Called by some Pleasanton's "last frontier," the property has had multiple owners over the years as it was used for light industrial purposes, excavated for gravel and for the garbage company's recycling plant.
The task force, whose 18 members were appointed by the City Council, was told last Thursday at its organizational meeting that the land use study, planning and eventual decision-making process could stretch well into 2013, and possibly beyond.
Its members are locked into place since all of the public reviews over their credentials and capacity to serve for the long period ahead are over. If anyone on the task force finds that they cannot continue, it will be up to that individual to nominate a replacement, whose appointment must then be ratified by the City Council.
Only two members failed to attend the inaugural meeting, which was led by Brian Dolan, director of community development, and Janice Stern, the city's planning manager. Wayne Rasmussen, a former principal planner and now an outside consultant, also talked about requirements for the task force members.
These included instructions about abiding by California's Brown Act, which restricts members from discussing development plans under consideration with more than one other member and also requires full public disclosure and open meetings in the planning process.
It's unclear, or actually for the task force to ultimately decide, just how the east side property should or will be developed. Although the property under study measures 1,000 acres, more than half of it is water, including Cope Lake and several sites owned by Zone 7.
Still, the available property is envisioned as a last major opportunity for Pleasanton to add light industry, businesses and high density housing in an area still free of neighboring activities that could be objectionable.
The East Side Task Force has a liberal deadline for reaching its decision on land development compared to the urgent planning processes for high density housing before the City Council in the last two years. It's likely that a plan must be in place by 2014 when the state and the Association of Bay Area Governments are expected to add more housing requirements for Pleasanton.
The members of the task force and their interests are: Jennifer Pearce and Kathy Narum from the Pleasanton Planning Commission; John Casey, Housing Commission; Brad Hottle, Parks and Recreation Commission; Colleen Winey, Zone 7 Water Agency; Pat Costanza, Kiewit and Steve Dunn, Legacy Partners.
Neighborhood representatives are Erin Kvistad, Ironwood; Robert Russman, the Village at Ironwood; Nancy Allen, Danbury Park; Heidi Massie, Autumn Glen and Heritage Valley; and Kellene Cousins, Mohr-Martin. A representative from the Stoneridge Park neighborhood has yet to be chosen.
At-large representatives and the elected representative who appointed them are: Bob Shapiro, appointed by Mayor Jennifer Hosterman; Mark Emerson, by Councilman Matt Sullivan; Ken Mercer, by Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio; Karla Brown, by Councilwoman Cindy McGovern; and Brock Roby, by Councilman Jerry Thorne.
Task Force meetings are open to the public and are held at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursdays of every month in the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 6.