Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - March 4, 2011

More state-mandated housing coming to Pleasanton

It's an awkward title but Pleasanton's Housing Element Task Force has its work cut out for it: deciding which and how many of 17 sites it has targeted in various parts of the city that could be considered for high-density, low-to-market-rate housing. State law requires that cities that are behind on their jobs-to-housing ratio make land available to provide their regional fair share for residential development. For now, Pleasanton's share is nearly 3,300 more homes in a city that already has approximately 27,500.

Since 1996, Pleasanton's 29,000-unit housing cap approved by voters in 1996 protected the city from what its proponents feared would be runaway growth. But that cap is now history. An Alameda County Superior Court judge last year agreed with the Urban Habitat affordable housing coalition and the state Attorney General's office (which was then headed by now-Gov. Jerry Brown) who sued the city of Pleasanton, successfully arguing that the housing cap prevented the city from meeting its state housing requirements. That means Pleasanton must add 3,277 more units to its housing inventory by 2014 with the court ordering that enough land be made available for that number of additional housing units by this coming August. To comply, the City Council formed the 11-member Housing Element Task Force to adequately plan to meet Pleasanton's regional requirement.

To be sure, Pleasanton has made some headway already. Last Tuesday, the City Council gave its final approval to land use changes on a 32-acre site in the Hacienda Business Park that will accommodate 850 apartments and town homes in two- and three-story structures. Earlier, it approved a 350-unit complex planned by developer Windstar near the new West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. Still, more needs to be done, which is why the housing task force will hold three community workshops starting Tuesday to report on its progress to date and provide opportunities for the public to comment on the 17 other sites it is considering for high density housing.

The sites identified are in the vicinity of both BART stations, the one adjacent to the Hacienda Business Park and the new one; near the Sheraton Hotel on Stoneridge Mall Road; the parking lots at Stoneridge Shopping Center; the Kaiser Permanente medical clinic off Stoneridge Drive; Pleasanton Gateway, behind where Safeway is now building its new Lifestyle supermarket at Valley and Bernal avenues; vacant land around CarrAmerica's office complex; Kiewit's abandoned site on Valley Avenue, across from Boulder Street; the Valley Trails church site; Vintage Hills Shopping Center; the current location at Axis Community Health on Railroad Avenue, when Axis relocates its facility; the Auf de Maur/Richenback acreage at Bernal Avenue and Stanley Boulevard, where Home Depot once planned to build a new store; Rosewood Auto Sales; Irby-Kaplan-Zia; the Nearon site; Goodnight Inn; and the CM Capital Properties site on West Las Positas Boulevard.

The meetings are at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 8, in the multi-purpose room of Fairlands Elementary School, 4151 W. Las Positas Blvd.; at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, March 12, at the Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Blvd.; and at 7 p.m,. Monday, March 14, in Lydiksen Elementary School's multipurpose room, 7700 Highland Oaks Drive. All three meetings will have the same agenda and information.


Posted by Jennifer Pearce, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 4, 2011 at 7:50 am

Thanks to the Weekly for raising awareness about the work the Task Force is currently doing. We would encourage all residents to attend one of the public workshops and provide their input.

Posted by Sal, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

Despite what critics will say, a well designed high-density housing project or TOD can be very attractive to people of all incomes. I've seen many successful TOD projects, especially on the East Coast. Believe it or not, many middle and upper income people live in these developments because they enjoy a walkable community with good public transportation. Regardless of these facts, I suspect close-minded conservatives in our community will call it the "ghettoization" of Pleasanton in 3, 2, 1……

Posted by Eyes on you, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Thousands planted at Valley & Busch does not constitute as Transit Oriented Development. I suppose the train tressle at Stanley lets it qualify as transit-- in government-speak. The only thing 'transit' about that section of Valley is the unbroken string of bumper-to-bumper cars...which is being ignored. Why aren't the projects around Bart, instead of Valley & Busch, which is unjustified and unjustifiable !

Posted by Drexl, a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Sal- This is not a Transit Oriented not compare to one either

My question is, if it is housing to jobs; what data did the govt use; I look around, and see a lot of empty retail spaces; the big oofices near bart, the Hacienda park...

I thought, this was to bring people closer to where they work, not just pleasanton, so not sure why article mentioned Pleasanton Jobs; on that note; has anyone gone to Dublin, that shopping center build last year; corner of Dublin and Dougherty; most of the housing units are vacant; i look across the freeway, all the new apartment style condos; and again, a lot of them vacant; now I don't have data on what the occupancy is in Pleasanton with all the apartments; but, does the govt look at the neighbor cities? if they have mroe than enough to cover our shortfall; shouldn't that be in conisderation? My guess, people want to come here because it is Pleasanton, and this project is for "affordable" housing, so job/ratio for area, or bringing people closer to work, is bull crap... so call it what it is, people want to come here, for Plesanton; now why would people come here...according to all the posts here, this town is going to hell anyway, well; it must be the schools; if so 3,300 homes; half with kids, on very very conservative estimate...with two kids...that is 3,300 more students to this school district...affordable housing, I assume for purchase...with subisides by Pleasanton; where is the money going to come from to build schools and hire teachers...damn..we as a community will probably not pass measure E...yet alone are now at hook to make room for 3,300 kids in a district that can't take care of kids already neighbor's kids cant go to their area school, because it is over crowded...anyhow..different topic...cant wait for the first meeting...see you there...march 8 at fairlands

Posted by Drexl, a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Does anyone remember the program, where Pleasanton would be part owners of your home; and when the home is sold, they would keep any gains? Does anyone know what happened and what the losses are from the market downturn in 2006? It was to get people making less than $60k a home here in Pleasanton...

Posted by Zippy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm

On the other hand, this may stimulate the economy when many current residents buy handguns and install alarm systems.

Posted by question for Sal, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

As a fellow east coaster, but with a different opinion on high density housing, I have one question for you Sal-
Why did you move to Pleasanton?

Posted by To ? for Sal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Your comment is a joke. I'm sure they moved here for the schools, but hate the close-minded attitude that many people in Pleasanton express. After reading the ridiculous posts and hearing Tea Party members express their opinion, I don't blame Sal. This community is in its own bubble and needs to expand their minds.

Posted by question to Sal, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm

i presume To? for Sal that you are playing the scarecrow. I prefer that
over the alternative.(or perhaps just very, very young)

Posted by Confession, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Speaking for myself, I came here in order to get away from the poor and minorities. Can there really be any other reason? And now they want to install sowetto smack dab in the middle of el blanco de paradiso?

Posted by To ? for, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

You know, it's too bad that something like this forum that could be used as a tool for info and idea's is treated with such disrespect. A shame.
By the way To? , I am a little curious why you said "I'm sure they moved here for the schools" How did you know that Sal was a they? hmmm, inside info? Give you some advice - if you want to come into a discussion as multiple personalities, mix up the language some. Also, shut off the spell checker for the ones that you want to be interpreted as ignorant.
Lastly, try not to guilty of the things you accuse others of, all in the same sentence.
good luck

Posted by Eyes on you, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:50 am

So every community everywhere, like cluster and live with like....that is human nature, no matter who, or where. So now the really BIG hand of BIG brother government comes to rearrange, redistrubute, and enforce political correctness.
Actually, it's the hypocrisy in this thread and PW site is so dishonest. No doubt 'To ? for' moved here for selective schools and if she has kids at Harvest Park, probably isn't thrilled that it get 'dinged' because of ESL. Now we can have a whole ESL district needing even more parcel taxes, To ? for, with her judgemental shame on you attitude..... should be thrilled ! Ain't 'merica great ! Actually, I proudly prefer the way it was when I made the intellectual decision that Pleasanton would be my choice years ago. Sad that freedom of choice has disappeared from the USofA.

Posted by Rebel Jeb, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Let's be honest. If you're like me, you moved here because it has a lots of educated people. I'm not prejudice, but I don't want to live (Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)OBummer just wants us all to live together. Maybe we can stall until 2012?

Posted by Let's Be Real, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

To be honest, I don't want my kids having to attend school with their kids. I realize we need workers in the malls, but let them drive their clunkers here from Oakland and then punch out at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. our local law enforcement should keep an eye out for anybody driving or walking on the street who doesn't fit, if you know what I mean.

Posted by Josie, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

I understand that one of the sites being considered is on W. Los Positas, that huge vacant building next to 24 Hour Fitness.
I can only imagine the extra cost to demolish that building.

Posted by parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

One of the topics I do not see as much is the impact to our schools.

Developers pay a school impact fee to help pay for the extra facilities needed for the new students in the new developments. However, "affordable housing" pays a MUCH lower dollar amount; not enough to pay for their impacts on the schools.

The district is saying right now that the money we get per student is not enough for the education we want in Pleasanton. Adding more students at the same rate will make the situation worse. As for the parcel tax, if it were to pass, an apartment building would pay $98 for the whole building, not per unit. So that would not help things financially either.

The new housing is in the business park but they are not proposing any location for schools. That means that our current schools will become more crowded and you will also see boundary lines change for which school you kid goes to. I know of new parent who moved right across the street from Fairlands Elementary School that were told their kids would need to go to Donlon. You will see much more of this if they build high-density housing in the business park without addressing school needs.

The project developers in the business park say those purchasing homes in the high-density area of the business park will be mostly people without kids. What do we do if there are kids there? It will be too late after we build the housing. Remember how often the school demographer said that school enrollment would be declining in Pleasanton, but it never has.

Posted by a concerned parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

Why should tax payers foot the housing and public education bill for $8.00 employees so they can live in a nice town with good schools? They will not have the retirement savings to be able to afford to retire here so it will just be young families.

I certainly don't want to have to see how far $8.00 jobs get a family and I don't want my children to see that either. These people tend to be parents who work two full-time jobs just to keep food on the table and they tend to have lots of kids.

I think if we let a lot of low-income people move here our kids will suffer and our home values will suffer because the school scores will go down. When we bought our big beautiful home, we did not think that was part of the bargain. It has gone down enough in value...

Posted by Let's be real, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:03 am

I agree. Who wants their children consorting with the low-income types? If the housing must go up, isn't there a way we could build a wall around the complex or something and force them to show proper documentation before going to their $8.00 jobs?

Posted by I'm real too, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I'm not sure I like the aesthetics of a wall. Perhaps a more tasteful see through fence to keep them penned in? Once the neighborhood goes, then the next one goes to. Before you know it, Pleasanton will become like Oakland, if you know what I mean.

Posted by Zippy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Seriously though, is there a way to get our mortgages lowered when house values fall?

Posted by Zippy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Seriously, will you white folk drop the class-ism / racism debate? You aren't healing the world in the PW message board. Get over yourselves.

Is there a way for us to get our mortgages reassessed when the values drop due to government mandate?

Posted by Let's be real, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:24 am


I may be white, but my cousin married a woman from the phillipines. And I worked with black people when I was picking up debris on the highway for a while. It's just people like you who want to play the race card. Pleasanton doesn't have race problems. Never has, never will.

By the way, why don't you send your kids to Oakland? See what I mean?

Posted by ken, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:10 am

Where in the Constitution is there any talk of class or race?

Posted by woody, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

Zippy-did you really mean to say, "will you white folk drop the class-ism / racism debate?"
What gave away the fact the posters were white? Their grammar? Is it wrong to want to perserve what has been, up until now, a good community with low crime and good educational performance? I aks you, would you want to live next to the equivalent of section 8 housing?

Posted by Robert, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Our property backs to the arroyo. I'm concerned about the added noise and congestion if the West Las Positas tract is developed into high density housing. On warm summer nights our bedroom windows are open. It's not too unusual to hear people talking as they walk to their car from 24 hour fitness. I can only imagine what we will hear if there is a whole community of people a few hundred feet away across the arroyo. We are totally against the use of the West Las Positas property for residential development.

There is enough noise and traffic from the Sports Park (a short block away) during the day. Now there would be added noise from (people and cars) right behind us.

Please, NO high density housing along West Las Positas.

Posted by Jeb, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 9, 2011 at 1:51 am

Where I come from, this welfare housing nonsence wouldn't be tolerated. The reason I came to Pleasanton was because it reminded me of home, without the accents. I'm proud to tell people that Pleasanton has a Afromerican population of less than 2%. Can't we impose some kind of restriction that would maintain a fair population balance like currently exists? LAnd how about holding our politicians accountable? This is a fairness an accountability issue.

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