Hacienda Business Park gets new lease on life | September 20, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 20, 2013

Hacienda Business Park gets new lease on life

City Council moves to re-set capacity from drain by residential development

by Jeb Bing

Pleasanton's 875-acre Hacienda Business Park, long considered one of the best in the West, got a new lease on life Tuesday with the City Council reaffirming the park's business capacity at 9.9 million square feet.

The council's vote was 4-1 with Councilwoman Karla Brown opposed.

Concern by potential new business prospects and James Paxson, general manager of the Hacienda Owners Association, that expanding residential developments were taking out commercial capacity prompted the council's action.

Brian Dolan, the city's director of community development, said there never was any intention to have residential development reduce the park's business capacity, but that possibility existed and needed to be clarified.

Hacienda was originally approved for 12 million square feet of industrial/commercial development and now has a cap of 9.9 million square feet. But over the last three years, the council has approved residential development on seven sites. These actions, coupled with earlier apartment and town house developments, appeared to have cut into the capacity remaining under the cap, reducing it to 774,000 square feet if residential numbers were calculated against the cap.

Although Dolan said it's not clear that residential was ever meant to drain capacity from Hacienda's cap, the perception, and possibly the reality if ever tested legally, persisted.

Already, Paxson told the council, its recent approval of a large high density apartment complex and retail center at California Center on West Las Positas Boulevard is at risk. Lenders may not provide funding for the project if it would stretch the business park's total capacity too far.

"Hacienda has two methods to account for development within the development cap," Dolan told the council. "Initially, all development was applied toward the cap irrespective of the type of development constructed. This method was followed until 1993."

But in 1993, a new ordinance was adopted that created a different formula, where residential development was counted the same as industrial/commercial, shrinking the park"s available base.

Hacienda was designated for and uniquely equipped to accommodate a mix of both residential and office development as an ideal location for both because of its location close to mass transit.

Councilwoman Brown objected to changing the formula. Noting that by excluding residential development from Hacienda's total capacity could also add 5,100 jobs in new commercial developments that would be allowed.

Based on figures that show the city needs a new home for every 1-1/2 jobs created, she said that kind of business park growth could require the city to allow another 3,400 housing units here.

"I'm just not comfortable with that strategy," Brown said.


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