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Pleasanton Council decides roads are not part of hillside protection ordinance

Original post made on Apr 17, 2013

The Pleasanton City Council approved a final version of a hillside protection ordinance called Measure PP Tuesday night with its chambers filled for a second public hearing in a row.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 7:58 AM

Comments (32)

Posted by Sam, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

Carla Brown is now the new Matt Sulivan.......wrong 100% of the time. Hopefully she will use better logic in the future.


Posted by Matt Sullivan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:40 am

Sam - thanks for the intro!

Jeb could not have said it any better. Last night, the City Council majority decided that hillside protections from Measure PP would not apply to roads. Not only that, they refused Councilmember Brown's motion to strengthen existing General Plan policies to protect hillsides and ridges from roads that they decided were exempt. If you don't think there should be hillside protections for roads, just take a look at the gash going up Pleasanton Ridge to the Hayward Hotel. As a former City Council member and someone deeply involved in this issue for almost eight years it is a no-brainer to me that Measure PP should apply to roads. And in fact, both Cook-Kallio and Thorne thought so last November when that City Council unanimously made that decision. What happened since then? There are several issues in play here, including two neighborhoods fighting over roadway connections to the future Lund Ranch II development that will be affected by the PP ruling, and of course, that the Lin's finally lost their seven-year lawsuit against the city over Oak Grove. One can only speculate why the Council majority voted they way they did, but if you follow the developer and Chamber of Commerce money in their election campaign reports you will probably get a good idea.

Matt Sullivan


Posted by Common sense citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

Roads are NOT structures, never have been, and the majority of the City Council, including the Mayor, agree.

Common sense, not nonsense, wins the day. Hallelujah.


Posted by Common sense citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hogwash, Matt.

As Kay Ayala pointed out last night, there's been agreements in place for over 20 years that the access road to any Lund Ranch II housing development will be through Sycamore Creek Way, not Lund Ranch Road--period. And all of the homeowners in Bridle Creek signed CC&Rs that clearly point out the planned extension of Sycamore Creek Way into future development (Lund Ranch II).

That's the way it is.

Mission Hills and Ventana Hills already shoulder a significant traffic burden, and will continue to do so wrt Bernal/Independence/Junipero/Sunol Blvd., as it's a cut-through alternative route for many--lots of whom are coming to/from Livermore.

Sycamore Creek Way extending into Lund Ranch Road will be a dead end--an access road into and out of the Lund Ranch II housing development, if/when built--period. It doesn't/will not create a short cut or alternative through street/connector for cut-through traffic.

So glad you're termed out--spare us, please.


Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

Well, seems that common sense wins once in a while. As Dave Miller says, the chicken cannot cross the structure; the chicken crosses the road. Please do not vote for Kathy Narum!! She thinks a road is a structure, and we don't need another Matt Sullivan on the council. We need city council members who do not change the English language to suit their short-sighted purposes.


Posted by Matt Sullivan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:09 am

Common-sense Citizen,

I happen to agree with you that the road should not connect through your neighborhood to Lund II and that the city should honor the agreement they made to your neighborhood 20 years ago. Unfortunately, you are using Measure PP as away to achieve your goals and putting the ridges of Pleasanton at risk. Stick to the real issue.


Posted by Randy, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Glad to see the council used common sense about the road issue. While the idea of keeping structures off the ridges is a great thing you still often need adequate infrastructure there to bring in resources or connect the city. You don't want to have pockets everywhere that might not be accessible to emergency crews as happened in Oakland many years ago.


Posted by LR opponent, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:48 am

Nice to see that following the Pico tradition, Ayala is on some developer's payroll (similar to Pico) or is out trying to conjure up some Ventana Hills votes for her Tea Party bud David Miller knowing full well that Lund Ranch Road will go into Lund Ranch II.


Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

Dear LR Opponent,
Maybe you believe that this is all about Ventana Hills and Lund Ranch. It is not. I am voting for David Miller because he will work to clarify the intent of ALL of our rules and regulations so that any developer, business, or private citizen will have a better idea of what it takes to work in Pleasanton. As it stands, it is all about who you know, whether you are unionized, to what campaign you contributed, and whether Matt, Kathy, Cheryl, Jerry and Jerry can reinterpret the English language to achieve their immediate objectives. Matt says that Safeway, being a union shop, can put as many stores in Pleasanton as they want. Matt says that Walmart, being non-union, cannot put a neighborhood market in Pleasanton. David will work to make it so that everyone follows the same rules.


Posted by Common sense citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

Matt,

Glad you agree with me, but you're wrong re: "Unfortunately, you are using Measure PP as a way to achieve your goals and putting the ridges of Pleasanton at risk. Stick to the real issue."

Bridle Creek residents, Kathy Narum, Anne Fox and the Planning Commission were clearly the ones who were trying to use Measure PP as a way (i.e., loophole) to achieve their goals.

And to LR opponent, you should do your homework--she's one of the Councilmembers many years ago who crafted the agreements that determined that Sycamore Creek Way would be the access road into Lund Ranch II.

Kudos to her for reminding the current City Council to honor that commitment.


Posted by correct, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:35 am

Kay was correct on this one and glad she stood up to the planning commission. If this went through, the city could not even build water tanks or roads to water tanks in the hills. The common belief when PP was out there was a structure was something above ground like a building. If it meant to include roads it would have said "structures and infrastructure".


Posted by Roger, a resident of Happy Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Was surprised to see Karla's new opinion as to what is or is not a road. I specifically asked her when measure PP was up for a vote and she said "it was never their intent to prohibit roads on the hillsides". I was concerned about the bypass road planned for the golf course.
Now I see she has flipped. Why can't we have some honesty in our elected officials? Take a position and stay with it! Come on Karla, quit playing politics and represent us. Jerry Thorne opposed the County wide tax increase because it didn't have a sunset clause. This despite almost every other elected official ready to tax us AGAIN.
Thank you Jerry and shame on you Karla.


Posted by LR opponent, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm

What has happened is that after Lund Ranch II, the city will want to develop the property beyond Lund Ranch II, and then the property beyond the property beyond Lund Ranch II, and so on and so on.

Lund Ranch II will connect to the Foley Property and beyond.

What Kay Ayala did is ensure that both Lund Ranch Road and Sunset Creek and Sycamore Creek Way will become major thoroughfares that will carry traffic from the city of Pleasanton all they way to Livermore and Highway 84.

Basically, the city always has 'agreements' to end streets that then are undone for the next outlying sprawl development. The Kottinger Ranch, Ventana Hills, and Sycamore Creek residents will ALL bear the brunt of traffic to these outlying residential developments that the city has in the works.


Posted by To Jerry P, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Since when did Pentin become the bully of the council. He acted like a jerk all night.


Posted by Fred M., a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I attended a Council meeting in November 2012 and BOTH Thorne and Crook-Kallio voted that a road IS a structure. Actually so did all 5 on the council. Now they do the flip flop for votes?

Which is it, liars or cheats? or both?


Posted by LR opponent, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Have you wondered, Common Sense Citizen, how in the world Kay Ayala could have possibly 'crafted' any agreement about Sycamore Creek Way and Lund Ranch II in 1992 when she wasn't even elected to the city council until 1996. She served 1996-2004.


Posted by really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Matt: so glad you are NOT on the council. agree w/ common sense. you are using measure PP after the fact

Karla: so sorry I voted you. (+ 3 voters in my home) I/we trusted you. You are protecting your own interests. So obvious to the many. My, my...... says a lot about you.

Jerry: thank you....thank you. voted for you...confirmed my vote

crook-kalio: did not really trust you, did not vote for you....i appreciate your vote...you have earned mine and my family's next vote

Kay: thank you for your fidelity to principal. awesome.

Narum: you will NOT earn our votes (4 total). Your lack of integrity on the planning commission says it all. another vote driven by self-interest

Dave Miller: looking forward to voting for you.




Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Kathy Narum has showed integrity. She was NOT in favor of PP, but she was one of the Planning Commissioners that upheld the intent of PP - roads are structures. It was a unanimous Planning Commission vote and only one or two of those 5 were PP supporters. To me, that shows that Kathy is willing to critically think about something before making a decision. Some of the City Council members are the ones who flip-flopped. Shame on them!


Posted by @ really!, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Check out Olivia. I think she will bring some 21rst century business experience to the city council. I was so impressed with her at the forum. Then I spent time chatting with her at the Farmers' Market. I was doubly impressed!


Posted by They are Wrecking PP, a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Miller, Thorne Pentin, Ayala and Kallio-I am done with you all. The voters put PP in place and you voted to water it down to almost nothing. You fought for the sham QQ with Hosterman, now you are vengeful and trying to weaken PP.

Very disappointed in your lack of ethics how you destroyed our faith in you.


Posted by really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm

"Very disappointed in your lack of ethics how you destroyed our faith in you"

I find "ethics" lacking when PP is hijacked, misrepresented and used in a obvious self serving way.

Creating a false perception of it's intent then repeating it over and over does not make it true/accurate etc. To now suggest it has been "watered down to almost nothing" is another falsehood.

That is very disappointing.


Posted by Semantics , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

This is so sad....

Three people are going to undo what the majority of Pleasanton voted for.

Mayor Jerry Thorne, Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Pentin are responsible.

Your letting one word "structure" change the meaning of PP.

PP was passed by the people of Pleasanton to keep our hillsides beautiful.

Keep our hillsides beautiful!!!!




Posted by Are They Nuts?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

What the ****? Looks like "The Three Stooges" is still alive and well on the City Council. Evidently Jerry Pentin is replacing The Hippy Mayor as one of the Stooges. Of course a road is a structure. Those who design roads are Structural Engineers (Civil Engineers). Seriously disappointed in Mayor Thorne. Not sure what time of management position he held at HP, but I think we are learning why the got "early retirement". It's clear he is still a Stooge. Thorne has endorsed Narum for City Council, so for goodness sake DON'T VOTE FOR NARUM!!! The last thing we need is The Four Stooges on the Council.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

Matt

You would be better off if you used some common sense in your rants. You look silly to most people and to all rational people.


Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

A road is not a structure, but that is suddenly irrelevant. Check this: "There was general agreement that 'manufactured slopes', such as those built up by bulldozers moving dirt to create a hillside, are not affected by the Measure PP restrictions." All we need to do is send a few bulldozers up to the ridge, level it out, and build all the roads and structures desired. Are all the members of the City Council brain dead?


Posted by Beth, a resident of Laguna Vista
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

I am saddened to hear that measure PP has been weakened with the current councils self serving interpretation of the language. Roads should be considered a structure (they have electrical, water, sewage lines, and storm drains associated with them....just like a house), but even if you did not inclulde it under the definition of a structure, the intent of PP was protect the hillsides. i would not want to see a road cutting into the hillside any more than i want to see a house on the hillside.

Once again the council & mayor are missing the point the residents of Pleasanton tried to make when they passed PP. If in doubt send it to the people to vote on.


Posted by Semantics , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

Beth is correct....

It should not be up to the City council.

This is an important issue.

Let's put it on the ballot.


Posted by Common sense citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

To LR, yes, maybe the agreements I'm referring to were started/consummated prior to Kay Ayala sitting on the City Council (I don't know the exact date/year she got involved in them), and if so, so what? She certainly helped maintain and honor them through her years on the City Council, and is very well aware of their existence and continues to support them.

Irrelevant.

Also, the Mayor and others made it clear they have no intent of approving roads on top of ridgelines. Read their comments as reported (and stated at Tuesday's City Council meeting).

To the person who suggested Lund Ranch Road would be extended to Livermore, more evidence of ignorance. If you bothered to take a look at where Lund Ranch Road is/currently exists, you'd see that's a completely ludicrous proposition.

Sycamore Creek Way, if/when extended into Lund Ranch II, will be a dead end into the housing development (a road to nowhere). The existing Sunol Blvd/Mission/Junipero/Independence/Bernal infrastructure grid currently deals with and most likely still will have to deal with/service the existing thru traffic situation.

Note I said infrastructure, too, as a road is not a structure--never has been, never will be. I wish all of you would stop with that nonsense. The City Council ended it Tuesday night with some common sense.


Posted by Max, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

It is ironic that City of Pleasanton including Kay Ayala were ok with high traffic of 580 on Stoneridge Drive (east side) but they object in having limited number of houses and road on the hillside. Why do they object to it? Because they live in that area and they want to maintain THEIR house values and surrounding beautiful plush green area.

It is purely another case of double standards! Hell with the east side but not on my side. Rich versus poor.

Keep in mind someone owns that land! If City of Pleasanton doesn't want development on the hillside, buy the land at fair market value. Perhaps Ms. Ayala can buy it since she is so adamant about it.

Why does the land owner get screwed in this proposition?


Posted by I was there, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

What was missing from the article above was that Brown looked up the Pleasanton Municipal code and the California building code for development - 2 governing documents for the city. Doing her homework! Both codes allow for a road IS a structure because it is erected and takes up a place on the ground. Pleasanton's code states clearly that a fence over 6 feet and a swimming pool are both structures. Although Thorne didn't agree with his OWN muni code. Here it is, and she said its broad definition is why it was used in PP.

"Definitions

"Structure" -- Anything constructed on the ground, including any building or swimming pool, but not including simple paved or concrete areas, or any fence or wall no greater than 6 feet in height."

Stop making up laws to suit yourselves Thorne, Pentin & Kallio, and use the ones on the books were put there by smart thoughtful people.


Posted by Fact Checker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I saw it on TV and I believe I heard another councilmember say she looked up the same information as Brown. The definitions can't be extracted from the chapter and other things they refer to. I work with that stuff and some of it is very specific. Roads are infrastructure. Civil engineers will tell you that road are infrastructure. I work with civil engineers.


Posted by Fact Checker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm

@ I was there

"but not including simple paved or concrete areas," however this may prove my point.


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