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Lund Ranch II Puppet Master Exposed !

Original post made by Dan, Canyon Oaks, on Jan 30, 2016

Question: So who is the master of puppets in this tragic performance to decimate Measure PP?

Answer: Just follow the money of course

It should be no surprise who in the Gang of Four is pulling the strings in it's campaign to oppose the Lund Ranch II referendum. This master of puppets is of course Greenbriar, the profit hungry developer who seeks to maximize its gain at any cost with complete disregard to what is in the best interests of the citizens of Pleasanton.

So what evidence is there of Greenbriar's influence and control over the other three members (puppets) of the Lund Ranch II Gang of Four.

Let's discuss each of these puppets:

(1) Ultra-pro-growth members of the city council receive political contributions from builders like Greenbriar which makes these council members beholden to their masters. Given Mayer Thorn, as a council member, was fully against the Oak Grove referendum and Measure PP, it is no surprise that he and his colleagues and cohorts are working to weaken the protection provisions in PP thereby paving the road (no pun intended) now and in the future for larger projects and more hillside homes to be built in an already too crowded Pleasanton.

(2) Light is finally shining brightly on who is holding the strings at a ╦ťgrass roots" group calling itself "Protect Pleasanton Neighbors" as evidenced by Greenbriar's funding of email ads and facebook ads for this group. It's ironic to read that the list of "supporters" for this group surprisingly DOES NOT include Greenbriar; the arguably main financial supporter and backer of this group.

(3) The disgraced former council member and falsely self-proclaimed protector of PP issues a misleading ad against the referendum efforts funded, of course, by Greenbriar.

So regrettably, here we citizens sit, watching the puppet master and its collection of puppets continue to perform their sick play at the expense of Pleasanton. To them I say the following:

We are not stupid.
We see through your deceit.
We are hanging up on your incessant robocalls.
We are signing the petition.

God Bless Pleasanton

Comments (11)

Posted by On Target
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jan 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Very good summary of what I have been suspecting after having read so many articles on this. Thanks for putting this forth so bluntly.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 30, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Why is there surprise that Greenbriar is defending itself and its project? They have compromised; they have a deal; PP is not threatened. What is obvious is that those who already have their ridgeline homes don't want a development they knew was coming because people might drive past their homes.

Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm

@Kathleen Ruegsegger,

I think the answer is that the end game for opponents of any compromise for Lund Ranch II development is to let the Greenbriar go ahead with a takings lawsuit. I think the Bridle Creek residents would rather the city spend the money on lawsuit than have any more traffic at all going through their neighborhoods or have any new houses (even 41) near them to diminish their feeling of exclusivity. They got theirs and the rest of us pay the price.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 30, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

There is an influx of new comers to Pleasanton going on that seems to escape notice from everyone.

Pleasanton's population with the 2010 census was 70,825.
Pleasanton's estimated population for 2014 was 77,682.
At this rate of new comers (1,714 year) moving into Pleasanton, the population in Pleasanton will be 87,956 year 2020 and 105,106 year 2030. An 25% population increase over the next 14 years.

There is nowhere near that number of new homes under construction and nowhere near that number of new homes projected to be constructed.

What land that is not owned by the East Bay Parks along the ridge will be developed.

Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2016 at 5:30 pm


Evidence? More like accusations and slander.

Let's review the facts, please:

This whole referendum petition effort is a massive 'perception deception' by a select few seeking to protect and preserve their own self-interests based on NIMBYism.

First, a first-hand examination of the Lund Ranch II project site, per this PW Town Square post on 1/26/16 by 'Don't Understand the Fuss,' a resident of West of Foothill:

"With the clear weather today I decided to drive over to these neighborhoods and explore for myself what is being referendumed. Started by parking at Mission Hills Park and walking the length of Independence Drive past the fire road up to Sycamore Heights. Noted that both Mission Hills and Ventana Hills are clearly on flat land in the valley.

First street encountered in SH (Sycamore Heights) was Sunset Creek Lane. Seems to be perched on a ridge with about 1/2 a dozen homes. At the end of the street is a sign saying Pleasanton would extend the road further. Hill past the road rose slightly for about 50-60 yards then dropped off into a valley. I assume this is where the new homes are going. Met another walker doing the same examination of the issue. We agreed the SH people had it made - sitting on top of a ridge on a road on top of a ridge with great views.

Then walked over to Sycamore Creek Way. Whoa this was quite a climb. This street is on a higher ridge with about a dozen homes on that ridge. You know its the top of the ridge because there's a water tower and cities generally locate water towers on high points. Met two other walkers, also on a mission to examine what all the fuss is about. They agreed - SH residents have it lucky being on top of the ridges.

So SH residents are making a fuss about extending a road over a slight hill down into a valley. At the same time there are Pleasanton residents willing to take the time to examine the properties affected and make informed, intelligent, on-site visual decisions.

It's not supposed to rain the next few days. I suggest anyone interested in whether to sign the referendum or not first "walk the property" to see what all the fuss is all about.

Shakespeare may have had it right - it's seems to be much ado about nothing and the referendum supporters protest too much."

Here are some more facts to consider:

1. The two last full-page ads in the 1/22/16 and 1/29/16 editions of the Pleasanton Weekly are complete and total misrepresentations of the Lund Ranch II project, designed to instigate fear in order to compel voters to sign the group, "SavePleasantonHillsides'" referendum petition. The Mayor and City Council, on 1/5/16, approved a project of 43 homes, of which, ALL of them will be built on FLAT land, in a VALLEY, with NO homes to be built on ANY hillside or ridgeline whatsoever.

2. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, along with Allen Roberts of Gray Eagle, a gated community at the top of Crellin Road, and Councilmember Karla Brown, a resident of Kottinger Ranch, a subdivision of some of the most expensive homes in Pleasanton, of which many could never have been built under Measure PP because they sit on hillsides and ridgelines (involving thousands of truckloads of dirt removal to create the pads for those homes on those hillsides and ridgelines), object to a road being extended from Sycamore Creek Way to access 31 of the 43 homes to be built. They are using the argument that a road is a structure, and that that is part of Measure PP, to thereby leverage Measure PP to force the rescinding of the project's approval.

3. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims to be a 'grassroots' effort to protect Pleasanton's hillsides and ridgelines/safeguard Measure PP. The definition of 'grassroots,' as found on Wikipedia:

"A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) as defined by Webster's Third International Dictionary, is one which uses the people in a given district as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations utilize collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level."

SavePleasantonHillsides is using PAID signature gatherers who are NOT residents of Pleasanton (i.e., are NOT local), at a cost of approximately $30,000 to $50,000, bankrolled by an unknown number of wealthy individuals in order to acquire enough signatures to put their referendum on the ballot.

4. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record several times requesting that ALL traffic to the Lund Ranch II project be accessed through Lund Ranch Road, which currently is a dead end road located in Ventana Hills.

5. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek signed documents when purchasing their homes that clearly stated Sycamore Creek Way would be extended into the future Lund Ranch II housing development.

6. The Mayor and City Council approved a compromise re: traffic access into/out of Lund Ranch II, whereby 12 of the 43 homes will be accessed via Lund Ranch Road (in addition to the 17 homes on Middleton Place that already access Ventana Hills and Mission Hills neighborhoods, which originally they were not supposed to, adding to a total of 29), and the remaining 31 (i.e., the remaining homes in the approved Lund Ranch II project) will be accessed via Sycamore Creek Way (via Sunset Creek Lane). Part of that approval requires the building of a very short road, with a short jog down a hill (the City can confirm the exact length of this road) that will not be visible to the public.

7. Greenbriar Homes, the developer, agreed to building just 43 homes. The original plans for Lund Ranch II, part of the City's General Plan for over three decades, calls for approximately four times as many homes. Greenbriar is giving the City 174 acres (according to them; other reports state 177) of the property as permanent open space, which amounts to the remaining amount of the property (89.5%, again, according to Greenbriar) which they can NOT build on, due to Measure PP (i.e., hillsides and ridgelines). The total project site is 195 acres.

8. Greenbriar develops and pays for its own ads and other of its own efforts regarding opposing the Lund Ranch II project, which they have the right to do as they so choose. "Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods" was created by and consists of residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, and we contributed our OWN money to purchase two half-page ads in the 1/15/16 and 1/22/16 editions of the Pleasanton Weekly. We are not funded by Greenbriar. We don't have financial resources that the wealthy residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek have to run full-page ads and pay for signature gatherers and robocalls. Greenbriar pursues their own efforts for their own intents and purposes, which, quite frankly, is to be able to move forward with building the approved project of 43 homes.

9. The Mayor's and City Council's decision was a compromise decision to strike a balance between honoring previous, long-standing obligations previous City administrations had made to the residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, in addition to following through on similarly long-standing plans to provide road access to Lund Ranch II via Sycamore Creek Way (extending it by building Sunset Creek Lane). The Mayor and City Council, in reaching their decision, also took into account PUD-87, which is the major apartment (approx. 350 apartments) and retail complex being built on the southeast corner of Bernal and Stanley. Much of the traffic resulting from that project will be traveling on Bernal, with a strong likelihood of much of it adding to the existing cut-through traffic that flows through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Independence to Junipero to Sunol Blvd.

Greenbriar did not get everything they wanted in the approved project, nor did Ventana Hills and Missions Hills residents, nor Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents. Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents are pursuing the referendum because they refuse to accept the compromise decision, reached after decades of review, public meetings and debate.

9. Re: SavePleasantonHillsides claim that the Mayor and City Councilmembers previously voted/determined/finalized that "roads are structures," that is NOT true, as what's known as a 'second reading', or vote on that matter NEVER has taken place. Thus, it has never officially been determined, regardless of what others may claim.

10. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims that the Mayor and City Council's approval of the Lund Ranch II project sets a precedent for future projects. That is also NOT true. According to former City Attorney (now retired), Jonathan Lowell, he clearly stated during City Council meetings held in late 2015 that that was NOT the case, and that the Mayor and City Council could make determinations on whether projects adhere to Measure PP on a case by case basis.

11. The developer, Greenbriar, can reject any future decision to further reduce the number of homes in the Lund Ranch II project, and could choose to file a 'takings' lawsuit against the City, rather than resubmit a new project proposal. That could expose the City to tens of millions of dollars in liability. The former City Attorney stated anything below 30 homes, in his opinion, would put the City at risk of losing in court. Regardless of whether or not Greenbriar accepts a 30 home project, which would require the cancellation of the current project, and Greenbriar submitting an entirely new project proposal, it does NOT eliminate the fact that the residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record for NOT wanting to accept ANY traffic for Lund Ranch II through their neighborhoods (insisting that all traffic go through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Lund Ranch Road), and are now using the argument that it violates Measure PP to succeed in doing so because they refuse to accept the Mayor's and City Council's majority compromise decision. Greenbriar, if the referendum qualifies and is approved, will need to decide which makes more sense (i.e., what would be more profitable to them in the long run)--building a 30 home project, or a 10 home project, which under Measure PP, allows them to build all 10 homes atop of hillsides and ridgelines within the project site, but with no guarantee that any such reduced project will be approved, or, instead filing a 'takings' lawsuit against the City to recoup lost potential profits from the rejection of the previously approved project, PUD-25. A takings lawsuit could expose City taxpayers to tens of millions of dollars in liability.

12. The referendum petition, if successful, will result in costing taxpayers at least $247,000 to put it on the local ballot in June, based on the cost per person Alameda County charges for doing so, times the minimum number of valid signatures required to qualify the referendum to be put on the ballot.

The above comments are all based on the FACTS @Dan. I strongly suggest you provide some FACTS instead of making unsubstantiated accusations and using smear tactics designed to obfuscate people.

Posted by Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2016 at 5:42 pm

There are a number of false statements made in this article. For my purposes, I'll focus on the false statements you made regarding Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods.

Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods is comprised of neighbors who live in Mission Hills and Ventana Hills neighborhoods, and volunteer their time to help our cause. We are in no way affiliated with any developer and we do not receive funding from them. Our advertising on social media is paid for by neighbors, and our fliers are printed on various home printers - in our neighborhood. Finally, Greenbriar is not on our list of supporters page because we are not affiliated with them, nor accept money from them.

For the real truth:

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

@Dan, I certainly hope you keep your identify hidden because I am the face behind the facebook group and a resident who is opposed to the referendum and paying for all the facebook boosts myself - you might find yourself at the raw end of a defamation of character lawsuit. Anyone can find me and I am a vocal resident at City Council Meetings and everyone who knows me knows that I have no love for Greenbriar Homes. If I could stop the building I would, but that would only bring a lawsuit against our City. Grow up Dan and stop with childish behavior. You might want to stop the slander against your neighbors.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 30, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


If you are what you say you are, identify your self and make your case.

Anything short of that, you are just another TROLL.

Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm

@Michael Austin,

MsVic is Vicki LaBarge, and she lives in Mission Park [sic] Hills. She is not a "troll."

Really, do you have to resort to name-calling?

Also, to you and to @Dan, recommend you review the 'Karla Brown and the referendum' Town Square post made by @Just curious on 1/29/16, and MsVic's comments posted there.

Interesting reading.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 30, 2016 at 10:01 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

@Michael Austin, I am more than happy to identify myself and I see that someone already has identified me. I am Vicki LaBarge - look me up - 33 year resident of Mission Hills. I am a mother of two that I raised with my husband in Pleasanton and a grandmother. So think twice about who you are calling a TROLL sir and I wish you a great life.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 31, 2016 at 7:01 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

MsVic Vicki LaBarge:

Thank you for identifying yourself.
I reverse the troll label.

Every day is a new start for a great life.

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