News


Council OKs 3-story homes on downtown site, ground-floor offices

1895 house, heritage tree, other old buildings being removed

The Pleasanton City Council has approved a mixed-use housing and retail development at Old Bernal Avenue and Augustine Street that will require tearing down a small home built in 1895 and ripping out one of three heritage trees on the site.

Mike Carey, a real estate broker, told the council that the old 868-square-foot home is too old to save and that the tree to be removed , which is 50-60 years old, is the youngest of the three on the site. To spare the ax, one of the three new homes proposed would have to be removed from the development plan, an action the council did not require.

The project, located across Old Bernal from the city library parking lot, will include three three-story single-family homes and a fourth three-story building with retail space on the first floor and three apartments above.

The mixed-use building's first floor would have 948 square feet of floor space, enough to accommodate multiple tenants, Carey said. Located at the far southwest edge of Pleasanton's downtown, it would blend in with the effort to allow offices on the first floors and apartments on upper floors.

Adam Weinstein, the city's planning manager, said the project meets the guidelines of the Downtown Specific Plan and would fit in with both changes being considered for that plan and the likely expansion of the downtown area if the library and Pleasanton city hall complex are moved to a new location in Bernal Community Park.

Approval of Carey's bid to develop the site with high-density housing did not come easily. The city's Planning Commission first considered the proposal last January and held an informal discussion with Carey at a workshop meeting before recommending that the City Council approve the project.

Even then, the commission voted 3-1 to approve Carey's plan, with Commissioner Nancy Allen opposed.

Some also wanted to wait to approve the project until a task force, just now being formed, finishes its work in updating the downtown specific plan, which would include Carey's site.

Gerry Beaudin, director of community development, said the new homes and apartments, because of their small size, will add to the lower income of inventory in the city's Housing Element.

"Based on the size of these units, they should fall into the moderate to lower income level," Beaudin said. "We're talking about 300-square-foot units which will add to our mix of housing which we report to the state Department of Housing and Community Development every year."

Also, responding to a question about tear downs occurring frequently in other wealthy communities,unities such as Palo Alto, where perfectly good homes are bulldozed to make way for more expensive houses, Weinstein said tear downs of the type approved by the council Tuesday aren't new for Pleasanton. However, here they are generally old homes in poor shape or not in highly visible locations.

Recently, a small office building at 273 Spring Street was torn down to allow for the development of a new mixed-use project. A non-historic single-family residence at 363 St. Mary St., behind an existing commercial building was torn down to allow for development of a new single-family residence.

"While we're likely to continue to see applications for tear-downs here and there as people continue to want to invest in the downtown area, we're very cautious in evaluating the historic/architectural significance of buildings proposed for demolition to make sure that we're protecting the lower-scale, historic character of downtown," Weinstein said.

"Also, even when buildings proposed for demolition aren't historically significant, we're often successful in working with applicants to preserve these older buildings, which can often be re-purposed while allowing for new development elsewhere on the site," he added.

Carey didn't waste anytime is starting his new project, Fences went up Wednesday as crews awaited a demolition permit.

Comments

22 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 7, 2016 at 8:18 pm

300 square foot units? That sounds inhumane. Is that even legal?


3 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:02 pm

The units are actually 350 to 360 sq ft studios with small balconies.


56 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 8, 2016 at 8:25 am

Guess I will reapply to take out my "heritage" tree that is destroying my yard by offering to build small apartments on my property with a small retail store on the first floor.


33 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

An exciting mixed use at a dilapidated corner. Nice and small units for people who dont want a yard and have a small carbon footprint. Our downtown is stagnant and needs to expand with more mixed uses.


36 people like this
Posted by AR15
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:41 am

AR15 is a registered user.

I am against high density low income housing anywhere in Pleasanton. We had a city housing cap voted in by the residents, what happened to that? We were forced in the courts by Habitat for Humanity to build low income housing, I am against that.
We all work hard and pay a lot to live in this town, let Dublin and Livermore have the high density low income stuff.


18 people like this
Posted by MR AR
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:43 am

MR AR is a registered user.

I am against low income high density housing anywhere in Pleasanton. Let Dublin and Livermore build that.


13 people like this
Posted by Alexis B
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

Alexis B is a registered user.

I think mixed-use projects are awesome! Love this one, a definite improvement over what is there currently.


45 people like this
Posted by 30 yr resident
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:47 am

I have no idea what is going on with this city but I do know it is run by real estate and that is and will continue to be its downfall. The downtown we all paid to rebuild just a few years after we moved here (brick by brick as some of you will recall) is now being destroyed one block at a time. The CC in conjunction with the RE developers did a masterful job of distracting everyone with a 40 house dev in/on the ridge on the w side of 680 and creating animosity about a Costco, all the while selling/building on every sq ft possible of downtown. Well done residents of Pleasanton you played right into their hands, if you like zero lot lines and high rises, don't move here, move to SF that is not what this city was supposed to be.


46 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:03 am

Thinking it is time to remove those who sit on the City Council as apparently they have more than special interests in destroying the ambiance of the old heritage in Pleasanton. That bldg can be saved, but who ever decided that decision not to save the heritage bldg or trees is being paid off by someone.

Election time is at hand. Time to start cleaning house on the city council that continues to make decisions regardless of public opinion.


38 people like this
Posted by Downtown resident
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

The plan to preserve the look and feel of the historic downtown is being destroyed by all the new three story developments. Pleasanton's small town feel was in part created by the fact that, until a couple of years ago, there were few to no three story buildings. Now every project being "approved" includes three story buildings. Stack them and pack them. Let Dublin be our model.


25 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:19 am

Flightops is a registered user.

If we continue with this same city council and planning commission and the building of housing on every spare piece of dirt in this town no matter what the zoning is or back door politics that seem to be going on, I may have to come out of retirement, get my realtors license, and jump on that wagon to a whole new "49 ers" gold rush that's being created by our decision makers!! Who's making money on all these homes being built and are the developers paying their share of fees on what impacts us down the road??


11 people like this
Posted by Another fact checker
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

Another fact checker is a registered user.

Heard the city arborist said the remaining two 80- 100 year old heritage oaks left on site may die as well as the heritage oak tree being cut down. The parking and driveway was built next to vulnerable tree roots. Very sad.


18 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

How convenient for the owner/builder, maybe they could squeeze in a couple more rentals!! Funny how those old trees are "dying" now that they can build on that lot. Is there going to be parking for these units? Or will it be like the one going up on spring st. That has zip for off street parking!!


9 people like this
Posted by Looking to the future
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Looking to the future is a registered user.

Just so everyone understands... in 4 years the state will mandate new low-income/high density housing numbers for our city. Any available land for development will have to comply with new requirements to build high-density apartments to meet our new numbers for housing (or else we get sued - again - and lose - again)

What areas of town would you all like to keep vacant or unoccupied? Because THOSE areas will end up with low-income/high density housing..


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Niche just released its rankings of best suburbs. For California, Pleasanton is number 50.
Web Link

For the Bay Area, Pleasanton is #22. Dublin is #25.
Web Link

Education level and schools each take 10% of the grade. Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by AR15
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm

AR15 is a registered user.

Dear look into the future: the state should not be able to "mandate" to any city this low income/high density BS. This is pure socialism and fascism. Welcome to Kalifornia. No wonder so many people who can are leaving. We are going to Nevada in about 5 years.


56 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm

BobB is a registered user.

To me, downtown looks a little drab and dull compared to Livermore. I don't see anything wrong with this development.


7 people like this
Posted by Another fact checker
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Another fact checker is a registered user.

Hi Scarlett,
Yes, you can make a difference if you are willing to share feedback officially. You may not agree but my rule of thumb is to share concerns with Planning Commission and Council prior to sharing with BLOG. That way we have best chance of making a difference.

Many projects have no one writing or attending with complaints, even though BLOGs are active with complaints. We need to stop hiding. If we really want change, we need to walk our talk, Please e-mail concern to city prior to posting if you care about making a difference. Thanks for your consideration.


12 people like this
Posted by RestOfStory
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

RestOfStory is a registered user.

Pleasanton residents have a real choice with the upcoming election. There is one candidate for council and one for mayor who think differently than what was approved.


4 people like this
Posted by AR15
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

AR15 is a registered user.

Restofstory, please share. I am a newcomer to city politics, but I have been a resident of Ptown for over 10 years.


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

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