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Commission delays decision on Chabad Center for Jewish Life

Original post made on May 9, 2018

The Chabad of the Tri-Valley's quest to host expanded religious services, a preschool and outdoor activities at its new Center for Jewish Life on Hopyard Road will have to wait at least another month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 4:09 PM

Comments (41)

56 people like this
Posted by Bridget
a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Man, I find this annoying! Come on homeowners- you should have bought homes in more private area if you were so concerned about noise. If there is any future meetings I’d like to support the Chabad.


51 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Outdoor amplified voice and music would be an annoyance for Chabad or the neighbors, depending on who had to listen. Nobody wants to hear it. I wouldn't have a problem with outdoor events without amplification. 10pm fifteen times a year is fair. That's like having a cool neighbor who likes having barbecues. I'd like to be invited now and then. :)


50 people like this
Posted by J.Ashford
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 10, 2018 at 10:44 am

The neighbors need to get over themselves. They bought a home next to those properties and now they want to make all the rules for how someone else's property can be used. Disgusting babies! Take your toys and go home!


38 people like this
Posted by Ndna Jnz
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 10, 2018 at 10:58 am

I understand the neighbors' concerns, given their previous experiences with events held when owned by the Masons. However, when buying a house in a neighborhood that is next to a major street like Hopyard, and adjacent to non-residential buildings, you have to expect there will occasionally be "some" noise from events, indoors or outdoors.

I find it odd for residents to be concerned about a small playground for young children. How aggravating is the sound of young happy voices enjoying playtime? What if one of the neighbors applied for a preschool permit for their house and garage? I doubt that would be turned down by the city.

Rather than looking at only the nearby use permit conditions for St. Clare's and Harvest Valley churches, why not look at all religous buildings in the City and see what restrictions are placed on them?

I live in Mohr Park, and St. Elizabeth Seton church is sandwiched between Stoneridge Drive and a residential neighborhood. When the church made plans to build a quite large gymnasium, I don't recall any neighbors complaining. The gym is now used in the summertime for a kids' daytime camp. The camp is primarily held indoors. They have yet to hold outside events as far as I know but, the church is now planning another expansion, next to the gym. Still, I haven't heard any neighbors complain.

I agree there should be some noise and use restrictions put on the Chabad events, but perhaps the city should institute a temporary trial period (~6 monts?) to show residents that the Chabad events are not the same as what previously took place there.


33 people like this
Posted by Martha Mantei
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

I was a neighbor of the Resnick Family for 8 years. The original conditional use permit for their property was for a day care center. They soon expanded into religious services every Friday plus more evenings for other gatherings. The many neighbors surrounding their property, including myself, made multiple complaints to Rabbi Resnick to no avail. Police reports were made many times. I think the neighbors need to gain access to these Police reports. I strongly suggest that the city stick to their commitment to issue a conditional use permit that is clear, fair and enforceable when the Chabad does not follow the permit. The neighbors have a right to a peaceful neighborhood, which we did not have for 8 years!!This has nothing to do with Religious discrimination. I agree that contact should be made with other religious organizations to see under what conditions there activities are permitted.


26 people like this
Posted by peace and quiet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Who would want a mass of screaming kids placed right behind their homes? Why should a daycare center be allowed to do that with unlimited hours of use? Outdoor events should be severely limited in number, time of day and should never allow music. These people do not live downtown, they do not live next to an airport or a train station. Why should they be subjected to unreasonable noise in their own back yards? This has nothing to do with religious persecution but the rabbi has certainly tainted it that way. Will he also equate it with the incident at Starbucks just to get more publicity? It's not your religion, it's the potential noise and the problems that go with trying to stop it once the permit is issued. The rabbi makes it sound as if the City and the neighbors are trying to round up Jews and contain them. Get over yourself, that is not what is happening here.


30 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 10, 2018 at 1:16 pm

I too was a neighbor of the Resnick family when he was operating his "bedroom" chabad. The neighbors of the new facility definitely have a legitimate concern. We made the mistake of trusting that the rabbi would adhere to the permit and operate his residence as a day care only. But overtime he started to hold religious services multiple times a week including weekends. On those days we not only have noise issues till late at night (sometimes pass midnight), the entire neighborhood streets were jam packed with parked cars to the point that I had trouble getting in and out of my court. So many noise complaints were made to the point that Pleasanton City Police didn't even need to ask for the address anymore. This has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with simple courtesy to the neighbors. I'd advise the new neighbors to be wary.


28 people like this
Posted by peace and quiet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm

From comments of former neighbors it is clear that the Resnick family has no problem with violating the laws and being generally rotten neighbors. Beware new neighbors, keep up the protests with the city. It seems fair that if a person or organization has a history of police complaints that alone should be enough to deny them the permit to operate at all. It still has nothing to do with religion, it has everything to do with violating laws and being awful neighbors.


28 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Unfortunately the PT Weekly report makes those in opposition seem as if they are anti-semitic. That is not the case at all. I was at the Planning Commission meeting on another matter. Those in opposition were very careful to note that they were in support of the Chabad, but they had concerns over outside activities. Seemingly, the leadership of Chabad and their high powered Detroit-based attorney are quick to quote the law note religious freedom infringements, however they have no interest in following the law when they are in violation of it.

Interesting that they do not yet have a Conditional Use Permit to occupy their new building. Nevertheless they disregard the law and operate anyway. Also interesting to note that they have undertook construction within the building - again without any permits. To me, in my opinion, I think the neighbors have a legitimate worry, based on previous actions and current flaunting of the law. Do a bit of research and as a few have said before, they have a long history of infractions.


23 people like this
Posted by peace and quiet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Is it true that these people are occupying and building without permits? If so, why is the city sitting on their hands and doing nothing?


28 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm

@Peace & Quiet- most likely because the city is intimidated by the letter that the Chabad’s high priced attorney from Detroit wrote. He also showed up at the Planning Commission meeting. In essence the letter dared the city to place any conditions or take any action against the Chabad, otherwise there was threat of litigation. The letter is in the packet that was published before the meeting. Very threatening in my opinion.

Seemingly they want to operate with complete disregard to any ordinances or codes, unless it fits their agenda. Any attempt to place reasonable conditions results in their crying foul. They even balked at the city requirement to add fire sprinklers to the building because they were going to be operating a school. Now, that is national code which applies equally to all. They viewed it as discriminatory. Go figure.


26 people like this
Posted by peace and quiet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm

@Buc Lau thanks for the further explanation. What a bunch of jerks and the city is going to allow this to happen. The restrictions have nothing to do with religion!
(Removed)

Is this their next act here? Might as well be since the city seems to have no cares about making them comply with the law.


46 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm

bigfan is a registered user.

#1. One doesn’t have a “right” to a peaceful neighborhood, in particular, when one buys a home on the corner of Hopyard Rd. behind multiple, existing religious and fraternal entities some 15 years after their collective existence;
#2. The property I question is zoned Residentsl up to many units, not commercial. Do you required a permit to play in your backyard? What’s more, how about 200 apartments? Would that be quieter for your sojourn?
#3. What these folks did at a prior property is irrelevant, as this is unrelated. If your point is that Chabad ursurped it’s prior permit by moving beyond daycare to practicing rligjon, then you are clearly misinformed of our Constitutional rights in this beautiful country;
#4. I’m hearing something fairly akin to religious discrimination, and more specifically, anti-Semitic commentary, as no one here is complaining about the two neighboring daycare / preschool / churches next door.
#5. The Entire basis of the objection to a preschool having outdoor play - heaven forbid - is due to the prior owner’s misdeeds, and has zero to do with a new owner, who, forseeably, will be a dramatic improvement to the aesthetics of the property and the rambunctiousness and behaviors of prior, for profit businesses there, unlike not for profit Chabad.


12 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Is this "Chabad Jewish Center for Jewish Life" pay taxes?
Or is this "Chabad Jewish Center for Jewish Life" TAX EXEMPT?


14 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 11, 2018 at 7:11 am

bigfan is a registered user.

Same as any house of worship, church, mosque or other synagogue.
What is your point? Not a commercial enterprise.


26 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2018 at 9:24 am

Buc Lau is a registered user.

@Michael Austin. Not sure if their tax exempt status, however a quick check of the Alameda County Tax Assesor records shows about the same amount of property tax from the previous owners last year. it also shows that the taxes are past due and unpaid thus far. Maybe they are waiting for a reclassification(?)

@“bigfan”. I honestly have no vested interest in this issue one way or another. As I mentioned in my original post I was at the Planning Commission meeting for another matter, but decided to stay so I could find out more and see why the large croud was there. Reading your comments, however validates my previous points. Lastly, the Masons went to the City Council last year and the Council voted to disallow any outside activities and some other restrictions. Those restrictions run with the title of the property, so the new owners knew the deed restrictions before and at the time of purchase. That being said, however I am sure some sort of compromise can be worked out without resorting to name calling on either side.

It also seems to me that there is a concentrated effort to stack the “like” votes on certain comments.


26 people like this
Posted by Victoria Schmidt
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 11, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Victoria Schmidt is a registered user.

I was a neighbor of the Resnicks as well. We were under the impression that their original conditional use permit was for a weekday daycare from 8 am-6 pm. However, very quickly over time, this daycare extended to holding numerous religious services during the week and weekends. During drop off and pick up, their cars would double park on the street, and sometimes cars were blocked in the process. On the weekdays that they held services, daycare would transition to the services. On Saturdays mornings, there was no parking for blocks. There were instances when they brought in bus loads of people. So yes, noise and parking were a definite issue. Neighbors repeatedly called in to the police department as the noise was deafening and unbearable and often lasted for hours. This family expected the neighbors to grant them the courtesy to operate their daycare and church, but the courtesy was not reciprocal. This issue is not about religion, rather, the lack of courtesy for the other people who were there first. Our neighbors were tolerant, but 8 years was too long.


3 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

bigfan is a registered user.

I wanted to see if I can simplify the matter here, as folks are chiming in with previous experiences, ad hoc replies, and may or may not have full perspective:

The synagogue, Chabad, is a not-for-profit, non-commercial, legal entity. Like the other churches next door in this very same neighborhood, it operates (or at least intends to operate), a preschool for children 6 months to 4 years old. It would also like to be able to open its windows or doors on occasion, ie, when it is 105 in Pleasanton and fresh air is required.

The property in question was owned by the Masons since 1988; they are a fraternal, for profit, non-religious entity, with from what the record shows, creators or facilitators of quite a ruckus from time to time (they needed to make money to cover their expenses). The neighbors moved in many years later, and began complaining (as any reasonable person would) due to all the problems, including gunshots. The property has its own parking so there is zero impact at the corner of Hopyard Rd. on neighboring homes, visitors, etc. The property is zoned Multi-Residential, and this is why the Masons required a Conditional Use Permit. It could have been sold to developers, for example, who could put up as many homes or apartments as the City would permit.

Preschools require no permit in a home's backyard, if one operates a home daycare, and up to 14 children. Now imagine 10-20 homes all running daycares on this property. That could be a problem, but it is possible, and it is legal. What's more, daycares that are part of any entity, such as a religious organization, REQUIRE outdoor space from the State of CA to be in compliance; moreover, who would want to be indoors for 4-8 hours a day as a kid. I would not want mine, hence, the State has a rational point.

Simply, Chabad, the synagogue, wants to be able to open its windows, like we all do from time to time, to let kids play outside in a defined, safe area on occasion during preschool hours (which are customarily M-F), and it wants to practice its religion and provide for religious services for its community, just like the other churches do through the Tri-Valley and next door, which the churches fully support Chabad in their endeavors.

The neighbors' "fear" of a problem is irrational. What Chabad will or won't do or how they will or won't act has nothing to do with Mason history. How they acted at a home daycare at a previous site also has nothing to do with this property, which was purchased and permitted explicitly for religious activity. They now simply seek use of their outdoors, which occupies 3/4 of the property site.

Finally, glad to hear V.S. called the police on a Saturday morning while no more than 20 men were praying, nice going. This was a high-density, apartment-laden neighborhood with one of the higher crime activity epicenters in Pleasanton, and it wasn't because of a few people having high holiday celebrations 5-6 times a year of 10-20 men praying on Saturday mornings. Fortunately, for them and for you, they have found a new home for their services.

-"Can't we all just get along"


21 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

skeptical is a registered user.

The neighbors have several reasons to be concerned, and to voice their concerns. A compromise should be reached but it should be understood, based on past behaviors and approvals in their previous location, that the Chabad will push the boundaries on whatever approvals are granted.

It's unconscionable that they should try to get an exemption from fire sprinkler regulations on the basis of being a religious organization. Who would want to send their child to a preschool that wasn't up to fire code?

The Detroit lawyer's letter was truly a piece of work (thanks @Bac Lau for pointing to it). It did have a threatening tone and some glaring inaccuracies. I did like how he presented himself as the singular authority on the topic of reilgious land use and made sure to include links to buy his book.

While the letter described the Festival of Sukkot (observed for 8 days by the Orthodox), there are no other required outdoor religious activities in Judaism. Those other 10-15 outdoor events will be parties, perhaps in connection with religious events but not in and of themselves religious activities. It's my understanding that several of the loud parties in the last few years that the Masons owned the building were in fact parties associated with the Chabad. They were one of the primary renters from the Masons. The neighbors are right to try to put clear controls on what will happen outdoors as these will not be religious events, regardless of how their lawyer tries to spin it.


6 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 11, 2018 at 4:36 pm

bigfan is a registered user.

Skeptical...you’re right, one doesn’t need to ever go outside their home, office building or church but 8 total days.

No, Chabad was not a primary renter of Masons. Never. Don’t report “your understanding” as fact when it’s misinformed opinion at best, or an agenda at worst.

PS: you are completely incorrect regarding other outdoor activities of Judaism, albeit that has zero bearing on a CUP for a preschool.


19 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 11, 2018 at 5:03 pm

skeptical is a registered user.

@bigfan - Not sure what I said that you interpreted as suggesting no one should ever go outside. What I said is the approvals should be tight and clear on the 10-15 annual outside activities as they will push the boundaries of whatever is approved (based on the experience of neighbors in their previous location). Their lawyer is making the case that these outdoor events are worship services. He writes: "the Chabad has made clear that an essential tenet of its religious mission is to worship outdoors." Apart from the holiday of Sukkot, there are no other required outdoor observances. The other outside events will be parties.

Chabad has rented the Masonic Center for at least 10 years, including evening functions.

They are seeking a CUP to operate a religious institution as well as a childcare/preschool. I've said nothing about the preschool.


2 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm

bigfan is a registered user.

My point, respectfully, which I’ll try articulating again, is what happened via a residential, legal daycare in terms of outside noise is irrelevant to a CUP specific to outside approval for a preschool...it will be explicitly approved at the site for such activity, which residences do not require. So, assuming people are calling police on their next door neighbor due to excessive child noise at former site, is entirely their option, but this massive 2 acre parcel is not that; and, if one assumes that these children will be that much noisier than the children playing outside at the church daycare next door, or ones actual next door residential neighbors, that would be a “leap of faith” and inconsistent permitting by the City.

You are incorrect on a 10-year rental history, or anything fathomably close, as they used to rent the Sheraton for high holidays, which are customarily larger events, leased a building in Quarry Lane for a preschool until acquiring this property, which they are carrying now without full use; that’s a different matter.

Lag B’Omer is an outdoor religious holiday. Whether one wants to practice their religion on the roof, in the basement, in a car, or outside is their prerogative, not yours to judge. Imagine a couple that would like to wed outside, under a Chupah? It’s not up for debate, least of where here.

This issue isn’t about...should City allow a religious entity to build at that lication. The building has been there for 30+ years. It’s about dezoning what is a massive residential site via a CUP and what former restrictions in place with prior tenant wkthva history of misbehavior should come as baggage to new owners. If left as is, there could be 30 daycares and commensurate outdoor parties making noise, for police to manage, all instead of a synagogue, wanting to improve the property and let kids play outside like the other kids next door, whilst practicing their religion (which BTW, no one in this forum can judge as one can reasonably do anything as part of their religion without fear or reprisal or condemnation); this is why and how we live in the USA, not for some layperson to measure our religious endeavors per above).


27 people like this
Posted by Lou Stuhle
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 11, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Lou Stuhle is a registered user.

bigfan,

you clearly have your agenda. we get it. however, no matter how many times you stomp your feet, yell and scream, and cover your ears, it won't change the fact that yes, their previous behavior in a residential area CLEARLY has bearing on what the people in the valley trails area can expect from their new neighbors. as such, going over their CUP with a fine tooth comb is both smart and appropriate. based on resnick's former propensity to symbolically give his neighbors the finger over completely reasonable complaints, it's not illogical to think he would carry on the same behavior (you call it "prayer", but for people in the neighborhood, they would call it borderline yelling and screaming at hours beyond "reasonable").

unfortunately, we all know what will happen. the city will cave, the CUP will be a joke and neighbors will flood PPD with legitimate noise complaints (that will go nowhere). the good news for valley trails residents is that your property is at an all time high, so maybe now is the time to cash in.


27 people like this
Posted by Lou Stuhle
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 11, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Lou Stuhle is a registered user.

and anti-semitic has literally nothing to do with this. i could care less what fairy tale you choose to believe in. god, jesus, allah, buddah, satan, santa claus, the easter bunny. i don't care. as long as your worship doesn't infringe on my right to a peaceful existence in my home, have at it.


25 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Buc Lau is a registered user.

@"Bigfan" you mentioned that this organization leased a building on Quarry Lane for their pre-school. Would that be the same building that they were eventually evicted from for non-payment of rent? Would that be the same building owned by one of the Planning Commissioners, Jack Balch - who has recused himself from this matter because of the legal action he was forced to take?

Public records can be very interesting and intriguing.


2 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 12, 2018 at 8:08 am

bigfan is a registered user.

Lou - you are living in a fictional world..."yelling and screaming"....call the police if that is the case as that is what code enforcement is for, however it is not what is occuring; perhaps you are referencing the Masons.
Buc - what in the world does the rent due at a prior leased property have to do with the purchase and developing improvement of the property in question and its CUP?

Folks - these are irrational comments. One does not require an agenda to be objective.

The fact that you reference a Rabbi "giving the finger" speaks volumes of your respect for others and merely serves to undermine any credibility you believe your opinion might hold. Nice.

You have no right to silence. Kids can play, that is what they do at my home, my neighbors, across the street, from the high school, the elementary school, the bus stop, the park, the front yard, etc. That is what they do. People pray internally, externally, etc. You seem to commingle and convolute, and actually ignore the purpose of the CUP which is preschool and outdoor use at reasonable times, as well as use of operable windows, and reasonably proscribed outdoor celebrations and events. That's it. It is fairly simple. Neighbors want silence because they are rightfully sick and tired of Mason history. This has nothing to do with a new buyer. It is akin to a homeowner who illegally parked their RV in a driveway and it was a visual stigma on the neighborhood. They then sell their home, and the existing neighbors now are up in arms because the new owners want to park their car in the driveway. It is a irrational argument without basis of fact.

Moreover, I have no responsibility to be quiet. People talk, they cheer, they cry, the jump for joy, just like you (well maybe not the latter), that is what people do.

Neither of you folks have actually addressed or rebutted the factual points I articulated....namely: Equity under the law, Vast improvement over Masonic history, Alternative maximum use would be horrendously worse in terms of noise, Folks live ON HOPYARD ROAD (no expectation of silence, and they purchased their homes knowing fully well the Masons operated there for many years prior), Others not dictating how one practices one's religion (be it indoors, outdoors or on the moon), Past history of Chabad at a differently-zoned residential home property has no bearing on this newly property purchased explicitly for preschool outside use and religious non-profit/non-commercial use (how one acts or behaves based on what is permitted under the law cannot be extrapolated to a new set of laws and requirements, at a new location for example, and lastly your comment on "behavior"....well I won't even comment on that. Try being civil, thoughtful, objective, rational, and frankly, neighborly.


8 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 8:20 am

BobB is a registered user.

Here we see yet another example of the trouble with the first amendment.

"...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, __ or prohibiting the free exercise thereof __..."

It's that "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" clause that courts have interpreted as giving people the right to break laws if they are exercising their religion. The ultimate solution is to fix the amendment.


3 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 12, 2018 at 8:50 am

bigfan is a registered user.

Totally agree that the 1st amendment is a balance of rights.

That being said, Chabad has not broken any law.

It is the fear of neighbors that they just might, or might infringe upon their perceived right of "peace and quiet', which, candidly, is not a constitutional right akin to religion.

However, I believe this entire matter is being blown way out of proportion based on the facts, without getting to case law, or even the newer laws protecting religious activity.

This is not a matter of: should a religious organization be able to raise holy heck even if it disturbs the neighbors? It is not a binary choice of religion vs neighbor's rights.

This is a zoning matter, and a matter of existing uses of neighboring, similar non-commercial entities, and a desire to let children play outside during the day (not at 10P-7A protected quiet hours), during the week, and to permit the occupants to open doors and windows, establish a walking/praying garden, and use their property in a reasonable manner (to most), and with a set number of celebratory event days per the Commission. The fact the Commission punted this matter for parties to mediate it themselves is simply skirting their duty and obligation to find facts and make a decision. I am grateful the Council has spent this much time on the matter, as these are thoughtful volunteers serving our community's civic needs.

I am confident there are reasonable mitigation efforts that all parties can make given reasonable expectations of alternative use, existing locale on Hopyard Rd. and times of appropriate operation. No one wants the police being called on a weekly basis. No one wants to complain about decibel levels of air condensors, blenders, pool pumps, praying voices, children playing, or barbecue smoke.


30 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 10:39 am

My opinion is a registered user.

bigfan asserts that we should not consider any past performance by Resnick to indicate his likely future performance. What a crock.

Let's just say that you have a coach who abuses 10 year old boys and gets caught. His punishment is not to remain clear of ONLY 10 year old boys, he is prohibited from any contact with minors. He is treated as if he will abuse again -- which is extremely likely -- and that taint sticks with him because of his past behavior.

This issue with Resnick's past performance is very real and should concern everyone, including the City Council and our City attorney. He has a proven disregard for a lawfully issued CUP in a neighborhood where many posters have confirmed his misbehavior. That counts. He was evicted from a former property for non-payment of rent. That fiscal irresponsibility counts. He defied a legally binding contract. He is apparently making structural changes to this building without benefit of legal permits. That counts. His chabad was among those who rented from the Masons and created noise disturbances. That counts.

Note that none of these things has ANYTHING to do with religion. It speaks only to the non-trustworthy behavior of a person who wants to operate without any restrictions in a neighborhood that has already dealt with abusive noise. Why should the planning commission approve unrestricted hours of noise when Resnick has already proven his disregard for any restrictions in the past? Past performance is absolutely a valid predictor of future performance.

Again, not one thing stated here has anything to do with religion. If this was a bunch of old ladies wanting to start a knitting club, and they had a history of disregarding the CUP, non-payment of rent and violating city building codes I would protest that also. Get off this "it's all about religious persecution" bandwagon and face the issues that Resnick is not a trustworthy owner/tenant and needs to be forced to comply with all rules and restrictions set forth by the City.


30 people like this
Posted by Lou Stuhle
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Lou Stuhle is a registered user.

my opinion pretty much nailed it but i'll add this:

- bigscam wants to say i undermined my credibility and he does so by partially quoting me. not even putting "..." to indicate that he left things out. yes, continually violating and ignoring the CUP at the former residence is very much akin to SYMBOLICALLY giving the neighbors, code enforcement, the police, the city, the finger. i also said it was "borderline" yelling and screaming. you can call it "chanting" or whatever softened religious term you want to use, but for people living next to it, it's a bunch of grown adults speaking loudly at the same time. sounds an awful like yelling. not quite, but close. thus the "borderline" qualifier that you left out. the fact you have to cherry pick the quotes and leave out those qualifiers just shows your willingness to play the victim card and ironically, destroys your own credibility.

- bigscam, you keep wanting to put the masons on blast for their use of that property. while they weren't the best neighbors, i'll take their 2 or 3 out of control parties a year (it wasn't even that many), over regularly scheduled "chanting".

- your home purchase analogy is horribly flawed and poorly thought out. again, you want to put the masons on blast but nobody is bringing them up when discussing the new owners. if you want to use properly constructed and appropriate analogy, here is one: at the jones' previous home they parked their broken down RV in front of the house and left it there for months at a time. the jones' are now moving to a new neighborhood and the new neighbors see the RV being towed into the neighborhood. are the new neighbors to be ridiculed for being fearful that the jones' will continue their practice of storing their jalopy in front of their home? you want the new neighbors to disregard the jones' previous behavior. sorry. doesn't work that way.


22 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on May 12, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Its pretty much a sure bet that those outdoor parties and “celebrations” will only be bigger and louder when moving to a larger facility but right now I’m more concerned about work being done on that building without permits and will they get occupancy without fire sprinklers like the old Coffee Roasters Express building did when it was first built and occupied?? Hang in their nearby neighbors I figure they will last a couple of years then sell out to Ponderosa Homes for a big profit, it’s great to have Big lawyers scaring off our overpaid not very effective city lawyers.


1 person likes this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 12, 2018 at 7:22 pm

bigfan is a registered user.

No comment. Self explanatory. Oxymoron.


15 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 12, 2018 at 10:25 pm

skeptical is a registered user.

Oxymoron: measuring the decibel level of barbecue smoke


1 person likes this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

bigfan is a registered user.

There is no CUP required at a residence.

“.....some people you just can’t reach.”


22 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

skeptical is a registered user.

A residential large family daycare absolutely requires a CUP. In addition, there are City restrictions on how many large family daycares are permitted in an area. To your argument that there could be 30 daycares if homes were built on the two acre parcel, this is just not correct. There could be one, perhaps two, permitted on the site.

When a CUP is proposed, neighbors will come to the public hearings to raise concerns, as is their right. Although @bigfan doesn't seem to care how much noise is generated next to his/her home, most people do care. Counter to your argument, they're not looking for silence, they're looking to live in a relatively peaceful environment (when the police are called it's for "disturbing the peace"). These neighbors have every right to be concerned based on the experience of Resnick's previous neighbors.


1 person likes this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 14, 2018 at 6:35 am

bigfan is a registered user.

Skeptical.... appreciate the civility.

Fact: no permit is required for a family daycare up to 6 children excluding those living in the home in the City of Pleasanton.

10 homes equals 60+ kids without a permit.

10 homes playing in their backyard equals noise, sound, whatever you want to call it.

You do realize the home in question is right next to a major power transformer situated next to Hopyard Rd, at a stop light, right?

So let me get this straight, I buy such a home, and it is also located behind a church with an open daycare preschool and a Mason Center, along with a large parking lot. Then all of a sudden, I go in my backyard for a swim and to my chagrin, I hear cars braking, bicyclists peddling, passerby’s talking, kids playing, Masons talking, and I say to myself, wow, it is way noiser that I like it or I feel it should be? Gimme a break, please.

The only reason this is going on is simply because it has because a singular neighror’s life’s work in large part because of excessive behavior by Masons who rented out their site for large parties to folks who had zero vested interest in being neighborly. They themselves started with litigation, hired an attorney and began the process of spending money to eradicate any outdoor activity that just might bother them, and now by extension, want to transfer their financial and emotional investment as a hardship on new owners who have no history of policing, complaints, etc, except from said neighbors on their personal quest. It is simply irrational behavior operating out of such investment and fear.

As far as past performance being predictive of future results, again, it is irrational to say or think that oh, neighbors heard a lot of kids playing and there were lots of cars on Friday and Saturday (the holy days of the week), at a residence, when the property in question is NOT a residence.

Now, let’s go and count all the daycares and preschools co-located or next to residences in Pleasanton and at that point the potential for discrimination and irrational expectations will become crystal clear.


16 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 8:55 am

Buc Lau is a registered user.

@Bigfan- you seem to be chery-picking your argument to point the spotlight away from several facts that have been brought out as a result of this discussion.

The home in question is not next to a power transformer, I would re-examine what it is next to. Secondly it is not only one homeowner who is objecting. There are dozens of homeowners that expressed concerns, not just one.

You also are turning a blind eye to the fact of continued flaunting of the law by the organization: Namely, operating the facility sans the required conditional use permit, failing to obtain building permits prior to renovations. The question of financial accountability also comes to mind, with the eviction from the Quarry Lane building for non-payment of rent and the current property taxes that are past due.

Lastly, there are public records of the police and code enforcement calls by the neighbors (some who have commented in this forum) as to the breach of the CUP at the last residence.

This case is not going to be decided within the confines of this forum, however it does give opportunity for a balanced discussion. As I have mentioned before, I have no preference one way or another with this issue. However I do feel as if the applicants past behavior does not reflect well upon them. When looking at it objectively, their record seems pretty abysmal.


14 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 14, 2018 at 9:22 am

skeptical is a registered user.

@bigfan - your fandom for the good rabbi seems to cloud your objectivity. Many people on this forum have civilly raised legitimate and significant concerns about the organization based on experience. Your perspective seems to be that the neighbors have zero right to register concerns based on where their homes are located and the Chabad has 100% uninfringeable rights, has no track record to be mistrusted, and anything done to place restrictions on the use of the property represents religious discrimination. Hard to move a discussion forward from there.


2 people like this
Posted by bigfan
a resident of Old Towne
on May 14, 2018 at 10:48 am

bigfan is a registered user.

Buc Lau (nice handle BTW - he is a funny guy on line) - there is no cherry picking when I am the one who made the arguments and laid them out in the first place.

Concerns expressed by people who lived nearby the former Chabad site, a residence, surrounded by apartments, are not constituents herein at this site. They are two different scenarios with two different set of rules. There is a CUP in place at the new site. It is up for review, and by extension, clarity and use of the outside space, period. There was no CUP required at the last site, their home. They are not equivocal scenarios, and any "behavior" was that conducted at that site, or now, as requested and if approved, would be permitted at this site. This is a fairly simple concept to grasp.

Skeptical, absolutely, yet neighbors have rights to express concerns. As I have stated repeatedly, I personally would be up in arms at what had transpired in the many years past, preceding any activity since the property was legally acquired in late 2017. I would take into account, that I do live where I live, and yes, there is an electrical and phone/broadband center directly behind the neighbor's fenceline. That being said, this is not simply registering a complaint for redress, compromise, discussion. To wit, it is an absolute quest that no entity, no matter who they are, be permitted to use the outside space for fear of noise that they might find bothersome. This is neither neighborly, nor a legitimate expectation. As I stated, they are embedded, entrenched, and enthralled with their position which they commenced by hiring a lawyer.

Let's just get back to the simple task, and request of the City. Is it reasonable for a new owner of this site (with no history of abusing similar sites as they have never had one), to be able to open their windows or doors, or to have children playing during prescribed days/times outside, and hold a defined number of outdoor, non-amplified activities (just like the neighboring churches)?

The answer, without having to even get into legal rights, permits, religious freedom, 1st amendment, case law, parallel uses, is of course one should be able to do these things. The neighbor is living in a fantasy, that for them, has turned nightmare because of the sad history of the Masons tied to their choice to buckle-in for the fight of their lives of their own volition.

Buc Lau....Financial accountability....this is neither the business of the public, nor relevant as Chabad OWNS the building. Despite your homily, you do not have a desire for a balanced discussion when you take the position of the neighbors in question (who canvassed their neighborhood, fear-mongering), that they have the 100% right to keep neighbors indoors 24/7, period.

Lastly, any argument that homes might be devalued needs to stop here. The fact of the matter is the home for sale directly across form the preschool and eyeshot of Chabad building has tripled in value in the past decade. The neighbors, will, if they continue, or may have already, stigmatized their own neighborhood by making their mess public for all to see, hoping others near and far carry their dimly torch.

Raising points that are tangential in a blatant attempt to distract one from the facts is what is bothersome. It reminds me of a certain political party. Make your own argument based on relevant facts, rather than simply being party to those who say NO without your own plan, let alone a compromise.


13 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 11:18 am

Buc Lau is a registered user.

@"big fan". Unlike you, I use my own name, yet you choose to mock it. Nice-thank you for your tolerance. Again, you are inaccurate in your statements. The person on-line is Buk Lau. Different spelling. At least I am brave enough to use my name-unlike some.

Secondly, I did not side with the neighbors. I simply stated a fact that the opposition was supported by several dozen neighbors. I did not mention a petition, but apparently there was one. It seems you may be deflecting the facts. And, yes financial condition is a matter of public record, which is why they are public. It is certainly relevant when the applicant is making promises that cost money. You opened the can of worms, not me.


24 people like this
Posted by Lou Stuhle
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Lou Stuhle is a registered user.

"surrounded by apartments"

another lie. the house is on a corner lot and shares fences with two single family homes. two of the four sides are not apartments (the other two sides are streets across which are apartments, again, a corner house), hardly making it "surrounded". but that's what you do when your argument is weak. you embellish, exaggerate, misquote, and ignore facts.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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