Measure K on the June 7 ballot for Pleasanton voters affirms the action of the City Council last January in approving the latest developer's plan for 43 upscale homes on the 194-acre Lund Ranch II site in the southeast corner of the city.
The council's decision also closed out 14 years of debate over development plans for the property where, at one time, more than 100 homes were planned on the site, which is zoned residential.
We believe the council's action is in the best interest of the city and, especially, the two neighborhoods on either side of the proposed development whose streets would bear an equitable share of traffic from the 43 homes.
As part of the agreement, Greenbriar Homes Community, the developer and property owner, will donate 174 acres of its property to the city as open space, which will be kept free of any future development in perpetuity with hiking trails to be added.
Greenbriar's development also will provide more than $1.2 million for our schools, approximately $1 million in additional community benefits, over $500,000 for local and regional traffic improvements, two miles of new public trails, and, by deeding all but the 43 flatland home lots to the city in perpetuity, guaranteeing protection of remaining hillsides under Measure PP, the 2008 citizens' initiative that prohibits structures on slopes of 25% or greater or within 100 feet of ridgelines.
Measure PP is a critical issue in the Measure K referendum. Opponents, those advocating a No vote on Measure K, contend that 500 feet of a proposed road connecting one part of Lund Ranch II to Sunset Creek Way and Sycamore Creek Way to Sunol Boulevard would cross a slope that's greater than 25%. A majority on the City Council, in their vote, determined that Measure PP's restrictions apply only to residential and commercial structures, not roads. Measure K opponents disagree.
Measure PP is vague on the definition of roads. Even PP's authors, Councilwoman Karla Brown, who opposes Measure K, and former Councilwoman Kay Ayala, who supports it, disagree. Measure PP is written to prohibit residential and commercial structures from being on the ridge slopes. It's silent on whether that extends to roads.
The real argument over Measure K is about traffic. The Council-approved plan calls for 12 of Greenbriar's new homes to use Lund Ranch Road, Independence Drive and Junipero Street to reach Sunol Boulevard which, with Middleton Place traffic, would mean motorists from 27 homes would be using these thoroughfares.
Motorists from the other 31 new Lund Ranch II homes would use Sunset Creek Way and Sycamore Creek Way to Sunol Boulevard. That's unacceptable to those living along Sycamore Creek and in the Bridle Creek communities.
That's what makes this an unusual referendum because for the first time in our city, we have a small wealthy neighborhood with deep pockets paying for signature gatherers to qualify a measure (Measure K) for the ballot that would keep a housing development's traffic off "their" streets and send all of it to Ventana Hills and adjoining neighborhoods and streets on the other side.
If Measure K loses, Greenbriar must wait one year to reassemble its project and again seek approval from the city Planning Commission and City Council. It could be for up to 43 homes again, but this time with all traffic using Ventana Hills and adjoining streets.
Whether Greenbriar would again contribute free of charge the rest of its property to the city of Pleasanton is unclear. It's private property and not accessible to the public, which it would be with a favorable vote June 7 on Measure K.
We believe the city has the best deal now and urge a Yes vote on Measure K.