Pleasanton due to losing a lawsuit by Urban Habitat.

Tom of Bridle Creek makes some cogent comments, as did Tim Hunt in his blog post today.

Regarding taking the time to review both sides of the issue, that's something we can agree on. You can also read more about the referendum at ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods.com.


252 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:22 pm

@ "Member" -

You stated that "if the Pleasanton voters vote against the development, they are saying to the Council "You have to go back to the builder and bring us something Compliant with PP"."

That is not what this referendum would say or do. PP is unclear in its intent regarding roads being structures subject to PP. Council's interpretation meets a reasonable interpretation of PP's intent.

There are no houses on 25% slope so at a minimum the 43 houses meet any definition of PP.

You are welcome to call the city attorney's office if you don't think any of this is true.

Yes - the referendum requires going back to the drawing table. Who knows what you will get then. And it will cost the taxpayers $200,000 or more. It's ridiculous.

All of it is Nimbyism. But then again, so was the origination of PP.


8 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

The Sycamore Heights neighborhoid diid investigate the option of using the HOA land. We were told by the HOA attorney that it would take time to pursue this option. We came back and requested that the Council table the decision until we could get a definitive answer. The Council didn't want to wait and went ahead and voted. Hmmm, seems like they just wanted to get it passed.


13 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

To Member of Sycamore Heights,

Re: use of your HOA land, your statements aren't accurate, as information form your attorney was provided to the City Council to consider.

See City Council 12/1/15 meeting minutes, p. 9:

"Councilmember Olson stated that the HOA attorney's letter pretty much removed any chance of using HOA property."


4 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

SThis debate could go back and forth all day long. Ventana Hills/Mission Hills said we didn't negotiate but we came to them on 11/2/15 BEFORE Greenbriar said 10 homes is not an option. Ventana Hills said we didn't consider the HOA property as an option. We did consult the HOA attorney but because the HOA board would have to convey the land to the city, it could take awhile.

This is directly from the letter submitted by Jennifer Lucas, Consulting attorney to the Sycamore Heights HOA. "To conclude, the accomplishment of the alternate access plan to the adjacent property to be developed is far from simple, and eventually may not turn out to be legally possible or even feasible from a practical standpoint. It is our recommendation that the Board determine the level of commitment on behalf of the City and the level of commitment on behalf of the Board of Directors to devote the necessary resources in an effort to push the “Parcel A Plan” through to fruition. If the level of commitment of the City is as high as that of the Board, then we will be able to provide an estimate as to the probable costs of doing so."

We sent letters to the council indicating additional time was needed to fully pursue this option and Bill Lincoln stated this at the Dec. 1 meeting. This is directly from pg. 8 of the meeting notes: "Bill Lincoln stated forwarded a copy of a letter received from Sycamore Heights Homeowners Association attorney to all parties involved in the Lund Ranch II development for review. The letter was in response to a question posed regarding the possible partial use of open space for access to the Lund Ranch II project and noted that would better comply with the intent of Measure PP. He also stated if there is an interest in his proposal the council should delay making a decision for 60 to 90 days in order to have enough time for board meetings and further analysis. Mr. Lincoln indicated he was willing to approach the Homeowners Association Board of Directors if there was such an interest."

My point is Ventana Hills/Mission Hills keeps slinging mud at us, saying we didn't do this and we didn't do that on message boards and public forums. When we address their arguments then they switch to another complaint. I think they are banking on the fact that the average Pleasanton resident won't have the time or energy to investigate all their accusations. Please be fair and deal with the facts. The Pleasanton voters are intelligent enough to decide for themselves. BTW, the Oak Grove referendum cost less than $100,000 but the Council can avoid that cost by rejecting the current proposal and sending it back to the builder.


15 people like this
Posted by No more lies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Juat want to state again - what was said above. If the developer were told only option was 10 homes - one of two things would happen. A lawsuit against the city for "takings" because this development was permitted and part of the general plan since 91. Or if the developer was agreeable, by law and totally permissible under PP, the developer could build mansions on any of the hills or ridges of Lund ranch. That folks is a fact. Ask yourselves - 43 homes in a valley not on ridges or hills, or 10 homes allowed by law on ridges and hills. Karla Brown got an answer for that one?


2 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Could it result in 10 mansions on top of our hillsides? Nope. Straight from one of the Planning Commissioners:

"As it relates to PP, theoretically yes. But the Pleasanton General Plan and Municipal code have other provisions to prevent such approvals."


11 people like this
Posted by No more lies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

@Member - Please identify the planning commissioner who stated what you posted. Thanks.


18 people like this
Posted by stop
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm

First, the issue of the proposed development being PP compliant is with the road connecting to Sunset Creek--no houses are proposed on slopes greater than 25%, on a ridgeline or within 100 feet of a ridge. That's a fact--anything else is not true. (BTW, the attorney's impartial analysis of PP specifically called out that some interpretation would need to be made with regard to roads.) So think about it. All 43 homes could exit out Lund Ranch Rd only and the project is PP compliant. To say its only a 10 unit project is simply being unrealistic unless one wants to see the City sued for a taking. If it were to be a 10 unit project, to a large extent the developer could build whatever they want AND the city would likely not receive the land for permanent public open space.

The referendum would stop the current project as proposed--that's it. The property owner would likely submit the same project but just with all the traffic going out Lund Ranch Rd. BTW, that's what they wanted to do originally. Ask yourself--is it fair/right for one neighborhood to take all the traffic from this proposed development especially when the other neighbor signed CC&Rs that specifically said Sunset Creek would be extended and over 100 homes would be built.

But if you don't like those facts, think about the property at the corner of Stanley and Bernal. A Home Depot was proposed there. Folks didn't like it and in the end Home Depot packed their bags and moved on. So now, we have 330 apartment units plus shops being built there. sometimes the first option is the best option.

some key facts were left out about the Home Owners property. For example their attorney estimated it would cost at least $50,000 in legal fees, etc to be able to build a road on it. Bill Lincoln didn't address who would pay those fees. Plus 100% on the homeowners would have to agree to it. There are a few homeowners who don't like what their neighbors are doing and likely would not agree.

No one is talking about the fact that the Planning Commission voted to have all 50 homes accessed through Sunset Creek. Are you suggesting had that been left in place there would not be the 2 neighborhoods arguing over traffic? I don't buy it.

All of this saddens me. The time and money being spent by the 2 neighborhoods could be put to such better use for OUR community instead.


19 people like this
Posted by Bill Brasky
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Bill Brasky is a registered user.

After attending as many of the Planning Commission sessions as I could I believed both sides would hold their noses and go with City Council's final decision. Ironically, I was going to shake the hands of the main players of Bridle Creek and Sycamore Heights for sticking up for their neighborhoods, now I almost have contempt for them.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm

To Member/a resident of Sycamore Heights:

You contradict yourself with your own words, or rather, the words of your HOA attorney:

"To conclude, the accomplishment of the alternate access plan to the adjacent property to be developed is far from simple, and eventually may not turn out to be legally possible or even feasible from a practical standpoint."

Reiterating Councilmember Arne Olson's reaction after reading your attorney's letter: "Councilmember Olson stated that the HOA attorney's letter pretty much removed any chance of using HOA property."

The Mayor and two City Councilmembers accepted the negative assessment from your own attorney, and ultimately made a fair decision, one which neither you nor your wealthy neighbors (and Allen Roberts of Gray Eagle) can accept.

They weren't about to buy what amounted to an 11th hour delay tactic.

Read what Tom of Bridle Creek posted above, too. Too bad others in your neighborhood don't feel the same.


4 people like this
Posted by Swamp property?
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:29 pm

Obviously Tom does not live in Bridle Creek. Anyone believe I live in Mission Park? Yeah. How about buying some swamp land I have for sale?


15 people like this
Posted by Joey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

You are dreaming if you believe the developer will reduce the plan from 43 homes to 10. This de-values the property. The developer has a ready stated they will sue Pleasanton if this happens. The city planning group has weighed in, the city council has weighted in the authors of PP/QQ have weighed in about the intent of PP/QQ given the lack of clarity in the original document. All feel that the plan approved is the best compromised plan for all. Don't fool yourself into thinking the Sycamore/Bridle creek folks are doing favor. They are in it for themselves. The development will be built so it is just about the road. That is it. Does the road go through there development that they were told day one about, and signed papers to document it. Or does it go past a heavily used neighborhood park/playground area that feeds into the primary access to an elementary/middle school. Oh wait they never showed you the ramifications of endorsing their plan did they. You need to ask yourself, what it the best thing/worst thing that can happen. The best is we go forward with the best compromised plan, or the worst is the city pays for the referendum, we get sued by the developer, and the danger level is elevated for the school kids.


4 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 22, 2016 at 9:59 am

Has anyone drawn up a rendering of what the proposed new road would look like if it went through the Bridle Creek/Sycamore Heights area? It seems to me that measure PP is about preserving (visually) the Pleasanton ridge lines. It would be nice to see what an actual road would look like (going through this area) to gain a better understand of what the view of the ridge line would actually look like with the proposed new road. If (in fact) the view of the ridge line isn’t impacted, the cost of drawing up the rendering would likely be a lot less than filing a referendum.


16 people like this
Posted by Joey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

The road is already there through Sycamore creek and Bridle creek, it goes to the edge of Bridle Creek development and stops. For the new development it would just be extended to go downhill to Lund Ranch II. You can see this on Google maps today under Summit Creek Ln.


34 people like this
Posted by Alexis B
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 11:09 am

I've been alongside these paid signature gatherers and I can speak from personal experience. While I peacefully handed out fliers and didn't speak to them at all, I was repeatedly insulted and verbally assaulted. When Pleasanton residents come up, they are so sugary sweet to get them to sign... but when they leave, they insult my appearance, my intelligence, my children, my "mental health," and my sexual preferences (No we did not discuss this or anything with them. They just tried to think of ANYTHING To say to get me to leave so they can earn more $$$). With every insult, I simply looked away and stood there quietly. I also hear them tell Pleasanton residents so many lies to get a signature, and feel so sad that we are all being subjected to this treatment. No Pleasanton resident, or anybody for that means, should be subjected to this type of treatment.


4 people like this
Posted by JC
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

This nonsense needs to stop. This development will happen. I want to see what the houses look like - very interested in them!


10 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 22, 2016 at 11:43 am

Hey @Swamp property?

Perhaps with your superior intellect you could add something positive to the discussion?

And, BTW I do live in Bridle Creek


14 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

To Mark:

This information is available through the City. Check with the City Manager's office and/or the Planning Department, Nelson Fialho and Brian Dolan, respectively.

The road definitely does NOT impact the view of the ridgeline. This is part of the reason why the Mayor and City Council approved the compromise plan.

The anti-compromise folks will claim otherwise, but check out the FACTS.

BTW, it's a very short road. The City can confirm the exact length for you, as I've heard 50 yards, and the SavePleasantonHillsides folks are saying/claiming 700 feet.


20 people like this
Posted by Practicality and Realism
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

It really pains me to see this -- an outside developer successfully pitting neighbors and friends against each other. I will NOT be signing the petition because it prolongs and makes uncertain what will happen in Lund Ranch II. The Sycamore Creek/Bridle Creek neighborhoods are sponsoring the signature gathering and referendum to block traffic from going through their neighborhood (let's be real here, it's not to save any hillsides -- one road will not violate either the wording or the spirit of PP). The Ventana Hills/Mission Hills neighborhoods are against it because they are realistic and see the practicality of just accepting the approved plan. The approved plan drastically reduces the number of houses being built on the site, sends 12 houses' traffic through Ventana/Mission and 31 or so through Sycamore/Bridle. This is not a great outcome for any party but it is definitely a good compromise that gives certainty to the situation. For Mission/Ventana they compromise on not having ANY traffic come through their neighborhood which the city has consistently agreed would not happen but in exchange they get certainty that no other housing will be connected to their neighborhods. For Sycamore/Bridle, well they get SUBSTANTIALLY less houses, in fact ~120 houses less than what was proposed initially for the parcel which they KNEW would happen when they bought their houses. And Greenbriar gets the certainty of finally being able to build and wring some money out of this parcel.

Hopefully reason will rule and people will realize that this is a good compromise. Nobody is entirely happy, but nobody is entirely unhappy. Practicality and Realism, please.


6 people like this
Posted by OOOh the developer might sue
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Guess what - the developers ALWAYS say they will sue if they don't get their project. We need a council with some backbone that understand that. The council is supposed to REPRESENT their voters, not creep under a rock every time a developer "threatens" to sue.

I watched from home because I couldn't get a seat, but clearly the attorney said 30 units is NOT a takens of value and the developer would have no real suit, or did you forget that? The developer has the council in their pocket and it was obvious to me.

If the council caves in everyone someone says they may sue, then the developers OWN this city. Is that really what you want? Scary.


21 people like this
Posted by Trina
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Alexis B: I am so sorry you had to experience such hostility from the out of town hired petition gatherers.

Good for you for not arguing with someone who believes their own lies.

Every person who becomes informed with the REAL FACTS and TRUTHS and then elects NOT TO SIGN the petition is perceived as taking money away from the these people who were hired to do the dirty work for the Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek neighborhood.

Based on the leadership of these Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek folks, I am not surprised. They should be held responsible for such inappropriate behaviors.

Sadly this is a group who will stop at nothing to keep traffic out of their neighborhood. Their lies keep on coming and they will not to be denied. What's worse,

They should be ashamed, not just for their lies and propaganda they are peddling verbally and in print (really ?? showing Dublin Hills and making it appear this is what people are choosing from??) but also for their lack of character and integrity.


The" Sycamore Heights/ Bridle Creek group and their "leaders" have allowed, in fact paid for and promoted, the lies/propaganda and fraud. And now , sadly, that whole neighborhood, in the eyes of many, has become the face of those lies.

Thats what this petition in the end is really about: do you side with deceit, disgrace and dishonor or do you side with the TRUTH that is grounded in the reality of facts and NOT SIGN.





4 people like this
Posted by Easy decision
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 22, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Easy decision. I am signing so i can vote and say NO to more houses in the hills.


26 people like this
Posted by Correction
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm

@ Easy Decision - The 43 homes will be built whether you sign the petition or not. They will be built because NONE of the homes are on hillsides or ridges.. so this referendum has 0% to do with homes being built on hillsides/ridges.

If you want to stop homes being built on hillsides and ridges, I have great news! Measure PP already stopped that and it is 100% working. So we don't need to spend another $247,000 to do that.




23 people like this
Posted by Trina
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 11:58 pm

@ Easy Decision

Nice try to make it look like this petition is about saving the hills (deceit, disgrace, etc)

It's an "easy decision" for you (and a selfish one) because it serves your own interests - the cost to taxpayers is of no importance to you nor is the truth.

You are signing the petition so the traffic currently planned to go through your neighborhood can be re-routed through another neighborhood. It's as simple ("easy") as that!

Your comment shows you disregard the truth and the facts, as Correction pointed out. when making decision (i.e signing a petition). In a self centered world, that's OK as long as you get what you want (stomping your feet.) .

Or perhaps it's "easy" because, after all this time, you just believe your own lies…. and if that is the case….it's never wise to engage one that does.







6 people like this
Posted by Donna Jo
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 23, 2016 at 1:00 am

What is wrong with the city council? You people have ruined the city of Pleasanton. Who voted you in? Not me or my family or people I know. What a shame. Pleasanton was such a great little city. Now all you care about is money. It's not who you are anymore, it's what you have. Everyone wants to out do everyone else. The schools have to be better. Every thing has to be better. What is wrong with you people? Relax, just live life and don't worry about being better. Life is too short. Get off your high horse. Stop building for awhile. We have a water shortage for now. New housing can wait. Take a moment and chill. You are all in such a rush. Take it easy and slow down.


22 people like this
Posted by No more lies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:01 am

@OOOh the developer might sue - you have your facts wrong. There was never a mention of 30 units. The developer can and will sue if he is stopped from building (that parcel has been part of the general plan since 91 long before this Council was in place) or if he is restricted to 10 homes. If Greenbriar chooses to buil 10 homes he has every right and totally in compliance with Measure PP to build mansions on any hill or ridge in Lund Ranch. Please do your homework and check the facts. So ask yourself - if this is about protecting hillsides why would anyone want this to go back to the voters with that being one of the few options left. And a lawsuit against the city would cost many many hundreds of thousands. Not a good way to use our tax dollars. Please know the facts.


21 people like this
Posted by Trina
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm

@ Donna Jo

I agree with you "life is too short" which makes this whole effort to get a referendum on the ballot at the cost of $247,000 to just divert traffic out of one neighborhood into the other makes absolutely no sense. Not to mention, it's a waste of taxpayers money. "As Donna Jo asks: "What is wrong with you people"

Worse yet, people who don't even live in Pleasanton are being paid to collect signatures, trying to "outdo" the efforts of the people who do live in Pleasanton, at the cost of 30,00-50,000. Like Donna Jo said: "It's not who you are anymore, it's what you have."

Also agree with her advice of "don't worry about being better". The folks of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek want it "better" than other neighborhoods who agreed to stop this craziness by accepting the compromise the council put forward, including sharing the traffic from the 43 homes located in the valley (note: not the hills). Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek want NO traffic- "get off your high horse" is good advice.

This city council had nothing to do with the already approved 1991 general plan but Karla Brown, who sits on the current council, is out there with the paid outside company collecting signatures- a billboard for the "save the hills" lie . She has aligned herself with those advancing the propaganda that PP is being violated; that signing the petition will reduce the homes being built to 10; that the builder won't sue Pleasanton etc. All falsehoods endorsed by a city official who should know better.

"Who voted you in" is indeed a good question to ask and "what a shame" a rightly conclusion to draw.


31 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2016 at 6:32 pm

@No more lies,

Good comments re: the facts. Unfortunately, a 'takings' lawsuit against the City won't be hundreds of thousands of dollars...it will be TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars you, me, and the rest of Pleasanton taxpayers that we could be on the hook for.

Example: City tells Greenbriar, "Project reduced to 10 homes, take it or leave it." Alternatively, City tells Greenbriar, "Project rejected entirely, please resubmit a new project proposal."

Greenbriar says, "You know what, forget it." Then, instead, they decide they will file a lawsuit, and will ask a court to award them damages amounting to the value of the 33 homes that were struck from the project (actually/probably 40, since their original PUD-25 proposal called for 50 homes, which the City Council since reduced first down to 48, then down to 43, which Greenbriar accepted).

40 x approx. $2 million per home...$80 MILLION DOLLARS. That figure is not my imagination, either. These homes will be between 3,000 and 4,000 sq. ft. (closer to 4,000 sq. ft.). Existing (i.e., not new/newly built) homes of approx. 3,000 sq. ft. in Pleasanton are selling for approx. $1.5 million.

$80 MILLION in potential liability in a takings lawsuit by Greenbriar against Pleasanton--all to satisfy two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Pleasanton's NIMBYism, instead of accepting a fair compromise re: splitting traffic access for 43 homes to be built in a valley, with none of them to be built on a hillside or ridgeline.

Check with City Attorney regarding a takings lawsuit. It's a very real possibility if Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek get their way.

Maybe those two neighborhoods would like to pay that bill (or perhaps Allen Roberts or Karla Brown).

I certainly don't.


10 people like this
Posted by Developer/Builder
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 24, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I am a developer and my goal is always to work with a city and neighbors. In this case Greenbriar/Mike Meyer and his team did not work out a plan that works with the neighbors. Now they are paying the price.

A referendum will cost money and time, so it is no surprise he is going to pay for ads to and use people to try to block this going to the ballot. Mike is a good guy, but some of these yelling and irate neighbors have gotten out of control and are a bad reflection on him and his project. No one wants to see people shouting at residents in the streets and at stores. These people may be future buyers.

To the poster above, suing a city is like cutting off your arm. What city would want to work with me if I sued them every time I did not get a full project I wanted.

Bad strategy, bad location for a project, and out of control neighbors. Very sad.

You cut you losses and move on.


9 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 24, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Developer/Builder:

You are just another anonymous poster.

If you are what you identify your self as, than state you name and make your case.

Anything short of that, you are just another TROLL>


3 people like this
Posted by Resident of Sycamore Heights
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I have been an active member in collecting signatures for the Referendum. Unfortunately I am disappointed in the behavior of a few Ventana Hills residents who are opposing the petition. I think it is great for Pleasanton residents to hear both sides of the issue and decide for themselves if they want to sign. Unfortunately, some VH residents feel it is acceptable to complain to the store manager in order to get us kicked off the property by saying we are harrassing customers. They will have residents who spot us at Raley's or Safeway call the store manager even without entering the store. Today when the Raley's manager allowed us to stay, they called the corporate offices to pressure him to ask us to leave. I don't harrass shoppers. If they want to stop and hear my information, great. If they say "I'm not interested", "I don't have time" or "I'm opposed to the Referendum", I say "Thank you and have a nice day." If VH residents feel strongly regarding their position, they shouldn't have to resort to underhanded tactics. They should trust that when a Pleasanton resident hears both sides, they will make an intelligent and educated decision.


7 people like this
Posted by Trina
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 24, 2016 at 9:34 pm

@Developer/Builder- the only ones who believes who you say you are those folks in Sycamore heights and Bridle Creek.

And even they don't really believe you- they just endorse the manufactured lies if it keeps traffic out of that neighborhood.

And you are right- you guys are out of control with all the propaganda and lies. Your neighborhood has become the face of all the falsehoods you have spewed, not just verbally , but in print.

Maybe you should just cut your loses and move on


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm

It's sad to see two neighborhoods being represented by just a few angry people.


2 people like this
Posted by 46 year resident of Pleasanton
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2016 at 9:13 am

Back in about 1970 those of us living along Foothill Road (before the High School, before the Mall) supported an initiative called the "Rural Foothill Defenders" or RFD whose purpose was to keep housing tracts off the western hillsides of Foothill Road. We were not totally successful since we've got Golden Eagle Farms, Moeller Ranch, and Lemoine Ranch homes (to name a few) on the western hillsides.

With that in mind I went to the websites for the two sides of the current debate about what to do with "Lund Ranch II". I understand though may not necessarily agree with all the arguments put forth by website "ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods". Their claims are that this issue has been studied and discussed for many years and a comprise solution represents the best interests of all parties involved (much like we had to accept the compromises made defending the western development of Foothill Road.

I then looked at the "SavePleasantonHillsides" webpage. Many of the arguments there are similar to the RFD arguments from early 1970s and I can agree. What does bother me are the following;

1. There seems to be a "venting" specifically against Ventana Hills residents when, from what I've read, other neighborhoods are affected (Mission Hills, Bonde Ranch).
2. No mention is made that Missions Hills also has legitimate issues regarding increased traffic through their neighborhood and past the Mission Hills Park.
3. I haven't found any specific language on the website for the exact wording of the referendum so am unsure what I would be signing a petition for.
4. Assuming enough signatures are collected what would be the proposal we are voting for or against?
5. If we vote does this mean we can stop all new development in Pleasanton (and its affects on our water supply)?

Just trying to cut through some of the rhetoric and understand why I should sign or not sign.


1 person likes this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2016 at 9:42 am

[Removed because it contained unverified and potentially misleading information.]


3 people like this
Posted by Resident of Sycamore Heights
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 25, 2016 at 11:09 pm

To the 46-year Resident of Pleasanton: I would love to answer your questions since I am helping with the signature collection effort.

1. Yes, those neighborhoods are all affected by the proposed subdivision.
2. Yes, the current traffic problems, potential traffic from Lund Ranch II and cut-through traffic from Vineyard/new development on Stanley all need to be addressed. I made several suggestions at a City Council meeting regarding traffic abatement for those neighborhoods. At the Council meeting in December, they promised VH/MH that they would start working on their traffic issues right away but Vicky Lebarge from Ventana Hills reported that she hadn't heard from them at the Jan. 5 Council Meeting.
3. Regarding wording for the Referendum, the information we are carrying in our signature packet is merely an entire copy (32 pages) of the ordinance passed by the City Council for the Lund Ranch II development and spaces for signatures. We cannot add or change anything.
4. If you sign the petition and we reach our 10% of registered Pleasanton voters by Feb 5, then we will be able to put the Referendum on the ballot. At that time, there will be a voter information guide where both sides (pro and con) give you their arguments. If you vote "no", you are vetoing the City's approval of the development (Ordinance No. 2133). If the Referendum passes, the development cannot be built the way it is currently designed. The plan goes back to the Council and they will ask the builder to come back with a different plan (hopefully PP compliant and possibly scaled down in numbers). The builder owns the land and has a right to build houses on it but the City can limit the number of houses they are allowed to build. The City won't reduce the number to zero because that would be considered a "takings".
5. Your vote is specifically for this development but 1) it sends a message to the City Council that Pleasanton voters are not in favor of more development and want Measure PP upheld 2) it's outcome could impact future development on hillsides such as Oak Grove, the bypass road, etc.

I hope I have answered your questions. I encourage you to look at the FAQs tab on the SavePleasantonHillsides.com website for more information. Make sure to read the other sides arguments too. If you wish to sign our petition, you can find out how to reach us on the website.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident of Sycamore Hts
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 26, 2016 at 12:20 am

Savepleasantonhillsides and referendum supporters have garnered the endorsement of Pleasantonvoters.com, a "...nonpartisan grass-roots organization of Pleasanton residents interested in educating Pleasanton voters. We offer information from a resident’s point of view, without any bias from building developers, land speculators and special interest groups."

Take a moment to look at their website to see what they have to say in support of the referendum effort. I've placed a small excerpt below.

"The current signature gathering to put the proposed Lund Ranch II project to a vote of the residents of Pleasanton is just that---the opportunity for you, as a Pleasanton resident, to weigh in on a project that will have a long range impact on the future of our city. We have studied the project and made a site inspection and determined that it does violate the integrity of Measure PP (Pleasanton's hillside protection ordinance) and sets a precedent. Passage of a referendum would allow more discussion to take place, which could result in a smaller development that is in compliance with Measure PP."


16 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2016 at 9:43 am

More 'perception deception' by the referendum petition supporters. The group, "Pleasantonvoters.com", unfortunately, is woefully ignorant of the facts and history regarding Lund Ranch II.

Here ARE the facts, and you can learn more at ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods.com.


1. The latest full-page ad in the 1/22/15 edition of the Pleasanton Weekly on p. 9 is a complete and total misrepresentation of the Lund Ranch II project, designed to instigate fear in order to compel voters to sign the group, "SavePleasantonHillsides'" referendum petition. The Mayor and City Council, on 1/5/16, approved a project of 43 homes, of which, ALL of them will be built on FLAT land, in a VALLEY, with NO homes to be built on ANY hillside or ridgeline whatsoever.

2. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, along with Allen Roberts of Gray Eagle, a gated community at the top of Crellin Road, and Councilmember Karla Brown, a resident of Kottinger Ranch, a subdivision of some of the most expensive homes in Pleasanton, of which many could never have been built under Measure PP because they sit on hillsides and ridgelines (involving thousands of truckloads of dirt removal to create the pads for those homes on those hillsides and ridgelines), object to a road being extended from Sycamore Creek Way to access 31 of the 43 homes to be built. They are using the argument that a road is a structure, and that that is part of Measure PP, to thereby leverage Measure PP to force the rescinding of the project's approval.

3. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims to be a 'grassroots' effort to protect Pleasanton's hillsides and ridgelines/safeguard Measure PP. The definition of 'grassroots,' as found on Wikipedia:

"A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) as defined by Webster's Third International Dictionary, is one which uses the people in a given district as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations utilize collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level."

SavePleasantonHillsides is using PAID signature gatherers who are NOT residents of Pleasanton (i.e., are NOT local), at a cost of approximately $30,000 to $50,000, bankrolled by an unknown number of wealthy individuals in order to acquire enough signatures to put their referendum on the ballot.

4. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record several times requesting that ALL traffic to the Lund Ranch II project be accessed through Lund Ranch Road, which currently is a dead end road located in Ventana Hills.

5. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek signed documents when purchasing their homes that clearly stated Sycamore Creek Way would be extended into the future Lund Ranch II housing development.

6. The Mayor and City Council approved a compromise re: traffic access into/out of Lund Ranch II, whereby 12 of the 43 homes will be accessed via Lund Ranch Road, and the remaining 31 will be accessed via Sycamore Creek Way (via Sunset Creek Lane). Part of that approval requires the building of a very short road (the City can confirm the exact length) that will not be visible to the public.

7. Greenbriar Homes, the developer, agreed to building just 43 homes. The original plans for Lund Ranch II, part of the City's General Plan for over three decades, calls for approximately four times as many homes. Greenbriar is giving the City 174 acres of the property as permanent open space, which amounts to the remaining amount of the property (89.5% according to Greenbriar) which they can NOT build on, due to Measure PP (i.e., hillsides and ridgelines).

8. The Mayor's and City Council's decision was a compromise decision to strike a balance between honoring previous, long-standing obligations previous City administrations had made to the residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, in addition to following through on similarly long-standing plans to provide road access to Lund Ranch II via Sycamore Creek Way (extending it by building Sunset Creek Lane). The Mayor and City Council, in reaching their decision, also took into account PUD-87, which is the major apartment (approx. 350 apartments) and retail complex being built on the southeast corner of Bernal and Stanley. Much of the traffic resulting from that project will be traveling on Bernal, with a strong likelihood of much of it adding to the existing cut-through traffic that flows through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Independence to Junipero to Sunol Blvd.

9. Re: SavePleasantonHillsides claim that the Mayor and City Councilmembers previously voted/determined/finalized that "roads are structures," that is NOT true, as what's known as a 'second reading', or vote on that matter NEVER has taken place. Thus, it has never officially been determined, regardless of what others may claim.

10. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims that the Mayor and City Council's approval of the Lund Ranch II project sets a precedent for future projects. That is also NOT true. According to former City Attorney (now retired), Jonathan Lowell, he clearly stated during City Council meetings held in late 2015 that that was NOT the case, and that the Mayor and City Council could make determinations on whether projects adhere to Measure PP on a case by case basis.

11. The developer, Greenbriar, can reject any future decision to further reduce the number of homes in the Lund Ranch II project, and could choose to file a 'takings' lawsuit against the City, rather than resubmit a new project proposal. That could expose the City to tens of millions of dollars in liability. The former City Attorney stated anything below 30 homes, in his opinion, would put the City at risk of losing in court. Regardless of whether or not Greenbriar accepts a 30 home project, which would require the cancellation of the current project, and Greenbriar submitting an entirely new project proposal, it does NOT eliminate the fact that the residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record for NOT wanting to accept ANY traffic for Lund Ranch II through their neighborhoods (insisting that all traffic go through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Lund Ranch Road), and are now using the argument that it violates Measure PP to succeed in doing so because they refuse to accept the Mayor's and City Council's majority compromise decision. Greenbriar, if the referendum qualifies and is approved, will need to decide which makes more sense/would be more profitable to them--building a 30 home project, or a 10 home project, which under Measure PP, allows them to build all 10 homes atop of hillsides and ridgelines within the project site, but with no guarantee that any reduced project will be approved, or filing a 'takings' lawsuit against the City to recoup lost potential profits from the rejection of the previously approved project, PUD-25.

12. The referendum petition, if successful, will result in costing taxpayers at least $247,000 to put on the local ballot, based on the cost per person Alameda County charges for doing so, times the minimum number of valid signatures required to qualify the referendum to be put on the ballot.

Think about what paid signature gatherers (the vast majority) are telling you in order to get you to sign on the dotted line, in addition to the few who aren't being paid.

Then you need to think and decide, is this referendum petition really about protecting Measure PP and "Saving Pleasanton Hillsides", OR, is it really about protecting the self-interests of two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Pleasanton, who selfishly insist on a "Not In My Backyard", or NIMBY attitude under the guise of protecting Measure PP/Pleasanton's hillsides and ridges, and are bankrolling/paying out-of-towners several dollars per signature to absolutely ensure that they get enough local residents to sign their petition to ensure a referendum gets on the June ballot so they can continue to pursue those NIMBY self-interests.

Ultimately, you need to decide--have the City continue to spend considerable, further time, money, effort and resources for who knows how long (think years) on further debating and planning, yet again, the Lund Ranch II project, or decide that the COMPROMISE decision, where no one gets everything they wanted--not Ventana Hills and Mission Hills residents, not Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents, nor Greenbriar Homes--makes the most sense for ending this matter once and for all, moving on, and by doing so also preventing the City from any potential exposure to a takings lawsuit that could cost all of us tens of millions of dollars.


11 people like this
Posted by Don't Understand the Fuss
a resident of West of Foothill
on Jan 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

Sycamore Heights sits on the top of a couple ridges (or hills) with two main streets already built on top of those ridges (or hills) (and no place to go but down, if extended) with a beautiful neighborhood on top of those ridges (or hills) having magnificent views of the valleys below.
Seems to me if PP had been in place before Sycamore Heights was built these folks would be living somewhere else. Timing is everything.


36 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2016 at 10:42 am

@Don't Understand the Fuss,

Yep. Ditto for Kottinger Ranch (where Councilmember Karla Brown lives), and Gray Eagle (where referendum petition supporter Allen Roberts lives).

Drive up Crellin and/or Hearst and check out the views (and the homes built on hillsides and ridges, although with Crellin, you won't be able to fully appreciate the view, as it's a gated community--i.e., the public's not welcome there.

If the currently approved Lund Ranch II project survives the referendum effort, the public will have access to 174 acres of hillsides and ridges being donated to the City, where no homes will be built. Where all can enjoy the views from high above.

The fuss is about two neighborhoods, Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, refusing to accept ANY traffic access to the Lund Ranch II project through their neighborhoods, and doing anything and everything to stop that from ever happening.

It's called NIMBYism - Not In My Backyard.


20 people like this
Posted by Don't Understand the Fuss
a resident of West of Foothill
on Jan 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm

@Resident of Ventana Hills
Thanks for your comments. Hope you understand my "don't understand the fuss" is about the supporters of the referendum.
With the clear weather today I decided to drive over to these neighborhoods and explore for myself what is being referendumed. Started by parking at Mission Hills Park and walking the length of Independence Drive past the fire road up to Sycamore Heights. Noted that both Mission Hills and Ventana Hills are clearly on flat land in the valley.
First street encountered in SH (Sycamore Heights) was Sunset Creek Lane. Seems to be perched on a ridge with about 1/2 a dozen homes. At the end of the street is a sign saying Pleasanton would extend the road further. Hill past the road rose slightly for about 50-60 yards then dropped off into a valley. I assume this is where the new homes are going. Met another walker doing the same examination of the issue. We agreed the SH people had it made - sitting on top of a ridge on a road on top of a ridge with great views.

Then walked over to Sycamore Creek Way. Whoa this was quite a climb. This street is on a higher ridge with about a dozen homes on that ridge. You know its the top of the ridge because there's a water tower and cities generally locate water towers on high points. Met two other walkers, also on a mission to examine what all the fuss is about. They agreed - SH residents have it lucky being on top of the ridges.

So SH residents are making a fuss about extending a road over a slight hill down into a valley. At the same time there are Pleasanton residents willing to take the time to examine the properties affected and make informed, intelligent, on-site visual decisions.

It's not supposed to rain the next few days. I suggest anyone interested in whether to sign the referendum or not first "walk the property" to see what all the fuss is all about.

Shakespeare may have had it right - it's seems to be much ado about nothing and the referendum supporters protest too much.


14 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2016 at 12:24 pm

@Don't Understand the Fuss,

You're welcome. It comes from years of attending Planning Commission and City Council meetings on Lund Ranch II (and I do mean years).

Yes, I do understand, and I sincerely thank you for taking the time to investigate the facts, in this case, literally, by personally checking the 'lay of the land' for yourself. Quite accurate assessment.

You got it.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm

@Don't Understand the Fuss,

Additionally, if you have the time, walk past the cattle gate at the current end of Lund Ranch Road and you'll see the VALLEY where ALL 43 of the proposed homes will be built.

Residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills agreed to the compromise decision to allow Lund Ranch Road to be the access to 12 of those 43 homes in that valley (keeping in mind Ventana Hills and Mission Hills is already taking traffic from just over two dozen homes off of Middleton Place, which we previously were told we wouldn't have to); Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents refuse to accept the compromise decision to allow Sunset Creek Lane to be the access to the remaining 31 homes (as you put it, an extension of a road over a slight hill down into a valley). The Mayor and City Council's approval/compromise decision was a balancing act to try to disperse traffic equally, and still approve the project at a number that would be acceptable to the builder, Greenbriar.

Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek simply won't budge on alllowing ANY traffic access through their neighborhoods.

Not In My Backyard. NIMBYism, pure and simple.


14 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm

@Don't Understand the Fuss,

One other comment on traffic re: Lund Ranch II:

Again, the Mayor and City Council, in reaching their decision, also took into account PUD-87, which is the major apartment (approx. 350 apartments) and retail complex being built on the southeast corner of Bernal and Stanley. Much of the traffic resulting from that project will be traveling on Bernal, with a strong likelihood of much of it adding to the existing cut-through traffic that flows through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Independence to Junipero to Sunol Blvd.

Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek won't have to deal with ANY of that traffic no matter what. Sunset Creek Lane will be an extension of a dead-end road to access 31 homes.


15 people like this
Posted by So Many Misconceptions
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm

While walking into the Pleasanton Library this afternoon, I noticed a small suitcase with clipboards of papers with signatures on it. The signature taker must have taken a break because he was not there.

When I came out he was back and he asked for my signature so I asked him what the referendum was about. He said protecting the ridge. To most, that would imply the Pleasanton Ridge. He then showed me the big placard with the Lund Ranch II proposed site and access road through Sycamore Creek. He pointed to the road and said it will be very dangerous to the children playing there.

Now, I have walked in Sycamore Creek on many occasions and have never once seen any children playing outside. Ever.

I declined to sign.


1 person likes this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm

To: So Many Misconceptions, I have three children that I am out front with watching them while they play DAILY, they walk to our neighbors house on the corner at least 3 times a week to play outside with their three kids. At least every other week, they walk around the corner to the house behind us to play with their two kids. At least 2-4 times a week my daughter gets together with other classmates, 4 of them to be exact and we all switch off, holding play dates at our houses. This is the type of neighborhood we live in, we all know each other, we all gather and yes our kids actually play basketball, football and ride their bikes and scooters in the streets, thankfully. We can do this because traffic is manageable, at least for now. I'm glad that you enjoy walking in our neighborhood. I won't make nasty comments and I won't put down other neighborhoods or people, but at least let's be HONEST about what's being said here.


6 people like this
Posted by Honestly
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Feb 5, 2016 at 7:54 am

Let's not forget all the dozens of children who are walking through the Mission Park neighborhood on Junipero Street to PMS/Hearst Schools every morning at the same time as commute traffic uses that same street. Or at 3:00pm when these same children are walking home from PMS/Hearst on Junipero Street.
And let's not forget all the soccer kids in late afternoon at the Mission Hills Park where parents/coaches cars are parked on both sides of that S-curve at the same time all that evening commute traffic is rushing home and cutting through to avoid the backup at Sunol/Bernal intersection.


2 people like this
Posted by We Love Our Kids Too
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 5, 2016 at 11:28 am

Hi @Honestly

Please lets not forget that Mission Hills/Ventana Hills aren't the only neighborhoods that have kids we love and traffic. So do the other neighborhoods in Pleasanton which include not just the Creek neighborhoods that continually get mentioned in these postings but all neighborhoods in Pleasanton including my own. The reason I personally signed the petition was as I want to limit growth in Pleasanton. There is way too much building going on and growing traffic, and to me, I see having a strong PP as one small way to help reduce runaway growth for Pleasanton as a whole.

I hope you can kindly consider the interests of others and not just those of your own neighborhoods. My preference is to see that Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods (a nobel name and cause I might add) doesn't become a facade for something that is appearing more like "Protect MY Neighborhood".

@Resident of Ventana Hills, as you seem to be associated with that group, How about you folks take a genuinely held position on this and start speaking up publicly against the new Costco which will result in major traffic impacts to many Pleasanton neighborhoods near that location and from what I have heard, local businesses as well. This Costco will be a disaster for our kids. I personally would rather see the priority of neighborhood protection efforts get directed towards projects like Costco that will generate extremely high amounts of traffic for our city. Anyway, just a thought.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm

@We Love Our Kids Too:

Let me address your statements one by one.

1. RE: "Please lets not forget that Mission Hills/Ventana Hills aren't the only neighborhoods that have kids we love and traffic. So do the other neighborhoods in Pleasanton which include not just the Creek neighborhoods that continually get mentioned in these postings but all neighborhoods in Pleasanton including my own."

Yep, agreed.

2. Re: "The reason I personally signed the petition was as I want to limit growth in Pleasanton. There is way too much building going on and growing traffic, and to me, I see having a strong PP as one small way to help reduce runaway growth for Pleasanton as a whole."

The referendum, if passed, will NOT stop the Lund Ranch II development. It won't even determine whether a road is a structure or not. All it will do is rescind the City's approval of the project, known at PUD-25. It may also expose the City and all of us to a lawsuit costing tens of millions of dollars (based on a 'takings').

The "way too much building going on" you're referring to I believe is the high-density housing the City was forced to permit to be built in various parts of town, each of which they had to rezone for it, due to losing a lawsuit against Gov. Jerry Brown and Urban Habitat, who successfully challenged the City's previous housing cap as being illegal.

One of those projects is PUD-87, a 350 apartment + retail complex currently under construction at Bernal and Stanley. A lot of that traffic will be traveling down Bernal to get to I-680, and will most assuredly be using the Independence to Junipero 'short-cut' (through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills) to get to Sunol Blvd. (and vice-versa), as First Street is already overcrowded and can't be widened, per the City Traffic Engineer, Mike Tassano.

So I ask, were you at Planning and/or City Council meetings to object to/contest PUD-87? I was. Councilmember Karla Brown commented re: traffic concerns voiced by residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, "We all have to share the pain." What traffic pain is she sharing? She lives in a development, Kottinger Ranch, that's accessed by a road that dead ends at the top of a hill (Hearst Drive).

Finally, RE: "How about you folks take a genuinely held position on this and start speaking up publicly against the new Costco which will result in major traffic impacts to many Pleasanton neighborhoods near that location and from what I have heard, local businesses as well. This Costco will be a disaster for our kids. I personally would rather see the priority of neighborhood protection efforts get directed towards projects like Costco that will generate extremely high amounts of traffic for our city."

Has Bill Wheeler, the President and CEO (owner) of Black Tie Transportation, who's been at several recent City Council meetings re: PUD-25 (Lund Ranch II) ever spoken on behalf of the Lund Ranch II project? No, never. Has he ever spoken on behalf of PUD-87? No, never. All he has ever spoken about is what may affect HIS backyard--the potential site of a new Costco in Pleasanton.

So you signed the petition and plan to vote yes on a referendum that 'protects' two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Pleasanton, Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, driven by two people, Allen Roberts (a developer, btw), and Councilmember Karla Brown, who both live on hillsides (Grey Eagle Estates and Kottinger Ranch, respectively) that would never have been built if Measure PP was in effect at the time they were constructed. If they care so much about protecting hillsides and ridges, why do they each live on them? Ditto for residents of Sycamore Heights. If Allen Roberts cares so much about limiting growth, why is he a developer?

All that said, you won't support a compromise decision the City made based on their review of the 25 year history of agreements, many planning meetings, and City Council meetings, in order to be fair to all four neighborhoods, because you think voting yes on the referendum will stop this project and/or growth in this town?

I'm sorry, but you're woefully mistaken, and it's asking an awful lot of us, the residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, and everyone else who did not support the referendum, and agreed to take on some of the traffic from the Lund Ranch II project--in addition to knowing more traffic is coming our way--when the other, wealthier neighborhoods refused to, to support your neighborhood(s) when you've decided to support the selfish desires of those two wealthy neighborhoods, Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, and their two prominent supporters, all of whom had the financial wherewithal to get what they want.

I guess they chose the right name for their group, Save Pleasanton Hillsides, as that doesn't suggest they should support stopping the potential Costco from being built, since the potential site isn't on a hillside, including the ones many of them live upon.

See money talks, reasonable compromise walks.

Sad.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

One other point to make, @We Love Our Kids Too",

The City Council's compromise decision also acknowledged that 177 acres of hillsides and ridges would be protected from any development as the developer, Greenbriar agreed to give that land to the City, since Measure PP prohibits them from building any homes on them.

177 acres for ALL of Pleasanton to hike on and enjoy the views, not for just a select few, in response to "...kindly consider the interests of others and not just those of your own neighborhoods."

We did in accepting the compromise decision, and so did the Mayor and City Council.


1 person likes this
Posted by Let's be honest
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I keep hearing Sycamore and Bridle creek are just greedy money hungry rich neighborhoods. I have a friend there and he doesn't fit that description.

I just quickly googled sales in Ventana Hills.

Ventana Hills 2500 SF home sold for 1.43mm, $528 psf 11/15--not too shabby, eh?. Let's not just include one sided details and insults without painting the entire picture. Keep seeing these arguements land with those rich people, sort of the pot calling the kettle black?

At least those rich people are putting their own money into slowing down housing in our city, not encouraging more housing just because the city council supports it.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2016 at 2:42 pm

@Let's be honest,

Let's. The vast majority of residents in Ventana Hills and Mission Hills are long-time homeowners (25+ years). Mission Hills was built in the early 1970s; Ventana Hills was built in the late 1980s.

If you want to split hairs/go down that route, figure out what the prices of homes in our two neighborhoods were back then, compared to the prices of homes in Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek were when they were bought/purchased in the 1990s, then add in the square footage of and lot sizes of homes in Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, too.


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"At least those rich people are putting their own money into slowing down housing in our city" Not totally true. Those neighborhoods (I don't care if they are rich or not) are using our money (taxpayers) to make sure they don't get a development they knew (had to sign an agreement when they purchased their homes) was coming.


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

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Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

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