Run-down 1912 house stalls new home development | July 19, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - July 19, 2013

Run-down 1912 house stalls new home development

What on earth were the members of the Pleasanton Planning Commission thinking when they voted 4-0 to reject a bid by longtime local builder Ponderosa Homes to tear down the remnants of a run-down trailer park on (Old) Stanley Boulevard and replace it with 12 moderately-sized new homes? Could they really believe that the developer should deal with the 1912-vintage house on a Lutheran Church-owned quarter-acre at the front of the property before building the homes? Ponderosa took its original plan to tear down the house and build 14 new homes to the Planning Commission at a workshop meeting more than a year ago. It downsized its project at considerable cost to 12 homes after several on the commission and at a neighborhood informational meeting asked that the old house be saved because of its possible historical value. At its meeting July 10, Ponderosa sought approval of its revised plan, showing that the church would decide the best use of the old house and the 0.23-acre lot it sits on. The church reportedly is already considering an offer.

Clearly, the old house is not Ponderosa's problem, and shouldn't be. At its own expense, it hired structural engineers and building preservation specialists to look at the two-story run-down structure. Renovation of the structure would be possible, but at considerable expense. Even then, the house would still have small rooms, the back half of the house that is falling down would have to be shored up and rebuilt, the converted second floor apartment also is crumbling along with the flat roof that was installed in the 1950s. None of the experts said the house would qualify under federal or state, or even local guidelines as a building of historical significance. With some renovation, the front rooms of the house might be used by a small business, such as a salon or real estate office, but even then thousands of dollars would have to be spent to make it safe under 2013 fire and building codes.

Ponderosa's proposal to build 12 homes and rip out the unsightly trailer park once owned by the late Jerry Wagner goes to the City Council late next month or in September for reconsideration. On its part, Ponderosa might show the possible uses for the church-owned property, including demolition, and have a representative from the Wagner trust that the church now holds to join in supporting the 12-home project. After all, new homes in a nicely designed cul de sac as planned by Ponderosa would help the church market the property much to the advantage of the neighborhood which has lived with this eyesore for more than a decade.


Posted by Samuel Clemens, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2013 at 8:33 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)

Posted by Map, a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Whatever happened to p-towns plan to extend del Valle pkwy through that neighborhood to Stanley blvd?? Tried to buy a house there in the early 80's till they disclosed future plans for that area. No tears lost over that trailer park what a dump!! Maybe all the people wanting to save what's left of that house should pool their money and buy it, good luck fixing it up. Hope you have deep pockets.

Posted by Anxious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

How wonderful to have nice pocket of new homes in that area. It would be a great improvement. I hope it doesn't get bogged down in minutiae.

Posted by Samuel Clemens, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:08 am


Why did you remove my post? Still trying to protect the corrupt status quo of Pleasanton politics? So much for freedom of speech and the values that newspapers are supposed to protect

Posted by A Connecticut Yank, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I thought Twain's comments (since deleted) where among the more interesting I've seen on these posts.