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Lawsuit seeks to stop Staples Ranch development, Stoneridge Drive extension

Original post made on Apr 1, 2009

Two environmental groups and a citizens' coalition called "Safe Streets Pleasanton" have asked the Alameda County Superior Court to halt a series of multi-million-dollars development projects on Pleasanton's northeast side until a revised Environmental Impact Report can be prepared, certified and approved.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 4:52 AM

Comments (42)

Posted by Enough Already
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:09 am

The city council voted for this. It is done. Sometimes, the vote doesn't go your way. Learn to accept that you are not the center of the universe.

City council: please fight this nuisance lawsuit and demand full court and legal costs from the plaintiffs when you prevail.

Posted by Democracy Lives
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:20 am

This is the right under a democracy. Whether it is a nuisance or legitimate lawsuit, it's the right of every citizen to exercise. Let it run its course. This is a free country. This is no different from the suits going on with Prop 8 arguments, after it passed by the slimest margins.

Posted by David Cannon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:23 am

I hope the city counter suits to cover the legal expenses of this nuisance suit. The majority has spoken for years. The council finally approved this. Move on.

Posted by Cindy
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

I agree, it's time to move forward with the Staples Ranch development. The population at large should not have to pay for more studies and court action to satisfy a minority.
It's time for the Stoneridge people to live the decision they made years ago when they bought their houses. They signed off on full disclosure for the extension of Stoneridge to take place.
It's too late to change their minds, they should just MOVE OUT if they don't like it. They should exercise and investigate that option. MOVE OUT!

Posted by Let's move On
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:40 am

Too many valid projects have been nixed by these special interest groups. Staples Ranch is not their land and is necessary for the proper long term development of the valley. I have watched for 20 years, the county and city cave to these "NOT IN MY BACKYARD" no growth advocates. Its not your back yard, it's the entire valley's backyard and we have voted! Pleasanton and Livermore fathers - FIGHT ON!

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I agree with Democracy Lives above regarding this being a right and not something a person should get upset over. I'm not a real fan of the "the majority has spoken so let's move on" attitude. But that isn't to say that the majority is always wrong, only to say that there's some tactical considerations. One needs to look at the ultimate goal that this lawsuit is meant to accomplish. I just don't see this lawsuit as doing anything substantive like the Prop 8 lawsuit. In the Prop 8 issue there's a concern that a minority group's rights are being taken away permanently by a majority action. Who's rights are being taken away by Staples Ranch and a road? One can argue that a misstep occurred which causes someone's rights to be violated, but the final outcome isn't a permanent removal of those rights. It was just a mistake in a process that can be corrected and won't really change the final outcome.

Posted by Furdog
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:25 am

Why can't all these environmentalists and no-growthers just accept the fact that Stoneridge Drive is going to be extended. The COUNCIL VOTED ON IT....IT PASSED!

Quit wasting the City's time and money on ridiculous litigation. This is what the people of Pleasanton want and need. GET OVER IT and ACCEPT THE FACTS!

If you're unhappy with Pleasanton then there are plenty of other houses available in other areas......feel free to leave! As a 35 year resident of Pleasanton, I have been waiting for the Stoneridge extension all my life.

Posted by Eric Semmelmayer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:29 am

Is this really about the environment or is that just the convenient excuse to slow down or stop these tax dollar generating projects. let's make some money from the projects instead of spending money stopping them!

Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:32 am

You could see this one coming. These people do not have the best interests of the community in their hearts. They are a blight. Let them be known as "sewers".

Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:35 am

Maybe it's an April fool's joke.

Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:57 am

Can Alameda County (Supervisor Scott Haggerty) simply step in with a negative declaration? Has anyone heard of a group that might file an amicus brief? Who will step forward with a suit against the group of community organizer agitators and the eco extremist groups for filing this frivolous suit?

Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

For years we have allowed the environmentalists to make property rights granted under the constitution totally meaningless.

I believe that if they don't want something on the property or want to protect something on the property, they have the right to buy that property. If they don't want to spend their own money to do so, then live with it. Very simple solution to the problem.

Let them go to work on solving the other transportation issues in the valley and stop pretending this is anything but a NIMBY issue.

Posted by tired
a resident of Dublin
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:30 am

I'm tired of ALL the developing that's been going on. I've watched our beautiful valley turn into every other city. It may be inevitable and I can't afford to move but I miss the green hills and driving down 580 or 680 freeway with little traffic. SIGH

Posted by Kiko
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

Friends of Pleasanton, Safe Streets Pleasanton...??? 35 yrs ago when the develepmont of this valley was just gaining steam, You might have been seen as a legit org.trying to limit growth, but its too late. This valley, Pleasanton included, is developed and will continue to develop until build-out. Your groups just reek of NIMBY odor now and the taxpayer has to foot another bill for your selfish intentions hidden in the eco guise.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:17 am

You know Staples used to be a pig farm...

Posted by Mike
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

“Without key regional infrastructure improvements in place, such as Dublin Boulevard, Jack London Boulevard, and Route 84, the premature construction of Stoneridge Drive will have adverse impacts on the circulation system of the City of Pleasanton.”

It’s about what Hosterman promised, and the manor in which Council simply voted to break that promise.

Roush advised against it and they did it anyway. It is Council that should be taken to task for acting recklessly.

Posted by westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hey Mike wake up and smell the coffee! Livermore is extending jack London to meet Stoneridge at Staples Rance, and Dublin is constructing Dublin Blvd out to Las Positas College. Now that Plasanton is finally moving ahead with Stoneridge, Rte. 84 widening will be put back in play, and City Council should be applauded for their vision to move forward in spite of whining, shortsighted NIMBY's like you.

Posted by james
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm

it may be trivial to some, but major for a lot of others.

and why would anyone think that just because the city council votes on it that its the final verdict. the city council doesn't always speak for me, and it shouldn't always speak for you. this should be put to a vote for all the citizens of pleasanton, not just the priviliged few who will get a financial benefit from it.

Posted by james
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm

and westsider, can we refrain from personal attacks on people who don't happen to agree with you? lets keep the level of discussion up a level from the playground, shall we?

Posted by Kiko
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I thought personal attacks only happened when the discussion was about the Parcel Tax, oops now everyone will have to register to post on this story.

james...put it to a vote, Ya like the vote on the Hacienda Business Park.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

...Which is what Sullivan proposed that night.

Many of us supported, some reluctantly, the Staples project based on the above promise (And others “The dead body”) from Hosterman.

I now withdraw that support as did she withdraw her promise.

Just as the 3 of 5, C of C, and The County used tools and authorities at their disposal, I am now motivated to do the same.

Name calling and putting words in my mouth will not change the fact that much of the support for the Staples was predicated on a lie – Which by the way, was most recently used for making hay. Plenty of that to go around these days, politically speaking.

Posted by Lets Move on
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm

While we're at it, lets get the Las Positas Interchange back on the table. A town of nearly 100K and still only Bernal for ingrees egress to the southern area of Pleasanton. That's another one of those NIMBY projects that our city's fathers felt we needed and were crushed by activists.

Posted by SG
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm

The suit is NIMBYism at its best. Being a resident of a neighborhood along the east end of Stoneridge Dr. I was solicted to contribute to the lawsuit, which I did not do. The motivation of the people I know who are behind it is to stop the road from being put through, period. Most of them bought new homes in the area in the past 15 years. I doubt any of them reviewed the EIRs for the developments they bought in or were concerned how their buying a house there would mean more traffic on Stoneridge, Kamp, Mohr and Santa Rita. We all knew the plan was to extend Stoneridge when we bought in this area. It's time to get on with it.

The fix for regional traffic problems and cut through traffic is to improve 84, 580 and the 580/680 interchange. Moving these things forward would be a far better way for them to spend their time and money (and avoid wasting taxpayers money fighting their lawsuit) rather then trying to hold up the completion of Stoneridge Dr.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

I agree with Mike. We supported the Staples Ranch development based on promises made by the council and the rec. department. The issue is not one of "NIMBYism". The issue is following the law! The city attorney specifically told the city council during the council meeting that the decision they made could lead to a law suit. The council voted for the project anyway. What does that tell you?

The county pulled this one off by changing the plan for us. It was their way or we were on our own. The county told our city council to "Jump" and the city council asked the county, "How High?"

So call us names. Misrepresent our motives. We will try not to confuse you with the facts.

Posted by West side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:57 am

Dear James of Pleasanton Meadows,

I wish there were more politically correct words for eco extremists, environmental wackos, tree spikers, NIMBYs, elitists, and the four legs good, two legs bad crowd. There just aren’t any. They will do and say anything (including calling names of their own) to stop any kind of development even at the risk of destroying the city economy and our quality of life. They have been doing it in Pleasanton since the 70’s and they have only built of a head of steam for today—only today they have attorneys and “useful idiots” to help out. There have been plenty of EIRs completed for development out there. There is nothing new out there—including their newfound weed the Spearscale—that needs to be mitigated beyond what the Planning Commission and the council will do when development plans are forwarded for approval.

Therefore, James and the rest of the whiners out there, grow the heck up and get the heck out of the way of finishing our great city’s development.

Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm

To Tom & Mike - You are upset because you were "promised" that Stoneridge would not be completed and that "the law was changed"? I attended the public meetings too at which time the analyses, data and public comments were submitted on the record to the community, and the public vote was taken, so Im not sure what you are talking about. Public officials are ethnically obligated to hear all sides and weigh all of the factors before making a decision in a public forum or meeting.
And please to all, the lawsuit people are NOT environmentalists. The species cited are the same old NIMBY mantra to any new development. Outta curiosity, does Morrison and Plugh live in the Stoneridge Area?

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The "promise" is over the MOU. They want to treat the MOU like a contract. If it were a real contract, Pleasanton would be out of compliance for not timely executing the contract.

Posted by CW
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I encourage the City Council to have the "spine" to see this through, AND to seek reimbursement from the (so-called) "plaintiffs" in this NIMBY suit, once this matter is "resolved"!!! We have had YEARS & YEARS of talk & discussion and deliberation, AND citizen input -- LETS GET ON WITH IT, or we WILL lose it to Livermore, or perhaps even Dublin!!! The obstructionist mentality will NEVER let this issue, or others, be resolved -- just find another greedy Sierra Club approved attorney!!! And, who gets hurt in the process? ALL OF US! We stand to lose MILLIONS in sales tax revenue alone, not counting the loss of some very fine facilities for everyone's use. This lawsuit has NO MERIT!!!!!

Posted by Mike
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm

"They want to treat the MOU like a contract."

No, I believe they should be treated as an understanding.

Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Contract law treats "time is of the essence". A memorandum of understanding is just that, an understanding. And the "understanding" cannot and should not exist in perpetuity. The opponents of the Staples Ranch development, supported by the obstructionist council members Sullivan and McGovern, continued to stall. The world around them changed. The council made the right decision based upon the realities of TODAY. Now, obscure environmental groups who have not had any real issue of environmental protection to spend their legal budget on, were convinced to file a lawsuit because certain individual NIMBY's kicked in some money. Now, let's see how deep their pockets are as the lawyer's run up the bill. The lawyer's love to use up all of the delaying tactics that the court rules permit. This runs up the bill. And, in the end, the Stoneridge extension will go through despite the wish for NIMBY's to have a two lane, sound-walled road as their personal cul-de-sac. I don't think they have enough money to stop it.

It's so ridiculous to view the Staples Ranch development as part of Pleasanton and yet it would be totally cut off from any access to it except via I580 or travelling on Dublin Blvd to get to it!!!!!

Posted by 25 year residnet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

All politics aside. Please. Plainly speaking, Why would people who acutally live in this town support putting more "roadways" through our communinities so that commuters from other communities can cut through this town. This is the simple bottom line. Those of us who have lived here for any length of time see the changes the "cut through" traffic has imposed on our town. The noise and the safety of our roads are becoming more "freeway like" every year.

Protect our town. Discourage freeway traffic from cutting through!!! It's really very simple.

Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm

West Side Observer is a registered user.

Sorry 25 year resident but Stoneridge Drive has been slated for extension for about 25 years. Its extension to El Charro Road and eventually to Stanley Boulevard will mean fewer cars on the existing street grid. Selective traffic enforcement will cut down on any cut-through traffic. The extension is one of the final steps to complete our street grid approved in our 1986 General Plan. It is also a major part of a regional traffic solution that includes refurbishing Highway 84 and extending Jack London Boulevard and Dublin Boulevard.

Posted by Helen
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm

West side observe - if Stoneridge opens, more cars from 580 will use it as a cut thru. The data shows that other intersections will either not benefit much or will be worse. Look at the data, it was at a council meeting awhile back. The fact is, the council broke the law. EIRs have to be done and the city council should have done it. The impacts need to be known and then mitigated. There are 2 schools on Stoneridge, a large church with a youth gymnasium, a large park, many dense homes as well as wildlife that can be affected. The mitigations need to be known and addressed (it is the law) and the council refused. I believe that is what the lawsuit is about. People in our town need to understand and not make comments without knowing the facts.

Posted by 25 year resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm

"West Side observer". How long have you lived in this community? You must be fairly new. Your Jargan gives you away. Politics.

So much has developed within the last 25 years, such as schools, housing developments, airports, churches, senior centers, and freeway traffic conjection. None of which were in the "general plan" 25 years ago. I've been involved that long. I know. Your Jargan is impressive, but you are misinformed.

As long as this town provides the roadways to shorten commuters time to get home, the quality of the lives of residents will go down hill. Pleasanton will continue on this down hill spiral of being the "cut through town". I was there, nobody predicted this 25 years ago. Well, except maybe God.

Posted by James
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm

west side observer, why do you feel the need to apply names and labels to people that don't happen to completely agree with you? The last time i looked, this was still a free country and i am still free to express my opinion.

i don't feel like its nimbyism to question such a major change, planned or not. you and others make the assumption that everyone who has moved to Pleasanton in the last 25 years automatically knew about the proposed extensions. sorry to dissapoint you, but it wasn't in the disclosure document or in any other document i signed when i bought my house.

so please stop the distortion that everyone "knew" about these extensions when they moved here, its just not true.

i don't understand why long term residents of pleasanton are in favor of these extensions. it will change the whole complexion of pleasanton. you really have no idea of how much negative impact it will have. you call us nimby's, but i would wager a years salary that if we were putting an extension through your neighborhood that would quadruple traffic you would be making the loudest objections.

a lot of us moved here because we were attracted to the old main street charm, still a small town america sanctuary in the midst of a bustling bay area surrounded by cookie cutter bedroom communities. now you want pleasanton to be just like dublin or san ramon.

lets be really democratic about this and put it to a vote. i'll abide by a majority decision, not the choice of special interests.

Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 10, 2009 at 11:36 am

Dealing with NIMBYs since 1975. Involved in Pleasanton politics since 1970. Served on a General Plan update committee. Walked precincts for council candidates. Still observing. Moreover, I have the West Las Positas overcrossing with which to contend (note my neighborhood).
I have a complete grasp of the issues and I am confident of the facts.
Aggrieved people will do and say anything to get their way. I have done this myself when my developer promised me a tot lot and promised others a RV storage facility. The compromise was not the greatest for me, but there was a compromise.
With eco extremists, NIMBYs, and other societal victims, there is no compromise. It is either the ballot box or a lawsuit or, for that matter, both.
James, my friend, you did not do your homework. General plans are a broad outline of what the city will look like 10 to 20 years out. You simply didn’t read the General Plan. I read it when I moved to Pleasanton and I worked to update it six years later. Disclosures were not a part of the landscape 25 years ago. It was up to you to do some due diligence. To ask the rest of the community to cover for your missteps is being a little selfish.
Can’t say if you--25 year resident, a resident of another Pleasanton neighborhood--have been involved for 25 years, but I’d be surprised. Cut-through traffic is not new. Rhodes & Jameson was cutting through on First Street in 1975. Your rhetoric is typical of the Chicken Littles who, late to the game, want to roll up the moat bridge to maintain an elite community caring more for frogs and salamanders. First, it was that Pleasanton was going to look like Los Angeles and now we are going to look like Dublin and San Ramon. Yikes! What next? There is no spiral. We are not going downhill.
Helen, were I you I would scream and holler about all of this too so I cannot fault you there. Who wouldn’t want a little-used, completely landscaped long driveway into his neighborhood? The traffic data is jerry rigged. A few traffic engineers ago thought differently. The council could have made negative declaration for the Staples Ranch development including the Stoneridge Drive extension. In fact, they should have. We have all the information we need—there will be no environmental degradation because of the project or extension.

Posted by peace out
a resident of Ironwood
on Apr 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I love that open area. It's one of the few places left where you can just walk. Don't develop it!

Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

I cannot see how adding more traffic to Pleasanton streets can make any sense to the citizens of Pleasanton.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


If someone fills up your house with water and you don't give it anywhere to go, it's gonna sit there and eventually you'll drown. Oh, and you have no control over the fact that water is entering your house.

Posted by Almost Under Water
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I won’t but someone who did the filling may.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What makes you think there's someone who has control over the filling? Pleasanton didn't make Tracy or all those other Central Valley towns grow. That's outside our jurisdiction. You drive into other towns and no one prevented you from doing that. Traffic can't be turned off like a spigot. You can only shape it's movement.

Posted by Almost Under Water
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

No Control? That’s exactly what I would call it.

How about a Council decision which says “For State/Interstate Highway traffic relief: Exit Here: Pleasanton”?

Just who is in control here anyway? Alameda County aka Haggerty?

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