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Plan to rebuild 2 low income housing complexes fails on first try

Original post made on Dec 2, 2009

A recommendation to consolidate two 40-year-old Pleasanton housing projects into a new 150-unit facility for low-income seniors on Kottinger Drive failed to gain the support of at least two members of the Pleasanton City Council Tuesday night, although the plan is expected to come back for further consideration in mid-January.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 7:58 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Indano
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2009 at 8:55 am

Not knowing how these units look inside today but in the late 80's and early 90's I looked at them for my mother-in-law and they were in real sad shape back then. This included water issues which brought concerns of mold. They were dark, out of date, worn and depressing. In today's world, it appears to be more fiscally prudent to tear down such structures as these and build up from the floor.

As for building in other parts of the city, that would be a great idea if these two council members could ever get off the dime. At the pace they intentionally stall every item that comes through the system, it will be 3 generations from now those that would be the first to benefit from their suggestions. Hello!!!!!!

Posted by Jim
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 2, 2009 at 11:05 am

Is there any question how the mayor will vote? It is the same group voting on every issue. It would be nice if they had a mind of their own.

Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm

It is the 'norm' for Pleasanton now - almost everything is a 3-2 vote. It will stay that way until the make-up of the council changes. You have two blocks now and they are politically aligned with each other. The Mayor, Cheryl and Jerry in one block and Cindy and Matt is the other.

Posted by Bev
a resident of Valley Trails
on Dec 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Most of Pleasanton seniors cannot afford the million $$ per senior projects that are in the works at the moment(Ponderosa & Staples).. Nor can most seniors afford the million $$ for 10 years at the 2 newest assisted living facilities ($7-8+K/mo on Mohr & Parkview). I doubt this council or local developers will ever consider the majority of Pleasanton residents with something for middle-class seniors with no pensions, but of modest means, use to paying their own way, but in a 1 floor senior arrangement. Upstairs units are fine with elevators at each end....they could come up with something for the middle-class masses. Instead they only think of themselves (rich) and the 'poor' so they can tell themselves they are doing something good (with other people's money).

Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

When I think of what my own elderly parents might like, a single story, garden setting would be far preferable to a 3 story apartment with interior corridors. Many seniors cherish their gardens, along with the birds and squirrels they attract, and have difficulty with stairs. While I'm sure some upgrading might be in order, I would agree that tearing down good housing to build new housing at about $300M per unit (for an apartment??) makes no sense.

However, if the issue is disabled-access, it may be prudent to tear down a small number of existing units and build one or two small two-story buildings that meet the ADA- compliant codes for those who need them, replacing, perhaps 8 existing units with 16 apartments.

Posted by Jacob
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Dec 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm

The headline of this story is totally misleading. The council just discussed the project with the taskforce last night and at the end staff took their comments to formulate a more refined plan for another council meeting in December or January. No vote was taken at the end so to say it "fail(ed) on first try" is totally inaccurate. The nights meeting agenda stated "provide direction to staff" at the end of the joint workshop and that is what they before the meeting was adjourned.

The need is so great in this city for affordable senior housing and here we have an option to add some additional units that requires so little of the city financially. It can only be hoped that council as a body sees the greater picture here and votes to move forward with the development process.

Posted by Happy Daughter
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm

My parents currently reside in the Heritage Estates apartments in Livermore and couldn't be happier. They live on the 4th floor despite my father's disability and enjoy the warm (and cool in the summer) interior hallways very much for exercise.
They keep a variety of plants and birdfeeders on the porch and look out over a lovely patio area.
Having seen the dismal Garden Apartments a few years ago, they opted for Livermore instead despite the additional $$$$ for rent.
If there is indeed money available from Federal or State funds they could sell one of the parcels to fund Pleasanton's portion of the expense for a new facility.

Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm


You expect accurate reporting in the PW? You have got to be kidding. Most of their reporters either never show up or don't stay until the end of the meeting. Much of what they do is eiher second hand or gotten from draft minutes. 'Local' journalism at its best...

Posted by Howard Adams Neely
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 2, 2009 at 8:09 pm

First: Let me thank Pleasanton Times in providing this "blog", because it truly shows the make up of Pleasanton. But, what bothers me is that it appears that only one of the above witers took the time to watch the meeting or was at the CC workshop. The others are simplly wanting to vent some feelings.
Second: The real purpose of the meetings was for the Task Force to make their findings known to the CC. Naturally, there is always disagreement, but we learn from listening to each other, especially from the neighbors who took the time to come to the meeting. Most citizens do not realize the complexities of trying to close down a senior housing project, rebuild another one in phases, while not having to move residents off site.
Third: Leaving the two projects as status quo sounds quite simply, but then reality sets-in in the long run. Keeping one's own home in proper up-keep is an owner's perogative. As citizens we need to become more aware of our community, so the above writers need to do their homework.
Fourth: The history of these two facilities is quite interesting, so it would serve the readers of this paper a great service to remind us all of the local heritage. Case in point: Back in the 40's, 50's and 60's there were Military Type Barracks in Kottinger Park.
Fifth: For any of our citizens who have an interest in the above Task Force, there is one vacaancy that needs to be filled.

Posted by Karen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 4, 2009 at 11:27 am


For one, I would be very interested to know how the city became the landlord of the senior housing.

Two, we heard the waiting list was so long, it was not productive to put my mom on the list to get into the Pleasanton Gardens.

Three, she ended up going to one of the senior mobile home parks because it seemed safer/less exposed to people wandering in, and she had a small gargen with lots of flat areas to walk around.

Four, when I have visted senior housing in other areas (privately owned), they are on the edge of town for peace and quiet, safety and privacy. Plus the land is cheaper and the units are therefore lower cost to run.

Posted by Teresa
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I have been in both properties many times. I think both properties are lovely now, especially Pleasanton Gardens. I think $44mm is a foolish waste of money!!! Build a new project on another property that is not in any way subsidised by the City.

The City of Pleasanton needs to fund the projects that serve the broader comunity like a community center, bigger library, youth center and projects on the Bernal land.

Posted by What a colossal waste
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2009 at 1:31 pm

It would be wrong to tear down Kottinger, it is a lovely facility. Pleasanton Gardens does not warrant a tear down either. What a colossal waste of $44mm taxpayer dollars!

I have never felt that affordable housing dollars should be used on high cost new construction. The City would get more bang for the taxpayer buck but buying older housing stock, it also supports the local real estate market. This project would be netting only 60, 1 & 2 bedroom, rental units for $44mm.

I think this money should be used on a new sight leaving the existing complexes, or to buy an existing apartment complex that can be converted to affordable senior housing.

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