Environmentalists fear that Pleasanton officials are trying to pull a fast one to avoid public debate, environmental review of development on the hillsides, and avoid a public vote in order to undo hillside and ridgeline protections that over 18,000 voters enacted four years ago with Measure PP. By doing an end-run around the voters with municipal code revisions, some of Pleasanton's most scenic ridgelines and hillsides will open up for development.
The city's proposed Rising Ridgeline/Last Peak provision, a poison pill that limits which ridgelines are counted as protected ridgelines, must be rescinded. According to their new definition "...the end of the ridgeline shall be the last peak on each end of the landform at which the elevation of the ridgeline no longer rises in elevation, and only decreases in elevation." Does that mean with Pleasanton Ridge, as it descends from its peak toward Sunol and the southeast hills, that its ridges are no longer considered protected "ridgelines"? No one knows because there has been no environmental review.
Next, city officials have decided to allow construction of ridgetop roadways, roadways within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline and steeply sloped streets by adding an exemption for street construction from voter enacted hillside regulations. This contradicts what was included in the voter pamphlet when PP was passed.
I'm disappointed that three City Council members would attempt an end-run around 18,000 voters, and I hope they withdraw their municipal code poison pill revisions.