2013: Year to plan Pleasanton's 'last frontier' | January 4, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 4, 2013

2013: Year to plan Pleasanton's 'last frontier'

Volunteers made quite a commitment when they signed on as members of the East Pleasanton Specific Plan task force last summer. The task force has already had several of its monthly Thursday night meetings, walked and been driven over the land portion of the 1,000-acre quarry site and heard from developers, adjacent property owners and each other over possible uses, ranging from light industrial to high density apartments to retail stores. So far, there's been little agreement, but then the discussions have only started with meetings scheduled to continue through all of this year and well into 2014.

The quarry lands under consideration contain the largest single concentration of sand and gravel deposits in the Bay Area. They've long been of special importance because of the value of those mineral deposits to the region's economy, although more recently the environmental impacts of the extraction process and plans for reclaiming the land for future use have been given a top priority.

Today, with the mining and extraction operations drawing to a close, at least on the Pleasanton side of the quarry lands, it's up to the task force to decide how to identify the best uses of the site. The plan area includes three lakes (sand and gravel pits) and surrounding lands totaling approximately 604 acres. Two of the lakes, including Cope Lake, are owned by the Zone 7 water agency and the third lake is owned by the Pleasanton Gravel Co. but is scheduled to be dedicated to Zone 7 in 2014.

Since nearly the entire site has been mined, the original topography and habitat characteristics have been completely altered. The three lakes have steep banks and much of the area surrounding them consists of wetlands. Pleasanton Garbage Service operates a transfer station on the south side of Busch Road, which is visible from Valley Avenue. For the most part, public access is not allowed and only a small portion of the site is visible beyond the Pleasanton Garbage recycling center.

The Pleasanton General Plan specifies that in order to accommodate planned development for this transitional area, the preparation of a specific plan should first be initiated. That's the mission of the East Pleasanton Specific Plan task force, to identify and locate a series of appropriate land uses, integrate a traffic circulation system to serve these uses, include the extension of El Charro Road from I-580 to Stanley Boulevard and Busch Road from Valley Avenue to El Charro, provide for the extension of utilities throughout the plan area, and create a funding mechanism for the infrastructure required to support development.

It's a tall order for the 18-member task force, which is meeting with the guidance of Janice Stern, the city's assistant planning manager who is skilled at shepherding task forces. The quarry land site is often called Pleasanton's "last frontier." With new requirements for more high density, affordable housing set to be issued by the Association of Bay Area Governments and state housing authorities in 2014, this site may be the best hope for Pleasanton to meet its housing growth requirements without any disruption to already populated sections of the city.


Posted by Fred M., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

It sounds like you are saying that 18 members made up of land owners and developers are going to put in a whole bunch of new roads and streets, then put in houses and stuff to pay for it!

How many times can the voters drill it into the council and mayor's head? we don't want a lot more houses!! Is anyone listening? This is not forced on us like the lawsuit for low income houses, this is a choice and I don't want it and neither does my neighbors or friends.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

grow up chicken little...i promise you that the sky will not fall and when you see the people of color move in, you'll be just as happy as a pea in a pod!

Posted by Pen-dejo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Cholo, as long as our new neighbors don't resemble you and your racist attitude, it's all good.
Those of us that actually live in Pleasanton (as opposed to you) hope that the influx of newbies are forced to pay for all the infrastructure grades required to support their infiltration, including increased police presence.

Posted by Sandra, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:13 am

It is clear to me that this will be the red-headed step child area and low income housing that no one wanted. Dublin -here we come!

Posted by Who?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I heard ponds and lakes mentioned. Who would pay to build and maintain??? Builders, homeowners, users. Hate to see homeowners get stuck and renters continue the free ride. Maybe auto parking meters, so out of towners would pay for 'use', and locals would walk or bike in. I've just never heard any talk about funding 'viable' dreams. Did somebody step forward with several mil donation, so we could name a pond after them, or something of that sort. Taxpayers and homeowners are maxed out. Funding suggestions should be submitted along with the ideas.

Posted by Jill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

"Who" asked: " Who would pay to build and maintain??? "

Answer: all the current residents of Pleasanton will be asked to pay for the privilege of having this extra burden on our infrastructure, especially our schools. The city does not think you will mind paying for that. Speak up with the council if you don't.

Posted by Rocky, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Does anyone have any information on a planned "upscale" apartments and shopping at the corners of Bernal and Stanley Blvd?

Posted by EPSP Member, a resident of Golden Eagle
on Jan 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Fellow Citizens:

All of your concerns and comments are welcomed if you attend the next meeting of the Special Project in February 2013. The meetings are open to the public. We are made up of City officials, City Commissioners, appointees from the City Council, neighborhood representatives, Zone 7 water zone representatives, and private land owners, no developers. Come join us to get a full view of what is occurring.

There will be a City Council meeting on January 15, 2013 to review the preliminary finding of the Project. The City Council will decide whether the Project is on track. You are invited to attend.

BTW: It appears to me that the Project members truly have the best interest of the City in mind and are not some draconian group bent on destroying our beautiful city.

Posted by June, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jan 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Dear EPSP Member, many people dont understand that most of the task force members are residents volunteering on behalf of the rest of us to study and make recommendations to the city council. It bothers me that so many people just throw rocks, so thank you for your best efforts and all the countless hours spent reading, going to meetings and making the tough calls. If I have an issue, I'll attend.