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Pleasanton's Housing Element workshop meets tonight

Original post made on Mar 8, 2011

The city of Pleasanton will host the first of three neighborhood workshops tonight to seek public input regarding sites being considered for rezoning to accommodate new, high density housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 8:09 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Concerned Californian
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Low-income housing advocacy group Urban Habitat works closely with low-income housing developers to sway public opinion on low-income housing projects.

By law, low-income housing developers pay *less* school impact fees than other private developers. In San Leandro, the developer for a 500-unit development called San Leandro Crossings was slated to only pay the school district $900,000 in impact fees, while paying $10 Million to build a new parking garage. The nearest elementary school was already overcrowded by 135 students, full of portables and needed three lunch periods to accommodate all of the children.

When asked about the impact of the development on this severely overcrowded public school, members of Urban Habitat and project proponents responded that it “was the school district’s problem.”

Pleasanton Unified School Board president Valerie Arkin has stated that school demographers expect 400 new students alone from the planned 850-unit Hacienda Transit Oriented Development; 180 of those will be elementary school students slated to attend Donlon. Ms. Arkin has stated that the impact fees received from developers will not cover the cost of new school construction, nor is a new school planned. Additionally, the greenbelt space in the Valley Trails Neighborhood currently zoned for public or institutional use is another proposed site to be re-zoned for additional low-income housing. This would also have a major detrimental impact on Donlon and Hart.

Pleasanton’s public schools are its greatest asset. Severely overcrowded schools are detrimental to our community.

While Pleasanton’s housing cap may have been ruled unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable what Urban Habitat and low-income housing developers are trying to do to Pleasanton’s public schools, and may necessitate our city and school board taking legal action against the state for this unfunded mandate that stands to destroy quality public education in Pleasanton. I only hope our esteemed Housing Task Force and esteemed city officials will do right by Pleasanton's youngest residents - it's school aged children; and that they are not on the take from developers and this is already a closed-door done deal.

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Let's get real here. The city lost in court. Was it not unconscionable for the city and the school district to NOT plan for a forecasted school population that would result from meeting state law Housing Element requirements? By trying to skirt the law was proper, yes? And, now the poster crosses that line that so many others are quick to do by accusing city officials and Housing Element Task Force members "on the take from developers" and an "already closed door done deal". This is purely slanderous and totally uncalled for. Maybe you are the crook in these going-on's because you don't want to obey state law and you are bigoted.

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Posted by Concerned Californian
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

In response to *frank*, my comment does not meet the means test for libel (slander is actually the term for comments made orally, libel is for comments made in writing), because I am not stating something as fact that I know to be untrue. I expressed a sincere statement of hope about elected officials. And to give context, my concern is based on actions of council persons from another town, not Pleasanton.

In a democracy-which surprising to some, we're still in-open debate and discussion about public officials is covered by our First Amendment Rights. We still have those last time I checked.

However, calling me a crook and bigoted does appear to violate the terms of this web site as it is a personal attack.

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Posted by so Pleasant
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

you're a real inspiration Frank, never the less, I've decided to give up my spot in the line to be your neighbor.

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Frank, what's your dog in this hunt? You a slum lord, contractor, developer or just looking for housing for your harem? In any case, your obnoxious response makes it look like you have something to gain here, at our expense.

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Posted by PLT-RES
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Mar 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Frank, you have lots of nearby towns to relocate. Please spare Pleasanton. Please leave this town and it's great schools. Thank you!

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Posted by VTR
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

I attended the meeting at Fairlands. I am also a Valley Trails resident. The "ranking" system used by our local government is, by their own admission, flawed. Valley Trails made the final cut because it was close to schools, close to Lucky's, etc. What it DIDN'T take into consideration is: Valley Trails is in a "horseshoe" shaped neighborhood (the only way in out is the way you came in --- or the other side of the horseshoe), half the street do NOT have sidewalks. So they are going to force more pedestrians into the streets at the same time doubling the vehicle traffic. This has tragic disaster written all over it.

They also didn't "count" the ever-expanding/contracting clay we live on. Residents have had to build french drains, and repair (often) significant foundation damage to single story and 2-story homes... and they want to put THREE story buildings on this soil? Good luck.

Pleasanton added new housing to our neighborhood in the past -- but they built single and two story houses at the ENTRANCE of the neighborhood -- that was decent planning! The houses fit the existing neighborhood, and it added very, very little extra traffic.

And yes, I am pissed about the schools. My wife and I planned to move to Pleasanton 5 years before we did. We bought and sold two other houses PLANNING to move to a community that WE KNEW was more expensive --- but had excellent schools. We have one child at Donlon, another on the way to Donlon. It is upsetting to know that, without any plans for additional funding, this will impact their education... an education we planned to give them before they were born. I realize that this is not the most concrete "arguement" against the plan -- but... if this were you, you'd have to admit to being a tad peaved at this...

The City Council needs to take into consideration the soil, traffic, noise, pollution, FEMA requirements, etc before it puts ANY kind of housing (low income or million dollar condos) into the middle of a U-shaped neighborhood.

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Posted by Beth
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Instead of just saying no no no, vtr, why don't you tell us where you think the court-mandated housing should go...

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Posted by VTR
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

@Beth - Hi There! We did. Over 100 of us at that first meeting shared our thoughts. The City gave us the directive to "tell us why we should remove VT from the list..."

That's why you see us listing CONS -- it's all City Planning wants to hear.

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Posted by Beth
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm


That's not true. I was there too and the city asked for pros and cons and alternatives.

So I will repeat- if you don't want housing there, where it go and why?

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Posted by VTR
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

@Beth - I've attended two of three meetings, and will be there again for the 3rd, where for a THIRD time they will ask "TELL US WHY WE SHOULD REMOVE YOU FROM THE LIST." This is NOT a request for PRO's.

If you attended the meeting as you say you did, you will notice that Valley Trails residents made up better than 90% of the attendees -- at both meetings.

If you've ever been to our neighborhood, and I would encourage you to do so, you will find a small, almost secluded area that just CANNOT handle high density housing!! Also, if you attended the meeting(s) as you say you did, I don't have room on this post to list the other sites totaling 108 acres. You would also know, if you attended the meetings, that we ARE giving feedback on every other site on the plan.

I don't see ANY OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD in Pleasanton opposing the plan in their neighborhood. This means one of two things (or both): those sites are good sites, and the residents living there agree, or every other neighborhood on this list just doesn't care.

I love that my neighborhood DOES care. We care about where we live, and we care about plans that could impact our day to day quality of living.

...and I'm having a hard time figuring out why you have a problem with it...??? I don't wish to get confrontational about this, but you are obviously pissed about this for some reason. If you were at the meetings you'd know that your post:

"Instead of just saying no no no, vtr, why don't you tell us where you think the court-mandated housing should go..."

...was asked and answered, repeatedly, at the meetings...

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Posted by Beth
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm


Why did you go to all three meetings???

And the reason I might care is because I might live near another one of the sites and am trying to be reasonable about the fact that the zoning needs to go somewhere. Just saying "no" isn't enough. This has to be done. And I am beginning to resent Valley Trails repeatedly saying no to anything on that site. We all have to share the responsibility for additional housing Single family housing was proposed a long time ago for that site and was shouted down then too. What do you want to go there??

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Posted by Melisa
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Its intersting that other neighborhoods werent "at the meetings". Our neighborhood, never received any infromation about the meetings. We had some neighbors finally attend the last meeting after finding out from other friends who lived in VT about the meetings. Our neighborhood already has Low income housing as part of the mandated laws for "newer" construction. The "turn out" from neighbors wont change the city's "vote" as we were assured, as its not a popularity contest. Its comes down to evenly distrubuting these needed units throughout the community with as little impact on schools, traffic, home values, etc. Each community can have great reasons why they dont want to be "chosen", but the bottom line is they need 70 acres and families and homes will be affected!

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

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