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Staples Ranch initiative--smart move or a blunder?

Original post made by Janet Pelletier, Pleasanton Weekly assistant editor, on May 22, 2007

As you may have heard by now, Planning Commission Chairwoman Anne Fox has dropped off an initiative at the city clerk's desk that seeks to prevent development on the currently unincorporated Staples Ranch property on the northeastern border of the city.

What are your thoughts. Is it a move in a more positive direction or a huge mistake?

Comments (18)

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Birdland
on May 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm

To call it a huge mistake is gracious at best. It would be a mistake that would put in jeopardy a tax base that will become smaller and smaller as build out approaches. I love green belts etc but I really enjoy having the ability to maintain them and build them, none of which we will have without major business and the taxes they generate. It again is not a huge mistake it a short sighted, attention grabbing ploy that will jeopardize years of planning and hard work. Perhaps this will force our community to come to its senses and work together again, for a common good - what a novel idea.


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Posted by A taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2007 at 4:29 pm

A huge blunder. This property will never stay a greenbelt. It's too valuable. And either Pleasanton or Livermore will develop this land and the taxes the businesses there will generate. Why would Pleasanton want to just hand over that tax revenue?
This is a selfish, narrow-minded initiative that will harm the community and its residents.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 22, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Not only is it a mistake, it was very bad timing as well, considering the mounting challenge from Livermore to annex the property instead. Attempting to turn such freeway-accessible property into open space will only make Livermore's plans for that area more appealing to the county and Pleasanton may end up losing a lot more than revenue.


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Posted by Jim Ott
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2007 at 8:51 am

This is an irresponsible initiative that would mean the loss of millions in tax revenues that help to keep our library open, help fund our schools, help pay for police and fire, and help maintain our parks. Keep in mind that the Hendrick auto dealerships (Lexus of Pleasanton, Acura, etc.) have plans to move from their Rose Pavilion site to Staples Ranch. Hendrick currently generates millions in tax revenues that benefit Pleasanton. If this initiative passes, Hendrick will simply move to Livermore or Dublin, and that will mean the loss of funding for Pleasanton city services. Additionally, Staples Ranch, which is located out near 580, will include open space in the form of a community park, as well as other amenities for our seniors and our children.

Please urge your neighbors and friends not to sign this misguided initiative.





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Posted by A Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2007 at 11:20 am

Please read this initiative carefully. It allows the ice rink, sports fields, cultural arts facilities, and public trails. That side of town needs sports fields desperately. The current plan only allows for two sports fields and neither one is a baseball field. This land in question is publicly-owned land and we need to protect it. It's the only remaining open space between Pleasanton and Livermore off of 580. I don't want this area to look like Los Angeles. I encourage everyone to sign this initiative in order to get this on the ballot.


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Posted by Arnie
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Planning Commission Chairwoman Anne Fox is spearheading this initiative?! What irresponsible behavior for a city official. At minimum this seems like a conflict of interest. Anne Fox should resign her position.


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Posted by Westsider
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 25, 2007 at 1:38 pm

re: "A Pleasanton resident" -- The property belongs to Alameda County, not Pleasanton. Alameda County is going to sell the property. Period. Pleasanton has two choices: 1, we can have some say in what gets developed and collect the ensuing $3-5 Million dollars per year in tax revenue or 2, Alameda County (through LAFCO, which just voted Mayor Hosterman off last week) will re-draw the urban boundary lines, designate the land as Dublin or Livermore, and the project will continue. In that case, Pleasanton gets no say, and no money. Open space is great, but at what cost? How do you propose we replace the $3-5 million, yes that's right MILLION, in lost revenue even if we could somehow convince Alameda County not to sell it?

It's a thinly veiled attempt to block the possibility of a Stoneridge Drive extension, and it shows what can happen when one neighborhood decides to try and get what it wants at the expense of the whole city.
NIMBYism at it's worst.

Please think about this, then ask your friends and neighbors not to sign this shortsighted initiative.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Why would a city-appointed official, who's supposed to look at issues fairly and impartially, submit anything that shows they want to change the city in a specific way?

Anne Fox is obviously pouting because she did not get what she wanted in other areas, so she has this sad attempt at "taking it to the people." This, along with many of her other actions, prove what an embarrassment she is to all of Pleasanton.


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Posted by Arnie
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2007 at 2:45 pm

If we fumble the ball and Livermore ends up annexing Staples Ranch, at least one good thing will happen. Stoneridge Drive would be put through SOONER rather than later (and propably never).

If the mayor and the council hadn't been so selfish about about the Stoneridge Drive issue, Alameda County and Livermore wouldn't have the incentive to be aggressive about Staples Ranch.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 1, 2007 at 12:02 pm

In Dublin the city has taken an aggessive approach to well designed projects that benefit the tax base of our Community; I and we see Pleasanton trying to stop projects that benefit the financial base of their Community. This will catch up with them when it's too late. Beware of the City that sleeps too much! If we had a planning commissioner delivering petitions and initiatives, we'd throw them out of town! Good luck Pleasanton, we have passed you in the night!


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 1, 2007 at 12:03 pm

In Dublin the city has taken an aggessive approach to well designed projects that benefit the tax base of our Community; I and we see Pleasanton trying to stop projects that benefit the financial base of their Community. This will catch up with them when it's too late. Beware of the City that sleeps too much! If we had a planning commissioner delivering petitions and initiatives, we'd throw them out of town! Good luck Pleasanton, we have passed you in the night!


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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Yeah, way to go Dublin. Love your downtown area.


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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Yeah, way to go Dublin. Love your downtown area.


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

People don't realize how close this area is to having the urban boundary line redrawn and becoming Livermore. Pleasanton not only does not have a voice on the LAFCO board, but the mayors of both Livermore and Dublin are on the board. Combined with the Alameda County rep's who want Pleasanton to be regionally supportive of traffic flow, do you not see an amendment to redraw the boundaries coming up now even without an initiative and vote? Just the fact the issue was even brought up, our fate may already be sealed. Hendrick Auto group is already starting to look for other parcels in other parts of Dublin and Livermore should this property end up in litigation as they need to move now to add their new car line. That would mean a loss of $3-5 million of tax revenue from the City regardless of what happens to the Staples Ranch Property.


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Posted by Fled Fremont
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 20, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Hi all, I'm new to Pleasanton. I used to live in Fremont (I've been trying to read all of these postings). Let me make a general statement. If you open a couple of maps of the Bay Area and look at all the cities and towns notice how many of the SMALL towns have stayed VERY nice (Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, etc). But it seems many of the BIG cities start to have their issues...I guess this is inevitable. I certainly understand the need for city growth and hence, income. But let me caution you...Fremont has become out of control. They built so many medium density/high density housing areas that I believe it's brought the city down. Look at the spray paint on the walls near Highway 880 and Decoto. The houses near the freeway in that area use to be very nice. When I see the housing near the freeway in Dublin and San Ramon, I fear the Fremont pattern repeating itself. I can see in 20-30 years that those areas might be just like Fremont with gang issues, etc. I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone, but let's step back and look at general Bay Area trends before deciding on development plans. I hate to say it but keeping a town small (and underfunded?) might not be such a horrible thing.


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Posted by Westsider
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 20, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Hi Fled, welcome to Pleasanton! I think you may be missing the point here. We love our open space in Pleasanton like no other town I've seen, but that's not the issue. The land in question is owned by Alameda County. Not Pleasanton. Alameda County has made it clear they are going to sell the property, and of course they want as much money as possible. Right now the land is in Pleasanton's sphere of influence, but that can change easily. (LAFCO, the agency that determines which city can ultimately control property like this, just kicked our Mayor off 2 weeks ago. We have no vote.) If Alameda County senses that Pleasanton won't allow the development to occur, this land will quickly become part of Livermore. Believe me, Livermore voters would be thrilled to have the $5 million per year income from it. So we'd get the traffic, and Livermore would get the money. Nice, huh? And oh by the way, the proposed 17 acre park? Why would Livermore keep that in the plan? It's not where Livermore residents would use it, so...more outlet malls! How many city services would Pleasanton have to cut with the loss of $5 million a year if the car dealerships move out? Lots. This is a bad idea, and please encourage your friends and neighbors not to sign the initiative. It would hurt Pleasanton terribly. Again, welcome. Nice to have you.


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Posted by jb
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I heard from others also that Mayor Hosterman was voted off of LAFCO by the mayors of Alameda County so we no longer have a voice on annexation issues. This follows her loosing a 17-1 vote at the congestion management agency (CMA), our most important traffic regional congestion committee, where our mayor wanted (demanded) the other representatives to go with her idea on congestion relief. Mayor Hosterman was the "1" vote and it would have been 18-0 but County Supervisor Haggerty let her know that she could vote for her own motion (she forgot to vote for her own motion!).

I think this is all related to what the mayor is doing with the planning commission and the commission chair. She is doing anything she can to take the focus off her inability to work with other regional representatives. Sort of ironic that she is critizing the leadership of the chair of the planning commission while her own leadership is failing in the region.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 20, 2007 at 9:43 pm

I fail to see what the mayor's woes in regional leadership have to do with the irresponsibility and bad timing of a small group of people trying to poison the well, so to speak.


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