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Council votes to continue east side study

Original post made on Mar 5, 2014

The City Council voted 4-1 last night to continue the planning process for developing a mostly vacant 1,100-acre tract of land called East Pleasanton even though the need for additional housing there has gone away.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 8:01 AM

Comments (40)

Posted by Ann
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 5, 2014 at 11:21 am

Councilman Jerry Pentin,"I see no reason to stop this planning process now".

Reason to stop the Eastside Plan now:

The reason reassure the community that the interests of Pleasanton citizens are greater than the interests of the development community.

The reason is... to demonstrate that our city leaders and planners take the previous forced RHNA development, which has negatively impacted city infrastructure, like our traffic, water, and sewer capacities, and very overcrowded schools, seriously.

The reason is... to take time to correct the negative impacts of your 3,000 recently approved, but not yet built, development units, and put in place plans for future development before it happens again.

Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce coup d'état of our city government is complete! On March 4th, the City Council ignored 20 years of hard-fought slow-growth policies put in place by the blood, sweat, and tears of our citizenry and handed the keys to the city to developers.

After losing our voter-approved 29,000 unit Housing Cap a few years ago, Pleasanton was forced to rezone properties throughout the city to accommodate thousands of new housing units to meet our state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocations. Stunningly, just a few days ago city staff revealed that our RHNA requirements were grossly overestimated and as a result, we have a SURPLUS of 1245 units approved or rezoned! Based on this shocking news, did the Council decide to put the brakes on development to correct the overshoot of our requirements? Unfortunately, no. They put the pedal to the metal, ignored city policy to not exceed RHNA, and authorized planning for an additional 2200 units for the east side. Only Councilmember Karla Brown spoke out against this flagrant disregard to our growth management polices and the will of the people.

Incredibly, Pleasanton has transformed overnight from a slow-growth, carefully planned community to one where the Council has put out the welcome mat to developers while turning a deaf ear to their constituents. How could this have happened so suddenly? It’s simple: the legalized bribery known as campaign contributions has bought our City Council for business interests while stealing our democracy.

Matt Sullivan
Pleasanton City Councilmember 2004-2012
Pleasanton Planning Commissioner 1998-2004

Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

The Chamber of Commerce supports the developers and asks to continue the process. I'm shocked -- shocked to hear the Chamber of Commerce support more development.

I this will not be developed for at least another decade, like they say, we should not be doing the EIR now based on today's traffic, etc. Wait until we are ready to proceed so we can see what the traffic, schools and other infrastructure impacts are. We have so much high-density housing in the pipeline and have no idea how that will affect traffic and schools.

Thorne said "the task force can now be "more creative" in its planning ideas ". How can we be more creative without know the needs a decade or two from now? Who knows what RHNA will or will not do. If they want to be creative, how about 100 homes total out there and a big park. Infrastructure paid for by an assessment district or by the developers of those homes. That sounds like a good plan to me. It has always been planned to be recreational uses out there. We do not need to consider how we can make sure developers can make tons of money, at the expense of the infrastructure impacts to the rest of us.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

the thing about enclaves is that they do indeed get chopped up.

i rest my case...

Posted by Sal
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

What do you expect Pleasanton? You vote in a right-wing city council and they sell out to developers in no time flat. Where is the outrage?

Posted by Hosed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

Something is rotten here - really rotten. How the hell did we wind up with low cost housing in Hacienda, on the Bernal property, and prime property at Valley and Stanley, but not at the stinking dump and gravel pits? Is this another left wing loon kick to the privates for Pleasanton? Or, is there foul money to City Council involved? Now I'm wondering if Jerry Thorne is no better than the clueless Hippy Mayor we just got shed of. If we had none about this stinking development two weeks ago Thorne would have had a very rotten time of it at the State of the City Luncheon. We're going to clean house in the next election.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 6, 2014 at 7:43 am

I can't tell you how delighted I am knowing that eventually LOW INCOME IS ON THE WAY! VIVA PLEASANTON! VIVA!
It's about providing decent affordable housing for FELLOW HUMAN FAMILIES...unless you've forgotten.

" is on the way!"

i rest my case...

Posted by Task Force Meeting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

If you are concerned about the future of this City, including traffic and impact on Middle and High Schools, to name a few, the monthly East Pleasanton Task Force meeting is this evening:

Web Link

Come see if the Task Force continues full force with planning, or adopts a more slow-growth approach (including suggesting to not approve any additional rezoning until 2022-2030 time period. Suggesting approval of rezoning in 2014-2022 time period will show RHNA was just a mirage).

Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Avila
on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

The Chamber owns the majority of Councilmembers, including Mother Kathy Narum and son Jerry Thorne. You reap what you sew.

Posted by Confused
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:54 am

During their campaigns, this mayor and most of this council told us all that they were forced to accept high density housing in Pleasanton. Forced by the State. They asked for Local Control to do a better job of running our town. They asked us to trust them, over and above the regional agencies ABAG and HCD. Now THIS IS WHAT THEY DO?!

This Pro-business Mayor Thorne and his Pro-Growth buddies need to go. And I am most disappointed in Kathy Narum. I trusted her and she burned me. She said she was a person who fought for parks. How is up to 2700 high density houses a park? Vote them out!

Isn't there anyone in town that is slow growth that will run for office besides Karla Brown, or are we going to be forced to endure these Pro-Growth politicians for another 4 years?

Posted by Zeke
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 6, 2014 at 9:29 am

I don't like development, especially when low income riffraff comes in along with it. But I'd rather be in bed with developers and their puppets than have to suffer being led by hippie socialists.

Posted by Terry M
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2014 at 9:32 am

Thank you Karla Brown for sticking up for slow-growth PTown residents! More housing will completely ruin our beautiful city!! PTown does not want the additional crime, traffic, pollution & more people that this East Side development will bring!!! Please vote the Growth Council (Cheryl, Kathy & Jerry) out in the next election as all they care about is money in their pockets from developers???

Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2014 at 9:41 am


There are two ways to stop this.

1. As you suggest, elect two people to the Council who will represent the public instead of developers to give us a slow-growth Council majority. Thorne and Narum will be running for re-election this November and Cook-Kallio is termed out. There will be three seats open.

2. Pass a Citizens Initiative that will take control away from the Council, such as what was done in 1996 with the Urban Growth Boundary and the old Housing Cap. A "floating" housing cap that limits development to RHNA would likely pass muster with the courts, and would keep development from spiraling out of control.

Both are a lot of work, but the alternative is for the Chamber to continue to call the shots and make a mockery of democracy in Pleasanton.

Matt Sullivan

Posted by PtownJoe
a resident of Mission Park
on Mar 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

Karla is the only member of the current council with a view of the east side so, yea, I'd be upset too.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I wrote the mayor and council a letter, but it did not matter. I doubt they even read it.

Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Just look at the campaign finance reports online at the City of Pleasanton and you can see who controls the elected officials. No surprise. The developers and the chamber of commerce get a very good rate of return on their "investments" in our public officials.

Posted by Old school resident
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2014 at 10:51 pm

In 77 p-town was a small cow town City. A lot of you people moved to this City because the developers made it a desireable place to live! Now, you people complain about developers, Bart and low income housing! Hippocrates! If you hate it, move to the Central Valley! Great Job Council, keep up the good work!

Posted by Ptown resident
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 12:11 am

Pentin and Cook-Kallio both obviously do not care about what the citizens from the east side of Pleasanton have to say! Do they represent the residents of Pleasanton or are they in bed with the developers? Why keep building high/low density housing while there's surplus of 1200 units after RHNA requirement has been met. Just build, build and build. Both will be happy when east Pleasanton turns into East Palo Alto! Both need to be voted out in the coming election!

Posted by I'm even older than you
a resident of Mission Park
on Mar 7, 2014 at 12:27 am

Me and my wife moved here in1959 and I don't like all this development stuff at all. I've had enough. Stop it. And no, I'm not moving! You move you whipper snapper.
I don't like the traffic. Don't like the water shortage from all the new people. We had a brown out awhile back because too many people ran the a/c too much. My grand kids are in overfilled classrooms. My neighbor's car got broken into last month too. We had so many spare the air days that we could not even light the fire in the fire place most of last month.

More houses- I say NO. Don't like my answer- get out!

Posted by Amazed
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Wow - I am amazed at all the consternation over this issue. There has been no significant growth in Pleasanton for years, except for commercial development. I would doubt if more than new home residential permits have been issued in any one year in the last 10 years, not counting the CLC senior project.

On the other hand, Pleasanton has added plenty of new commercial space, including new developement on Hacienda, retail space at Gateway, etc. And now Workday is coming in with over 400,000 sq.ft. of new space at the mall. You don't hear a peep from the no-growth crowd about this kind of growth, which brings similar impacts to housing. Don't get me wrong this is great for Pleasanton, but where are all of these people going to LIVE?

Matt Sullivan is incredibly disingenuous and plays the demagogue on this. Nothing gets done in a hurry in this town and to say that this council is in the pocket of the development community is practically slanderous. Residential projects take YEARS to get approved after endless angst and scrutiny. Housing prices are going through the roof again as there is no real increase in supply to meet the demand. Housing developers go above and beyond to mitigate their impacts, paying over $100,000 in fees per unit and then adding sweeteners.

Wake up people, you live in one of the epicenters of the most vibrant economy on the planet, at the intersection of two major freeways. If you don't like this life, with all of the benefits including phenomenal increases in your home values, then move to the country. It ain't 1950,1970 or 1990 anymore.

Posted by amazed
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

That would be no more that 100 new homes/year.

Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm

You have not been paying attention to all the recently approved high-density housing that has in fact put us way over our RHNA numbers.

We had a housing cap. We were sued and the council removed the cap (which was voted on by the residents) to meet the RHNA numbers. Now with the housing cap gone, the current council is exceeding the RHNA numbers. It goes to show you that you cannot trust the elected officials.

I wish there were some local attorneys that would sue the city now for removing the housing cap and then exceeding the RHNA numbers that the court is making us zone for. The council does not have the power to remove an initiative that was voted upon by the residents. In this case the court had the city remove it by a court order so we can meet our RHNA numbers. If we stopped at the RHNA numbers, that would be legitimate. But by exceeding the housing over RHNA is an illegal activity. This actually seems like an easy case to win against the city. It is an abuse of power.

Posted by Ann
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Thank you council member Karla Brown, for you support of the community's wish to keep Pleasanton a middle sized town. Your solo vote at the Council Meeting on Tuesday to slow down the process of development on the East Side of Pleasanton until we need to address the RHNA numbers in 2022 was the only reasonable voice on the Council. Let's make that side of town a beautiful addition to our community, not an area of 1700-2200 housing units that impact our schools, our streets and the infrastructure of water, police, fire and city services that will be needed to support such a large increase in our population. Why do the developers and the Chamber of Commerce and their big donations to City Council member's campaigns have control of our city officials and the future of our town? Please get informed and get out this information to the rest of the community on how the recent Council's decision will impact our town. We all need to be aware of how and why important issues are being decided in our local government and who is pulling the strings. Are the majority of the Council members listening to you or the big bucks?

Posted by Dem apartments are a cumin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I have read about apartments at CARR America, apartments at Auf der Myer, apartments at Gateway, apartments at St Anton, and more coming on Las Positas at Cm Capital. This is ridiculous!

How can the council approve more than 1000 more than required? Matt Sulivan is right, these pro growth folks don't care about us, they just want the developers to pay for their next election.

Posted by RHNAPlus
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 7, 2014 at 9:47 pm

- For the 2007-2014 RHNA requirements, the city approved to rezone over 70
acres(over 2000 High Density units). Sounds like the city has
shown some good faith here.

- For 2014-2022, the RHNA requirement was total of 2067 units.
Note: RHNA is not just High Density, it refers to all densities (low
to high. RHNA lists it's requirements as very low, low, moderate

- Per City Council Report:

Web Link 5 lists a SURPLUS of 739 units for the 2014-2022 time frame.
(Note: There is now people saying this number has increased
the SURPLUS number to over 1200.) This means the city has
plenty of land already rezoned/zone for residential.
2067+1200 = 3267units.

- Most residents in this city are not against the city growing (as long
as past housing cap is taken into consideration), but what
they are against is out of control building/rezoning.

- What all this indicates, is that the city has already rezoned land, plus
some left over inventory, to accommodate over 3000 additional units
in Pleasanton (that sounds pretty good, why is there a need to
rezone even more land at this time?)

- Over the past years, most of the council members indicated they were
not happy with RHNA numbers (implying they thought these numbers were
too high).

- Now we find out that through 2022, the city has already rezoned land
which is "ABOVE" the RHNA requirements (by over 1200 units). The
question to ask the 4 members who voted 'yes' is why after
we find out there is already plenty of land zoned for residential, and
why now that the city has "EXCEEDED" the RHNA requirements, would they
approve going forward with a plan which will add up to 1700-2200
additional units (of various densities), with about half of them
falling in the 2014-2022 time-frame?) Especially since sites from the
2007-2014 are now starting up, with no concrete plans on how to
address the major impact on our middle and high schools. As per the
report listed above:

"Therefore, no additional sites will need to be found for the
2015-2023 Housing Element update currently underway"

The original vision for the East Pleasanton area was parks, open space, lets go back to this vision, as the East Pleasanton Plan inclusion in the General Plan.

Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 10:29 pm


I totally agree. There are people here who will fight anything new. They fought tooth and nail to keep AT&T from building a cell tower near Valley and Stanley. Does anyone get why they would oppose that? Then there are the ones who don't want the new Workday building.

Then you see these people comparing us to Dublin and at the same time complaining about "overcrowded" schools. In case you hadn't noticed, Dublin has less crowded schools than Pleasanton. They seem to be doing something right.

Posted by get the corrupt council
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

when we moved here, it WAS "the country", amazed.

Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

To "get the..."

Like "amazed" said. It isn't 1950 anymore. If you don't like it, move along. You can't stop the cell phone towers or office buildings.

Posted by just my opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

For the sake of the City, We are falling short, look at how Livermore has revitalized its downtown. They are bringing people together smart growth. I'm sure in the 60's it was very rural. So was my hometown a long way from here. Now that small town is as populated as Pleasanton. Growth is going to come - it must or we will be behind the 8 ball. I say the council should plan infrastructure. Maybe not build low income housing until it's required by the state. BUT shore up the schools, plan the roads. DON"T land lock Pleasanton. It will be miserable to get around here. We are losing a HUGE chunk of tax base when Safeway headquarters slowly departs. There will be homes available from the void. I just hope there will be a new company proud to call Pleasanton it's corporate headquarters. If a company is looking to relocate to here and they read this drivel what will they think? will they be welcome here, is this a place there employees will want to live.
I'm not saying build, I AM saying PLAN baby PLAN so we aren't scrambling in a few years. Quit bickering about who is doing what with whom and think about the city you live in. Think about what Pleasanton might become in the next 10 years if we don't plan. We need our schools to be educating ALL of the students, not just the cream of the crop. We should be and maintain a well rounded community.
It's a darn shame about the rate of crime increase since that Bart at the mall. We need plans NOW...

Posted by just my opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm

should have said their not there -

Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm

The city has been planning for some time. The infrastructure was designed to support a housing cap of 29,000 units. With the housing cap gone and the council catering to the developers to develop the east side, an area that was planned as recreational use, we are exceeding the infrastructure that was planned for decades. That includes traffic, sewer, water, and schools.

Posted by To Just my Opinon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

You said, "DON"T land lock Pleasanton." If we don't stop the growth, we will expand all the way to Livermore! We are in the suburbs, and this area should not look like the southbay, with cities expanded right up next to one.

You said, "I AM saying PLAN baby PLAN..." How about we plan for limited growth and a park in the east side?

And finally, "We need our schools to be educating ALL of the students, not just the cream of the crop." By bringing in students that are not high achieving kids, we will all suffer, the standard test data will suffer, and the number one reason I moved here-the schools- will no longer be an asset to our town. Watch your property values plummet when the school scores start falling.

This is MY opinion: plan for slow growth, reasonable infrastructure and a GREAT City, not a BIG city.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Only another mike until we touch the airport. I say build it out.

Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

"It's a darn shame about the rate of crime increase since that Bart at the mall."

But there has been no crime increase. Where are you getting your facts?

Posted by mis-fact
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

Not sure this is true:

"most of the 13 speakers who addressed the issue Tuesday night favored
continuing the task force work"

From what I remember watching it was closer to 50/50. Most of the speakers supporting going forward were the land owners/builders, special interest groups, and some residents who will encounter a 'gain' from going forward. The speakers against were the current residents who will be impacted.

Posted by Pleasanton Homeowner
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

Thank you Carla Brown!
The only one who voted no and who listens to the voters.
Simply because there is open land does NOT mean you need to build, build, build.

Our RHNA numbers are great for at least another decade. Why build more housing now when it's not needed. More businesses will simply add more pressure on our local schools and infrastructures. Additionally, RHNA numbers are calculated:
1 1/2 jobs requires 1 housing unit. In other words more businesses will require more houses. Do we need more jobs in the city to support the city?

Time to start calling our City Council the "South Dublin City Council", and Jerry Thorne Mayor of South Dublin!

Posted by George T
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I have a better idea Pleasanton Homeowner....lets don't call Jerry Thorne mayor of South Dublin....let's vote him out and not call him mayor at all!!

Posted by pleasanton homeowner
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

I guarantee Ms. Brown will be the only current member getting our vote this next election.

Posted by There you go ahead
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Throwing rocks again, Matt Sullivan? The former Councilmember who was the big adocate of transit oriented development which is high density housing at transportation hubs. And The Councilmember who was happy to spend lots of time to study building requests so the residents could make informed decisions about planned growth. Now how doesn't even want to study or plan anything in the East Area, or even have the benefit of an environmental impact report, His answer is to table everything and spread more conspiracy theories. . It isn't a big conspiracy as Matt would dupe people into thinking. It is simply a public planning process, albeit a complicated one, for the future long term development or use of those properties instead of doing it piece meal and willy nilly. And shouldn't it be fair play to permit a property owner big or small to have some reasonable expectation about how the land they own might be used in the next ten years or so? Sullivan knows the city''s growth management ordinance only allows 250 units to be built per year throughout the entire city. Hardly a departure from slow growth approach he advocates. I, for one long time resident, want to see the EIR and have it used to make informed decisions about the area I live in.

Posted by Student at Amador
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 13, 2015 at 9:17 pm

I was assigned to read this article for a Social Studies Class at Amador, but the comments are so much more interesting. I mean, a bunch of ADULTS acting like CHILDREN on a website, thinking that because they don't give their real name that it can't be traced to them. It's almost comical. The best part is that none of you would ever say these things to anyone in person, but because you're looking at a bunch of colored pixels you think it's ok. ALL OF YOU are the reason this town has issues.

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