Town Square

Post a New Topic

Pleasanton: Task force spurns council's input, pushes own downtown plan version

Original post made on Jun 5, 2019

A years-long effort to update the Downtown Specific Plan ended with a bit of a thud when the task force charged with spearheading the assignment voted 4-3 to reject the City Council's review an push its own draft plan instead

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 11:59 AM

Comments (19)

17 people like this
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2019 at 5:50 pm

My opinion is a registered user.

Barone shoved his meat market down the throats of the city and every resident within hearing of the excessive noise. Now he wants to bypass normal environmental studies -- which would be at his expense -- and get the city to rubber stamp his development of homes on that site. Who exactly has he paid off?


15 people like this
Posted by 30 yr resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Candidly there’s 98% agreement that’s because 98% of the election campaign funds come from the same people and groups. The CC sold our town to real estate developers years ago now the real estate developers are recognizing the roi from that investment.


3 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:45 pm

I remember a phone conversation I had with a lady city council member twenty-five years ago. She said to me "developers are not welcomed in this town".

So, 30 yr resident: Can you be more specific and detail when that sell out occurred?


8 people like this
Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2019 at 9:54 pm

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

How about parking?


5 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Michael, you have an awesome memory. The women on the council at the time, 25 years ago, were dynamic contributors to the Community of Pleasanton. To say "developers are not welcome in this town" perhaps was out of context. Maybe she was talking about developers are not welcome to develop the Ridgelands. Anyhow, they wanted housing on Bernal, endorsed Stoneridge Drive and the West Las Positas Interchange.
Aside from that, we have a well managed City, the meeting was attended by no more than 40 people, not counting Pleasanton Staff. Vice-Mayor Karla Brown and Councilmember Julie Testa attended as well.
It was a most interesting meeting. One thing for certain, property owners want to stake their claim, that is their right and our Planning Commission and City Council with Staff's assistance will fiqure it out...being that the Community at-large is not really engaged with so mich of their own to deal with. Anyhow...parking was discussed for about a half hour, plan A and B but meeting was geared toward the solution at hand...18 meetings later.


6 people like this
Posted by Hijacking citizen committees
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2019 at 2:12 am

The headline with the word "spurn" sounds like something out of the National Enquirer.

"spurn"

verb
1.
reject with disdain or contempt

The City Council and Planning Commissioners can vote Yes or No on items on Specific Plans when they come to them for review and approval. For them to insert themselves in the process prior to it coming to them for review and approval is hijacking the process.

I believe the Pleasanton Weekly is unaware that Specific Plan committees used to be independent committees where City Council members did not hijack the process.

For the last 15 years, the City Council has not allowed citizen committees to do their work without being hounded by politicians.

Once upon a time, there were citizens committees that developed and revised the General Plan. Starting in the early 2000's the City Council took it over and did not even allow a citizen committee to be appointed.

Also, prior to a few years ago, Planning Commissioners and/or City Council members were not members of Specific Plan committees or Ad Hoc committees or Task Forces. These operated as working committees not under the direction of the Planning Commission or City Council. In the mid 2000 time period this changed. Gone were the independent citizen committees.

Now for some reason, the politicians --- at least 2 Planning Commissioners and/or 2 City Council members --- are usually appointed to every one of these committees or task forces so that their votes are essentially doubled. Now the commissions and committees became unduly influenced by the politicians.

The Planning Commission and City Council should not weigh in or attempt to influence the once independent Specific Plan committees until their work is done.
Instead they have inserted themselves in the process from beginning to end.

No wonder the Downtown Specific Plan committee refused to rubber stamp work that was not their own. Good for them.


10 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Frankie is a registered user.

The TF are to be commended for volunteering 2-1/2 years of public service whether people like the plan or not, although 98 percent of the plan appears to be a consensus. Why vilify developers who constructed and rehab several buildings in downtown. I remember the “good old days” when downtown was a bunch of run down bars and vacant storefronts. Now we have some life there!


10 people like this
Posted by Protect vibrancy
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 7, 2019 at 9:33 am

Protect vibrancy is a registered user.

Frankie appreciate your thoughts about how developers can help us increase vibrancy in our downtown. A Shout out to the developers who Increased downtown vibrancy, for example, The Sidetrack restaurant and the Starbucks building. We need more developers like this.
Shout down to the developers that profit by displacing our commercial spaces with supersized residential townhouses like on Peters and Spring. Instead, there is plenty of opportunity to build residential where it belongs - in the residentially zoned areas of our downtown. This will help us keep our unique downtown character.


2 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2019 at 9:54 am

Frankie is a registered user.

While I think the Peters and Spring Street are somewhat overwhelming due to their height and mostly scale next to smaller buildings, I don’t completely oppose houses in downtown so long as they blend nicely. I like the idea of senior apartments at Railroad and Division across from the Firehouse Theatre. I think developers should make a profit like any other business but it is the community that should help to guide the decisions.


10 people like this
Posted by Protect vibrancy
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 7, 2019 at 11:54 am

Protect vibrancy is a registered user.

Yes the community should guide decisions. And residents have been loud and clear they do not want residential displacing commercial space. You can see this in minuttrs from tadk force meetings and community survey. That is why the exiting downtown plan forbids residential unless the Council allows exceptions which they allowed on these properties.

So just hope developers help us build projects that mutually benefit the community and where they can make money. There is plenty of opportunity. But it is not turning our business district into a bunch of condo buildings.


Like this comment
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm

I hope Vibrancy attends the task force meetings. Online opinion posts are fine but if you really need to be involved to understand all issues and perspectives when you have strong opinions.


2 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2019 at 5:55 pm

BobB is a registered user.

I think the townhouses at Peters and Spring look fine.


3 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Jack is a registered user.

How come when something happens in other Pleasanton neighborhoods, the residents are always consulted, but when it's downtown, our neighborhood belongs to the community, and things get decided by a Task Force?


3 people like this
Posted by Jan
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 10, 2019 at 8:40 am

Jack, you know your question is rhetorical — and you do not live in a traditional neighborhood. The DSP has unusual traffic problems, a large commercial district, some undeveloped open spaces, land owners that hope to make large amounts of money by building up multi story buildings, and most of all, this is our historic downtown. Many of us purchased homes in Pleasanton to enjoy the bucolic, quaint, small scale, old-fashioned and precious downtown. We are willing to fight to retain all that is special in our downtown. Please keep that in mind when you complain about public feedback throughout Pleasanton.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 10, 2019 at 9:45 am

Jack is a registered user.

Jan, you write like a well informed and intelligent person... Do you know how many people on the Task Force pay property taxes in the Downtown? One, Jan Batcheller. Why did they purposely avoid putting residents and property owners on the Task Force? My issue goes back to the Boston Tea Party, taxation without representation! If you're going to tell me what is best for me and my property, at least give me a seat at the table! And since you and others "purchased homes in Pleasanton to enjoy the bucolic, quaint, small scale, old-fashioned and precious downtown," why don't you attend a Council Mtg and tell them to use some of your tax dollars to build some parking down here? And while you might be "willing to fight to retain all that is special in our downtown," how about the people who pay the bills to create and maintain what is special in Downtown?


4 people like this
Posted by Joe P
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 10, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Jack, your facts are not right. Teri Pohl has stated early on at the DSP Task Force meetings that she lives downtown, for a total of 2 members that LIVE in the DSP area. I personally do not know where everyone else lives but they all live in Pleasanton and they all dine, shop and enjoy our great downtown. In addition, the City helps to fund the PDA/Downtown Assoc. with my tax dollars so to your point - the residents throughout Pleasanton have a paid seat at the table for what this town looks like going forward.


8 people like this
Posted by Our shared downtown
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Our shared downtown is a registered user.

Healthy downtowns are gathering places for all residents of A community. Our downtown is one of the top reasons residents moved here. All residents pay taxes to maintain downtown streets, sidewalks, parks, lighting, city buildings including the library. It takes all residents to shop and eat downtown to keep it healthy. I live near Amador and walk to coffee or dinner a few times a week. I spend at least $5k a year in purchases a year adv do many others who do not live in downtown. This is OUR collective downtown and we care about it just as much as you and deserve to share in the future.

We do not want our prime commercial areas turned into houses as we would amenities we all enjoy. We need more vibrant retail.


Like this comment
Posted by Patcher
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 14, 2019 at 2:04 pm

@Frankie, "I remember the “good old days” when downtown was a bunch of run down bars and vacant storefronts. Now we have some life there!"

We have numerous vacancies (except for residential stack & packs being built in a flash). Vibrancy, not so much.

Just look at the vacancies between Angela and Ray alone that either sit vacant for years, or else take years to complete.

310 Main Street A
310 Main Street D
337 Main Street (adjacent space to BofA)
349 Main Street #150
401 Main Street
620 Main Street
725 Main Street

We should take SF's lead by having tighter requirements and a penalty for owners of vacant storefronts.

@Protect Vibrancy, "A Shout out to the developers who Increased downtown vibrancy, for example, The Sidetrack restaurant and the Starbucks building. We need more developers like this."

YES!!
And, how about sign enforcement, which would provide for a maximum number of days that a "Coming Soon" Banner can be displayed, so it actually means something.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 14, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Jack is a registered user.

Our shared Downtown writes: This is OUR collective downtown and we care about it just as much as you and deserve to share in the future.

Patcher writes: We should take SF's lead by having tighter requirements and a penalty for owners of vacant storefronts.

Which is it?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 693 views

District elections will be problematic
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 587 views

Fly the flag, it’s “Flag Week”
By Jeb Bing | 3 comments | 306 views

 

Nominations due by Sept. 16

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form