A new community farm, cricket pitches and bike trails are just a few of the public projects that Pleasanton residents can expect to see take off during the next couple of years, after the Pleasanton City Council signed off on the city's final work plan last week.
During the course of two recent meetings, the council spent more than seven hours combined discussing the merits and challenges of each project in the draft work plan covering fiscal years 2021-22 and 2022-23 before unanimously approving the final version on May 18.
Nearly 80 items made the list, which the council updates biennially and will treat as their top priorities for the ensuing two years. They range from ambitious endeavors including revitalizing the local economy after reopening with campaigns and marquee events like Weekend on Main, restarting the East Pleasanton Specific Plan process and updating the Housing Element, to smaller projects such as outreach with youths and teens and piloting the use of pesticide alternatives in city parks.
Quality of life projects that had sizable support from the community include designing a long-planned community farm at Bernal Park, where there will be a demonstration garden with an assortment of crops, orchards and vineyards, as well as an education center.
The project drew full council support for an "A" priority and high praise from first-year Mayor Karla Brown, who told the Weekly "it is difficult to select from the approximately 90 projects" which she's most excited about, but said "there are many exciting topics that will be coming forward in the next two years" that she's looking forward to.
"I supported programs that keep our community healthy and active, and there were many projects this year that aimed to have fun while improving our lives," Brown said. "I also endorsed programs to assist in the recovery of our residents and businesses, as we emerge from the effects of COVID-19, protecting and improving our drinking water quality, completing our Housing Element update for RHNA 2023, and improving access for disabled residents within new developments."
Higher-profile projects and initiatives like getting the newly formed Police Chief's Community Advisory Board and the city's alternative mental health response pilot program both off the ground are all in the work plan, but many items tackle more administrative or day-to-day business like updating utility rates, affording housing fees, and water and sewer master plans (including connection fees), adopting a 10-year infrastructure and facilities replacement plan, conducting a community survey, and redesigning the city website.
Housing and development is featured prominently in the work plan; some goals through 2023 are to develop a Stoneridge Shopping Center framework, find sites that can be rezoned to residential in order to meet the city's state-mandated regional housing needs allocation (RHNA), and move forward with plans to add senior housing on the Merritt property and a subdivision on the Lester property.
Other important or notable items for the city are creating a plan to tackle homelessness, trying to remove hazardous synthetic chemicals from the local water supply, implement Climate Action Plan 2.0, labor negotiations and expand and improve parking in downtown Pleasanton.
Street repairs throughout Pleasanton are planned to make local traffic more manageable as well as safer for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Staff said the reconstruction of West Las Positas Boulevard is "first followed by, or to include, the bicycle and pedestrian improvements as ranked as the top corridor in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan."
After an overhaul of West Las Positas including all new pavement, curb and gutters, a two-lane configuration along some sections from Foothill Road to Kirkcaldy Street will be added in the interim, and new bike lanes will be added. Santa Rita Road will also see bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The city will also look to address wider regional transportation issues by completing the planning process to eventually connect BART to Valley Link.
Over the next two years, the city will consider developing or adopting ordinances to phase out single-use plastic utensils in local restaurants and retail establishments, prohibit smoking inside townhomes and condominiums, and ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.
There are nearly as many priorities in the 2021-2023 work plan as the previous one, which had 81. With the priority list now finalized, staff will get to work on drafting operating and capital improvement program budgets that align with the goals expected to take off later this year. Once budgets are approved, officials then work to come up with appropriate timelines for the priorities.
The priorities are divided into 13 strategic objectives, and projects are not listed in any prioritized order.
Priorities are assigned one of three categories: to be completed within the first year, complete a significant milestone by the end of the second year, and to be worked on as time allows but with less priority than the other two categories.
Here is the list of the council's 78 priorities; the full work plan, including detailed project descriptions and cost estimates where available, can be found on the city website.
COVID-19 response and recovery
- Reopen city community services **
- Maintain fiscal stability **
- Continue to support nonprofits and businesses **
- Monitor and assess COVID-19 related community needs **
Quality of life
- Implement Lions Wayside and Delucchi parks renovation
- Continue to identify and implement efforts that expand parking in the downtown
- Conduct an Amador Theater facility assessment
- Prepare a Century House facility assessment and master plan
- Master plan an inclusionary/all access playground
- Design the renovation and expansion of the skate park at Ken Mercer Sports Park
- Cricket pitches/fields **
- Add dedicated pickleball courts **
- Replace library roof and lighting system **
- Develop framework, recommendations and implementation plan to reduce homelessness in Pleasanton
- Design old Vineyard Avenue trail -- Phase I and III
- Amend the city's code and development standards to enhance minimum ADA accessibility requirements
- Amend the city's code to trigger mandated trash enclosure improvements/expansions in the city's commercial, office and industrial areas
- Expand pesticide posting pilot project
- Consider smoking restrictions for multi-family ownership residences (townhomes and condominiums) to address health effects of second-hand smoke
- Livermore airport monitoring **
- Gas powered leaf blower ban **
- Design Division Street improvements between Main Street and Railroad Avenue
- Add lights to existing sand volleyball courts
- Evaluate city's support for Leadership Pleasanton program **
- Develop a sound wall repair and replacement program
- Develop program to help fund improvements to locally designated historic homes in city's historic resources inventory
- Consider signage program for development projects **
- Continue to support Highway 84 widening
- Complete planning process to connect BART to the new Valley Link light-rail authority
- Design reconstruction of West Las Positas Boulevard including bicycle and pedestrian improvements **
- Construct widening of westbound Bernal Avenue at first street to allow second left-turn lane
- Develop short-term ACE station parking solution
- Design Sunol Boulevard interchange improvements
- Expand and improve parking in downtown
- Design Santa Rita Road bicycle and pedestrian improvements
- Jointly plan facilities for increased student population
- Conduct community survey **
- Redesign city website **
- Update to City Council operating procedures **
- Evaluate safe gun storage state law and model city ordinances **
- Evaluate structure of youth commissioners on city commissions **
- Update and implement the Eastern Alameda County 2011 Human Services Needs Assessment **
- Restructure of the Economic Vitality Committee to focus on industry sector representatives **
- Water conservation
- Prepare and implement Climate Action Plan 2.0
- Continue to participate with regional agencies on studies of water supply alternatives and addressing water quality issues, e.g. PFAS **
- Implement SB 1383 to achieve reduction targets applicable to Pleasanton **
- Evaluate model ordinance and/or enact city ordinance to reduce single-use disposables
- Pilot use of alternative pesticide management treatment at designated park
- Downtown Specific Plan -- active ground-floor use **
- Lester property
- Merritt property
- East Pleasanton Specific Plan
- Develop a Stoneridge Mall framework
- Community benefit formula **
- Implement Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone
- Expand Pleasanton life sciences industry sector
- Develop coordinated business support program
- Shop Small-Support Local campaign **
- Recruiting and retaining retail in downtown **
- Weekend on Main **
- Police Chief's Community Advisory Board **
- Implement alternative mental health response pilot program **
- DARE/school resource officers (SROs) **
- Design Emergency Operations Center at fire training facility
- Design Fire Station No. 2 improvements
- Housing Element update **
- Monitor and review new housing legislation
- Update affordable housing fees **
- Adopt 10-year infrastructure and facilities replacement plan (10-year capital plan)
- Update utility rates
- Update the city's water and sewer master plans, including city connection fees
- Labor negotiations **
- Develop a city ADA transition plan
- Diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan **
- Create awareness of health and safety issues and policies
- Expand connections to youth and teen services
- Design Phase I of Bernal Community Farm
** designates a new priority