Planning Pleasanton's 'last frontier' | July 27, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - July 27, 2012

Planning Pleasanton's 'last frontier'

The 18-member East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force will hold its first meeting next Thursday to begin a two-year planning process for Pleasanton's last frontier in terms of commercial, residential and recreational development. Officially approved and given its marching orders July 17 by the Pleasanton City Council, the task force's mission will be to look at the largely empty 1,000 acres east of Valley Avenue and stretching along Busch Road and Stanley Boulevard to the Livermore city limits, well east of a quarry road that eventually will become an extension of El Charro Road from I-580 to Stanley. The site, which will include manmade lakes and trails, is larger than Hacienda Business Park.

The composition of the task force is indeed disparate, with its members including Planning, Housing and Parks and Recreation commission members, developers, property owners and five "at large" representatives, each appointed by one member of the City Council and one by Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. Neither Hosterman nor any council member is on the task force.

Although large in terms of numbers, the task force is similar to one Pleasanton has had before in planning the 1996 General Plan, the Vineyard Corridor, the Callippe Preserve golf course area, and most recently the affordable housing land use plan for the Hacienda Business Park. The General Plan task force and its more than 200 members spent nearly three years developing the plan; the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force has an 18-month timeframe, but most believe it will take longer to produce a plan that satisfies everyone and can be adopted. When completed, it will determine how Pleasanton's east side can best be developed over the next few decades.

The east side land use plan also will provide Pleasanton with ample room for meeting the state's affordable housing requirements, which could number in the hundreds of new high density apartment units. In the council's recent action of rezoning 75 acres to meet legal and state requirements for current obligations, it was clear that few property owners want more high density housing in the established parts of the city and certainly none on hillsides. The east side tract now under consideration has no homes or apartments with its main landowner the Pleasanton Garbage Co., whose aging transfer station will likely be rebuilt at a location at the far eastern edge, beyond Cope Lake, which lies in the middle of the site, and probably bordering on Livermore. Although quarry activities have mostly ceased in Pleasanton, they are expected to be active on the Livermore side for another 20-30 years.

The members of the task force and their interests are: Jennifer Pearce and Kathy Narum from the Pleasanton Planning Commission; John Casey, Housing Commission; Brad Hottle, Parks and Recreation Commission; Colleen Winey, Zone 7 Water Agency; Pat Costanza, Kiewit, and Steve Dunn, Legacy Partners.

Neighborhood representatives are Erin Kvistad, Ironwood; Robert Russman, the Village at Ironwood; Nancy Allen, Danbury Park; Heidi Massie, Autumn Glen and Heritage Valley; and Kellene Cousins, Mohr-Martin. A representative from the Stoneridge Park neighborhood has yet to be chosen.

At-large representatives and the elected representative who appointed them are: Bob Shapiro, appointed by Hosterman; Mark Emerson, by Councilman Matt Sullivan; Ken Mercer, by Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio; Karla Brown, by Councilwoman Cindy McGovern; and Brock Roby, by Councilman Jerry Thorne.

Next Thursday's meeting will be held in the Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave., with subsequent meetings to be held on the first Thursdays of every month through at least 2013.


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