https://pleasantonweekly.com/square/print/2016/05/17/measure-k---the-big-picture


Town Square

Measure K - The Big Picture

Original post made by Matt Sullivan, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on May 17, 2016

If you are struggling with all the Yes on K campaign propaganda and how to vote on the Lund Ranch II referendum, I would suggest you step back and look at the bigger picture. Inequality. The inequality of power that the Growth Coalition that rules Pleasanton has over you. This is a coalition of developers, businesses, insider groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, and City Staff. They have one thing in common: money, either in the form of profits or tax revenue. Their appetite is insatiable but fundamentally unsustainable. With the exception of Karla Brown, the City Council are mere employees of the Coalition and serve to enact favored policies and projects, and are paid with campaign contributions and the prestige and nominal power of office.

This coalition is not concerned with the public interest, and as a result, we Pleasantonian’s have fought for our voice through the referendum and initiative process many times over since the 1980’s. Measure K, and the anti-Costco initiative now underway, are just the latest examples of citizens standing up for their rights to power over their lives and their community. If you think this is just the nonsense of a “conspiracy theorist”, well, all I can tell you is I lived it as a two-term City Councilmember and saw how it worked.

Take back your power as self-governed citizens on June 7th and vote NO on Measure K. Doing so will not only preserve our hillsides but save what little we have left of democracy.

Matt Sullivan
Resident of Pleasanton
City Councilmember 2004-2012
Planning Commissioner 1998-2004

p.s. Please limit responses to civil debate on issues and use your real name. Personal attacks and malicious rants will be ignored.

Comments

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matt, really; read the article. The growth is coming. Either we manage it for the better or lose it to things like 350 apartments at Stanley and Bernal or those under construction across from BART. This is the best deal, 43 homes and open space. That isn't propaganda. And Costco is about corporate space, unless we put another 350 apartments there too.

As to money, where is the surprise? The plan existed for decades as 150 homes. The developer is being charitable enough if you think it through. Measure K is a equitable compromise and the best way to ensure reasonable growth and open space. Yes on Measure K is our only way to control that space.

That IS the big picture.


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 17, 2016 at 10:45 am

@"Kathleen Ruegsegger" :"The developer is being charitable enough if you think it through."

A "charitable developer"? Really? Kathleen, you are so naive. You think that the developer's actions on this matter and offer are driven by "charity" rather than a cold-blooded calculation of the political forces involved and the costs-versus-benefits to itself?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 17, 2016 at 11:04 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yeah, that too. Doesn't change that this is the best deal.


Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

So I've taken a step back and asked myself what if all 43 houses only used Lund Ranch Rd with no connection to Sunset Creek Rd? Would the Sycamore Heights neighborhood and others have done a referendum? My conclusion is NO as there would not have been any traffic from this development going through their neighborhood. If that's the case, than its hard to accept some of the statements coming from the No on K campaign such as houses are built on slopes greater than 25% or on hillsides, etc. Those would be in violation of PP. I conclude that this is really about a neighborhood not wanting any additional traffic and using PP to hide behind that fact. I find that ironic as traffic from their neighborhood goes through the Bridle Creek neighborhood and I don't recall that neighborhood complaining.


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

@justwondering: "I conclude that this is really about a neighborhood not wanting any additional traffic and using PP to hide behind that fact."

To me it appears that this is really about two neighborhoods, neither of which want any more traffic, that are fighting each other over how the traffic flow should be divvied up between them. Like most Pleasanton voters, I don't have a dog in that fight. So I'm voting according to which side has Measure PP on their side. That would be the "No on Measure K" side.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

Kathleen,

You have missed the point of my post: the oligarchy we live under in Pleasanton – or for the rest of the country for that matter – is making the decisions we will have to live under. We have no say unless we resort to referenda and initiatives. Unless collectively we pay attention and vote for those who will actually represent us. November is getting close and I only hope people are paying attention.

A couple comments on your post:

• Relying on getting objective news from the Pleasanton Weekly on development projects is not wise. I forgot to mention that the corporate press, pundits, and lobbyists – like those who work for Greenbrier – are also part of the Growth Coalition.
• Why do developers and their supporters always say things like “34 homes is better than 350 apartments”? The reason we have 350 apartments across from BART, as well as other high-density projects around town, is due to state mandates (RHNA) and our requirement to rezone these properties to accommodate it several years ago. Lund Ranch was not rezoned for high-density use, and in fact Lund Ranch is not needed for RHNA.
• Our existing Growth Management ordinance has a floating “housing cap” based on RHNA. This project clearly violates that cap. However, just as with Measure PP, the Council chose to ignore it and approve the project anyway. Actually using our existing growth management tools is the way to ensure reasonable growth, not approving ever more unneeded luxury housing. The open space will be there whether they build it or not – it’s a false argument.
• Just because a real estate speculator submits a plan, even decades ago, doesn’t not provide entitlement to construct a project. After Measure PP initially passed, the City Staff concluded that the only viable option for the project was 10 units to stay in compliance. Since then both the Staff and Council majority flip-flopped on the “road as structure” argument and now they get 43. Who got the gift?
• Violating Measure PP is not a compromise and sets a dangerous precedent for future ridge and hillside development.

Propaganda from the Yes on K team? I would say definitively so. This is not the best deal.

Also, there are many other options for the Johnson Drive site than a Costco or nothing. 350 apartments for this site is a red herring used by Coscto supporters. As above, this site has not been zoned for housing and is not needed for RHNA. And even if it was, what serves societal needs better: affordable housing or consuming large quantities of unneeded junk? As with Lund Ranch, a Costco is what the developer wants and the city is salivating at the perceived revenue. The problems are being brushed aside by both – the $5 million in taxpayer subsidies (plus interest), the unmitigated traffic impacts on the freeways, the damage to our local, small businesses from the vulture-capitalist big box model, and the degradation of nearby resident’s quality of life. Do you think this is the best deal, too? The Council majority apparently thinks so. With the exception of Karla, they have all publically stated their support. No small wonder why a citizen’s initiative is in the works to stop another “best deal” decided for us.


Posted by Senior Citizen
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

@Mr Sullivan,

If the majority vote is against the City Council approved Ordinance 2133 (YES vote does not prevail) then the developer has the option of re-submitting a new plan for the property.

What if he re-submits his original proposal to route all traffic through Mission Hills/Ventana Hills and all 43 (or maybe additional) homes are accessed via a Lund Ranch Road only extension, and, City Council approves this plan (in spite of agreements with Mission Hills/Ventana Hills signed off my a City Council many years ago - perhaps when you served on the Council or Planning Commission)?

Would you and the folks opposing "Voting YES on K" then voice your opposition to this new plan? If you would be opposed to any building on Lund II how you do that? Via another referendum? Would you come to City Council and demand no new homes on Lund II?

My gut tells me that if the "split traffic" provision of Ordinance 2133 was not in place there would not be all the contentiousness now spreading through Pleasanton.

There are many of us who are voting YES on K who, like yourself, would rather not see any NEW developments in Pleasanton. But Lund II has been on the agenda for almost 20 years and the compromise solution agreed to by the developer (far less homes, far less "profit") benefits Pleasanton with "usable" open space (I've walked it many times) and mitigated traffic flow through affected neighborhoods.

Democracy can be good (when solutions provide the optimal benefit for all parties) or bad when it leads to "tyranny of the majority". That's why the Founding Fathers chose a Republic form of government where elected officials (like yourself) make informed decisions on behalf of the electors.


Posted by justwondring
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Senior Citizen, you said it better than I did! I would like to hear from someone on the No on K campaign address the question of what would they do if the developer came back with a plan for 43 homes with all traffic going down Lund Ranch road. My conclusion is that the answer is nothing which is why I conclude this is really about a neighborhood hiding behind PP to not have any additional traffic. (Consider where Bill Lincoln & Michele Plunge live; two folks who are out front on the No on K campaign.)

What really bothers me is all the money spent by the property owner defending his project approval & the residents who live on Sunset Creek Way fighting traffic. Wouldn't it be nice if this money was instead donated to the school district and could fund at least a year of library assistants or other positions.


Posted by Voting YES for the Truth
a resident of Mission Park
on May 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Voting YES for the Truth is a registered user.

Seems rather suspicious that Matt Sullivan suddenly puts down every group or news agency that has a difference of opinion to him. So really, they are ALL awful?! You didn't say that in the past when they agreed with you, but suddenly now "see the light" I guess. I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.

Matt Sullivan, you have intentionally and publicly misled Pleasanton Voters by feeding them misinformation time and time again. While it may be easy to use political tricks and lies, it is morally disgraceful.

And you talk about money and greed, and yet the main contributors to the "no" campaign people live in multi-million dollar homes on tops of hills. (You can verify this by looking at their financial statements for the campaign)

I'm voting YES on K because it:

*Complies with Measure PP
*Limits the development to 43 homes (who knows what the next plan will be, and we likely won't vote on it)
*Gives the city a TREMENDOUS gift of 174 acres of Public Open Space (I enjoy walking the ridge, and now will enjoy walking that preserve too)
*Gives 1.2 Million to the schools (which is double the requirement and the schools negotiated this directly with the developer)
*Shares the traffic between two neighborhoods (instead of unfairly dumping it all around Mission Park)
*Keeps affluent neighborhoods from diverting their share of traffic into middle-class neighborhoods

And you can verify everything I say by calling the city and asking them.



Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The Costco comment was my own, not a red herring from supporters. I'm not involved on either side of that issue. You say it's not zoned and not needed for RHNA. That's because that space was occupied when the decision was handed down by the state. There is no guarantee that land wouldn't get rezoned should the former Clorox land remain empty.

"even more unneeded luxury housing". I'm not sure if you are intentionally insulting some of our current residents and taxpayers, are noting a personal objection to luxury homes (how does that hurt anyone?), or both.

There is no guarantee some future decision won't rezone the Lund property should it remain undeveloped because of a no vote. That is why I posted the article about projected growth through 2100. Either we are smart now as a community or we risk someone telling us what to do with that land. Measure PP hasn't been violated; this deal protects our community; it gives us open space; it is the best deal. Yes on Measure K.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I support YES vote on measure K!


Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on May 19, 2016 at 7:42 am

MsVic is a registered user.

@Matt Sulluvan - your posts clearly identify why you no longer represent the people of Pleasanton as an elected official. Clearly this issue is about traffic and two neighborhoods, nothing else. The development does not violate PP. There are no homes on hills. I was at the planning commission meetings and city council meetings where every single person in Sycamore Heights and Bridal Creek that were present declared that they were 100% fine with the development if all the traffic went through Ventana Hills, down Independence Drive, past the Mission Hills Park and down Junipero. Tell me where in any of the meeting minutes did any of them state that they were opposed to the plan because home would be on hills? That's because there are no homes on hills! Those same neighbors fully approved the plan as long as they didn't get the traffic. Vote YES on K and don't let one neighborhood and one ex council member tell deceitful mistruths. Learn the truth, visit the site this Sunday at 1500 Lund Ranch Road. See for your self the truth about this development.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

MsVic (whoever you really are),

You sound like a campaign commercial for Yes on K. Are you?

If this is nothing more than a dispute between two neighborhoods and traffic, why do I oppose Measure K? I don’t live in either neighborhood. I would also guess that the vast majority of the 6000 people that signed the referendum petition to overturn the project don’t live in those neighborhoods either. This is nothing more than a cynical campaign tactic to discredit the opposition to Measure K as nothing but selfish NIMBY’s. Or, my favorite, a pack of liars.

If you actually read my original post this issue is about so much more:

• It’s about a City Council ignoring the will of the people and approving a project that violates the provisions of a citizens’ initiative and the city municipal code, otherwise known as the law

• It’s about a city government that holds the best interests of the business and development community above the common good of the public

• It’s about a corrupt, anti-democratic local politics that mimics the same corruption at the state and national level and places decision making in the hands of an elite, privileged few. Otherwise known as an Oligarchy.

I would say that these issues are a little more important that traffic from 43 houses. And I would say that those opposed to Measure K are fighting for our fundamental rights as citizens. And I would say that you and other supporters of Measure K are a part of the problem, whether you’re in it for the money, campaign contributions, power, or even if you are only worried about traffic. And I do sympathize with both neighborhoods for the box the Council put them in which has resulted in this war.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Your council conversation with Karla Brown, acknowledging that PP does not include roads, is testimony enough that this project does not violate PP.

The fact that growth will come (see post regarding projected to 2100) is fact enough to support wise growth and protecting open space that can never be built. That government and business have worked together WITH the community in (a) compromise limiting the number of homes and (b) securing open space says the collaboration worked.

Elite, privileged few turns out to be those who don't want traffic by their hillside homes, even though they SIGNED documents acknowledging that fact.

I will vote YES on Measure K. I have no dog in this fight. The process worked, the measure deserves a thumbs up.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

This tired argument from Yes on K supporters is getting very old and is misleading as well. My conversation with Karla Brown on June 26, 2008 did not codify that a road is or is not a structure under Measure PP. That was accomplished on November 27, 2012 when the City Council unanimously determined that “streets and/or roads and their attendant infrastructure are a structure in that they are a physical improvement on the property intended to accommodate development of residential and commercial structures and, therefore, are covered by Measure PP.” Check the minutes. I was on that Council, as was Jerry Thorne, who later flip-flopped when voting to approve Lund Ranch. A question and answer session prior to the public vote on PP is not evidence that roads are structures, a City Council vote and its incorporation in the General Plan as policy is.

The process was rigged. That's why we have a referendum on the ballot.


Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

Hey Matt,

You'll be happy that I really don't have much to add in response to your latest string. Several of the above posters have addressed all of your points and counter-points with facts and truth.

In your world, every large business entity is evil, and all politicians in Pleasanton except for Karla Brown (at the least, that is/in Pleasanton--who knows where else) are corrupt (your words describing everyone other than Karla Brown in a previous post).

For Measure K, sad that you're in the same camp with the wealthy, luxury hillside homeowners (including your so-called 'voice in the wilderness' Karla Brown, who lives on a hillside in Kottinger Ranch), all of whom are promoters of misstatements and outright lies.

You can't even accept your own and Karla Brown's statements from June 2008, trying now to spin it as "um, no, that wasn't about confirming that roads were never part of Measure PP."

Facts and the truth never change. Just the spin by you and the No on K supporters.


Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

Oh, btw, Matt (speaking of tired arguments):

Re: your claim/comments: "That was accomplished on November 27, 2012 when the City Council unanimously determined that "streets and/or roads and their attendant infrastructure are a structure in that they are a physical improvement on the property intended to accommodate development of residential and commercial structures and, therefore, are covered by Measure PP." Check the minutes. I was on that Council, as was Jerry Thorne, who later flip-flopped when voting to approve Lund Ranch. A question and answer session prior to the public vote on PP is not evidence that roads are structures, a City Council vote and its incorporation in the General Plan as policy is."

Guess you've forgotten how the public process and government parliamentary procedure with the City Council works.

There was never a second reading after you left the City Council, or in other words, a final, official, legally binding vote was never taken, and "roads are structures" has thus never been incorporated into the General Plan as policy.

Completely bogus statement.

You're referring to the vote on the first reading, thus an official decision/final vote on whether or not "roads are structures" was never made, to this day.

Regardless, you keep making the same old tired argument.

Yep, your conversation with Karla Brown on June 26, 2008 did not codify that a road is or is not a structure under Measure PP.

What it did determine, officially and for the record, is that Karla Brown publicly confirmed with you that prohibiting roads were never included nor intended to be included as part of Measure PP.

Guess you should re-read your and her comments yet again.

Web Link

Stop trying to spin it to mean something other than what it is.

The truth.


Posted by I'll be voting No on K
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

Thank you Matt Sullivan for clearing up all of this up.

As a resident of Shadow Cliffs, I know how the city pre-zoned the Shadow Cliffs park six months prior to the California Splash water park approval conditional use permit so that the citizens would be unable to referend it because conditional use permits are not referendable. I also know that nothing is ever public open space in Pleasanton because at some point some giant corporation will want to develop something on it. Nothing is ever public open space in Pleasanton.

We also were told Measure V resulted in the Bernal Property being public open space. That is not the case. The city now wants to build its own giant 30 acre office mega-plex there in violation of Measure V. Again, the city is violating the law the voters voted on.

And of course the last minute 'road' proposed for Lund Ranch II sounds like the last minute extension of Stoneridge that was never put in the EIR for Staples Ranch.

Just like Staples Ranch had the last minute 'road' once again the city shenanigans put forth a last minute 'road' through Lund Ranch.

I also know that the end game of the Ventana Hills neighborhood wants their street dead ended by developer Blaise Lofland and his wife Amy.

Too bad that this town seems to be in such disarray. I agree that all city council members except Karla Brown have to go. They are dishonest and lack any integrity


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

I guess it's futile to debate someone who won't reveal their identity - and by definition has something to hide - and whose primary argument is that you are a liar. Let's only hope the people of Pleasanton see through the propaganda of the developer and their surrogates. Historically, they generally have.


Posted by UallNeedToChill
a resident of San Ramon
on May 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

UallNeedToChill is a registered user.

in the weeks this never ending issue errupted nothing new has been said. Same points over and over Pro and Con.
Just vote and stop the cycle of repeating the same dead horse arguements.

And maybe go outside and get some air.


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

No use trying to use reason and logic when many of your opponents are not driven by reason and logic. They're driven by their desire to minimize traffic in the local neighborhood. I sympathize with their traffic issues but ignoring Measure PP or saying that Measure PP is irrelevant is not an option. I, too, will be voting "NO" on Measure K.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matt, where is the lie? Did the council officially vote a road is a structure and covered by PP? If it did, please cite the date and post the link to the minutes. Without that action, it is just talk.

You posted three bullets; I countered them all. I use my name. Nearly all posters are anonymous here and for their own reasons. Apparently the only one(s) you call liar(s) are those who don't agree with you. Using your name doesn't mean you get to call people names. Rebut the points, not the person.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sam, no one said it is irrelevant. You rely on your interpretation of PP. Your interpretation isn't correct or legally binding. Measure PP worked. If you want roads called out or defined as structure, start your campaign. PP can be changed by voters. Go for it.


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

@Kathleen Ruegsegger

Kathleen, we've beaten this particular argument about "structures" and "roads" to death. No, "roads" aren't specifically called out as being "structures" in Measure PP but then again neither are helicopter pads or airport runways or water towers. Your argument is specious.

You don't agree with my interpretation of Measure PP. I don't agree with your interpretation of Measure PP. We'll just have to leave it at that.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Correct, we disagree. But interpretations don't matter. There was no action taken; you can change that.

Pads and runways are likely governed by rules about flying in or near residential areas. Talk about specious.


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm

[Removed because it was disrespectful and didn't add to the discussion]


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Sam,

If the builder comes back with a plan that routes all the traffic through the already busy neighborhood, and it gets built without being voted on, what will the "no on K" people have accomplished?


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Kathleen,

The Council voted unanimously on November 27, 2012 that streets and roads were structures under Measure PP. Jerry Thorne included. Since you have so much time and I have to get back to work, go find the minutes yourself.

I haven’t called anyone a liar nor am I going to. Several of the anonymous posters have call both Karla Brown and myself a liar. I even challenged “Ventana Hills” to debate me in person rather than continue with the rants but he/she did not respond.

You may have responded to my “three bullets” but you did not counter them. They’re all self-evident if you pay attention to Pleasanton politics which demonstrates that you are extremely naïve or think it is acceptable. Either way, as I said, you are part of the problem.

I’d be happy to talk more on Saturday at the Farmers Market while I’m collecting signatures to stop the latest Council boondoggle: Costco. Come on down! I'm done with this blog.


Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Matt - is this like our voted representative telling people that they shouldn't shop at Wal-Mart and try to deny businesses into our community based on personal opinion rather than fact based information?


Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm

@BobB: "If the builder comes back with a plan that routes all the traffic through the already busy neighborhood, and it gets built without being voted on, what will the "no on K" people have accomplished?"

It will have accomplished the preservation of the integrity of Measure PP. Understand me: Personally, I'm not necessarily against the building of this new road per se. What I'm against is this method of eviscerating or "reinterpreting" Measure PP (and thereby forever weakening it) in order to build this road.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matt and Sam: Web Link

The motion: "It was m/s by McGovern/Sullivan to approve the following recommendation: Calculation of 25% slope - Option 1. with language acknowledging that the WIS formula will not be used in the calculation of slope; Methodology for defining contour intervals - Option 1, provided any reference to WIS in the methodology is eliminated from the definition; Definition of ridges and ridgelines - Option 2; Manufactured slopes exceeding 25% grade - Option 2, with an additional provision allowing the evaluation of each situation on a case by case basis through the public review process; Streets and roadways - Option 2, AS AMENDED BY Councilmember McGovern. Motion carried by the following vote:

"Ayes: Councilmembers Cook-Kallio, McGovern, Sullivan, Thorne, Mayor Hosterman
Noes: None
Absent: None"

AMENDEMENT FROM THE MINUTES: "Councilmember McGovern stressed her concern over vesting rights within a Specific Plan. She and staff discussed several amendments and she ultimately suggested the following: 'Determine that streets and/or roads and their attendant infrastructure are a structure in that they are a physical improvement on the property intended to accommodate development of residential and commercial structures and, therefore, are covered by Measure PP UNLESS THE STREET OR ROAD IS COVERED BY A SPECIFIC PLAN OR PUD DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVED PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 2008.'"

The caps are mine for emphasis. the words "approved prior to November 2008" are actually in bold in the minutes.

Lund II was in the plan prior to 2008.

So Matt, you left out an important detail, one important enough to be BOLDED in the minutes.
Sam, Web Link I couldn't find anything on water towers, but I wouldn't want one on a hilltop either.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Kathleen,

Lund Ranch II was not part of any Specific Plan nor did it have an approved PUD prior to the passage of Measure PP. Therefore the exception does not apply.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm

That exemption was put in place to cover the Happy Valley Bypass Road. Ultimately, as I recall, the City Attorney said we couldn't adopt the exemption.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I'll do more research then, because Lund II is specifically mentioned in those minutes. How is a development in the General Plan for decades and prior to the passage of PP not an exception? Why bother having current hillside dwellers sign off on Lund II when they bought their homes? When did the council rescind that vote and what was put in its place based on the city attorney's advice?


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 20, 2016 at 8:54 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Property owners or developers do not have vested rights to construct a project unless they have an approved PUD (Planned Unit Development application) or a Development Agreement. Simply designating something in the General Plan does not grant development rights. As I mentioned, that clause was inserted to exempt the Happy Valley Bypass Road from Measure PP as it was a long term commitment from the city to the neighbors and was part of the Happy Valley Specific Plan that preceded Measure PP.

The November 27th meeting was the last one for Cindy McGovern and myself. We wanted to settle the questions surrounding Measure PP (calculation of slope and what constitutes a structure) before leaving. We thought we accomplished it, but the next Council had other ideas. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I believe that staff and the new Council realized if a road was a structure it would cause a problem for Lund Ranch. So they did not hold the “second reading” of the General Plan and zoning code changes, which was required, so the changes were never implemented. This left open the door for Thorne and the newest Council to flip-flop on the road issue and approve the project.

I bring this up because many anonymous posters point to the Q&A I had with Karla Brown at an earlier meeting as the definitive moment where roads were declared not a structure for all future time. When, in fact, the Council took action otherwise but failed to follow through in order to deliver a project that the developer wanted.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

So then it is correct that structure was never defined to include roads and PP has not been violated.

And the developer has worked to compromise with 43 homes instead of 150 and to give the community 170ish acres of permanent open space.

PP and the approval process worked.

As I said to Sam, you and the community have had the ability to change PP since 2008, and certainly since 2012 when you did try as a council member. That is where the definition needs to be. That is where the referendum money should have been spent. Instead, the no on K group is taking a weakness in PP and using it to their personal advantage. This has never been about those homes or this development; it's about not having people in their *hillside* neighborhood.

I'm sorry Matt, but this was the wrong approach, particularly because this vote does not define structure, does not guarantee no development, does not protect this land from future state mandates, allows one neighborhood to dupe the community into believing this is about PP, and still requires a referendum or action by the council to define structure.

I voted Yes on K. I hope others will see the truth of how this needless referendum came to be.

I'm leaning toward agreeing with you about Costco though--but only because a 20 year loan from a corporation is ludicrous.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Incorrect.

The Council’s INTERPRETATION of Measure PP was that a road was not a structure for this project. Many other people, including presumably the 6000 people that signed the referendum petition, believe that a road is a structure and the Council violated PP. This is supported by existing municipal code that defines a structure as “anything constructed or erected which requires a location on the ground.” I believe that this road is on the ground.

And this referendum is very much needed. It’s a right guaranteed by the State of California Constitution and is designed to remedy actions from non-responsive government.

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL

SECTION 1. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require.

I would say that this is a time where it’s required. And for Costco too. I'm glad you are coming around on that!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matt, the ability to change PP was written in the measure as well, but the definition of structure including roads is not, and easily could have been. It doesn't matter what anyone's interpretation is--it is not stated and the council did not act to define it.

The referendum we should be voting on is the definition. It has been a waste of money and effort to make this about the project rather than the singular issue of structure. I would have been happy to vote on that definition. Meanwhile, Measure K DOES NOT resolve it and deserves a yes vote.