News


Arguments for and against Measure MM initiative

Opponents, supporters give reasons for banning Costco on Johnson Drive

As the Alameda County Registrar's office marks the deadline Friday for submissions to be printed in voter information booklets for the Nov. 8 General Election, both sides of a ballot initiative meant to block Costco from building a membership store on Johnson Drive in Pleasanton have filed their statements.

The initiative, labeled Measure MM on the ballot, is the result of a successful voter signature signing campaign by Citizens for Planned Growth, headed by Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation which is located on Johnson Drive.

If approved, the proposed measure would become part of the city's General Plan and would 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.

Opponents of rezoning the former Clorox research center site to allow big-box stores like Costco have argued in public meetings that these stores would add traffic congestion and air pollution in west Pleasanton. They said smaller businesses, including restaurants and hotels, would provide more jobs and serve those in the Tri-Valley who aren't Costco members.

Those supporting Costco's tentative plan contend it would save them a trip to the membership store's other operations in Livermore and Danville and would keep the sales tax they pay at those stores in Pleasanton. Costco has reported that it has 12,000 paying members in Pleasanton.

In support of Measure MM

Those signing the ballot argument in support of Measure MM are Paul Southern, Craig Schwab, Connie Cox, Kristen Edwards and Wheeler. Their ballot statement follows:

"The city of Pleasanton is planning to create a big box shopping center in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone along a portion of Johnson Drive near the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680, bringing more traffic and pollution to Pleasanton.

"The city's current plan, including a new Costco, will generate an additional 12,000-15,000 vehicle trips and heavy truck traffic on a daily basis, impacting traffic at critical intersections in the Johnson Drive area, Stoneridge Drive and I-680. Do we really need more traffic in Pleasanton?

"The city's own consultants characterize these traffic impacts as "significant and unavoidable." And they describe the pollution associated with the increased traffic as "significant and

unavoidable."

"In addition to traffic and pollution, the project is estimated to cost $16 million for infrastructure improvements and other expenses, with potentially up to $11 million being subsidized by taxpayers.

"But there is an alternative. Measure MM will:

Provide for the development of small scale retail, office and other commercial uses, opening opportunities for local businesses while still creating diverse jobs and a steady revenue stream, instead of a big box store that will offer mostly low-paying jobs;

Help ensure traffic and air quality impacts are less than if the city's plan were adopted, and,

Encourage the city to devise a better plan, with a view towards creating a gateway "lifestyle center" that provides interesting entertainment, shopping and dining options for local residents and the region and that preserves what makes Pleasanton a great place to live.

"Vote YES on Measure MM to ensure we get the best plan for the new Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone.

Against Measure MM

Those signing the ballot argument against of Measure MM are City Council members Kathy Narum and Arne Olson, Michaela Hertle, John Sensiba and Judy Wheeler. Their ballot statement follows:

"We urge you to vote NO on Measure MM. Measure MM will unnecessarily tie the city's hands as we work to produce the best plan

for the new Johnson Drive Economic Zone. It puts a blanket prohibition on all stores, like Costco, larger than 50,000 square feet in the Johnson Drive area.

"Nearly everyone in Pleasanton benefits from Costco -- families, youth sports teams, churches, parent groups, small businesses. Costco will locate somewhere near us. We can have our own Costco on Johnson Drive -- but only if we vote NO on Measure MM.

"This kind of prohibition would have prevented popular stores like the new Safeway, Kohl's, Target, and Dick's Sporting Goods from coming in -- every one is over 50,000 square feet.

"The public process for Johnson Drive has a long way to go. The Economic Zone plan must go through at least five more public hearings before the Planning Commission and the city Council. Why tie their hands?

"Part of the process involves significant improvements to the Economic Zone area, including road widening and better circulation. These improvements will be completed before Costco opens and Costco will pay its fair share.

"Sales tax revenue plays a major role in helping the city pay for services to our community. As a community we have so many needs we've already identified -- a new library, downtown improvements for parking and parks, and the completion of Bernal Community Park -- and they're long-term community benefits that currently lack funding.

"A Pleasanton Costco would result in $1-2 million dollars in new sales tax revenue every year to help pay for these improvements. Why would we want to send that money to a neighboring city?

"Measure MM is the wrong idea at the wrong time. We strongly urge you to vote NO on Measure MM."

Sample ballots will be sent to registered voters Oct. 10. Those qualified to vote by mail can start returning their completed ballots on that date.

Comments

27 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:18 am

Let's let city staff and and elected officials do their job. Pleasanton has enough checks and balances already. We didn't need the cost of this election.

Vote no on mm


44 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:43 am

JJ is a registered user.

The argument in favor of Costco says $1-2 million in new sales tax. The new August study ordered by the City shows the difference of smaller retail to be only $400,000 annually. This does not consider the payments on debt service to borrow $6 million from Costco. After this is taken into account- the net sales tax revenue will be about the same.

Smaller retail under Measure MM will:
1) produce 2500- 3600 fewer cars trips daily
2) produce less pollution
3) create 500 more jobs
4) not give sales tax and other subsidies to Costco

YES ON MM !!


41 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:56 am

I do Not want a Costco on Johnson Drive. We don't need it. Be careful with the council wants because they are very biased towards this project They have their own agenda and it is not necessarily the best for Pleasanton I am voting YES on MM.


43 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

Lisa S. is a registered user.

The argument for Costco was signed by two politicians and the campaign manager for the Mayor (a possible conflict in interest because of his Costco stock ownership).

If you let politicians decide, special interests will prevail!


38 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

About half of Pleasanton's residence live less than 5 miles from Livermore Costco. The other half have to drive 5-7 miles.

Mega gas station coming with over 30,000 gallons pumped, daily. This is equivalent to 10-12 gas stations.

Increased traffic

Small business will suffer

Increased pollution, especially for the cars waiting up to 20 minutes to get gas.

Huge tankers, delivery big rigs, and massive amounts of drop offs.

Loss of small town, "quaint" atmosphere that so many residence love.

Yes, I am I am Costco member. Yes, I love Costco. But, it's not the cash cow the City is proclaiming (as JJ showed) and it's not the right spot.

Vote "yes" on "MM"!


42 people like this
Posted by YES on MM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

YES on MM! I no longer have confidence in our elected and appointed leaders to do what is best for our city. We should not be spending millions of dollars on this project. If the developer and Costco want the project, let them pay.


41 people like this
Posted by Junie Bee
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:38 am

Junie Bee is a registered user.

If we have to give Costco a portion of the sales tax revenue back, I don't see the benefit. We could have cute shops and nice restaurants that pay their sales tax without a kick back and we come out ahead. Pleasanton stays quaint and unique without big box stores and we don't incur the debt that Costco requires. I definitely agree that Costco is NOT what Pleasanton needs. YES on MM!!


38 people like this
Posted by Blockhead
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Blockhead is a registered user.

I still can't understand why we have to "donate" $11 million of our tax dollars so Costco can come to our city. Wake up, citizens! Something is terribly wrong here. Any other project would have to pay its own way. Is this what our tax dollars are supposed to be used for? The wrong people are making our decisions. Costco's negotiators sure pulled one over on our city leaders! Only your vote can stop it. YES ON MM.


41 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Val is a registered user.

Yes on MM!

The citizens have spoken. They want to vote.

DON'T LET POLITICIANS WHO ARE CONTROLLED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS DECIDE THIS ISSUE!!

Measure MM was written by ordinary citizens and business owners who care about our community. Read the August study: less traffic, less pollution, more jobs!

There will be no borrowing for 30-40 years with MM!....No raiding of our entire reserve of $5 million which is needed now for safety, lights, bike paths....no secret deals with Costco which the City will not disclose

YES ON MM for the good of our City!!


21 people like this
Posted by Ptowner
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Ptowner is a registered user.

Costco is the ideal retail store to locate at this site and serve the greatest number of residents. They will employ a large number or employees who will be paid above average and receive benefits that most small companies can no longer provide their employees due to the new health care laws. Costco can survive economic recessions which will occur again when smaller businesses cannot. Look at the number of small businesses in Pleasanton that can no longer existdue to greedy landlords who are raising the rents so high that the business goes under.

If Pleasanton does not approve Costco, Dublin will and will be happy to take the tax revenue.

Those that claim there will be added pollution would seem to prefer we pollute our neighboring cities on the way to Costco. If Pleasanton residents have to drive further, doesn't that generate more pollution?

Be aware that Mr. Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Limo is not a resident of Pleasanton so his concern that Cosco will loose some of it's small town charm is not valid. His real concern is loosing the free on-street parking for his employees.

Don't be fooled by the alarmists opposing this measure. Their arguments are not valid.

Do what is in the best interest for Pleasanton and vote NO on Measure MM.


42 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

JJ is a registered user.

@ Ptowner

Let Dublin have them! We aren't Dublin.

Let them have the traffic, the pollution of 10-12 gas stations, let them borrow the $6 million for 30 years, let the use their $5 million reserve, let them give tax subsidies and property tax deals.

Guess what? Dublin leaders are too smart for this deal! Most cities are becoming too smart.


35 people like this
Posted by Lettie S
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Lettie S is a registered user.

It all comes down to this: what do you value more? I shop at Costco, but I value lessening traffic and not paying a billion dollar company to locate here more. I value our hometown feeling, and don't think a big box store at one of our most visible gateways makes a good impression for the hundreds of thousands who pass by it daily. I value interesting stores and local businesses, not the same old offerings everyone else has across the country. I value tax revenue, but not at the costs expected for this plan. I'm going to be voting Yes on MM.


14 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

BobB is a registered user.

What a great location for a Costco.

No on MM.


38 people like this
Posted by KatieK
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:59 pm

KatieK is a registered user.

I am a strong supporter of MM. I also love Costco! We can have the best of all worlds with strategic planning versus local government planning to create their own plan, letting us know when it's too late and leaving us to pick up the check! There are other ideal spots for Costco which we should not have to subsidize. The way this whole process came together left a very bad taste in my mouth for our local leaders. I guess I don't have the confidence that they can make the right decision on this project at this time. Too many backroom negotiations for me. Let the people of Pleasanton have a say in what will be built and where it will be built in their own town.


8 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 1, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Why are we voting on everything? What's the purpose of our elected officials?

Why is this,an all or nothing deal? Where is the 3rd option of costco - any concessions/borrowing. Put a counter deal back to Costco? We want you but on these terms.


40 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2016 at 9:18 pm

JJ is a registered user.

@Pleasanton Parent.
We vote because enough people wanted to vote. It is a huge decision.
I have read many cases of Costco recently locating, or attempting to locate, in cities. I can't find one instance where Costco has negotiated.

As Mayor Davis of Elk Grove said : " they made it clear from the beginning". He told the citizens about Costco's request of a financial benefit to the developer, which would not be perceived as a kickback to Costco.

Unfortunately, our Mayor or City Manager refuse to tell us what Costco is demanding. We know about the $11 million- but what else?? The lack of transparency is one of the main reasons people want to vote.

You may want Costco- but you aren't being told what the total costs will be. How can you decide?


23 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

What is the REAL interest behind the Black Tie owner's objections? Something will be developed in this area and I rather it be Costco. Developing this location to support tiny little crap stores that will come and go is not the answer. Believe me, all of you who object to Costco will be going there, as well as filling up your car.


2 people like this
Posted by JustSayingHi
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

JustSayingHi is a registered user.

You know Costco doesn't want to be in Pleasanton for the sole sake of those who live there. You guys know that, right? those who don't live in Pleasanton would most likely not be the majority of people actually using Costco. From Costco's point of view very doubtful there will be additional revenue since the bulk of any sales there will come at the expense of the other 2 costco locations. So, why not ask for incentives? City has the ability to say NO and Costco will go someplace else.
Very doubtful the the measure will pass since these forums don't speak for the majority of likely voters.....


38 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

Tom M. is a registered user.

@ Jake Waters

The "little crap stores", as you so disrespectfully describe them, are the mom and pop operations that have supported Pleasanton for 150+ years. They return 86% of all profits to the community. They donate to our charities, support schools and little leagues; they attend our meetings. They are Pleasanton.

Costco's profits go back to Washington. They could care less about Pleasanton - except for the subsidies that they can extract from our ill-advised politicians to contribute to their $3 billion profit each year. These subsidies come from us, the taxpayers.

I will vote for MM!


32 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

Well, said, "Tom M"! The whole reason I moved to Pleasanton was because of the "little crap stores" and small town atmosphere.

Another thing, I suspect others voters might be like myself:
Costco member = yes
Go to Costco = yes
Want Costco on Johnson drive = no
Want more traffic, pollution, loss of small business = no

And the tens of thousands of Pleasanton residence who live near Santa Rita only have to drive 3.5 miles to Livermore Costco.

Vote yes on "MM"!



35 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Val is a registered user.

@ Jake Waters

"Little crap stores". Can't say as I've seen anything this mean and disrespectful in a while.
I know owners of these "little crap stores". Some work 10-12 hours per day. They may not make $3 billion per year- but, they've hung-on through downturns in the economy. They've employed locals with good wages. They have my respect.

This is why I moved here; never conceiving that our leaders would advocate for a Costco close to my home.

If Costco isn't there, Trader Joe's wants to come. Is that a "little crap store" too?

I will definitely vote for MM and welcome Trader Joe's and "little crap" store owners.


12 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

BobB is a registered user.

It is so funny/strange to see people saying they love Costco as long as it is in someone else's back yard.

Isn't that the very definition of a NIMBY?


31 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Val is a registered user.

BobB good try at changing the topic! Seems like others agree with me about "little crapy stores" and it's not in their backyard!


6 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Changing the subject? Scroll up.

Costco member = yes
Go to Costco = yes
In my back yard = no


32 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

JJ is a registered user.

I resent the statement "little crapy stores", regarding our small businesses- and I live nowhere near Val Vista, but I do sympathize with their concerns of a Costco.

To me it is a citywide concern, and a disrespect to our small business owners.


30 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

Happy Labor Day Weekend,

To correct the record, it was "tiny little crap stores", an insult to the backbone of our community.

The August study ordered by the City concludes, with smaller retail (Yes on MM):
- we will have less traffic (2500-3600 fewer trips per day)
- comparable net sales tax
- less pollution
- more jobs (over 500 more)

Trader Joe's would be a good fit!
I live off of Stoneridge, East of Santa Rita. Hard to classify me as a NIMBY.
And, oh, did I say NO $11 million subsidy with NO borrowing -- plus other un-revealed tax breaks!
[Inane comments removed]
Yes on MM!


15 people like this
Posted by Leftsidehill
a resident of West of Foothill
on Sep 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Leftsidehill is a registered user.

The larger issue for the residents of Pleasanton is not simply a 50,000 square foot cap on retail space in the JEDZ. If we assume that the majority of retail employees make $15-20/hour, average rent in the area is in excess of $21,000. Affordable housing to buy or rent has, I believe, been at a premium in the tri-valley for as long as I have lived in the area (~20 years). It thus seems that the employees filling the retail positions will either be students/retirees, part time workers, or more than likely, not living in the area. None of these are bad things unto-themselves. But it does make one question if retail positions are in the best interest of residents in the tri-valley area. If we think of quality of life issues and if the jobs that would be provided by retail won’t afford the average employee a chance at doing more than surviving, then perhaps retail jobs aren’t the answer.

The reasons why a big-box or a retail store would like to be on the property are obvious. As an example: easy access to interstate 580/680 and from there to distribution centers, the Port of Oakland, etc. These are (probably) the same features that attracted Clorox to the property.

To me it seems such a shame to (mostly) fill the Johnson parcel with retail. The SF bay area is a magnet for cutting edge applications and business. Admittedly the land is not owned by the city of Pleasanton. Through zoning and ordinances, though, the city can ‘suggest’ the types of businesses that could go there. Would a technological and light/additive manufacturing hub be a far more viable platform instead of (another) shopping center and big box store. This falls on the Pleasanton planning and development folks taking what is essentially the easy (retail) road.


27 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 2, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

Leftsidehill,

I cannot disagree with your logic- but the city seems intent upon changing the zoning to allow a big-box, Costco. They created the JDEDZ as a "pilot program" in 2014 for this purpose to change the land-use. The City Manager and the majority of the City Council, either firmly believe this to be a better use, or, they are being guided in this direction.

As I recall, the SEIR showed about the same dollars to the City with your scenario ; the property taxes would be greater, and offset the retail sales tax revenue.

So, unless the City changes its direction, which is highly doubtful, it become a question of which retail is better for the City. If Measure MM passes and slows down the process, perhaps the developer will take another look at a technology hub as you suggest. At the moment, the incentives of $11 million city-paid (actually taxpayer paid) infrastructure improvements are so beneficial to the developer and Costco, this will remain the direction unless stopped by Measure MM.


10 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 2, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

You commentors all get tied in a knot, to say it politely since you're so sensitive. Where will all the people who will be occupying the massive build up of 'low income' housing' going to shop? You talk about Pleasanton as if it is the early nineteen hundreds. Those times are gone. If you are looking for Mayberry, USA, you better look someplace else. This is the 21st century people. Yes, what will go in there if Costco doesn't will be 'crappy little stores' that go in and out of business. Live with it.


29 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

JJ is a registered user.

@ Jake Waters,

Well, you are certainly doubling down on your "little crapy stores" comment. Not only do you insult our small businesses, but our heritage; our desire to keep Pleasanton unique; our ability to prevent us from looking like surrounding cities. Some cities in Northern California have accomplished this, and if this is the reason that many of us moved here 20-30 years ago. We have the right to express our opinion without your demeaning attitude of superiority, telling us to " live with it. You are exactly the reason that many of us do not want a big-box Costco so you can drive fewer miles to get your 8 pound jar of mayonnaise.

The JDEDZ permits more than one big-box. So, if you get your way, you can have Costco and a Walmart Super Center. This "pilot program" developed by the City does not need Council approval for both of these uses, and cannot be overturned. Increased traffic; increased pollution. Maybe, this is your idea of the 21st century for Pleasanton. It's not mine.

Measure MM is trying to slow the process, and limit the influence of special interests who are promoting this type of big-box growth. If it passes, maybe we end up with mom and pop stores ("little crapy" in your description); maybe, we end up with a technology hub that "Leftsidehill" would prefer. We will have choices. There is more time to plan.




28 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

Tom M. is a registered user.

I prefer to shop in our local stores, eat at our locally owned restaurants and fill our tanks at the gas stations already in town.

I have gone to various meetings and heard many residents share concerns to our appointed city council, and have been extremely disappointed with their disregard towards listening to the concerns of many.

I am grateful for our town merchants who work hard to stay in business. They help make Pleasanton the welcoming neighborly place it is.

Vote YES on MM!


23 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

Val is a registered user.

@Jake Waters-- your vision for Pleasanton is not my vision. Your term for our small business owners is distasteful.
Except for your own personal, selfish convenience- I would like to hear your reason for wanting Costco in Pleasanton. So far, it is that Costco will survive. Did you know Costco's close? Did you know they relocate and abandon their behemoth warehouses, and parking lots? Have you researched their big-rig truck accidents? The traffic they create? Did you know their profits will leave our City? Does the $11 million demanded subsidy bother you? Did you know other subsidies have not been revealed?

YES ON MM!


16 people like this
Posted by Bob A.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2016 at 11:09 am

Bob A. is a registered user.

Jake:

All you offer on this and other topics is condescension and disrespect for others. It drowns out anything else you say. No Thank You!


14 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

BobB is a registered user.

@Val and others,

Yes, People who say Costco is fine and they shop at Costco, but only if it isn't in their back yard are making a NIMBY argument. If Costco is okay for Livermore, why isn't Costco okay for Pleasanton?

Everything comes with costs and benefits. Calling people "selfish" for wanting a Costco nearby so that they use less gas and cause less pollution by driving a shorter distance is insulting.


21 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 3, 2016 at 11:49 am

Tom M. is a registered user.

There will always be a few "Jake Waters" in every city but they do not represent the majority. For every one negative person, there are a least 10 others who see the positive. Pleasanton voters are smart.

Yes on MM!


45 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2016 at 2:05 pm

BobB is a registered user.

The "Yes" people should stop the insults and put-downs.

Pleasanton voters are smart. Like they were about Lund Ranch.

No on MM!


Like this comment
Posted by Leftsidehill
a resident of West of Foothill
on Sep 3, 2016 at 7:56 pm

Leftsidehill is a registered user.

@Lisa -

It comes down to the residents and voters deciding if they want retail (big box and other) or smarter, better for the long-term, development. The planning department may not be able to be voted on, but the city council members and the mayor can be, as well as voter supported measures. This November there are three council members running for election: Ms. Brown, Mr. Pentin, and Mr. Ritter, as well as Mayor Thorne and Ms. Testa for mayor.


31 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 3, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

@Leftsidehill

I wish that I had your faith in the system. While you and I agree that a technology hub might be best for the Johnson Drive area, the only way to achieve it is to pass Measure MM. Then the developer would then have to decide -- smaller retail or the complex you speak about. It stops Costco from being a "done deal."

Even if the voters replace Mayor Thorne and Jerry Pentin, there are still three votes for Costco (Narum, Olson, Ritter). The Chamber of Commerce has this in the bag. Costco and the developer will be granted $11million in improvements, plus unrevealed subsidies. As Nearon announced at a Chamber meeting in January "Costco is here".

Measure MM is the only thing to stop it. If MM is passed, the Council and developer will have to regroup and decide a different strategy. Then, possibly, your idea would be considered. It does have merit, and considerable property tax benefits.


12 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 4, 2016 at 11:07 am

SHale is a registered user.

Interesting. Here, in these forums, it was nearly 4 to 1 against Lund Ranch new housing. And look what happened when the rest of Pleasanton voted? It passed.

Kinda makes you wonder if these forums are in a bubble and do not represent? OR the negative posters really really like to post and anybody else is afraid to based on the attacks? hum.


12 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 4, 2016 at 11:23 am

Val is a registered user.

@ Jake Waters

First you characterize small businesses as "tiny little crap stores"; then you repeat it; now you say that those who voice our opinion against your characterization "must be Democrats".

I, personally, never said your comments were vile and mean. I used the word disrespectful. I have many friends that are both Democrat and Republican who are voting: Yes on MM.

My last post to you asked substantive questions about Costco's abandoning sites, their big- rig truck accidents, traffic, profits leaving our City, $11 million in subsidies plus unrevealed tax breaks.


9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@shale,

I think you are on to something.

A small bubble of people agreeing with themselves.


10 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 4, 2016 at 4:10 pm

SHale is a registered user.

If a new business comes in, with much lower prices, like a Costco and smaller businesses go belly up, who is to blame? The new company? Or, really, is it the consumer who decides to go someplace else and save a buck or 2? AND if that is the case, isn't the consumer to blame?
Economy of scale is not a sin, FYI.
And, yeah, should a new Costco make it to Pleasanton I'll be there. Transferring sales tax to Pleasanton from Danville. Because, really, Costco is not just depending on folks who live in Pleasanton to shop there.


13 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 4, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Val is a registered user.

@ SHale

Interesting. A resident of SanRamon. It's not your $11 million, it's not your traffic problems.
Who cares if it's a bad deal for Pleasanton? Who cares if there's borrowing for 30 years from Costco? Certainly, not you.

We have done just fine without Costco (and advice from San Ramon residents). $4 million surplus in our general fund. $5 million surplus in our infrastructure fund. Sure more tax dollars are nice- but not at this price.

Did you read Lisa S's "Costco:Break-even"?..... 27 1/2 years....second worse deal negotiated with Costco in the United States.

Oh, that's right, you don't care. You live in San Ramon.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

@ SHale

I agree with your responses.

@Val

You can have the last response. I apparently hit a nerve. You're playing games with your criticism with the 'disrespectful' label. Disrespectfull to who? Label me what you want, but you will not silence my right of free speech. I earned it many times over.


6 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Sep 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

This thread is going off topic and is becoming more of an argument between a few people than the discussion it should be. If it continues I will close the thread.


15 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Val is a registered user.

Gina,
Thank you. I agree. Let's debate the issues: $11 million subsidy, undisclosed tax benefits, borrowing of $6 million, traffic, sales tax revenue comparison, number of years to break-even, "second worst deal" negotiated by a city in the United States for a Costco.(Lisa S's article on "Costco: Break-Even").


11 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 4, 2016 at 10:36 pm

JJ is a registered user.

If this is the second worst deal negotiated by a city for a Costco, we should have answers. Who decided to give $11 million of our money for infrastructure which would normally be paid by the developer to improve his/her land?

What are the additional subsidies to Costco that the City will not tell us? We know there are some. The City says they are still negotiating. Yet, Costco is so confident of the deal that they have signed a lease, according to the City.

I am FOR MM. The less transparency, the better for Measure MM.

Those who vote for Costco, will do so blindly.


10 people like this
Posted by KNS
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 5, 2016 at 12:29 am

KNS is a registered user.

To suggest that the future of Pleasantons small town community feel will be somehow altered based on whether or not Costco comes to town is quite nieve. Is traffic, well, traffic? It is the Bay Area after all. For those of you who have lived here for decades, I can appreciate where you are coming from. I understand it must be hard to see the community where you once raised your children evolve to a place that you no longer recognize. We moved to Pleasanton in 2013. I came with my young family and husband, an eager recent grad school graduate and 9 year Marine Veteran recently hired at a well known Tech company. We were looking for a family friendly community where kids play outside and neighbors know one another. Today, we are eager to leave Pleasanton and the Bay Area. The schools are over crowded, my kindergarten daughter was being bullied at school because she doesn't have black hair and brown lips, quite a disappointment to say the least since diversity was a big reason we came here, we feel a lack of sense of community, traffic sucks, we can't trust our city leaders in the hands of developers.... So what is the future of Pleasanton? Does Costco really define Pleasanton? Is it really about the traffic, or the local businesses losing out? Perhaps what defines Pleasanton is changing because families like mine are fleeing for an authentic hometown feel that you old timers once knew?


2 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2016 at 8:07 am

SHale is a registered user.

Val: Oh, I don't agree to the part of the 'plan' that involves giving so many tax breaks to Costco or Costco 'loaning' money to Pleasanton. However, pretty sure no lease has been signed yet, aye? If Costco wants that location THAT bad they will sign. If the City etc don't give them what they want, they will go elsewhere.
Just remember what happened with the Lund development; these forums were a minority. A LOUD minority.
No doubt a Costco goes up there, it will be a success (for Costco, at least).


25 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 5, 2016 at 10:07 am

Val is a registered user.

@KNS
I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience in Pleasanton.
Yes, I have lived here since 1982, and much has changed. You are so correct that "we cannot trust our leaders in the hands of developers".
I will stay. Maybe, those of us who are resolved to change the current direction, can make a difference. It seems we are fighting big money which funnels through the Chamber of Commerce, and then out through PAC's to influence our City leaders. It has become increasingly worse over the last 10 years or so.

I do not agree efforts to stop Costco are unimportant. The traffic, which is bad now, will get worse. The giveaway of our $11 million; the greed and corruption needs to be stopped. If we can do it with this one project, we have made a start. Will we return to 1982? No, but when I look at surrounding cities, I think we still have something different; something unique; something worth the effort. Fighting Costco; the City Leaders; The developer, Nearon; the Chamber of Commerce will not be easy.

I hope you vote "Yes on MM".


6 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2016 at 3:16 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Val,

"Yes, I have lived here since 1982, and much has changed."

Yes, and much for the better. I wouldn't have even considered moving to Pleasanton before BART and Stoneridge. As another poster said, in 1982 Pleasanton was "a whole lot of nothing". Could have been a lot worse. Just ask people in some of the towns in West Virginia how they feel about traffic or big box stores moving in to their towns. You might get a different response.

@KNS,

" ... authentic hometown feel that you old timers once knew"

How can a town be "authentic"? What on earth is that? Costco makes a town not "authentic"?

" The schools are over crowded". But the schools have record high test scores. They are a lot higher than they were back thirty years ago. There is no comparison. we could hire some more teachers to get class sizes smaller (like Dublin has done). A parcel tax would help with that. Otherwise, I would say the schools are better than they ever have been.


4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2016 at 3:33 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@KNS,

"kindergarten daughter was being bullied at school because she doesn't have black hair and brown lips"

Just to clarify, there is a group of students with "black hair and brown lips" who make fun of or bully students without "black hair and brown lips". That's a thing? I hope you brought this to the attention of the teachers and principal. PUSD staff say they take bullying seriously. Sounds like maybe they didn't respond to your complaints?


6 people like this
Posted by JustSayingHi
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

JustSayingHi is a registered user.

Is costco really a traffic thing? Aren't most costco's open like 10am - 7pm M-F and only a bit changed on the weekends? AND isn't this location like the very north of Pleasanton? Not sure how more traffic there would effect anybody who is, like, at work already?
I think the biggest legit complaint is all the give-aways Pleasanton may or my not have agreed to (still no signed lease). Now that is something worth voting on.
Really, a big percent of this measure was the loss of parking for a private business and some gas stations not exactly happy. Both nits.


12 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Val is a registered user.

@ JustSayingHi,

Finally, some issues:

TRAFFIC- the August city-ordered study shows 2500-3600 fewer car trips with smaller retail. This takes into consideration hours of operations, trips saved by not going to Livermore/Danville. It considers all factors. This is about a 20% savings in traffic.

COSTCO LEASE- on April 12, the city said "There Is a Lease".

GIVEAWAYS- completely a terrible deal for Pleasanton.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I am open to debate this issue on this forum.
Requirement to participate in this debate:
Anonymous posters in order to participate must identify themselves and the neighborhood they live in, subject to verification by the publisher of this forum.


6 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 6, 2016 at 8:36 am

Val is a registered user.

I am a registered user who has identified my neighborhood. I have lived here since 1982, and deeply care about Pleasanton.
I would like to discuss traffic, costs, subsidies, borrowing, sales tax comparisons, pollution, transparency, etc.


3 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

SHale is a registered user.

Michael: It is the publisher that decides how these forums work. And they allow non-registered and registered users. they also allow a registered user to bounce between screen names.
And the neighborhoods? they haven't been updated or added to in a while on either web site I frequent. Up to the publishers to make changes to the 'requirements'.
My 2 cents only real names should be allowed and no screen name changes. However, a bulk of posters will simply go away because they would no longer be able to hide 'behind their keyboard'.
Pretty sure you don't decide who can participate on the threads.


Like this comment
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 6, 2016 at 11:44 am

SHale is a registered user.

Isn't the biggest issue the 'breaks' that may or may not have been agreed too? OH, and maybe the loss of FREE parking. And to a lesser degree upset gas station owners?
Traffic, a nit. Anything there will cause some traffic.
Pollution, another nit. Region wise, less pollution from shorter car rides.

Since a Costco doesn't really ring bells new employee wise, the City should give them NO breaks and Costco (or the developer) should pay for most of any infrastructure improvements. If Costco no likey, they won't sign (still say there is no enforceable lease yet).


13 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Val is a registered user.

@SHale
Yes, one of the biggest issues is the giveaways to Costco and the developer. I agree there should be NO BREAKS.

Traffic is the second biggest issue of the people. A decrease of 2500-3600 car trips per day with smaller retail is significant (City-ordered August study).

Pollution was found to be less with smaller retail. (August study) This is important to me and many others.

I agree that the lease with Costco most likely has contingencies, and is not enforceable.


32 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Sep 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

I am in favor of civil debate based on facts. Michael Austin uses his real name as a way to take responsibility for his opinions and statements. He doesn't want to debate with registered users who do not identify themselves, and I can understand that. If someone feels strongly enough about a subject and their facts, why would they hesitate to attach their name as a matter of credibility?

A registered user who does not use his or her name is still anonymous to the readers of Town Square. Anonymity is a useful tool in some circumstances, but not for establishing credibility.


8 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

BobB is a registered user.

"If someone feels strongly enough about a subject and their facts, why would they hesitate to attach their name as a matter of credibility?"

Political views expressed on public forums can be a problem in the workplace.


9 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

I agree with BobB. Though I too wish that there were no repercussions of using our real names, I felt a repercussion long ago and have chosen a screen name since. It seems odd that Michael has now decided he is the judge of how this forum will now work, and that Gina is somewhat defending his position.

I commend Michael Austin, Kathleen R., Jake Waters, and the like for using their real names, and even BobB, SHale, Lisa S., for at least using part of their names. But I am not in position to do this, and BobB is right, as long as this forum is set up for anonymity, it is a viable choice, for good reason. I do agree that it hurts in establishing credibility, but only because no one is there to take the credit (but you don't have to take the abuse either).


12 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

@ Get the Facts
It's nice to get a mention, even though I do not use my full last name. The information debated and discussed has nothing to do with using my full name. If anything that I say is in question, I will be glad to answer. It is nice to have anonymity to some, although many know who I am.

It is a shame that this has turned into a debate about changing the rules on anonymity. In my opinion, it is a tactic to switch from the issues. A tactic of diversion - often used in politics.

There are many issues: traffic, subsidies, borrowing, etc, which can all be substantiated by City studies, and meetings which have been held. These are not opinions.

My opinion on MM/ Costco is my opinion- and I will state it as such. When I quote numbers or facts, I will make sure that I give the source. Most always, I have.


3 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

@ Get The Facts

Thank you for your comment. Several observations here, this discussion has gone in different directions from the Costco subject. Ok, I am not objecting to that, I am objecting to those that have a different opinion and use strong language in a passionate state to make a point against someone else's opinion. We should not have to be threatened with closing the thread, and we should not be subject comments that at are disrespectful just because you may not agree with the opinion. I have lived here since the 1990,'s and do have an interest in Pleasanton. Just because I believe in the Costco project should not subject me to harassment.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Birdland

on Sep 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Birdland

on Sep 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


17 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 6, 2016 at 9:56 pm

JJ is a registered user.

JJ (removed)

ISSUES-

TRAFFIC -- 2500 - 3600 fewer cars with Measure MM (Source: City-ordered study, August)
COSTS to TAXPAYERS-- $11 million less with Measures MM (No Costco Subsidy)
BORROWING -- None with Measure MM (No Costco Subsidy)
SALES TAX COMPARISON -- $2.1 million for MM vs $2.5 million for Costco and other (Source: City-ordered study)
BREAK-EVEN FOR COSTCO vs ALTERNATIVE -- 27.5 years ($11 million divided by $400,000 above difference)


18 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 6, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Tom M. is a registered user.

I think sometimes the leadership in Pleasanton forgets they were elected by the people.

Transparency should not be an option, it should be a law.

We don't need Costco as the gateway to our community. We don't need the traffic, the pollution, the depletition of our $5 million infrastructure reserve, the borrowing of $6 million, the loss of small businesses.

Other businesses can generate sales tax dollars without all of these negatives. Besides we have a cash surplus!

Let's please keep Pleasanton unique. Let's keep Pleasanton pleasant.


10 people like this
Posted by Blockhead
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Sep 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Blockhead is a registered user.

Regarding JJ's comments:

It's hard to argue with facts. Pleasanton's own study shows that this is a bad deal for the residents. It makes me wonder why our city leaders are still pushing this project so hard.

Something is terribly wrong - it's up to the citizens to save our city from what seems like a very bad deal.

The only way to stop this runaway train wreck is to vote Yes on MM - then we can get our city leaders to negotiate a better deal for us. Remember- they are supposed to work for us and answer to us - I think they have forgotten that.


5 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 6, 2016 at 11:23 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

A lot of the rhetoric here would make you think the entire population of the city is against Costco, but the council is pushing forward anyway. However, the entire population of the city is NOT against this. Many people I know are for it. So they WANT the city council to do this. How then do you reconcile for whom the city council "works?" Granted that's what the election will illuminate... But it's improper to think the city council doesn't work for the citizens of Pleasanton just because they don't agree with your particular position on this matter.


12 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 7, 2016 at 8:45 am

Val is a registered user.

@ Plsn Resident,

It's nice to have someone like yourself give your side without a mean attack.

First, it's hard to say the Council is working for the people. By the time they conducted their first public meeting on April 12, Nearon had already announced that "Costco is here", in January at a Chamber of Commerce Meeting. Costco already had a lease before the April 12 meeting. The $11 million subsidy had already been decided. All of this before the first citizen was allowed to speak on April 12. At the meeting April 12-- 90% of the public spoke against Costco, yet the Council proceeded. Over 40 letters and emails had also been written against Costco.

Second, yes, many people still want Costco. I urge all to get the facts before voting. The process in Ridgeland, Mississippi (link here) was much like what has transpired in Pleasanton. Lisa S quotes the Pleasanton deal as the "second worst ever" made by a City in the Unites States. No one has yet disputed this statement.

Web Link




4 people like this
Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Thanks for the link; interesting read (though of course every city's situation is fundamentally unique. And we all know Mayor Thorne knows what a Costco is.) :-)

I applaud arguments based on the merits and economic impacts. That's a worthwhile debate.

To that end, as a side note, can we agree that Black Tie Limo's self-interests hold little to no merit or value to most/all Pleasanton residents? Something will be built in that area one way or the other; Mr. Wheeler will lose his free public street parking lot one way or another. Arguing to do nothing there (ie. not widen the streets and remove the street parking) will never fly. Similarly, the gas station cartel has to accept that competition is a reality. Riling up other people in opposition, but for their own economic interests, is disingenuous.


8 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 7, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Val is a registered user.

@ Plsn Resident,
I think the decision is a big one. Although you may not agree, I appreciate these people who are allowing the citizens the opportunity to vote on this issue during a general election when Pleasanton already has elections on the ballot. The Registrar of Voters says adding Measure MM could cost as little as $10,000.

Yes, something will go there. The August study ordered by the City compared sales tax of smaller retail vs Costco (and the other). The total at buildout was $2.1 million vs $2.5 million annually.

The voters get to decide if the $400,000 per year extra with Costco is worth the $11 million city investment and the extra traffic.

Many will say it is worth it because they want a Costco. I have no idea which side will win.

I will vote Yes on MM.


2 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

The side that will win is the side that gets organized, hits the streets, and lets the citizens know the positives or negatives to the measure. I don't see that either side is organized, at this point, to get a grass-roots movement going.


7 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Val is a registered user.

@ Get the Facts

I suspect you are right - but I must say that I respect both sides for restraint to date. As citizens, we get weary of campaigning, especially divisive rhetoric and techniques.

The Measure MM people were classy in collecting signatures. The opposition was classy in not harassing the collectors. I hope the respect of the political process and the respect for the citizens continues.

I think there is time for each side to get their message across.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Same post in another thread

Need to understand how ~3k less daily trips per day only equates to $400k difference.

Logically that suggests the avg purchase per trip to the alternative option is significantly greater than the avg trip to Costco.

I don't believe both of these can be true together unless you're planning to put in something like a casino


5 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

@ Pleasanton Parent

I will answer the same as I did on your same post on "Costco: Break- Even"

I see you point, but you would have to ask the people who did the study for the City and paid for by Nearon. These are their numbers.

I believe there must be an explanation.


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

Couples: Engaged on Valentine’s Day! Topics to Discuss
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 3,688 views

Great rankings for Pleasanton high schools
By pleasantonweekly.com | 8 comments | 658 views

Livermore veteran, 96, has reason to be proud
By Jeb Bing | 1 comment | 336 views