Dublin, Pleasanton moving forward on considering new big box stores despite opposition

IKEA holding public meeting tonight on plans to open its 3rd Bay Area store in Dublin

Representatives of IKEA will hold a community meeting starting at 7 p.m. tonight to provide details of a two-story, 377,000-square-foot furnishings store it plans to build on a vacant 27-acre site at Hacienda Drive and I-580 in Dublin, directly across from the Walmart center, Oracle and Kaiser Permanente in Pleasanton.

The meeting will be held at the Dublin Ranch Golf Course, 5900 Signal Hill Drive in Dublin.

The meeting comes as citizens' coalitions in Pleasanton and Dublin are seeking public support to block big box stores from locating here -- IKEA in Dublin and Costco in Pleasanton.

Citizens for Planned Growth, led by Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation, has just collected 7,000 signatures from registered voters in Pleasanton, more than needed to place an initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot that would effectively ban a Costco store.

A petition launched by Tom Cignarella of Dublin and supported by other residents hopes to squash IKEA's proposal. Cignarella's group organized through, much like Wheeler's, plans to go to voters if Dublin officials approve the IKEA plan.

Even so, Dublin appears to be moving ahead in the approval process on an application and environmental review for the IKEA store. Slightly larger than IKEA's only other Bay Area stores in Emeryville and East Palo Alto, it will be located across Hacienda Drive from the Hacienda Crossings retail center and next to the recently opened Persimmon Place retail center on Martinelli Way.

IKEA would like to start construction next year and open in mid-2018.

Dublin planners earlier held the first of three well-promoted community meetings, fielding questions from about 30 residents who attended. They also distributed "Feedback" forms and asked those at the meeting to list their email addresses for future communications.

There was no opposition to building the IKEA store at the June 13 meeting. Attendees expressed a range of thoughts on the proposal. Traffic was mentioned by several residents as a concern.

Questions were also raised about the status of the project review process as well as future opportunities for public participation.

City representatives said that in addition to IKEA, there are also conceptual plans to add a 75-room, 32,000-square-foot, two-story hotel on the Hacienda Drive edge of the site along with two 8,000-square-foot restaurants or retail stores and a third with 3,600 square feet of floor space. Staff expects the site plan and application to be modified before the environmental review begins.

The conceptual site plan includes parking for more than 1,300 cars, but unlike IKEA's two other Bay Area stores, parking for the Dublin store will be at ground level, not in multi-story parking structures.

The IKEA site was part of the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan that was approved in 1994 when land east of the Iron Horse Trail was annexed into Dublin. In February 2001, the Dublin City Council approved a four-building office complex called Commerce One for the site, but Commerce One dropped development plans seven months later.

In March 2004, IKEA bought the property with plans to build one of its stores on half the site, with the other half to be used for a lifestyle retail center operated by Blake Hunt Ventures. IKEA backed out two years later, selling its share of the site to Blake Hunt, who later sought to turn the site into a retail and residential mixed-use project with at least a maximum of 400 housing units.

The City Council rejected the project proposal last year, and this past March, IKEA returned, purchased the entire 27 acres and filed a development application, which is now the current proposal.

In addition to the IKEA public meetings next week, Dublin will continue gathering public feedback and then hold more meetings before the proposal eventually heads to the city Planning Commission and then the City Council for final consideration.

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7 people like this
Posted by Joe Blow
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 26, 2016 at 11:23 am

As you can see (I think) I am a Pleasanton resident.
So from a purely selfish point of view I would like to comment on the projected location for IKEA.
OHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOO !!!! What are you thinking?????

15 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Unfortunately it's in Dublin so Pleasantonians and San Ramonians and Livermorpudlians don't have much of a say.

It's sad what's happened to Dublin. The sprawl and resulting traffic are awful. It all came to be during the reign of mayor Tim Sbranti, fed by his cadre of developers. Thankfully that came to an end as he reached for higher office and was rejected by voters. He's gone and out of local politics for a while. We all need to remember what happened to Dublin, and who made it so, when Sbranti comes around in another election cycle or two.

25 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

If I need a twelve-pound bottle of mayonnaise, I can drive to Livermore. If I need some modern, square furniture that I must put together myself, I will go to Emeryville.

No to Costco. No to Ikea. What are our leaders thinking? We don't need these here. If I could go back in time, I'd oppose Walmart too.

3 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 27, 2016 at 8:53 am

Sam, the building approvals in Dublin started before Sabranti. The explosion of growth started during Lockhart's term. I think if you went through the records you would not find any developer proposal that was rejected. Those living n what is no West Dublin were not paying attention while the politicians let developers do whatever they want in the East side.

3 people like this
Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jun 27, 2016 at 10:14 am

Build, build, build. Why stop now? One day the east bay will be part of Silicon Valley with more of everything. Want a Pleasanton of the past? Move to Carmel Valley.

30 people like this
Posted by Scarlet Fire 73
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

Scarlet Fire 73 is a registered user.

Pleasanton is not the town I was born and raised in !! It is so sad how many people have moved here !! My parents bought their house in 1969 - They wanted to be here to raise a family and live in a small farm town ! Now , it's nothing but a cultural melting pot of weirdos !
Who has the bigger house , the most money , the best kid/s , biggest vehicle .... It's so pretentious ! The traffic is horrible now and Pleasanton just keeps getting bigger and bigger ! Very Sad !!

27 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:49 am

We can slow the building now. It's not too late.
Thank you for those who oppose Costco next to my neighborhood. Near the park. Traffic is already congested on our streets and Stoneridge, I- 680 Interchange. Yes, you can call me a NIMBY. You can say it's my own self interest., build, build?? I say....NO, NO, NO! Let's not turn Pleasanton into a Silicon Valley. We still have something special here.

24 people like this
Posted by Dreamer
a resident of Rosewood
on Jun 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

It would be great to have decision-makers who had some vision and regard for the citizens, rather than just stamping approvals on big developments because all they see are dollar signs. The very visible location on Johnson Drive, where the Costco is proposed, could say much more about Pleasanton to the hundreds of thousands who pass by there every day, if they chose to be creative and not just settle for what is in front of them. Same would apply to Dublin.

7 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 27, 2016 at 12:50 pm

CostCo is small potatoes when compared to an IKEA "slightly larger" than the Emeryville facility. CostCo is a convenience for Pleasantonians without much commuter traffic problem. IKEA on the other hand has the potential to dominate and define this Valley as "IKEA VALLEY" in terms of traffic, parking, visibility. Dont fall for the argument that the cars are just passing by anyways on I-580. IKEA will add mega traffic on weekends from the Central Valley, South Bay, everywhere.

12 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 27, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

These properties will not remain empty. So what is it you propose?

9 people like this
Posted by Purl
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Something will be built in these two locations regardless of whether Costco and Ikea get shot down. It's the nature of the beast. Someone owns that land and will want to make a profit on it, period. People need to wake up and realize that. I'd much rather have a Costco than more rack and stack housing like over by Safeway on Bernal. Talk about adding traffic! That's a whole lot of people with a whole lot of cars when those are at full capacity, not to mention the water usage...

9 people like this
Posted by Sue
a resident of Happy Valley
on Jun 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Yes, traffic is already's ME..........driving from my city to other cities to shop at Costco. They have amazing food and great prices. We love Costco, just wish we didn't have to drive so far to shop there.

7 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Would love to see Costco here and all the tax revenue! Every time somebody wants to build any thing the opposition always cites traffic.I frequent both the Danville and Livermore Costco's and traffic is never a problem. It's not like everyone goes there at the same time!

10 people like this
Posted by unclehomerr
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Stop and think for a minute.. what's better for these sites?? Corporate Headquarters where hundreds of employees show up and depart at the same time.. or, retail [Costco and Ikea] where people dribble in and leave a few at a time all day??? I vote for the latter and the tax revenue!

17 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Many ask - what if not Costco? Has the City or developer looked at smaller retailers, a movie theater, etc, with beautiful architecture, trees...a retail center -with sidewalks, walking paths.

No - the proponents of Costco want to use scare tactics ,ie, low income housing, corporate headquarters, etc.

Remember, with Costco there will be 12,000- 15,000 additional cars daily. These are facts. Read the SEIR at full buildout with Costco. A huge warehouse, a huge parking lot, a mega gasoline facility.

We need to look at other options.

6 people like this
Posted by Ck
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm

All those who favor Costco coming to PLS, I wonder how you'd feel if it was coming to your neighborhood? Everyone has a NIMBY response when something like this happens in their own backyard, instead of across town far from their own nice little neighborhood.

10 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Val, none of those items you suggest would work there.

Smaller retail would be real difficult because of the competition and Johnson Drive not being on a main road that people go by. You do not drive on Johnson unless you are specifically going to a business on Johnson.

Movie theater will not work at all in Pleasanton because of Dublin and Livermore. We had a movie theater but when Dublin opened up, it shut down. And that was before Livermore opened their theater.

Pretty hard to make that area pretty and attract enough businesses to be financially feasible. One side has the freeway and another side has the sewer plant. I don't get the NIMBY argument. Nobody lives on that road. Being it is right next to the freeway on and off ramp means people visiting that store from outside the city will not be driving through the rest of Pleasanton at all. I go to Costco in Livermore now and never see traffic congestion between that Costco and the freeway.

The real item for me is the financial terms of the deal. If we are using the Costco tax money for x years to pay for the infrastructure and Costco does not have to pay for any of it, I see that as an issue. However, I do not know enough about the financial transaction. Just hear scare tactics by those who are against the project.

22 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

My point was to look at options. There has to be something more aesthetically pleasing , which will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people from the freeway as representing Pleasanton.

You do bring up a good point about costs, and the borrowing from Costco, for future generations to repay. I don't like that.
I, too, do not know the financial piece. I don't think anyone does- except the city leaders.

Maybe my specific ideas were not good, but I think that you would agree that Costco is not the one and only answer. Many things can be debated, but let's just take a little time to decide. Once built- it is not reversible.

1 person likes this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:09 pm

David is a registered user.

What should be there instead??? In Dubin, instead of IKEA, a new Kaiser Hospital with an emergency room. At the Pleasanton location i have no problem with a CostCo. But smaller retail seems silly along a highway frontage. It does not work there now. Maybe the new City Hall office building or a police station that the council and employees want should be there instead of taking away land from the big community park on Bernal Avenue. Most crime is at the mall and slong the freeway anyways.

13 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

I appreciate your thinking of alternatives, and mentioning the crime at retail along freeways. Look at the recent crime at the Stoneridge Mall parking lot. Can you imagine the crime at a Costco with 700 + parking spaces visible to the freeway?? I've researched Costco's near freeways. They do bring crime into a community. Since mt neighborhood is the closest, it worries me.

Thanks for coming up with alternatives. As to retail being silly, I'd love to have a Trader Joe's there.

12 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 28, 2016 at 8:32 am

I live off of Stoneridge. 3.2 miles from Livermore Costco. I just mapped it. Let's keep the crime, pollution and traffic out of Pleasanton -- and the long term borrowing of $6 million to SUPPLIMENTAL Costco. I hear our city is doing just fine financially. Even have a $4 million surplus.

1 person likes this
Posted by New talks my point
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2016 at 9:59 am

It seems that "crime near the freeway" is a new talking point. Let the conjecturing and opining begin.

11 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 28, 2016 at 10:40 am

Yep! New talking point for me. After David mentioned it then I googled "Costco crime in parking lots". I was amazed. Then I remembered recent crimes committed by people from out of the area at Stoneridge Mall parking lots.

Let the discussion begin. -- but first look it up like I did.

It will bring in people from out of the area to commit crimes on helpless victims in the huge parking lot. Not conjecture. It will happen.

6 people like this
Posted by Ptowner
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

Costco is the best retailer we could hope for on that piece of land.

Anyone who says it would cause more pollution should compute the number of miles that the 70% of Pleasanton residents who are Costco members have to drive to Danville and Livermore vs. stay at home and shop at a Costco in Pleasanton. The experts should be able to do the easy math and compute the savings in pollution of driving less distance. That is unless we care less about "polluting" our neighboring communities vs. our own.

For those who say it would bring in more crime, how many reports of gang activity or crime activity have you seen reported on Costco stores?

There is no immediate housing surrounding this site.

Mr. Wheeler does do business here in Pleasanton and I am sure a number of residents appreciate that. However, I am sure that his services do not appeal to 70% plus of our residents who are Costco members and could benefit from a Costco being here. Also, if Mr. Wheeler was a Pleasanton resident, it might have be valid for him to be waging his argument against Costco. The word around town is that he might loose street parking for his employees if a Costco is built. It might be wiser for him to try to purchase a piece of that property for his employee parking vs. trying to prevent Costco from being there.

The arguments against Costco are not valid.

Looking forward to seeing Costco in Ptown as soon as possible.

4 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

@Ptowner: "Anyone who says it would cause more pollution should compute the number of miles that the 70% of Pleasanton residents who are Costco members have to drive to Danville and Livermore vs. stay at home and shop at a Costco in Pleasanton. The experts should be able to do the easy math and compute the savings in pollution of driving less distance. That is unless we care less about "polluting" our neighboring communities vs. our own."

Aren't you forgetting about the fact that Pleasantonians are not the only people who shop at Costco? A Pleasanton Costco would mean that while Pleasantonians may be able to "stay at home", all those Costco members from surrounding communities will be driving and polluting the streets of Pleasanton rather than somewhere else.

Maybe you oversimplified the "easy math"?

7 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

PTowner, other opinions are not valid.? Gee...yet you use a statistic like 70% members? I guess no one else's arguments are valid: Crime not valid; traffic not valid; $6 million borrowing from Costco not valid; unacceptable pollution not valid
; Freeway Interchange improvements not approved, not valid. Are other people's desire for no Costco not valid?

2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Who do we think will access this Costco? It's not likely to be Livermore or San Ramon/Danville. They have their own stores. Sunol, sure. San Jose, not so much. People who drive the 680 corridor may go to Danville. People who drive the 580 corridor may go to Livermore. I would agree people who don't live here will use the Pleasanton site, Costco is probably counting on that, but Pleasanton doesn't seem to be that much more convenient than the other two locations.

4 people like this
Posted by res1
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:44 am

res1 is a registered user.

What other communities will be driving to a Pleasanton Costco? Livermore: no, they have a Costco. Fremont: no, they have a Costco, Dublin: yes, although they have a choice of Danville, Livermore, and Pleasanton based on where they live so it is not all of Dublin plus the Pleasanton Costco location is right next to the edge of Dublin so they will not be driving through our city to get there.

Crime? Have not heard of anything from the Livermore Costco in this topic. I also do not get the connection of crime at a Costco parking lot bringing more crime to nearby residential/commercial.

As for pollution, have there been any studies comparing the amount of pollution and CO2 with a new Costco vs. no new Costco? You would need to calculate the miles driven for Pleasanton residents driving to Livermore or Danville compared to the shoppers from outside Pleasanton coming in. My gut says there is less pollution with a Pleasanton Costco but I would like to see a real study if this is a legitimate argument. Actually the study would have to factor in another use on that property in the "no Pleasanton Costo" option as it will not be sitting vacant.

6 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Have been to all nearby costco stores and still haven't seen the nightmare traffic clusters that all the whiners are crying about, I'm wondering if these gloom and doom naysayers are the same ones that helped to shoot down the Home Depot at bernal and Stanley and look what that got us!!!!!! Be very careful what you wish for, because our planning commission has a history of burying us with multiple housing and rentals when given the chance. Liking the "parking lot" crime scare tactic that's a new one, you guys are getting desperate, how about closing down the stoneridge mall parking so we don't have anymore crime there also! Definitely won't be using black tie limo or putting shell gas in my vehicles.

1 person likes this
Posted by Bob QP
a resident of Rosewood
on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:50 am

Bob QP is a registered user.

All this back and forth about Costco has been done with other articles--and nothing will be decided here, especially since it seems many commenters have a distinct axe to grind without having read the EIR or getting educated on the issue. 7000 Pleasanton residents have signed the petition saying they want to vote on this issue, so now up to the City Council to put the Johnson Drive initiative on the ballot. Then you can all have your say in a way that is meaningful and effective.

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

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