Letter: PP, QQ not similar to 1992 citizen effort | October 17, 2008 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 17, 2008

Letter: PP, QQ not similar to 1992 citizen effort

Dear Editor,

A letter to the editor two weeks ago suggested the current PP/QQ initiative situation is similar to the 1992 Pleasanton Ridge debate. However, the current situation is different, and to suggest it is similar to 1992 is doing a disservice to Pleasanton voters who are considering PP and QQ. In 1992, the pro-developer council-sponsored initiative was clearly not in Pleasanton's interest - thousands of homes were proposed with no quid-pro-quo for Pleasanton, clearly saddling us with infrastructure costs and ruination of the Ridge. This time, both initiatives purport to protect ridgelines, hillsides, and our quality of life. There are people I have long respected - all known for past efforts on preserving our hillsides - who are on opposite sides of the PP / QQ debate. (Tarver, Dennis, Sullivan, Arkin, Bengston, Combs, etc.) That alone should tell you this is not as clear-cut as the 1992 issue.

We are fortunate to have an intelligent and involved community. The full text of PP and QQ is in the sample ballot to help you decide where you stand. I found it much easier reading than I expected, and easier than dealing with all the "spin" being created. Personally, I am concerned about PP because of the exemption for 10 or fewer units and the wording on definition of a housing unit. I also had concerns about how QQ came to be on the ballot, and applaud that Matt Sullivan has the integrity to acknowledge citizen's wishes (he has my vote). When initiatives are this close I tend to vote no on both. However, what swayed my decision pro-QQ is that PP's key promoters, Kay Ayala and Steve Brozosky, moved and voted for the huge water park in 2004, against citizen's wishes, and thus were voted off the City Council.

Mick Hanou Pleasanton


Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Hi Mick!

Actually my letter compared Measures PP and QQ to 1990 Measures N and M.

The 1992 Measure K, which (as you state) was clearly not in Pleasanton's interest, came about as a result of the passage in 1990 of the city council sponsored Measure M (establishing a committee to devise a plan for Pleasanton Ridge) over the citizen's initiative Measure N (would have limited ridge development to 2 houses per 320 acres).

Sorry I wasn't more clear, only 200 words sometimes leads to draconian parsing!

Posted by Becky Dennis, a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Oct 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Hi, Mick -

Thank you so much for your very insightful letter. And thank you for remembering the important work we all did together. You were involved in masterplanning the expansion of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park before I had even moved to Pleasanton! Here we are again, defending a plan for a park to secure permanent open space!

Measure N sought to prevent changes in development rules that would have interfered with the publicly reviewed and officially adopted masterplan for Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.

Measure PP will UNDO Pleasanton's General Plan Goals, Policies, and plans that now REQUIRE property owners to donate most of the land in the Southeast Hills to the City for a park, and donate easements to the Tri-Valley Conservancy. Measure PP replaces these pro-park rules with a new policies that actually encourage property owners to develop 100% of their land as large estates with no park for the community. That's something they can't do today.

I'd say Measure PP is the exact opposite of Measure N.

Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 18, 2008 at 2:01 am

Hi Becky!

Your definition of the 1990 Measure N in the negative obfuscates it's language.

Measure N was written to allow only 2 houses per 320 acres on agricultural land annexed into Pleasanton (Pleasanton Ridge not being within Pleasanton's city limits) and such houses were required to be built within 300' of an already existent road.

Under Measure N landowners could've developed REALLY large estates, no park for the community was required.

The Ridgelands Citizen Committee was setup in August 1990 by a city council lead by Mayor Ken Mercer (a current Measure QQ supporter) to help decide whether to annex the ridge area up to just east of Palomares Road and, if so, should development be allowed. The committee was divided into four sub-groups studying different uses for the land – agriculture and grazing, recreation and parks, quasi-public uses such as conference centers and parks, and residential.

The same Mercer city council put Measure M on the 1990 ballot as an obstacle to Measure N's potential interference with the committee directed process.

After the election the city council reopened the committee to new members perhaps in part to remove the possibility of a legal challenge to Measure M on the grounds that the ballot language for that measure didn't indicate that the committee was already established and closed.

A cautionary parallel one can draw between now and then is that it was the Measure M, city-backed committee who in 1992 proposed 2,640 homes and a golf course in exchange for 3,488 acres of public use open space.

I just don't agree with the Measure QQ supporters who, similar to the 1992 Ridgelands Citizen Committee, propose ideas that you must lose something in order to save it.

The southern ridge lands of Pleasanton are zoned agriculture and can remain that way irregardless of the General Plan until ideas are presented that Pleasanton residents accept – whether it's 10 houses or a thousand. Open space in private hands is still open space.

Posted by Rob, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 19, 2008 at 11:47 am

I am looking forward to the Channel 30 televised debate between PP and QQ folks. The PP folks have it easy because all they have to say is it is about "saving the Ridges". I laugh because Brozowski, Mary Roberts and Cindy McGovern all live on ridges. Mary and Brozowski probably hope to develop their land at some point. I was approached by the signature gathers against Oak Grove. They lied through their teeth about the facts. It convinced me that Kay and her Merry Band were wrong. But then again, I believe she thought this would launch another run for Mayor.....I will vote for QQ because I don't know who wrote PP and they won't say who. I will also vote for QQ because I was around when Kottinger Ranch was built and it turned out beautifully. The same developer is the one who will build Oak Grove and I believe it will be just as beautiful And there will be hiking trails for all Pleasanton residents to enjoy. I heard a lady at one of the council meetings claim her Kottinger Ranch neighborhood was a "destination neighborhood." My impression is she is nothing more than a NMBY Black Hawk want-a-be but doesn't have "Real Money". Pleasanton is anything but a Community of Character regarding this issue. I hope Channel 30 will show the debate soon. i understand it involved Brozowski and Ayala for PP and Becky Dennis and Cheryl Cook-Kalio for QQ. It should be interesting to see. Hurry up Channel 30!!!

Posted by Doug, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Re: PP / QQ

Does anyone have a list of websites with opinions? I want to send in my ballot today.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Check out the City's staff report for PP. Web Link You might also be interested in the minutes from that meeting: Web Link

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2008 at 3:47 pm

One thing to consider is that there is no correcting any mistake in language if PP passes. CA Constitution is very clear on this point, a citizens measure can't be altered except through another initiative or through the courts.

QQ offers a way for every one to participate including the people who promoted PP. If you are in doubt a no vote on both is the best way to go.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm

PP was written by Ayala and a few cohorts. There was no public process that developed the language. You vote it, you are stuck with it, exactly as written. Only the voting of it is a democratic process, but where it came from was far from democratic.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 20, 2008 at 1:11 am

QQ was written by three council members at the insistence of several concerned citizens(If I remember correctly, those were the words, or words to that effect, credited to Dolores Bengston, a QQ supporter, in one of the local newspapers some time ago. I don't remember which newspaper or the date). Wonder who the "concerned citizens" are...

Who had input into QQ? You may have had the opportunity to stand before the council and voice your opinion but do you really think they cared what you thought. If you consider that a true "public process", you're fooling yourself...

Rob from Pleasanton Heights,

What's the definition of "Real Money"???

Oh wait!! I get it - it's just a silly slam at the lady from Kottinger Ranch... Wonder what's her impression of you...

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2008 at 5:51 am

QQ will continue to have input from everyone who chooses to go through the process. Get the facts.

PP is purely political. If not the proponents of PP would have gone through the council!

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2008 at 5:52 am

I should say the council majority, who were elected by the people of Pleasanton.

Kay and the others rumored to have helped LOST their election. It should tell you something.

Posted by Iwastheretoo, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 20, 2008 at 7:36 am

Jerry, look at the back of the QQ flier--that will give you an idea of who the concerned citizens are.

Regarding the lady from Kottinger Ranch that spoke at the Council meeting--that same lady told me while trying to get me to sign the petitions that the Lin family would just give the city the land because it wouldn't be worth anything if PP were passed. When questioned she backed down but then told me what's the big deal, we can hike the ridge whenever we want. When asked, isn't that trespassing, she replied yes, but so what? Enough said for me. That told me volumes about what's the real objective here.

Posted by Becky Dennis, a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Oct 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Matt -

Thanks for making my point for me, and letting everyone know that you do not support the 20 year efforts of Pleasanton residents to protect the majority of land in the Southeast Hills as a city owned, resident accessible greenbelt.

From the beginning, when the Hearst Drive neighbors tried to remove the Oak Grove greenbelt staging area, and turn 500 acres of publicly owned open space into their private preserve, it has been clear that majority of PP's supporters' primary purpose is to prevent community access to the Southeast Hills.

PP's 10 unit exemption coupled with its inflexible restrictions on citing and grading combine to create a strong incentive for property owners to develop 100% of their land without dedicating any publicly accessible open space, contrary to Pleasanton's current General Plan Goals,Policies, and Programs:

Land Use Element of the General Plan Goal 1:
Program 12.2: Study the feasibility of preserving large open space areas in the Southeast Hills by a combination of private open space and a public park system.

Conservation and Open Space Element, Goal 1: Policy 4: Protect all large continuous areas of Open Space, as designated on the General Plan Map, from intrusion by urban development.

As a former Councilmember and author of this General Plan, I can tell you that the construction of super-sized estates with no public access was never anything like what our community had in mind for the Southeast Hills. Imagine the FAR on 55 acre lots!

Pleasanton's land use designation for the Lin property is Rural Residential, or 1 unit/5 acres, which means the General Plan and the voters under the Housing Cap,gave them about 100 housing units. If the property owners were to avail themselves of Measure PP's 10 unit exemption, according to the City Attorney, you can pretty much forget about the "acceptance of Pleasanton residents" being a factor in what is built.

To quote Michael Roush:
"...because the Housing Element law has, to some extent,locked in the holding capacity of certain parcels (and so has the Housing Cap BD), in order for that capacity to be reduced (to 10 units for example) more or less voluntarily by the property owner, the City may be in a more tenuous position to bargain with the property owner over discretionary aspects concerning the 10 units, which could lead to a project less desireable than if the 10 unit ceiling were not a ceiling." (e-mail, 12-5-2007).

Privatization and total development of the Southeast Hills can only happen if Measure PP passes. Anyone who wants to save 2000 acres of open space INSIDE our Urban Growth Boundary should vote YES on Measure QQ.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm


I found that to be a rather disingenuous representation of the public process.

"Who had input into QQ?"

This is what the public record is for. Anyone today and historians in the future are able to look up not only who had input, but find out what the reasoning behind QQ was. Initiatives do not have that record. When everyone involved in PP is deceased, what record will remain of who wrote it and what their thinking was? The only thing close is the public hearing when Council considers the initiative after it has been certified as having the required number of signatures. But by then it is too late to fix any problems with it since State law prevents any modifications. Indeed if PP passes, there will need to be a considerable amount of work done to resolve any conflicts with the General Plan and other vagueness in order to implement PP (read the Staff report).

Unfortunately Councilmember Matt Sullivan is willing to put the public trust at stake by believing somehow that having the PP writers' intentions and clarifications recorded in the public record during that Council meeting would be an acceptable alternative to the text of the law in a courtroom. Would a judge really consider that? If so, then why do groups campaign against their own initiatives if it were as simple as that (think Oakland Childrens' Hospital initiatives last election)? The only real way to fix the problems with PP that were raised at the June 26th Council meeting are either through the courts or with another initiative. Thus enter Measure QQ.

The exemption in Measure PP is highly troubling, especially to those interested in ridgeline preservation. It would allow a property owner to build a single mansion right on top of a primary ridge in the southeast hills ala the "Hayward Hotel" on top of the Pleasanton Ridge. Don't think it can happen? Such a plan submitted to the City would be entirely consistent with the General Plan if that exemption were allowed to exist.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:27 am


I did look at the back of the mailer(it arrived in my mail today)and recognized many of the names - that's what concerns me.

It did answer a question I've pondered for sometime - the definition of "Community Leader". From what I can gather from the names on the mailer, it appears a "Community Leader" is someone that is, or has been, elected to public office, or, someone that is/has been appointed to some Commission by some politician.

I also found it interesting the mailer has Becky Dennis stating, "Open space advocates and community leaders asked the City Council to place Measure QQ on the ballot". Would that indicate the City Council is at the bidding of these "Advocates and Community Leaders". Do you suppose they would do the same for "John or Jane Citizen" if they weren't "Advocates/Community Leaders"??

Now why do you suppose these advocates and community leaders didn't grab a clipboard, gather signatures and place QQ, as an initative, on the ballot themselves...

Doesn't say who paid for the mailer, just ask for money or support...


What was a "rather disingenuous representation of the public process"??

Posted by Linda, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2008 at 6:17 am


Because we have elected representatives and working through a transparent public process is the best way to ensure that everybody gets to participate. Because many of the people on that list knows how the city and the courts work and they wanted something that did not violate the law.

Many of the people on the list know this. In addition, many have worked with the people from PP and know this is PURELY POLITICAL.

And by the way, the council has acted for John or Jane Citizen on all occasions. You just have to look at the people who come down to the council. That's is the council's job, to act on behalf of John and Jane citizen.

The PP people gathered signatures for over six months. Some people who thought they were sining a referendum were signing both. Some misrepresented the facts and even now are doing so. (Some are saying PP will get rid of Oak Grove. That is not true.)

They are people who say they know what they are doing but they are asking you to trust the legal judgment of people who have had no training in writing legislation or in the law. WE DON'T KNOW WHO WROTE THE INITIATIVE. They were certainly no public meetings.

Do you trust the PP people to do this for you? Do you think legislation should be made without public input?

Their track record of putting forth these kind of things concerning this issue has not been good thus far and has already cost us taxpayers money.

QQ is a better way. We (all of us) can make sure this is done right.


Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hi again Becky!

What I oppose is a twenty-year effort (dating back to the 1996 City Council where you nearly always voted as part of a pro-growth majority along with Karen Mohr and Sharrell Michelotti) to build homes on the tops of the southern ridges. This is an element of the 1996 General Plan that I find most residents oppose.

Why even put Measure QQ on the ballot unless you know folks oppose building on the southern hills? Why not debate Measure PP on the merits?

In endorsing Measure PP local newspaper editors write about measure PP, “… a reasonable measure”, “Measure PP represents the true feeling of the community toward the hills surrounding their city,” and of Measure QQ, “… another stalling tactic by the City Council”, “… the council’s response with Measure QQ shows that it’s still not serious about hillside regulation”, “… reject QQ.”

I also live waaay out in the northern flats of Pleasanton Meadows/Fairlands, so I am not a member of this “majority” you’ve conjured that’s trying to keep folks out of the southern hills neighborhoods.

It is not far fetched that land owners with undeveloped acreage would be interested in offering to sell easements for a regional trail, especially if there were no other economic use for the property after any houses were built.

Becky, you know that the realization of the Pleasanton Ridge Park, when a landowner actually entered into an agreement with East Bay Regional Parks, occurred after residents voted overwhelmingly against housing development for the ridge.

Lastly, it’s balderdash to equate building 10 homes with developing “100% of their land” (I mean, how big would THOSE homes need to be!) and that Pleasanton will not exercise oversight, however tenuous, over the design and placement of buildings. I am interested in seeing the 12/05/07 email from Michael Rousch in its entirety to understand the context. If you can forward it, my email is mattmorrisonus@yahoo.com.

Measure QQ doesn’t save anything, it is a plan for a plan.

Vote Yes on Measure PP, vote no on QQ.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

"Why even put Measure QQ on the ballot unless you know folks oppose building on the southern hills? Why not debate Measure PP on the merits?"

I don't know if anyone else thinks this way, but it seems obvious to me that having Measure PP stand alone on the ballot would ensure its passage. A no vote on PP could then be more easily characterized as being "against protecting the hills". Having Measure QQ on the ballot gives people pause to go and investigate more.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Matt says:

"Why even put Measure QQ on the ballot unless you know folks oppose building on the southern hills? Why not debate Measure PP on the merits?"

I don't get where he's coming from. Measure PP was debated upon its merits (and demerits), in a public process called a council meeting at which the results of a study of it was presented by city staff. The public had a chance to provide input. The result was the identification of its insufficiencies and therefore Measure QQ was born in response. Measure QQ was reasonably the after-the-fact result since Measure PP had no before-the-fact public input to its language.

Matt is ignoring the fact that Ayala's initiative language was debated in this public process, unlike when her initiative was created.

Measure PP is a faction's attempt to engage the public into voting a "feel good" intiative into law based upon "save our hills" sound-bites, and at the same time circumvents our usual established democratic processes wherein all constituencies have input.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 22, 2008 at 2:48 am


Perhaps the people that wrote PP also have knowledge of how the city works and that's why they chose to go it alone. Many people have knowledge of how the courts work, it's not limited to "many of the people on the list".

You say the people that authored PP have "no training in writing legislation or in the law", then you say, "WE DON'T KNOW WHO WROTE THE INITIATIVE". Sounds rather contradictory since the authors apparently chose to remain anonymous at this time.

You imply the council's job is to act on behalf of John and Jane Citizen. Some of the leaders of PP, after 4000+ signatures were verified, ask the council to impliment the referendum - we know the results. Three of them bent to the request of some of those listed on the mailer(I have no way of knowing but I'd bet those listed on the mailer's partial list, plus those not listed, are far less than the 4000+ verified signatures). So much for "the council has acted for John or Jane Citizen on all occasions".

I have "looked at the people that come down to the council" and the council certainly hasn't "acted for them on all occasions".

I constantly read: "PP is purely political". Without the spin and BS that usually occurs in debates such as this, can you explain, using actual facts that a simple mind, like mine, can understand - how is PP "purely political"... Remember, no spin or BS. Just actual facts...

As to "transparent public process". I don't recall every Larry, Moe and Curly being involved in Prop. 13 and it turned out just fine...

Posted by Linda, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2008 at 6:04 am

Ok , 4000 plus people signed the initiative, most just to put the question on the ballot. During that six month gathering period 88% of the people chose NOT to sign it. The Council has an responsibility to all of Pleasanton to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be involved in decisions like these, particularly if the content of PP can't be altered and the city has to pay for years of costly court action because the council did not do their job of presenting a better way if they knew of one.

We keep hearing about the "expertise" of the people who wrote PP, so why not tell us? Could it be that those people lost their election bids to represent the people of Pleasanton and this is an end run around the process? They are choosing not to tell. Why that is very public and transparent of them. It looks PURELY POLITICAL to many of us.

The three council members were acting on behalf of all of Pleasanton, including the portion of initiative signers who just want something on the ballot protecting the hills and especially the 88% plus registered voters who did NOT sign that initiative.

Vote YES on QQ
A Better way!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 22, 2008 at 7:15 am


Here's facts with no BS: Web Link

"Ayala emphasized that its initial purpose is to force the city to ban all housing starts near hills designated as ridgeland and on slopes greater than 25 percent. The same language is also contained in the 1996 General Plan, which Ayala helped write, but no ordinance to enforce the measure has even been introduced."

"Only if voters reverse the council's decision in a referendum, would the Oak Grove project go back to the drawing board. If the Ayala-Brown-Belcher initiative qualifies for the ballot box and voters later approve it, it could take effect before Oak Grove is reconsidered.

Otherwise, the 25 percent slope rule is expected to have little effect on future construction, since most major projects still planned are on flat-land. Only smaller home building projects in individual parcels along the west side of Foothill Road might exceed the 25 percent slope limit, and those projects of 10 or fewer homes are exempted both by the Ayala initiative and proposals before the council."

What comes out of this:
1) The primary purpose of the initiative is the ridgeline and 25% slope aspect of it. The housing unit definition was an afterthought.
2) The 25% slope rule already exists in the General Plan.
3) Most major projects planned are on flat-land so the 25% rule is expected to have little effect.
4) Several hillside developments that would violate the 25% slope rule are exempted. (Why?)

So one has to ask, if this law would have little effect against hillside development when its primary purpose is to prevent such development, why is there a need for it? It's all about Oak Grove!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 22, 2008 at 7:27 am

Now tell me that's not political...

It also shows in the staff report that the Oak Grove project would be most affected by Measure PP if overturned in referendum with minimal effect on other developments.

The truth is that Measure PP was written to specifically target Oak Grove. That's political!

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:59 am


Here you go at it again. "88% of the people chose NOT to sign". Now think for a moment... What's the rational of that statement...Were 100% of the citizens ask to sign? Did you really expect the signatures gathers to canvas 100% of the citizens of Pleasanton? They only needed a certain percentage to qualify. As far as I know, these volunteers weren't "professional signature gathers" that were paid per signature, they were "ordinary" citizens, such as you and I, that gave their time. I can't fault them for stopping at the required percentage, so would I.(By the way, I'm one of your 88% that didn't sign. No one ask me. Should I be upset)...

"We don't know who wrote it", "they lose the election and are attempting an end run", "everyone wasn't involved, "they won't tell us", blah, blah, blah - this is old, boring, tiresome, worn out Spin(If my ears didn't fool me, a lady stood before the City Council, at their latest meeting, and told who wrote PP. Catch a re-run and listen for yourself)...

Just who said the city would have to pay for years of costly court action, some lawyer. I can get some lawyer to say just about anything I wish if I have the required funds. That's how they earn their living.

The three council members weren't acting for all of Pleasanton - they were acting on behalf of "Open space advocates and community leaders" that asked them to place QQ on the ballot. Becky Dennis said this in the QQ mailer that arrived in my mail...


So, Oak Grove is the only location within Pleasanton city boundaries that would have 25% slope restrictions. If that's true, what's the slope degree on all those other hills that can be seen south and west of the flatlands.

I agree with the first sentence in your "Item 1" but if the 25% rule, in "Item 2", already exist why is it in PP. Could it be because it's not been made "official"...

How can you say with absolute certainty PP is political. Nothing you've provided to this point has shown that to be entirely factual, just speculation. I understand every person has their own definition of "political" but, from my perspective, I only see concerned citizens that see the potential of hilltops and slopes covered with houses and vigorously disagree.

Sorry ladies, we'll need to agree to disagree, All I read in your posts is mostly the same old "Spin". No facts to show "political", just speculation...

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:49 am


To me, the design of PP to target Oak Grove specifically makes it political. If it were truly about protecting ridgetops it would be designed differently. For starters, it wouldn't have the 10 unit exemption. The exemption would be written differently, like based upon geotechnical data and sightlines instead of housing unit number. A home on some tertiary ridge that isn't visible from across the valley could be exempted. A home built upon a primary ridgeline that is visible from a long distance should absolutely be restricted. PP doesn't even define what a ridge is. In practice it will probably mean all tops of hills, even if the hill is some 50 feet high and hidden in a valley.

Yes, the parts that already exist in the GP are confusing. PP proponents have been saying we need to repeat those restrictions by passing PP yet they have also been saying that those pre-existing restrictions in the GP will prevent the 10 unit exemption from allowing hilltop homes.

Posted by Linda, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

Yes, I saw the council meeting and Karla Brown did stand up and say that PP was written by past and current planning commissioners, councilmembers etc. but did not mention who they were and if they were past council members/planning commissioners, why wait until now? Why didn't they do this when they were on the council or planning commission? They knew these developments were coming up because the units have been alloted in the general plan, which Kay Ayala helped write, by the way.

Again, that's not my main issue. It's that this group of people keep talking about democracy and the number of people who signed the initiative and public and transparent and it's them who don't want to include everyone, who won't tell who wrote it and won't disclose who is paying for these full page color ads in the Pleasanton Weekly. Just call and ask the Weekly how much these ads cost and you can see that the money is not being disclosed. (Elections ADS are pay to publish, they don't bill.)

I would call that purely political!

Posted by Facts, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:10 am

Who wrote, and who is paying for the PP Proposition and campaign? The silence is deafening......... I'm not sure how anyone can consider supporting a plan with these disclosures. This PP vs QQ debate is a little like the magician who has you looking one way to distract you from what is really going on.

Vote YES on QQ

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Same boring Spin, Spin and more Spin.

We don't know who wrote it, who's paying for it( Well, we can probably rule out the two entities that just dumped 20 grand on QQ, it's political, it wasn't transparent, why won't they tell us, designed to target Oak Grove, (you add to the list), blah, blah, blah...

Rather than continue spouting the same old boring talking points, if you don't approve of PP - just vote "NO".

Just draw the line across - it's that easy. Really, it is!!!:)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:50 pm

I like how OpinionPleasanton puts it... They certainly don't mince words.

"In a perfect world, you could disregard QQ and we could go back to putting the issue of Oak Grove to bed heading toward buildout. Pleasanton is far from a perfect world when it comes to elections, initiatives, and wacky environmental politicians who will gladly sacrifice the good of the entire community to make an agenda statement. So, vote yes on QQ to allow us the opportunity to continue to talk about private property rights and the right of the Pleasanton citizenry to expect that their elected representatives to make the difficult decisions and to stop relying on a sad-sack group of angry, agenda-driven elitists who have theirs and are perfectly willing to make sure you do not have or get yours."

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:50 am


That's certainly an interesting bunch over there at OpinionPleasanton and they don't seem to mind who's feathers they ruffle...

They don't seem to like anyone or any thing(Well, maybe a few)but they're fun to read...:)

It would be interesting to see them take a stand on the State Prop's...

Thought you said you were staying away from Prop. 8. Couldn't resist could ya...:):):):) Those people posting on the Prop. 8 threads scare me...

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:33 am


Someone started a new thread on Prop 8. I was jumping in there with my 2 cents before it got too crazy. Call me Libertarian on that issue... :)

Posted by Becky Dennis, a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Oct 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm


If each of the large properties in the southeast hills were divided into 10 lots, and an estate is built on each lot, Pleasanton residents will be out 2000 acres of publicly accessible open space. I was on the Council when the last General Plan was written.That General Plan calls for preserving large contiguous areas of open space (like the southeast hills) through a combination of private property and public parks, in addition to the ordinance all you PP folks are talking about. In 1996, if the Council had suggested carving the southeast hills into 60 acre private mega-estates, we probably would have been recalled!

Furthermore, the question of development on the southeast hills was placed on the ballot, and approved by the voters. As you know, and probably voted for, the voters approved placing these properties INSIDE the Urban Growth Boundary, and allowed each of these properties a lot more density than 10 units. Lin has around 100 for instance. And don't forget, the voters approved all of this AFTER the Kottinger Hills plan for 98 home and a golf course was successfully referended!

I say, the voters have spoken. YES ON QQ!

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

I think it is smart to look at who is supporting QQ. It is a cross section of people, many who have absolutely no vested interest except to want what is best for Pleasanton. Many have little in common but support of Measure QQ

Here is a way to evaluate a proposition or measure put out by the League of Women voters.

Criteria for Evaluating Ballot Propositions

* Who are the real sponsors and opponents of the measure? Investigate the names of groups with which you are not familiar.

If you can't identify who wrote it or who is paying for it that should be a red flag.

* Does the measure deal with one issue which can easily be decided by a "yes" or "no"? Or is it a complex issue which should be thoroughly examined in the legislative arena?

Are there absolutes contained in Measure PP that have t be clarified? Will this send Pleasanton to court? Could this be rectified with a more inclusive measure?

* Is it written well? Are there conflicts in the measure that may require court resolution or interpretation? Is it "good government" or will it cause more problems than it will resolve?

Are terms vague? Does it mix elements. Does it box the city into a corner? Does it amend our general plan? Has everyone affected been able to weigh in on it? The council majority that put QQ on the ballot did so because they are obligated to act responsibly and make sure that any ordinance is good law.

* If the measure amends the Constitution, consider whether it really belongs in the Constitution. Amending the Constitution is cumbersome and costly and requires a vote of the people. Would a statute accomplish the same purpose?

* Does the measure create its own revenue source? Does it earmark, restrict, or obligate a specific percentage of General Fund revenues? Consider the effect on the overall flexibility of the budget.

* Examine the measure by its merits. During the campaign, be wary of distortion tactics and commercials that rely on image, but tell nothing of substance about the measure.

The decisions made affect Pleasanton long after the current political personalities disappear. Ask yourself what is the motive of the council? Even when the five of them disagree, none seem to be the kind of people who are doing this for any other reason than to serve the community. People ought to be able to civilly disagree.

Finally, if the questions can't be answered by you. If it can't be figured out on its merits then voting no on both is the best idea.