News


Council puts anti-Costco initiative on Nov. 8 ballot

Thorne reveals he owns Costco stock, steps down from debate

The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to place an initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot that would in effect ban Costco from building its proposed 148,000-square-foot membership store on Johnson Drive.

The vote followed the county Registrar's certification of a petition by Citizens for Planned Growth to limit the size of new retail buildings on a 40-acre commercial property on Johnson Drive along the east side of I-680 to no more than 50,000 square feet. Two hotels also planned for the site would still be allowed, although it's unclear if they are part of Costco's development plan.

The proposed measure would become part of the city's General Plan if approved by a simple majority of those voting on the issue on Nov. 8.

The council's decision came at the end of a 3-hour public meeting and after a surprise announcement by Mayor Jerry Thorne that he would not participate in the hearing or cast any votes because he owns Costco stock.

"Although this meeting is really about whether we're going to allow buildings on Johnson Drive greater than 50,000 square feet or not, I'm going to recuse myself because I found that my stock portfolio includes Costco shares," Thorne told a packed council chamber.

He then stepped down from the dais and turned the meeting over to Vice Mayor Kathy Narum.

More than 50 of those at the hearing also addressed the council. Most favored putting the question of changing the current zoning to ban big-box stores like Costco on the ballot and a majority also said they didn't want Costco to build a store in Pleasanton. They said Costco members could just as easily drive to Costco stores in Danville and Livermore without adding traffic congestion in west Pleasanton.

Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation and the driving force behind the citizens coalition, told the council that Costco would bring too much traffic to Johnson Drive where his business is located.

"It isn't the only choice for the site and not the best choice," he said. He added that smaller businesses, including restaurants and hotels, would provide more jobs and serve those in the Tri-Valley who aren't Costco members.

"I about fell out of my chair when I heard Costco wanted to build on Johnson Drive," said John Ryan, another speaker. "If that happens, I won't be worrying so much about traffic, I'll be worrying about fatalities."

Kevin Goebel, general manage of the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, also located on Johnson Drive, said a Costco store "will create traffic nightmares" in that part of Pleasanton.

But Scott Raty, president of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, disagreed.

"We support development and this would be a catalyst for new businesses in our city, new jobs, increased tax revenue and provide funds for needed traffic improvements," he said.

Nancy Harrington a local Costco would keep the tax dollars in Pleasanton that are now being spent at its stores in Danville and Livermore.

Another speaker warned that if big-box stores are not banned that Costco could get all the approvals it needs and then sell the site to Walmart, which he claimed would like to build one of its superstores here.

Dave Rand, an attorney representing Costco,urged the council to provide a detailed report on the traffic and financial impact the store would bring to Pleasanton, which members of an economic redevelopment task force have prepared. With that information, they could make an educated decision in voting on the Nov. 8 measure.

City Attorney Dan Sodergren and City Manager Nelson Fialho said they will prepare that report for the council to read and approve next month. They will then make it available to the public on the city's website and it also will be reported in the Pleasanton Weekly.

Comments

55 people like this
Posted by Robert P
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on Jul 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm

It's about time the City Council did something right with regards to Costco. People have been pointing out all the potential problems for several months, and they wouldn't listen until the Initiative stopped them in their tracks! And by the way, Costco attorney, the city has already done a detailed analysis of how Costco would effect our city--it's called the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which also included a Fiscal Analysis. Why is everyone reinventing the wheel, when the document has been out there for months? What do you think we have been talking about?


61 people like this
Posted by Janie L
a resident of Rosewood
on Jul 20, 2016 at 3:01 pm

They key here is that while Costco was proposed by the developer and quickly embraced by the city planners, it is not the ONLY option for the JDEDZ. I'd like the planning staff to be more creative and come up with a set of retailers, restaurants and entertainment that could be really exciting for Pleasanton residents and those that are staying in the new hotels that are part of the plan. If they do it right, the tax base and jobs could still grow greatly and we'd have a great gateway attraction! Let's think waaay outside the box and not just settle for the first idea that came along.


52 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Jebb,
Thank you for the honest and unbiased reporting. I was at the meeting last night. Mayor Thorne's announcement was very disappointing and sad for our city. For 2 years now, he has claimed to be unbiased; the whole time while owing part of the company he was advocating. He is a seasoned politician. He knew the rules.

As I have posted before, I am against the negative impacts of a Costco. Let's put our community first; not our convenience.


56 people like this
Posted by Rod
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Val,
Surprised...No! Several people in the audience had heard of Mayor Thorne's Costco stock ownership. I was told before the meeting. He had no choice, but to finally come clean.
This is a blackeye for our city.
Let's all vote in November. NO COSTCO!!


60 people like this
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 20, 2016 at 3:42 pm

People staying in the hotels won't be spending their money at Costco. We need restaurants and shops to attract those people.
Glad the council did the right thing and are letting the voters decide. Definitely voting MO on Costco!


55 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Jul 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Yeah!!! We get to vote! I say:
No to borrowing $6,000,000 for 30 years which will cost over $10,000,000
No to depleting our $5,000,000 infrastructure fund which could be used for bike lanes and protection and have saved Gale's life
No to 3,000,000 additional car trips annually from a Costco
No to unacceptable and unavoidable pollution, as pointed out in the city study
No to negative impacts and closing of our small businesses
No to an ugly marquee of our city on I-680
No to a mega gas station equal to 12 gas stations
NO TO BIASED AND UNETHICAL POLITICS!


54 people like this
Posted by Doug
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm

I was at the meeting. I walked away convinced that instead of subsidizing Costco, the city should use the millions in traffic impact fees and tax dollars they have pledged to this project to make our streets and paths safer for bikers and pedestrians.


53 people like this
Posted by Lee
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Doug, I came away with the same feeling. About 30 bicyclers spoke. They were very convincincing. Such a nice group of people. Why should we spend $16,000,000 on infrastructure to subsidize Costco-- when the community needs safety now. One person has already died. How many more?

Costco, or the developer can spend for their own infrastructure, which makes their property more valuable. Or, better yet, let's drive a few miles, and do the right thing for our community. No Costco here.

Citizens' safety first. As one lady said, let's make Pleasanton pleasant again.


52 people like this
Posted by Mary R
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jul 20, 2016 at 5:15 pm

I went to last night's meeting undecided on Costco. I came away very decided. There are better alternatives to Costco. Many reasons already listed.
Borrowing $6,000,000 from Costco was the clincher for me. I'd never heard that before!


12 people like this
Posted by PleasantonParent
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:05 pm

I'm pretty surprised that while there is so much uproar about a Costco, almost no one ever talks about what will happen to the area if they put an Ikea in Dublin. 580 is already a mess 24 hours a day. I can't even imagine what will happen with an Ikea. I'll take Costco over that ANY DAY.


Like this comment
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

PP, I agree with you, but the Ikea will be in Dublin, so other than speak at Dublin City Council meetings, not much we can do. I don't believe there is a "Dublin Weekly", though I believe there is a "Dublin Patch".


15 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm

I don't know what the forum would be but somehow Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore should all agree on projects and businesses which impact traffic and quality of life. The three cities have actually grown together and can no longer make decisions on isolation


50 people like this
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Happy to see this on the ballot, and looking forward to voting "no." The traffic alone makes the proposal a nightmare.

Increased tax revenue for the city, to pay for what, a larger road infrastructure to handle the increased traffic? Isn't that called an infinite loop?

If I need a five-gallon jar of capers that badly, I'll go to one of the existing nearby Costcos.


31 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Yes for Costco. If no wins all the traffic going to Costco will be people from Pleasanton going to other cities and counties to spend their money and driving further creating more pollution for the Tri valley instead of less. Hotels? Historically paying horrid wages to their abused staff without benefits and split shifts. Those employees will join 580 morning traffic coming from Tracy and beyond. No doubt black tie wants more hotels. Costco pays excellent wages and benefits, adjusts hours so their employees can go to school and many will be able to afford some of the housing that's being built certainly no hotel employees will be able to live here.


46 people like this
Posted by Rod
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 20, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Ya know that argument of creating more traffic with not having a Costco in Pleasanton just doesn't fly. We have no Costco now, and the SEIR and staff say Costco will generate 7,000 more cars on weekdays; 10,000 Additional cars on weekends than we have now when we drive to Livermore and Danville. These are cars in addition to what we have now with no Costco. How will adding a Costco to Pleasanton reduce traffic. That's impossible, and not what any study shows.

Costco will reduce traffic??? Love to see that study!!

No on Costco!!!


49 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 20, 2016 at 9:35 pm

I am against Costco coming to Pleasanton on Johnson Drive. It will create increased traffic, in an already highly congested area. There will be undetermined costs to taxpayers for infrastructure costs and there will be pollution which exceeds City guidelines. We don't need a Costco in Pleasanton. We have 2 stores in the area for our convenience.


51 people like this
Posted by Lee
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Meeting last night was enlightening! "C's" keep coming to mind. Do we want COMMUNITY, or do we want:
1) CONVEIENCE (for a few)
2) COSTS (of borrowing $6,000,000)
3) CRIME (parkink lot)
4) CARBON DIOXIDE (exhaust)
5) CORRUPTION AND DECEPTION (possible deals made that have not been revealed)
6) CARS (traffic)
7) CLOSURE OF SMALL BUSINESSES (no description needed)
8) COSTCO (mega- monstrosity, representing our City)


49 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Jul 21, 2016 at 1:11 am

I just went online and watched the video from Tuesday nights council meeting. It's very informative and I highly recommend others watching it too.

-Mayor Thorn recused himself and leaves the room. He owns Costco stock and would benefit by having a Costco built on Johnson Drive
-Great comments from concerned citizens
-Comments from lawyers representing both sides
-Council discussion
-Initiative placed on the November ballot
-Mayor wants to sell his Costco stock and "un"recuse himself! (Not! Mayor Thorne should have NO further involvement in this issue. In fact, he should have recused himself from the beginning. Very dishonest on his part)

I am against having a large scale "Big Box" club retail built on Johnson Drive. No Costco.


44 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 21, 2016 at 9:12 am

Sarah,
After not disclosing his Costco stock for two years...now Mayor Thorne wants to get back in?? I say NO WAY!!
He was caught,..and he knew it. As I understand many knew it. This is shameful. The "good ole boys" are running this town, and that includes the Chamber of Commerce, who should be supporting small business owners. Why are they supporting Costco? "Good ole' boys".

Years ago when we had Ken Mercer, as mayor, we had a more representative government. One who thought more of the citizens. Now it's about growth!


45 people like this
Posted by Donna
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 21, 2016 at 9:59 am

I agree with looking at creative and 'inviting' ways to use the space. For example why do our kids have to drive to Dublin or San Ramon to go to a Rock n Jump or Golden Skate to roller skate or Dublin to Ice Skate?
We have NOTHING in Pleasanton for middle-young high school kids to do. Shops complain that they hang out but we don't provide any outlets for activities for them.
We want to put a Costco here when there is one 10 minutes away but not provide activities for our youth to socialize.


24 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:22 am

Great to have a Costco in Pleasanton. 2 votes here!


22 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

Regarding the Costco initiative...there's nothing wrong with allowing Costco to build a store in the proposed location except that it would bother the owner of the Black Tie business, which would become a neighbor. It is tucked away in the northwest portion of the city along with the other commercial businesses. It will bring into the city coffers a substantial amount of money each year that would benefit many. The traffic would not be a problem with the proposed modification to Johnson Drive.
Bring it on!


26 people like this
Posted by old timer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

Why do we need a city council if we have to put everything to a vote? What benefit do we get from them?

Regarding Thorne's Costco Stock: Really? You think he is really going to make big bucks on the stock because they add one more Costco?

Costco is a great company. Pays higher wages than most, has employees that stick with the company. Why the hatred? So we'll turn it down and we'll find it popping up in Dublin. Same traffic problems, no revenue.


54 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Old Timer,
I see no hatred. Was Thorne out to make big bucks on Costco stock? No. Did he know the rules? Yes. He broke the rules. Should he be allowed to re-enter the Costco discussions and vote. In my opinion: No.

Initiatives and referendums are happening in Pleasanton because our Council is making decisions without asking for our opinions. Once we find out 2 years later, the decision has been made. No one will listen. The initiative was the only way to say: stop; listen.

This is not about one man trying to impose his will. Thousands have signed to vote. Thousands had no voice without the initiative.

Perhaps, the Council will do a better job in informing the people and seeking their will in the future. Then no one will sign an initiative or a referendum. At least not enough people to qualify. We will no longer be known as the City of initiatives and referendums. But first, our leaders must inform, ask-- not dictate.

There is no hatred.

We love our community,


17 people like this
Posted by Michaela Hertle
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Regarding Mayor Thorne's recusal from the EDZ discussion, I would like to clarify in response to comments in this thread... In preparation for filing his nomination paperwork to run for re-election this week, Mayor Thorne was required to file an additional FPPC Form 700 with the City Clerk on Monday. This form is generally filed only once a year in January. Mayor Thorne's retirement brokerage account is managed by a firm that purchases stock assets on his behalf. He is only notified of his holdings via statement each six months. The Costco stock holding was new and unbeknownst to him until Monday morning. He immediately took steps to notify his broker to not purchase this stock again, let the public know and recuse himself from the EDZ discussion at the Council Meeting the following day. I attest to this as I was present at the time and witness to the discussion. He did the right thing and notified the public within 1 day of finding out himself.

Sincerely,
Michaela Hertle
Campaign Manager
Jerry Thorne for Mayor 2016


23 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Put the Costco here...better than 300 apartments that will go there and be close to Bart the next proposal! Don't be scared of typical fear mongering. Costco will be a great community member!


39 people like this
Posted by Clarification?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Clarification? is a registered user.

Michaela:

It's public record. Mayor Thorne filed A FPPC Form 700 in April of 2015 that shows that he owned COSTCO stock in 2014. This was hardly a "new holding" or an "immediate" disclosure. What else hasn't he disclosed?


44 people like this
Posted by Junie Bee
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 21, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Junie Bee is a registered user.

Michaela, I realize it is your job to defend the mayor, but if you expect everyone to believe that he had no idea that he owned Costco stock until 3 days ago, then that is insulting! It sounds as though they have been in his portfolio since 2014. If he hasn't looked closely at his own investments since 2014 then how will he properly manage those of Pleasanton residents?


41 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

I like Costco. Been a member for 25 years. I simply don't think it's the right spot because of traffic. This does not make me "Anti Costco". I believe many love Costco, but just want to keep Pleasanton more unique and less congested. Therefore, I personally feel offended that the city is calling me Anti Costco. Can't I be pro Costco and still vote "no" for that spot???


40 people like this
Posted by KatieK
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Jul 21, 2016 at 4:09 pm

KatieK is a registered user.

Apparently my stock portfolio is so small I know which stocks I hold even if they are part of a Mutual Fund. While I can appreciate the Mayor is a busy man, with obviously lots of stockholdings, it doesn’t matter. There is no doubt based upon HIS own filing which covered 2014 that he had Costco stock holdings and confirmed them on April 1, 2015. Businesses and government have rules – it’s apparent that he feels he is exempt from those rules. If the Mayor had not been so out spoken in support of the big box I wouldn’t feel the anger!!! He had a profound impact on the Board of Supervisors, staff and the public in supporting a project he should not have had a voice or comment .


39 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

Michaela, "Clarification" above is correct. On another thread, this was posted by Bob QP:

"Ok, I looked it up like any citizen can do. Here is the link to the Ca. Fair Political Practices form 700, where Thorne had to declare his financial interests. This form was filed in April 2015, and he signed it. Note the entries for Costco on page 4 and 7.

Web Link"

Mayor Thorne could easily have said he forgot about the investment (it is small and he has many small investments) and apologized, but failed to do this. That would have appeared more humble and truthful, but instead, it looked as if he got caught with his "hand in the cookie jar", as others have said.

Donna, ice rinks and roller rinks are large in size and investment, that's why there simply aren't many of them. There used to be a roller rink in Dublin, but went out of business decades ago. Golden Skate has managed to stay afloat, but the boom days or roller skating are gone, it is not as crowded as they used to be. We do have two nice outdoor skate parks, you can't really expect the city to invest in an ice or roller rink.

Maxed Out!, I'm with you. I'm very pro-Costco, but not in that spot, horrible location.


37 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Val is a registered user.

Michaela,
Sadly, for the Mayor, this sounds like a big coverup, and could become a big scandal. I wish that you had never posted this unbelievable story.
It is public information that the Mayor filed a form 700 "Statement of Economic Interests" on April 6, 2015 at 10:32 am, Filing ID 154931481. He lists Costco twice in his ownership, once as Costco and once as Costco Wholesale, on Schedule A-1. Item 3 is checked and it is typed in period "01/02/2014", through December 3, 2014. Clearly he was aware of the Costco stock and made this statement and required filing back in April of 2015.
What is sad is that you say "the Costco stock holding was new and unbeknownst to him until Monday morning." July 18, 2016).






15 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:49 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

More votes here for Costco. Residents near Livermore and Danville will continue to go to their stores. But instead of everyone from Pleasanton and Dublin having to add themselves to the 580/680 traffic mess, they can stay in town, reduce pollution, and spend more time with family or other activities than fighting traffic. Both highways are a disaster with accidents and traffic; much better we get to stay in town and keep the tax money here too. And what's all this about heavy traffic in the city? I can't recall EVER being in any heavy traffic getting to or from either Livermore or Danville Costco once finally getting to the highway exits... This idea that the exit lanes will back up for miles and the streets will all be clogged isn't representative of what happens in Livermore or Danville today.

So much of the opposition and FUD has been funded and fomented by this Limo company that essentially wants to retain free, public street parking for its business and employees. Well, sorry... no sympathy for that. Other companies have to pay for their customer and employee parking lots. That's the way it goes. <snark> That said, think how much they could save on gas when they can fill up at a very competitively-priced Costco pump! :-) </snark>

And speaking of Costco -- there are few big companies in this country that are better to their employees and their customers than Costco -- to vilify them is disgraceful in itself. Costco is the polar opposite of Walmart. Costco employees are well-paid, have health care and other benefits. They have shockingly low turnover rates for a reason. We should be supportive of that! Here's a great summary about all that - the URL says it all:

Web Link


32 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 22, 2016 at 1:01 am

Lisa S. is a registered user.

If you search Wikipedia Pleasanton, California under culture it states that...Pleasanton continues to maintain a small town flavor with regular events for the community. Every Saturday morning a farmers' market sets up on Angela, off Main Street. In 2009, Pleasanton appeared on Newsmax magazine's list of the "Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns," a piece written by current CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg.

I'm so proud to live in Pleasanton and feel that it is special. It's why I moved here. Being listed as one of the top 25 most uniquely American cities and towns is really cool. They didn't pick Danville or Livermore. They picked Pleasanton!

This project does not meet the character of Pleasanton.




14 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 1:29 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Give me a break!! This project would be in a far corner of Pleasanton, right next to two busy freeways, a major drainage creek, and the waste water treatment plant. What aspect of "small town character" would EVER be there? It's far away from Main Street. Nobody lives there. It's by a hotel, gym and a FedEx hub. And the only people who would have to see it would be those across 680 working at the office buildings by the mall.

What better use for this land than something that directly benefits Pleasanton's residents in convenience, reduced driving, cost savings, and tax revenue? Certainly few/no residents would ever stay at the hotels as it is. A Costco in this otherwise un-desirable area is a great benefit to the residents and great for the city. It has NO impact on our "character" particularly given that Costco (compared to say Walmart) is a very respectable company that mostly caters to more affluent customers, like those who live in Pleasanton.


21 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:07 am

Get the Facts is a registered user.

"...and spend more time with family or other activities than fighting traffic..." You're talking like residents are losing HOURS getting to and from Costco, when really we're talking about, at the most, 10 minutes each way (more than you would drive to a Pleasanton Costco) for a typical resident. Saving 20 minutes once or twice a month (which I would assume are the average amounts of visits for anyone not living right by a Costco) will not really transfer into spending more quality time with family. And speaking for me, I more often than not take one of my kids to Costco with me for my regular visits, and that has been great quality time: looking for and at items together, maybe getting lunch or a snack to eat after.

"Nobody lives there. It's by a hotel, gym and a FedEx hub. And the only people who would have to see it would be those across 680 working at the office buildings by the mall." "Nobody" lives there?? There is a large housing tract called Val Vista right across the street. There is also a large sports park across the street.

Lisa, I too love Pleasanton, I wish that Walmart wasn't here, and NO to Costco or any other big box store.


25 people like this
Posted by Junie Bee
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:11 am

Junie Bee is a registered user.

Sorry PLSN Resident, but I have to disagree with you. I don't think that any part of Pleasanton could be considered "un-desirable". That is the reason for this debate. If we were to put a park or bike trails and small restaurants it could be a great asset to Pleasanton while maintaining it's unique character. If I wanted to live in a city filled with big name stores with no character, I could move across the freeway or to any surrounding city. I'm with Lisa S and think that we should work to keep Pleasanton on the list of unique cities and towns. Costco certainly will not help that!


8 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

David is a registered user.

Let us not forget not only the intense frreway noise, lovely flood control concrete canal, and waste treatment plant periodic odors! Not exactly the location to attract quality restaurant or boutique retail shop experience. Lets get real! It is frreway oriented so if CostCo wants to invest here, great. It is less traffic during commute times than several 50k retail spaces like the initiative would permit. Great, another but bigger freeway strip mall if the anti-Cost Co people have their way.
I agree with Ksthleen R. The unfunded liabilities at City Hall need to be talked about and reduced.


7 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Hear, Hear, David!!

That particular area is essentially a noisy dump. I can't imagine it ever having any charming "character." Between the noise, the truck/car pollution and the waste water smells, who exactly would like to spend the time strolling around there? Hang out with my kids there? Hell no.

And Val Vista is not "right across the street" from this... the closest homes are over a half-mile away, in a nice residential setting. The Costco would be in the crappy area right next to the freeway, canals, and waste water plant. I know the opponents will try to find all sorts of arguments here, but the only potential impact to folks in Val Vista would be some extra cars turning left from Stoneridge onto Johnson, while they'll still have all three lanes of traffic going straight over to Denker Rd. which is the first entrance to Val Vista, a third of a mile away. In neither Livermore nor Danville have I ever seen the exits to Airway or Crow Canyon, or the streets from there to the stores, back up. Remember, it's not like there's a "rush hour" for retail like this... If anything could produce time-concentrated traffic it would be the hotels that nobody seems to be complaining about. Assuming the guests are there mostly for business travel, a large number of people might be looking to get out of there for the office parks and such between say 8-9a...

Lastly, about traffic and quality time. I have found myself in tons of traffic on 580 trying to get to and from the Livermore Costco. Add to that the stress of traffic and the very real risk of serious accidents (which seem to occur on that stretch of highway very often), and I go to Costco less than I would if it were in town. My kids enjoy going there too, so we'd do that more often in town. Maybe we'd even bike there! :-)


28 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

Val is a registered user.

Junnie Bee,
I can tell you love our City, and really want the best.
David,
You criticize the area and instead of coming up with great alternatives, you say it's only good for a monstrosity of a warehouse, humongous asphalt parking lot, and a 24 pump gas station with continuos truck deliveries. I, and many other people, live in that area. We can demand that our city leaders look at alternatives, which will bring in real tax dollars- not the heavily subsidized revenue that takes 20-30 years to break even. Alternatives that do not require borrowing $6,000,000.
And let's not for forget the traffic (7,000-10,000 additional cars per day just for Costco). Yes, other alternatives have traffic, but show me a study which produces as much traffic as a Costco.

Plus, if you were at the meeting Tuesday night, you learned that approval of the JDEDZ as written by the City, would allow a super sized Walmart as well. Once the JDEDZ is approved, the Planning Commission can approve whatever use they want without City Council Approval. They also wrote the JDEDZ in a very sneaky way -- there can be no referendum- so, it can be Costco, Walmart and what else.

I am so glad that we get to vote on this initiative!!


7 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:27 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

An individual Costco store grosses more per location than any other retail store in America. It would produce the most tax revenue for the city.


8 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

David is a registered user.

Thanks PSNL. Obviously I cant agree more. New Costco and other big revenue businesses will generate money to improve the streets and access and provide landscape to make it look better. I hear The Black Tie person heading up the initiative and getting the community all worked up over this corner of the City is upset because his fleet and drivers wont be able to park all along Johnson Drive like they do now. Wow, really attractive not to mention dangerous and self serving.


9 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:51 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Yes, if it weren't for Black Tie's selfish business interests, and the fear from the Gas Station cartel of pricing competition, there probably wouldn't be the furor behind all this. Lots of Fear being thrown around to get support, but the reality is different. Frankly, you can see first-hand how the Livermore and Danville Costcos work in their areas -- quite well!

And this part of the city is frankly just a freeway exchange armpit... no way around it. Good tax revenues could at least put some lipstick on the pig -- plant some more trees and such -- but nobody would ever go to enjoy hanging out at say a park there. Medical professionals would probably advise against it! Loud, smoggy, smelly (and who knows what's in the dirt there after Clorox).

So if it's going to have business space that produces real tax revenues, have it be something residents can REALLY appreciate. Residents get nothing from the hotels as it is. A jumpy-house is nice, but it won't produce real revenues... (SuperFranks for that matter went out of business.) A Costco would provide both benefit and max tax revenues. They look and work great in Livermore and Danville... We can do that here and keep the tax revenue in our city.


7 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:57 am

David is a registered user.

VAL, here is my alternative. None. I like the proposal because of the revenue but also because it will be less commute period traffic than several 50k square foot retail and industrial buildings, But if you insist, the alternative I suggest is 2and 3 story condos so that many of the 4000 employees at the new under construction 300k square foot Work Day campus will be able to walk to work. As a ValVista resident, you will see a lot more commute traffic when Work Day is done but I guess you did not make that connection yet.


25 people like this
Posted by Junie Bee
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:05 am

Junie Bee is a registered user.

I think it is sad that some of you have blinders on and are only seeing big money that you think only a Costco can generate. If you think outside of the big box, you will find that there are ways to turn the "noisy dump" into a desirable, quaint, family friendly area of town.


7 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:20 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

What are you smoking Junie??? Are you going to move the freeway? the canals? the waste treatment plant??? Those are permanent fixtures there. It will always be noisy, smoggy, smelly... How could this area ever be family friendly?!?!

And we're not just seeing big money -- we shop at Costco! Want to shop closer to home! Want to buy gas at much better prices -- wouldn't you?? You prefer to pay more for gas???


24 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

Not sure if any other Pleasanton residents like the new Persimmon Place in Dublin. Besides the fact that parking stinks, I go there for lunch almost everyday. Love Whole Foods, Chipotle, and so many cool restaurants. In fact, my FAVORITE is Urban Plates. Even though the parking is terrible, I still go almost every day because of all the variety and It's a lovely space.

Here's my point (and please don't bring IKEA into this): if Dublin had put Costco there instead of Persimmon Place, I might go once a month and would not benefit from the unique character of the smaller stores. My experience is a beautiful center, with variety and healthy life style options. I've spent over $1,500, easy, in past year in that center between groceries, date nights, etc...

I want something like that for Pleasanton. It takes a little more
creativity and planning to build a thriving center with culture, healthy options, and family focused--something that expresses the true values of Pleasaton and brings community together. Much easier to plop a huge Big Box on a "jungle of concrete".

Simply put: Can't we be more creative? And I still don't like the Gas volume of 10 stations that comes with a Costco. Still a traffic nightmare!


22 people like this
Posted by Bob A.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Bob A. is a registered user.

David and PLSN:

Let's cut the crap!

- COSTCO will have a big impact on rush hour traffic because their gas station opens at 7:00 am. A lot of other options wouldn't open until at least 9:00 am. Putting 7 - 10,000 COSTCO cars on top of the 4,000 Workday cars and god only knows how many Chic-fil-A cars on intersections and interchanges that are already a mess is insane.

- At least half of the Sales Tax dollars that COSTCO would generate will come from existing "Pleasanton" businesses, especially food, beverage and gasoline merchants. Much of the rest will go to paying off the infrastructure that the city is subsidizing. This is really just a REDISTRIBUTION of income and tax dollars.

- Your attitude and perspective would be very different if this was being proposed close to your home, on your daily commute path or was impacting your livelihood as it is for many other community members.


3 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm

David is a registered user.

To Bob A - please be respective and dont chsracterize my differing comments from yours as Crap. I live off Santa Rita so East Zpleasanton has more if not the most commute traffic which is coming and going to the freeway. You need to be realistic that the area will be developed. Costco willl be less commute traffic than the initiative uses. But if people want more creative uses, then it will be even more traffic.


3 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 12:43 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Big differences between the location that's Persimmon Place and this Costco Area. Those difference highly contribute to why you might like the experience there and why it can be successful. And also why a similar-style strip mall might not be so successful in the proposed Costco area.

1) PP is 1/4 to 1/3 mile away from the 580 freeway, not exactly right next to 680 like Johnson Drive. And PP is not near the major interchange and overpasses with 580 as well.

2) PP is not next to a waste water treatment plant and several drainage canals.

3) PP is much closer to its ingress/exit points, giving you multiple options on Hacienca and Dublin. It's also on the way to/from other retail experiences as well, not a Fedex Hub and other industrial businesses (including the Limo company which is not a consumer destination either). Johnson drive is far less of a "convenient" draw for such a "pleasant" retail experience like PP. It's the kind of place you have to choose to go to, versus how you could just happen upon PP along with many other reasons to be in that area. This part of Johnson Drive is great for a utility, like a Costco. :-)


23 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Val is a registered user.

Goodness! "Dump, crappy area, and many other degrading descriptions." It's Plsn blog, then David blog, then Plsn, then David and on and on. Seems like Costco, then Nearon, then, Costco, then Nearon. Could we please get back to the facts?

How will we handle an additional 7,000- 10,000 cars and trucks daily that Costco alone will create? Who will pay for the infrastructure of $16,000,000? Why borrow $6,000,000? Why put the equivalent of 10- 12 gas stations in one spot? Why has Caltrans not approved modifications to the interchange. What you are proposing is disaster!

You may consider the Val Vista area crappy and dumpy - but our area near the Stonerridge interchange is absolutely not the spot for a Costco! Many other neighborhoods would be affected too. In fact, the entire City would be affected.

Pleasanton has done just fine for 150 years with no Costco. Guess what - we have a $4,000,000 surplus in the budget. We will do just fine without a Costco.


6 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

If you re-read my specific comment about Val Vista, I said:

"And Val Vista is not "right across the street" from this... the closest homes are over a half-mile away, in a nice residential setting."

Again, a nice residential setting over half a mile a way minimum...

I invite you to go stand out in front of Black Tie or the Patioworld and not think that PARTICULAR area is just a noisy, smelly, exhaust-ridden, industrial area. That's what it is. It's not a place for a park. We have PLENTY of nice parks across Pleasanton. Have you ever actually just stood out there in that area? It's fine for what it is and should be, but it's not some place to wax nostalgic about the charming character of Pleasanton...

Whatever is decided about what kind of development goes in there, that particular area will never be a nice, pleasant, charming, quaint, family-friendly space unless you can also shut down both freeways, redirect the canals and move away the sewage water treatment plan. And we all know that will never, ever happen.


17 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

So PLSN Resident,

You obviously don't live in Val Vista, which is obviously the closest housing area to this site. It appears that you live in Country Fair. So tell me, how would you feel if Costco was to open a store in the Hopyard Village, or where Gene's Fine Foods is, or where the tennis park is? Would you be okay with one of those locations? How would that affect you? I suggest you put yourself in the shoes of the Val Vista residents.


6 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Big difference... Hopyard/Valley area is not that big and is right in the middle of many residential areas. The proposed Costco area is next to waste water, freeway and other industrial uses. Closest house is about .6 miles away. That distance from where I live is the Alameda County Fair Grounds. And I would LOVE if a Costco was there! :-)


21 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

JJ is a registered user.

I would like to weigh in. Since I am often called Jumbo Jim (JJ) by my CLOSE friends, my "weigh in" is substantial.
First, the concentrated effort of blogs to bury Mayor Thorne's stock ownership of Costco stock has been impressive. I count 13 blogs by Plsn Resident and David recently. Most have talked about the JDEDZ property and surrounding area as being ugly and smelly and not worth anything but a Costco. What does that say about Costco? Ugly? Smelly? Good fit?

Mayor Thorne's ownership in Costco stock since 2014, and recent disclosure are embarrassing to the City. I have no idea if his action violates rules or laws of non- disclosure- -but, his open support of Costco, while owning a part of the company, is wrong.

It also seems wrong that the Council will write the ballot arguments. Isn't this showing bias in favor of Costco? Can't Costco or Nearon or the City Attorney write the language? ...And, here comes another study which was approved Tuesday night to be done to prove their pro- Costco side? ...And, the initiative Title was pointed out by a Council member as confusing, yet the Council would not vote to change??

Enough. I have weighed-in.





6 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm

David is a registered user.

NO JJ. YOU GOT IT WRONG. what i said is that having the area being "creatively" developed like Val and others suggested with destination retail and restaurants with outdoor seating aka Santana Row is highly unlikely due to the freeway noise and periodic odors. C'mon, the Val Vista residents know what Im talking about. Ive smelled it too. If residents think a retail and industrial commercial strip mall like the initiative will create is better than a Costco, then so be it. I still prefer a quality business like Costco. PEACE OUT!


22 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 23, 2016 at 2:16 am

Lisa S. is a registered user.

If a Costco is built on Johnson Drive the traffic will be terrible. This project is being referred to as "Nightmare on Johnson Street"! Although some may thing this is an ideal locate, I know many who think it's a terrible idea.


24 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 23, 2016 at 10:13 am

Val is a registered user.

Good morning. Although, I am NO COSTCO, I understand those who want the convenience of Costco nearer (even though two are close), and those who feel the tax dollars from Costco could be beneficial. I understand those who love shopping at Costco.

What I cannot understand are those who will not objectively consider alternatives. Those who say the area is ugly, crappy, smelly. Other cities have taken areas, which were considered by some to be undesirable, and creatively made them beautiful. Excellent representations of their cities from the freeway. Enhanced beauty and amenities for their citizens within the community. They have turned what seemed to be negatives into positives.

The convenience of Costco nearer your home comes at a price: traffic, pollution, loss of small businesses, mega gas station, constant truck deliveries, accidents, loss of community.

The net sales tax dollars have been shown by many studies (Harvard, MIT, Institute for Local Self- Reliance) to be negative after considering services needed to mitigate the impacts and to sustain the daily drain on the community.

This will be one of the biggest decisions Pleasanton Voters have ever made. Please chose community over your personal convenience.


5 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

Flightops is a registered user.

The NO ON COSTCO crowd reminds me of the NO ON HOME DEPOT crowd, using a lot of the same arguments, they got their way and now look what we have at Stanley and Bernal, kind of back-fired on those nay-sayers! Thanks city planners, wishing you had us citizens in your best interests.


15 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

The Citizens for Planned Growth is really not a No Costco group. We just don't like this location. There is already too much traffic in the Stoneridge, I- 680/I-580 area.

Plus the $16,000,000 needed infrastructure is too costly. Using our entire $5,000,000 infrastructure savings/reserve for Costco is not right....Bicyclers, pedestrians, children need this money spent on safety.

You may love Costco. Some of us may love Costco. Not here; not with these costs.


10 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

"Other cities have taken areas, which were considered by some to be undesirable, and creatively made them beautiful."

Great point Val. AT&T park in San Francisco is an excellent example. The area that they built Pac Bell Park (now AT&T park in was not really a desirable area, mainly industrial. Now it has great condos and restaurants with the ballpark as a focal point.

Costco is not really a focal point.


9 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

AT&T Park is not by two major freeways nor a waste water treatment area. It's on the bay with nice views. How can Johnson area be compared to that? Its deficiencies will never go away.

Still haven't heard a better idea for that area other than not really doing anything with it. Just business that don't benefit locals like hotels or restaurants that won't get much traffic or tax revenue. A park there is a ridiculous idea.


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

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