Ponderosa shows plans for gated senior community in Ironwood | March 28, 2008 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 28, 2008

Ponderosa shows plans for gated senior community in Ironwood

110 detached single-family homes for 55+ to go on former school site

by Janet Pelletier

If built, it would be the first gated senior residential development in the city.

Proposed by Ponderosa Homes is a 110-unit single-family home community for residents who are 55 and older. Company executives laid out their plans to the Planning Commission at its March 19 meeting.

The last portion of the master plan for the Ironwood residential development off of Valley Avenue and Busch Road, the senior complex would be built on land previously reserved for a public school. The Pleasanton Unified School District, which has a five-year option agreement on the 23-acre site, has told Ponderosa that they don't intend to exercise the option, according to a city staff report.

The complex would join the Ironwood community, which was approved in 2002 and consists of 175 single-family homes, 16 duets and a 172-unit senior apartment community. The senior apartments and most of the single-family homes have been built and the Pleasanton Presbyterian Church is completing a new church facility there as well. The senior home community would be built on the eastern edge of Ironwood, bordered by the city's Operation Service Center to the south and the Old Mohr Avenue right-of-way and a Zone 7 Water Agency (former Hanson Aggregates quarry) lake to the north.

Pam Hardy, manager of land planning for Ponderosa, said the complex would offer seniors the advantage of home ownership as well as a sense of security with it being gated.

But Commissioner Phil Blank said he disliked the idea of the gate and private streets, citing that the city's General Plan discourages gated communities.

"There's too many gated communities in Pleasanton," Blank said. "I don't think that's the community spirit. If we keep allowing them, someday all of Pleasanton will be gated."

But Hardy said there are a number of benefits to having the community gated.

"It adds another layer of security," she said. "Seniors take extended trips and they're not at home a lot. Residents will also be single women who want the security of a gate."

She added that fire and police personnel would be able to access the property during an emergency with a special code.

Commissioners Greg O'Connor and Arne Olson said they were in favor of the gate.

"I think the reasons to have a gated community here are overwhelming," Olson said.

City planner Steve Otto told the commission, which was missing members Kathy Narum, Jennifer Pearce and Anne Fox, that other project proposals that have recently come to the city's planning department including the Lester property west of Foothill Road and Staples Ranch have proposed gates in their developments.

The homes would be for seniors who are 55 years of age and older. A spouse can be 45 years and older and caregivers and disabled children are also allowed to live in the homes, Hardy said. Four one-story models ranging from 1,900 square feet to 2,670 square feet would be offered and one of the models is two stories. The complex would include a 4,400-square-foot clubhouse with a kitchen, wine locker, meeting room, office, exercise room, restrooms and storage areas. Outdoor amenities include a pool, spa and bocce ball court.

John Knight, who lives nearby on Sagewood Court, said he would like have access to the Iron Horse Trail. Hardy said Ponderosa has looked into the matter, but said that it would be impossible to connect to the trail along the planned emergency vehicle access road because it is a private road. The city's Community Trails Master Plan shows a future trail along the northern side of the site.

The meeting on the proposal was a work session to get feedback from commissioners. The plans will return to the commission in the near future for approval.


Like this comment
Posted by Anthony Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on May 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

As a perspective buyer we would be very interested in a gated community because we travel and not home all the time. We would also be interested in trail walks because as senior's we like to do a lot of walking and it is excellent for our health. What about a area for picnicking with bathrooms''' We are very excited about this community and very interested in buying a single home .

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Wilson
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2008 at 5:09 pm

110 unit single family home community for residents? (or did you mean seniors) 1900/2670 sq.ft.,4 models, doesn't sound like a healthy plan for diversity. Start broadcasting planning commission meetings! If not,why?

Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I don't understand your comment Mr. Wilson. Can you elaborate?

Like this comment
Posted by SQ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2008 at 8:15 pm

A gated community for seniors?

To protect Pleasanton residents from Pleasanton Seniors?

To protect Pleasanton Seniors from the crimes committed by other Pleasanton residents?

Sounds like Pleasanton is a Community of lawlessness...and crime...an unsafe Community...where everyone lives in fear!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 31, 2008 at 12:06 pm

SQ is on the money! HOORAY!

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Posted by matthew
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jun 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm

whats the problem, it sounds great. As you get older the demographics you are acustom to decrease. why not be where more people of your same interests. What hasn't anyone heard of Rossmoor in walnut creek. a huge area designated for only seniors. i think it's a great idea. it's like a college town for older people. and i'm sure it's going to be one of the nicer in the area. so people promote bart and trash on having a more comfortable area for our seniors. i mean come on it sounds nicer than alot of other options.

Like this comment
Posted by Margie
a resident of Dublin
on Nov 27, 2008 at 9:55 am

I love the idea of the beautiful city of Pleasanton having a safe place for the young over 55 year olds. What about a tennis court? When the plans are complete, we'll be the first in line.

Like this comment
Posted by Gene Abernathy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

55 and older communities exist in a variety of areas such as Granite Bay, Roseville, Lincoln, Rossmoore and around the State as well as other States. The Del Webb communities (Pulte Builders) have ALWAYS been well maintained and I believe Ponderosa would offer the same type of infra structure. I would suggest that the selling point of any 55 and older community would be the biggest bang for the buck. In the case of Del Webb communities, the cost is ALWAYS reasonable/affordable which motivates many seniors to look forward to those areas for their last Harrah without feeling committed to a Senior resting place, while draining you of your life's income. As owners of a Pleasanton, Ponderosa home for over 20 years, my wife and I would love to remain in this lovely city but will only do so if the price and facilities are representative of an Active life style and most importantly, reasonably priced (comparable to most of the Del Webb communites.

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Posted by Perry
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I looked in to this project a few months ago. I thought it would be just what we have been looking for. We want to down size and return to the Tri-Valley area. This may be a great community for couples over 55, but not senior over 65 plus. How many seniors 65+ want a 2900sq foot two story home? The price range is probably going to be over $800,000. and what will the monthly home owners fees be? Active seniors are looking for a smaller home,with a yard that will be smaller, easier to maintain, a place they can leave when they are traveling, that will be safe, and above all affordable. Even is they can afford the sales price, what about the new tax base. I am sure there are probably many senior who can qualify, but what about the middle class? I have always thought Pleasanton need a 55 and over community, but one that will be more affordable. One that would be attainable to a larger cross section of seniors. Maybe more like Trilogy in Brentwood on a smaller scale. We have many friends who have had to move away from Pleasanton, because they could not sell their home, down size and still afford the live there.