News Digest: JDEDZ comment deadline, Chain of Lakes mining & Tobacco referendum

Also: Swalwell town hall meeting, Day in the Park & Housing needs survey

JDEDZ comment

Pleasanton city officials released the supplemental environmental analysis for the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone earlier this summer, and the deadline for public comment to be included in the document is next Friday (Aug. 23).

The City Council voted last year to cancel its previous JDEDZ approvals and order more environmental review of the rezoning project that would lay the regulatory framework for bringing Costco, two hotels and other businesses to the 40-acre area near the I-580/I-680 interchange.

The decision came as part of an agreement announced last summer in the lawsuit spearheaded by former councilman Matt Sullivan and his Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth challenging the city's JDEDZ approvals -- from city officials' perspective, a legal strategy to get out in front of a potentially lengthy litigation process and instead address the main areas of contention now via extra analysis for the environmental impact report (EIR).

The new supplemental analyses include a health risk assessment, updated air quality analysis, greenhouse gas analysis and energy resources analysis. The city's consultants deemed the JDEDZ would have either no significant or less than significant effect (in some cases with mitigation) related to those areas.

The supplemental EIR comment period ends 5 p.m. Aug. 23. To comment, visit

Mining meeting

Tri-Valley residents can learn more about proposed mining operation changes in the Chain of Lakes area of unincorporated Alameda County at an upcoming Zone 7 Water Agency Board meeting.

The meeting next Wednesday (Aug. 21) will give those who missed the deadline last month for public comment on the EIR process another opportunity to give their input on the project.

Modifications to the 920-acre Eliot Quarry, located between Pleasanton and Livermore, will be highlighted as part of a presentation by Cemex, the company that owns the land. Cemex wishes to mine deeper in the Lake B area on the site's west side, which has a sand and gravel mine pit almost 150 feet deep. The company would also realign the Arroyo Del Valle south of its current spot and ditch plans to resume mining in Lake A.

Zone 7, which oversees the well-being of the Livermore Valley Groundwater Basin, will examine the proposal and consider the potential impact to water quality, water management and flood channels before and after mining activity.

Mining will continue in both Lakes A and B until the year 2056, when the lakes will be dedicated to Zone 7 for water storage. The Alameda County Community Development Agency, which approves and authorizes mining activity and reclamation plans on unincorporated land, is preparing an environmental impact report for the project.

"Zone 7 looks forward to working with the county and with Cemex on the proposed project and protecting the groundwater basin from any undesirable results," Zone 7 General Manager Valerie Pryor said in a statement. "The basin is a valuable resource for our customers and provides a reliable source of water during drought, when imported supplies are less available."

Swalwell town hall

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) has scheduled a town hall meeting in his district for next Wednesday (Aug. 21) at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon.

Pleasanton's congressman will provide an update on recent and upcoming events in Washington, D.C., and take questions from local constituents.

"With just a few weeks left before Congress returns to Washington, I want to know what's on my friends' and neighbors' minds," Swalwell said. "It's likely to be a tumultuous autumn, and I want to ensure that the 15th District is well-informed on what's happening."

Free and open to the public, the town hall will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DVHS Commons at 10550 Albion Road.

Tobacco referendum

Livermore officials were served last week with a referendum petition with 8,733 unverified signatures seeking to overturn the city's new ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco in Livermore, as well as severely restrict businesses from selling electronic smoking paraphernalia and establish a city tobacco retailer license program for the first time.

The petition, filed Aug. 7 and backed by Bay Area vapor product company JUUL Labs, would need 5,269 valid signatures to force the council's hand -- to either cancel the ordinance or put the issue on the ballot citywide.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office is working to verify signatures by random sampling, with a completion deadline of Sept. 19. The count was still pending as of Wednesday morning.

Housing survey

Residents have until next Friday (Aug. 23) at 5 p.m. to complete the online "Alameda County Housing Survey.

City and county officials said the survey will provide vital input regarding housing needs and access to resources, and the results will be incorporated into the "Alameda County Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice" report.

The report is required of federally funded jurisdictions like Pleasanton to continue qualifying for federal housing grants. The survey can be accessed via

Day in the Park

The Taylor Family Foundation is holding its 29th annual Day in the Park fundraiser at Camp Arroyo in Livermore next Sunday (Aug. 25). Proceeds support its mission to enhance the quality of life for children living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities.

Local celebrities set to attend the fundraiser include news and radio personalities Cheryl Jennings, Mike Nicco, Doug McConnell, Jim Hampton and Sue Hall, as well as food and wine expert Narsai David. The auction will feature gourmet food, wine and beer from top restaurants, wineries and breweries, as well as private chef dinners and sports packages, red carpet events and luxurious vacations. Individual tickets for Day in the Park are $250; visit or call 455-5118.

The Taylor Family Foundation supports Camp Arroyo, which serves children year-round as a place to explore, learn and grow in an ideal outdoor setting. It also helps families with children in medical crisis through grants that pay for medical devices and for funeral expenses. Sophie's Place, its mobile music therapy program, brings music therapy to Camp Arroyo and those who are homebound or patients in Northern California hospitals.

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