Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 25, 2013

At long last, Stoneridge Drive, Stoneridge Creek are opening

City, civic and business leaders will mark the completion of two multi-million-dollar projects in Pleasanton next Friday with the opening of Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road and Stoneridge Creek, Pleasanton's new retirement community on Staples Ranch. Both projects were completed at little cost to Pleasanton taxpayers. Alameda County agreed to build the bridge over the Arroyo Mocho when the 124-acre undeveloped Staples Ranch was annexed into Pleasanton, and Continuing Life Communities of Southern California built and will operate Stoneridge Creek.

At the public ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. Friday next to the new bridge, Mayor Jerry Thorne will lead a Pleasanton delegation and Livermore and Alameda County representatives will join in the opening day celebration.

The official opening of Stoneridge Creek retirement community will follow at 11:30 a.m. in the retirement complex. An invitation-only event, it will include Pleasanton officials, residents already living there and those soon to move in, Troy Bourne, chief executive officer, and vice president at CLC, and Francis X. Rodgers, executive director for Stoneridge Creek. The first phase of Stoneridge Creek's 635 independent living condos and homes is giving at least 200 seniors the opportunity to move into their new upscale homes this year.

The completion of these two major projects is long overdue. Bourne deserves credit for steering the retirement home developer's application process through an agonizingly long seven years of public hearings, workshops and environmental-impact discussions. Many of those who had registered for homes there spent several long nights at public hearings before the Pleasanton Planning Commission and City Council which were stymied by some very vocal opponents to development on Staples Ranch. For a time during the process, opposition to extending Stoneridge Drive threatened to see the property's owner, Alameda County, consider allowing Livermore to annex the land. There was also a sense of urgency since a requirement of being accepted into the retirement community is good health. During the years since deposits first were accepted, at least one applicant has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Even so, CLC has agreed to allow the applicant and his spouse to move in because of their deposit and the permitting delays by the city.

As for Stoneridge Drive, it took changes on the City Council and shifting views by then Mayor Jennifer Hosterman to finally gain an agreement to extend Stoneridge, which then also eased the permitting process for Stoneridge Creek. When the extended roadway opens next Friday, it will mark the end of an effort dating back to 1989 to provide a direct access between Livermore and Pleasanton to save motorists the agony of using I-580 or a more circuitous route on Stanley Boulevard. That's especially important for Livermore residents needing fast access to medical care and emergencies at ValleyCare Medical Center as well as for employees of businesses in both cities.

For the proponents of an upscale retirement community in Pleasanton and a direct way of getting there and to Livermore, Friday's celebration will show that perseverance pays off.

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