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Downtown Planning: Are developers now making the decisions?

Original post made on Mar 22, 2019

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Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 22, 2019, 12:00 AM

Comments (32)

19 people like this
Posted by Measure V
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:21 am

Am I to understand that the city wants to build an office complex on the Bernal Property? Did the city conveniently forget that moving the offices and police station and jail to the Bernal Property would violate Measure V that the voters adopted in 2002?

Here is the Measure: Web Link

During that vote, the voters mandated that all uses on the city owned land be accessible to the public. I don't understand why the city thinks that it is allowed. Now the city wants to grab the property for private office space for themselves, shutting out the voters in the process.

The property as is outlined by Michael Roush, the existing city attorney was designated for "such as open space, parks, schools, daycare centers, transit centers, youth organizations, and art facilities." Office space for administrators and employees is not included.

Putting an office complex there including the jail is not "accessible to the public." The voters will never agree to change Measure V either particularly for some sort of fancy office complex.

There are plenty of offices that the city can lease in Hacienda Business Park if they want to move. There are plenty of vacancies.

But the city cannot seize the Bernal Property for its own office use. They will have to look for somewhere else to build the Fialho Majal.


3 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:56 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

The city plans to submit a ballot measure to approve it, as the original post clearly states.


14 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:34 am

Wondering where Julie Testa is hiding out with this sneaky back door nonsense going on, has she forgotten her campaign promises And the talks she had with the locals?? Julie please remember why we voted for you, don’t be signing on with the “village idiots” who can’t wait to destroy our downtown, we don’t need stack and pack housing downtown it’s already bad enough that Spring St. and Peters Ave slipped by, don’t sell out to the developers.


3 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:34 am

Just because people can't show up to late meetings in Pleasanton doesn't mean they aren't sending emails (like I have been).

I also roll my eyes at the implication that the Chamber of Commerce and its members are not "members of the public." Challenge their assumptions, which may be wrong or right. But guess what? Stores depend on customers, typically repeat customers, meaning those who live nearby.


16 people like this
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:36 pm

Please do not turn our retail downtown into a bunch of primarily 3 story residential buildings like Spring Street. If we give up our limited retail space it is gone forever.
Also, the tadk force should not be moving us backwards and changing Barones from retail to allowing residential. If Barones wants to change zoning out hey need to go thru the same process other propert owners do. No sweetheart deals for Barones please. They need to be treated just like other businesses are.


14 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:44 pm

BobB is a registered user.

NIMBYs are at it again. Build nothing anywhere.


5 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:46 pm

BobB is a registered user.

I agree more density for a senior housing development would have been better for everyone, but you can be sure that wasn't Testa's or Brown's reason for opposing it.


16 people like this
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Bob B
Are you a developer? Please focus on concerns raised as This is not a NIMBY issue. It impacts all residents who love our downtown. I live 2 miles from downtown and moved to Pleasanton because of our wonderful downtown as it is an amenity for all. I love Barones restaurant and local stores If barones and other retail sites are rezoned residential and 3-4 story complexes. Goal of task force was to increase vibrancy and that is what residents said they wanted across the city. What happened? We all lose if we have to go to Livermore and Dublin for restaurants and shopping.


16 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm

For some reason some people just won’t be happy till our Downtown is completely destroyed by stack and pack housing on every available lot, if you are really looking for a place to live with no downtown then move across the freeway to Dublin, plenty of housing for you over there you can almost jump from rooftop to rooftop across most of that town. Quit trying to ruin my town your “happy place” is just across that freeway!!


21 people like this
Posted by just wondering?
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:05 pm

Why is a task force chartered to reenergize downtown stacked with Chamber of Commerce members or beneficiaries, including the chair of the board of the chamber? And two Council members who receive campaign funds from the Chamber and from Barones.

Who is representing our residents? Our residents have been clear they do not want housing in the core commercial area (and for sure not on the ground floor). They want vibrant restaurants and shops they can enjoy.
Please write to the Council if you have concerns.


16 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2019 at 1:43 pm

My opinion is a registered user.

So the owner of Barones is tired of the cougar meat market thing they do and wants to cash out on development of houses? Tough luck. They fought tooth and nail to force the neighbors to tolerate the noise from their outdoor events. Suck it up and quit trying to change direction now.


5 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2019 at 9:13 pm

David is a registered user.

There are many many long time residents and business owners who are members of, and participate in Chamber support. They probably have a pretty good idea of property value, development costs and drivers of economic vitality (hotels, retail, housing, parking , etc). To say the process is stacked with developers is the way the PW makes headlines and generates controversy. If you you think the PW is correct, then the City is the primary and most influential developer running the plan since a proposed new civic center is interestingly enough a main component of the draft plan. In my opinion, the last several housing developments in downtown on Spring and Peters Street look overwhelming and that they were designed by a novice committee to makes NIMBY neighbors happy.


13 people like this
Posted by Joseph
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 25, 2019 at 9:47 am

The Peters development deters from our beautiful downtown, no one wants more housing downtown, let’s keep our downtown for shops, & restaurants. More parking would make it easier for people to come to downtown.


11 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 25, 2019 at 4:53 pm

I live near downtown. I think the proposals all sound fine, if they can limit the financial impact of moving the city offices by selling the land where the existing buildings are. I'd love to see the Main Street concept keep moving toward Bernal.

I have no problem with residential, 50 feet back from Main. It's a downtown. I think it would add to retail/restaurant life that is obviously in need of a jolt, given all the turnover and closed storefronts. That's what downtowns are for. I'd like more high density downtown. Someday, I'd like to get out of this house, and move someplace like that.

I haven't gone to meetings because I find the council has generally been making pretty good decisions (lane configuration at Owens BART notwithstanding).

So many people here wish it would just be 1978 again, and stop people from moving and reproducing. It's probably time for those people to move. Time moves on. Pleasanton is being planned very well.


11 people like this
Posted by Claire1
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 25, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Claire1 is a registered user.

Agree that The Peters townhouses and Spring street townhouses are out of scale. Please do not use as the model for our commercial core of the future. Most importantly, we need to protect our limited retail space for our future generations, not turn it into housing. We can never get retail back if we let it go. The developer of Peters, Mike Carey and Brian Bowers, wanted to also turn the small house (now Salt Craft) into a rental home. Fortunately the Planning Commission said no, save it for retail. We need to do more of this.


9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2019 at 8:12 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Concerned citizen,

No, I am not a developer, and yes it is a NIMBY issue. We can have both retail and housing.


3 people like this
Posted by ya. so?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

you are correct Bob. This is a NIMBY
are you inferring that i should be ashamed of that?


10 people like this
Posted by Claire1
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

Claire1 is a registered user.

Hey Bob,
Take your NIMBY argument to the end...
If the task force rezones Main Street/side streets to allow more homes than businesses, even more residents will complain when busy restaurants next to them are lively.
Then the restaurants will lose businesses as the complaining residents will trump the struggling restaurants.
That is why the city created a "buffer zone" between our commercial district vs. residential district.

Yes, let's have businesses and homes downtown but let's be thoughtful where they are located (Not on main street)so we protect our retail vibrancy.


16 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 12:37 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@ya,

Yes, being a NIMBY is a bad thing. You are selfishly putting your personal needs before those of your fellow citizens.


11 people like this
Posted by Claire1
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Claire1 is a registered user.

Protecting our limited retail space is a broad priority across the city. Here are the facts from the survey of over 1100 Pleasanton residents (starts on page 8)
Web Link

Residents say they want our commercial core to be vibrant retail. Most do not want any housing. Some say there can be some housing but 90% say NOT on the ground floor.

Aside from our schools, a top reason people live in Pleasanton is because of our unique and vibrant downtown. That is why we need to protect our limited amount of retail space for all residents to enjoy.


4 people like this
Posted by so?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 2:16 pm

personal needs?? not sure where that,s coming from but how would you feel about a vote by our citizens Bob?


12 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 3:32 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@so,

For starters, try sticking to a single name, and stop using the name field for comments. It is obnoxious and violates the Pleasanton Weekly Town Hall rules.


4 people like this
Posted by so?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 5:04 pm

struck a nerve. democracy does that sometimes


6 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2019 at 6:16 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@so,

Please choose a name and stick to the rules. No reason to be a jerk. M


3 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Look, honestly I'm not the one who cares about ground floor vs mixed use. I don't care as long as it is mixed use.

But why would 2nd floor housing be any different than ground floor housing with regards to noise complaints in a "vibrant" downtown? Makes no sense to me.

Also, self-selecting surveys are not scientific - they commonly overemphasize whiter, richer constituents - and they are going to exclude those people who need the housing, because they're already priced out. It's a data point, sure, but not the only one.


12 people like this
Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 26, 2019 at 9:30 pm

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

Jeb, you hit the nail on the head with this one!
The sole purpose of this task force is to conclude that we need a new Civic Center on the Bernal Property. That's it! Little to no money or effort going to improving parking in the downtown. And it looks as if they went to great lengths to avoid having residents, property owners or business owners involved in the process.
Very similar to the Costco deal...


6 people like this
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Mar 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm

sjd
The problem with having ground floor homes in our core retail district (e.g., Main Street) is it displaces limited retail space and retail stores need other retail stores to survive. However, if housing on the 2nd floor, then the first floor can still be vibrant retail. You are right, either way, residents will hear the noise but that is their choice if they move downtown.

Vibrant downtowns(e.g, Livermore and Danville) do not allow ground floor housing in their core commercial area (and many do not even allow it on the first floor either). They protect their retail corridors.


7 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 28, 2019 at 6:15 pm

If Barones wants to “cash out” then let them go but forget about putting housing there, bring back something like Villa Armando Winery that used to be in that location, put in a tasting room and maybe some small retail spaces like Blacksmith Square in Livermore! Already too many new homes going in across the street from Barones and I’m betting they aren’t in the “affordable” price range!!!
Measure V—- the city is hoping we have forgotten about that one, JT knows about it we talked to her about that measure, let’s see if she sticks to her promises.


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Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2019 at 7:38 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@concerned,

I didn't mean to imply that I disagreed with you on first floor residential. I agree and prefer that some first floor should be reserved for retail.


5 people like this
Posted by factchecker1
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm

factchecker1 is a registered user.

Love MAP's idea of having Barones be maybe a tasting room or area like Blacksmith square in Livermore with restaurants, tasing rooms, cool shops and parking. That is the perfect spot.

This is a perfect spot to also build out some of the concepts of the town square assuming voters do not approve the $200M plan the city wants.

Bottom line - fine if Barone's wants to sell out but this land needs to be preserved for other retail just as the General Plan and zoning says. We need more vibrant retail downtown so we do not have to go to Livermore for restaurants and later night entertainment.


Like this comment
Posted by Ernest
a resident of Avignon
on Apr 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Ernest is a registered user.

This release is really informative and shows a good example of a nature-friendly project we can all spend our time on. Web Link


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Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm

@concerned,

Uh, yeah, I understand that there are reasons you might not want it (and reasons you would, too), which is why I said I didn’t care. What I’m trying to avoid is this turning into “no mixed use downtown because developers.”

I’d really encourage Pleasanton Weekly to invite someone from the task force to comment. They are real people making decisions, and they must have heard something convincing from the Chamber.


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