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.