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Guest Opinion

Original post made on Sep 19, 2008

The mayor and two city councilmembers have not followed our 1996 General Plan, the long range development guide for our city. They approved a mega-mansion ridgeline housing development on our Southeast ridges and are currently discussing excluding certain housing units toward our voter-imposed housing cap.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 19, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (37)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

ARRR ye maties! Batten the hatches and hoist the sails! This land-lubber's headed for Davey Jone's locker! (Obligatory International Talk Like a Pirate Day contribution)

>"The citizens want to eliminate loopholes in the voter-approved housing cap by defining a housing unit identical to the State of California and the federal government definition."

This sounds like typical "Save Pleasanton Hills" misinformation to me. Pleasanton is already following the State and Federal definitions for a housing unit. (See staff report Web Link sections 5.19 and 5.20) Measure PP would change this and require Pleasanton to count so-called "granny units", which could be in violation of State law! "While a second unit is a residence with a kitchen and bathroom and therefore a housing unit as defined by the Initiative State law specifically provides that second units shall not be counted towards any local growth control. (See Government Code 65852.2(a)(2)) Therefore the City's current practice is consistent with State law and second units cannot be counted towards the City's housing cap even if the Initiative is adopted"

>"The 1996 General Plan states: "Develop a ridgeline preservation ordinance and scenic hillside design guidelines to improve safety and reduce the potential negative visual impacts of development in hilly areas." This ordinance should have been adopted before the Oak Grove project was approved. "

The 1996 General Plan does not specify that the ordinance had to be created within a certain timeframe, i.e. before Oak Grove was approved. Measure QQ sets a timeframe. If this ordinance should have been adopted before Oak Grove, one has to wonder why past Council members didn't work on it. Oak Grove has been in the works for almost a decade. The current Council has only been around for 2 years and actually had a ridgeline ordinance in their work plan.

>"Presently, multiple developers are submitting housing plans that cut off tops of ridges, do massive grading, and cut down countless trees. Measure PP is not about a single development, but is about all the ridges in Pleasanton. Measure PP is the ordinance that will protect the ridges."

Come on now! Measure PP _is_ about a single development, Oak Grove. Kay Ayala is quoted in the PW as saying so. How can Measure PP protect ridges when it doesn't even define what a ridge is? And which "multiple developers" are you talking about?

>"the mayor and two city councilmembers are now discussing not counting certain housing units toward our housing cap."

Don't you mean to say the City staff, following current State and Federal guidelines? You make it sound like plans come through the City and when they get to the Council the members start picking and choosing which units are not counted.

>"The voter-mandated housing cap of 29,000 units was used to plan our infrastructure. Exceeding the housing cap will affect the whole community with overcrowded schools, more traffic congestion and stress on water supplies. The city roadway system, schools, water and sewer systems were not designed to accommodate more than 29,000 housing units in our city. Even our school district superintendent recently stated that "all bets are off" in providing school facilities if we exceed the 29,000-unit housing cap."

1) This is why we have mitigation fees and other developer requirements!
2) Many roadway infrastructure plans were in place _before_ there ever was a housing cap.
3) The school district is already behind in providing school facilities for a City that hasn't even reached the housing cap yet. That is the school district's responsiblity that they've been failing at. Measure PP does not fix that problem.
4) Our roadway infrastructure cannot handle the current pre-build-out load not because it wasn't designed to (see #2 above), but beacuse past community leaders have actively discouraged such development. How is it expected that our roadway is going to support us at build-out with Measure PP?

"Measure PP immediately preserves the ridgelines and protects the housing cap."

Only until the lawsuits start! Watch the housing cap go out the window when the affordable housing lawsuit bites us!

There's something else that I fail to understand. Mary Roberts sits on the board of the Tri-Valley Conservency. Why don't we see the Tri-Valley Conservency working to purchase the Oak Grove land? Instead we see Mary Roberts involved with a group of people trying to use a political process to grab land.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Measure PP did not seek the input of anyone except a small group of people who got together to write it.

Who are they anyway?

The above post says they are former planning commissioner, councilmembers, trails people etc.

How do we know this?

Why won't they say who was on the committee?

Why didn't they go through the process of including everyone?

Why didn't the former members of the council work on it when they were in office?


Voting for Measure PP violates state law and is exclusionary by defining a housing unit to exclude second units. This is against state law.

Voting YES on QQ allows everyone who wants a voice to participate.

The group of people who signed the initiative said they wanted a hillside measure on the ballot. QQ does that and in a better way than PP because it is open to all.

WE DON"T KNOW WHO WROTE PP!

THINK! Even if you are mad at the mayor or council members for putting this on the ballot, it still is far better than voting in something that WILL go to court and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.

QQ is an opportunity to do it right.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:01 pm


3) The school district is already behind in providing school facilities for a City that hasn't even reached the housing cap yet. That is the school district's responsiblity that they've been failing at. Measure PP does not fix that problem.


4) Our roadway infrastructure cannot handle the current pre-build-out load .......How is it expected that our roadway is going to support us at build-out with Measure PP?


So do you suggest opening the flood gates to growth, letting the burden in the schools and traffic get worse?
Recognizing that both overcrowding in our schools and traffic are at crisis point we should be looking at a building moritorium!!!




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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Tightening the definition of a housing cap doesn't solve those problems that already exist. The guest opinion is written in such a way as to make it seem like Measure PP fixes those problems, which it doesn't.


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Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 20, 2008 at 12:50 am

I certainly don't feel let down by my city council. In fact, quite the opposite. I am appreciative that they are trying to close the loopholes while answering the call for hillside protection. I am appreciative that they are not willing to put the City into a situation of more lawsuits at taxpayer expense. I am appreciative that they are willing to seek common sense solutions to emotional arguments.

By the way, the remaining land that is slated for development (within the Urban Growth Boundary) are already granted a certain number of units in the 1996 General Plan AND are already counted toward the current housing cap. Oak Grove, in fact, had 96 units assigned in the 1996 general plan. The City Council granted 51 instead. You can't have it both ways, using the 1996 general plan when convenient and discarding it when it isn't.

I will be voting NO on PP and Yes on QQ.


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Posted by Dan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:23 am

The 1996 General Plan also provides for the extension of Stoneridge Drive. Should the citizens also be putting an initiative on the ballot to get that done, too? Why isn't Ayala and crew upset about that?

Enough of this silliness. NO on PP and YES on QQ.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:12 am

A vote for YES on PP is taking action that will stop hilltop projects and firm up the housing cap.
QQ sends it to committee for more Questions/Questions.

For me there is NO QQuestion.....

I will vote YES On PProtect Pleasanton!



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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2008 at 10:59 am

PP does nothing to protect Pleasanton. In fact it opens Pleaanton to millions of dollars in litigation paid for by our tax dollars.

The initiative was not open to all, the writers included a small number of people that are nameless and refused to be named. (Or maybe a large number, we just don't know.) They were not elected to represent the people of Pleasanton. We don't even know who they are!

QQ put the issue in the public eye where all who choose can participate in the discussion and who will contribute to the exact language of what will become law. People will disagree but a compromise will occur in the open and everyone who cares to know will know who participated.


The people who signed the initiative want to protect the Southeast hills. We all want to protect the Southeast hills. Let's do it right.

Vote YES on QQ


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

Anonymous wrote: "PP does nothing to protect Pleasanton. In fact it opens Pleaanton to millions of dollars in litigation paid for by our tax dollars."

If you've ever received one of those little yellow notices of public hearing from the city, you may have read the following words: "If you challenge the above-described action in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the aforementioned public hearing, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Pleasanton at, or prior to, the public hearing."

So be sure to pay careful attention to what is said at public hearings. Remember the Lin lawsuit? Their representative gave fair warning at a public hearing regarding the inclusion of all documents on the referendum petition. Back to the subject of PP, anyone remember what the Greenbriar representative said at the public hearing about PP? It was something regarding PP's language about restricting the division of legal parcels applying to all of Pleasanton, not only those on the hills.

This is a perfect example of how initiatives are highly susceptible to unintended consequences. Save Pleasanton Hills certainly doesn't intend for Pleasanton to be the subject of a lawsuit, but that scenario is likely to happen due to PP's vagueness. Who is going to sue us next? A yes vote on QQ gets law created that takes all of PP's unintended consequences and mitigates them.


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Posted by Good Information
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:57 am

I must say that the information exchange here is better than anything I've heard or scene at any of the candidate forums so far.

Jennifer just keeps talking, talking, and talking, and Steve simply contradicts himself over and over and over.

Thanks Stacey to your commitment to good (and seemingly acurate) information.


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Posted by Janet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

The comments about not disclosing who signed the initiative (PP) are irrelevant. If there are enough valid signatures, it gets on the ballot. That's how it works. With the same logic, how do you know who will be on these "committees" that QQ refers to? Why would our city need a committee to protect the hills? Give me a break, protect them now from development, just like the western hillsides. No more "committees" which will be a waste of time. If developers want to build, it has to be at least 100 feet from a hilltop. That's what PP says and it also defines a housing unit (in accordance with state law). It's as simple as that. Protect the environment and our city from blight and vote YES ON PP and NO ON QQ.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 22, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Pee Pee on PP. tehehehehehe


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Posted by I wonder
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Its not about who signed the petitions but rather about who was involved in writing the initiative itself. Seems like a reasonable request and something the authors wouldn't be afraid to make public unless it was really just a couple of people.

Its just like the money on the Oak Grove referendum. . .which was never disclosed who funded all the Weekly ads, etc.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:25 pm

It matters plenty who these people are because we don't know the motivation. Here's a news flash. . .you think it might be political?

Why wouldn't they want the terms defined? With the Pleasanton ridge it was clear where the ridgeline was.. .there is no clear ridge on the SE hills. People signed because they wanted the hills protected. I would bet asking these same people whether they thought the tax payers of Pleasanton should pay for a badly worded law, I would bet most would have their doubts about signing. The housing cap definition does violate state law since the definition includes second units and second units are protected by state law. Potentially it could include extended stay hotels if taken literally. The problem with an initiative is that it has to be read as written. There is no going back and cleaning it up

This doesn't mean the hills should not be protected. QQ allows for all people to participate and allows for thoughtful creation of language. It will be open to the thoughtful input of residents and it will take into account commitments the city has made, like the Happy Valley by-pass road.

Who wrote it is NOT irrelevant if you think open and transparent government is important. Why won't they say who wrote it?

Yes on QQ. . . eveyone's input is important


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm

"The comments about not disclosing who signed the initiative (PP) are irrelevant. If there are enough valid signatures, it gets on the ballot. That's how it works. With the same logic, how do you know who will be on these "committees" that QQ refers to?"

Is that a serious question? Check out the City website Web Link if you want to know who is on current committees and commissions. The laws governing the legislative process require a public record on such things, unlike the laws governing initiatives. You can't compare the two "with the same logic". (Speaking of public records, did Save Pleasanton Hills ever report their campaign contributions?)

"If developers want to build, it has to be at least 100 feet from a hilltop. That's what PP says and it also defines a housing unit (in accordance with state law). It's as simple as that."

Not true. Under PP, if developers want to build, they can build on top of a ridge if they limit their "housing units" to 10 units (not including other structures). Additionally, Pleasanton already defines a housing unit in accordance with State law.

"Protect the environment and our city from blight and vote YES ON PP and NO ON QQ. "

PP does not protect Pleasanton from blight! The assumption being made here is that a housing cap prevents blight. Interesting that this claim about blight is being made considering that PP has the potential to move development off the hillsides and onto the valley floor as higher density "work force" housing (see Staff Report). Also, it is not clear that PP protects our environment. It does not require any extra protections to our environment for hillside developments other than what already is in the General Plan (let's not forget that 10 unit exemption!). All these concerns can be addressed by a yes vote on QQ.


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Posted by Flip Flop
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm

I see a very interesting switch taking place here. The same people that signed and want the initiative to go on the ballot for all of the voters to vote on, don't want it when the same scenario is proposed by the other side. Talk about the ultimate flip flop.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I agree. For all the talk about this Council somehow preventing public participation, the lack of public participation and disclosure in the formation of PP is astounding.


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:36 am

Hi Stacey! I hope you are doing well.

Do you remember the story about the Pleasanton Ridge?

In 1990, a grass-roots citizen's group successfully collected signatures for an initiative to protect the Pleasanton Ridge. Measure N said that if Pleasanton were to annex the ridge property, zoned agricultural, owners could build just two houses per 320 acres and only within 300 feet of an existing road.

A competing measure, Measure M, was placed on the ballot by the City Council at the time, entrusting a committee chosen by the City Council to decide the development plan for Pleasanton Ridge. The council-sponsored initiative was led by Mayor Ken Mercer, coincidentally now a supporter and campaign contributor to Jennifer Hosterman's 2008 mayoral re-election.

In November 1990, voters passed the council-sponsored initiative.

The committee appointed by the City Council, amid calls that it was stacked in favor of developers and land owners, decided their mandate was to develop a plan calling for Pleasanton to annex the ridge, approve 2,640 homes, and build a 3-lane road running right up the face of Pleasanton Ridge.

The political maneuvering was such that our local state assembly representative, Republican Bill Baker, introduced a bill on behalf of ridge land property owners that would have had the effect of forcing LAFCO to de-annex the ridge from Hayward and annex it to Pleasanton. Baker claimed he had no knowledge of the contested properties.

The committee plan was so bad that the Planning Commission at the time voted unanimously to place that measure on their agenda just to oppose it, even though the item was a ballot initiative and not required to go through the planning process.

The committee's plan was defeated in 1992, with 82% of Pleasanton voters opposed.

Fortunately, with a slow-growth Hayward City Council in control of the area, some property owners saw housing construction as a losing battle and sold to the East Bay Regional Park District.

Today, the Jennifer Hosterman, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, and Jerry Thorne decided not to allow Pleasanton residents a vote on any plan the council-appointed committee comes up with. The City Council will be the "deciders" and the community will not have the final say.

In addition, these council members decided that they would allow ridge developers to submit plans before a protection ordinance is complete, ensuring developments can be approved BEFORE any protections are in place.

Not to mention, unlike an initiative enacted by the voters, ordinances passed by the council can be overturned or amended by a subsequent council majority.

Vote YES on Measure PP (Protect Pleasanton). Vote NO on Measure QQ, the city council sham initiative.

Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

Good to see you here again Matt. Interesting story. Back in 1990 I was still in high school :) so no, I wouldn't remember it very well. What was the ending of the story? The committee measure was defeated at the polls in 1992 and then what happened with those ridgeland properties?

"Today, the Jennifer Hosterman, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, and Jerry Thorne decided not to allow Pleasanton residents a vote on any plan the council-appointed committee comes up with. The City Council will be the "deciders" and the community will not have the final say."

Firstly, that's how representative democracy works. You vote people into office that will make decisions for you. Secondly, you know quite well that the community always can have a "final say" via both the referendum and council/mayoral election processes.


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Posted by CL
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:20 am

I don't understand the logic of they have been voted in so they can stop listening to the community and assume an "I know best attitude".

Oh wait...that does sound like our President.




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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

They have not stopped listening to the community.

The community is comprised of more than the people who wrote the initiative, (and we don't know how large or small a group they might be because we don't know WHO they are. . .unlike the city council) or even signed it.

It includes the people who did NOT sign it. . .it even includes the people who aren't even REGISTERED to vote. The council has to listen to all the residents of Pleasanton, not just the squeaky wheels.

Just because the council does not agree with YOU does not mean that have not listened.

I don't think it is "I know best" attitude as much as it is I get a lot of input and have to balance the needs of all.

Where is the logic in a bunch of people signed an initiative and therefore that's what the ENTIRE community meant by saving the hills.
. .

Why should I as a (new) community member trust a group of people I can't even identify who wrote an initiative as opposed to duly elected officials whom I can identify?

Should we trust the council blindly? NO

Should we trust unidentified authors of an initiative? NO


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Posted by Facts
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

There is a very small, fairly well known group whom have taken clipboard politics to an entirely new level in Pleasaton. The large silent majority are extemely happy with Pleasanton and as a result sit back and enjoy life here. Unfortunately sensationalism draws attention and the quiet majortiy isn't paying close enough attention IMO.

Hopefully we get a large voter turnout and people make educated decisions.


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

Greetings Facts!

The current era of "clipboard politics" doesn't come close to the level reached during late 90's Carol Varela times. Housing developments were brought to a halt in this city.

Without the citizen activists Pleasanton might not have reached the congestion of Dublin, but south Pleasanton/Bernal certainly could have ended up with a ambiance of the current eastern/North 1st Livermore.

That people are able to "sit back and enjoy life" and are "extremely happy with Pleasanton" is a direct result of hard work and perseverance from the promoters of "clipboard politics".

Whenever I have to cross the freeway or head down to the other end of Stanley Blvd I just thank my stars that most Pleasanton residents have been pretty jealous (in a good way) about protecting the small-town atmosphere and beautiful scenery of our little neck of the woods.

There is a limit to how many dwellings you can comfortably and fiscally stuff into a geographic are. The voters of Pleasanton said that number is 29,000.

It's time for our elected leaders to stop catering to the luxury home builders and use most if not all the remaining units under the housing cap to build transit oriented housing near the BART and Wheels hub where the development can also support additional retail plus be close to jobs.

Measure PP is a significant nudge in that direction.

If you value Pleasanton's attributes, please vote YES on Measure PP (Protect Pleasanton). Vote NO on Measure QQ, the city council sham initiative.

Stacey, it's good to see you around too. You really do your homework! Ever think of volunteering for a city commission? Anne Fox is a pretty good friend of mine (which is why I stopped by to post) who also does a great deal of investigation. In my experience, it's much more civil when folks discuss issues and principles rather than attacking personalities. That way, sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong (and sometimes you just put it to a vote of the people!), but folks still remain neighborly.


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Posted by Facts
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Nice spin Matt,

I do agree that Stacey would be good as you suggest. Representative Democracy seems to have gotten lost in Pleasanton. We are stuck with council members that are more interested in trying to please each and every citizen (a noble objective but not realistic)than the common good. In the end no one is happy (including the majority). I am voting to have competent resources put into office with the time allocated appropriately to make good decisions (with public input), and then MOVE FORWARD, not do more and more and more study!

Vote no on PP (study, study and more study).
Vote YES on QQ (The Councils well thought out and reasonable solution)


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Doh! Facts, I think you've spun a 180...

QQ is the council majority (Hosterman, Cook-Kallio, Thorne) question to voters that would lead to "study, study and more study" while development approvals are allowed to pick away at the ridges.

PP is the reasonable solution, no 10+ housing developments on grades of 25 degrees or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline. It also requires the city not to grant waivers for housing other than what the state allows.

PP simply, well thought out, and reasonably prods our city to use our remaining 2,000 some-odd units under the housing cap in development plans that provide workforce, affordable by design, homes.

Putting any significant amount of homes on the ridge is an all-around bad idea unless you are one who wants our housing cap to fall. It is exactly the kind of housing Pleasanton doesn't need as it supplies zero workforce or affordable housing.

Yes on PP for Pleasanton today!

No on QQ the, maybe, hopefully, assign to a committee, check back in a few years, dither, dither initiative...


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Posted by annonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

PP is anything but well thought out, it could have been but it wasn't. Any mistake in the initiative can only be fixed in court or by another initiative.

It will prevent the by-pass road. (It's alignment is on a greater than 25% slope)

What is a ridgeline? Can you see it on the SE Hills like you can on the Pleasanton Ridge? Oh back to court. . .

The housing cap definition is contrary to state law.

The Oak Grove development, which I think the above post is referring, included 20 units of affordable housing somewhere else in the city, oh yes and a really big park in perpetuity for all of Pleasanton to enjoy.


More importantly, we don't know who wrote PP. It is anything but public.

It will cost millions of dollars in court costs for the city of Pleasanton, that means us!

Finally QQ has a timeline, no later than November 2009, it includes everyone and it is deliberative. At the end of the day you will know who wrote and the logic behind it.

YES ON QQ


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Posted by Duh
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Let's be honest Matt, PP is Kay Ayala's desperate last ditch effort to attempt to stop the Oak Grove Development. It would be great if the "Save Pleasanton" from itself folks would cut through the BS and tell the truth. Oh by the way, Steve Brozosky LIVES on a ridgeline!

Great leadership.... I got mine.....


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Posted by my opinion
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

OK Facts, my mind is now made up. You state that we have "council members that are more interested in trying to please each and every citizen." Excuse me??? Hosterman pleases no one nor does she care to when her only goal is higher office somewhere else if she can ever pass the bar. Matt makes a valid and reasonable case for Yes on PP. He sealed my vote. Seems that it comes down to whether I trust this city council, under Hosteran's lead, to make decisions. Nope, I don't. I also don't swim with alligators, they can't be trusted to look out for my best interest either.


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Posted by Valium
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 23, 2008 at 9:30 pm

U should take one my opinion.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Hey Matt, these are your words:

PP simply, well thought out, and reasonably prods our city to use our remaining 2,000 some-odd units under the housing cap in development plans that provide workforce, affordable by design, homes.

What you say could be true, or not. Where did PP come from? Who had input to its language? What process operated to make sure that all stakeholders had input to this language, which may become law? How was this language vetted? And over what time period? How was its process superior to republican democracy?

Is this democracy in action for the best interest of everyone? Or just for the interest of the faction(s) who write these things and whose participants are by invitation only? How can we know?


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2008 at 8:26 am

Give me a break Frank, I have never had an opportunity to participate in creating any law as much as I have with PP.
My neighbors have approached me wanting to talk to me about it, giving me an opportunity to sign the referendum, or not. I have been approached at the First Wednesday by the proponents asking me if I have any questions, they have been at the Farmer Market, we all know who the proponents are. I have never had the opportunity to participate in any other law before, this is grassroots politics.
I will have a significant say in creating this law with my vote in November when I vote YES on PP and NO on QQ.



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 24, 2008 at 8:36 am

Ann,
There is a distinct difference between what you consider to be participation in "creating law" with how the Founding Fathers envisioned it. All you are doing is rubber stamping someone else's idea of how the law should be written. You actually have no other input.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2008 at 10:31 am

PP would eliminate the proposed Senior residental housing facility on Staples Ranch due to its extremely limited definition of housing.

The proposed senior facility is a welcome and needed addition to our community. It would be a shame to see it go away, which is exactly what PP would do.

Yes on QQ.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2008 at 10:33 am

Since Ann thinks this is empowering, I wonder how much she will like to be responsible for the miswording of this initiative and the subsequent cost to the taxpayers of Pleasanton?

It is is clear that she knows who wrote this initiative and who is behind it but the public does not. This small elite group of individuals behind the initiative don't want to tell the public how it was written, when it was written and by whom.

Yet some seem to insist that this is democracy, Let the People SPEAK. But only the elite group needs to know the specifics. There is nothing public or open about the way this was done except that someone in front of a grocery store asked "Do you want to save Pleasanton Hills?"

Everyone thoughtful would say yes to that. However, people who believe in democracy would want an open process that includes everyone including (gasp) people who own the property being discussed. QQ is an open process that will include everyone, has a timeline attached, and will be examined by people who understand the legality of writing a law.

Vote yes on QQ!


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Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Hi Frank, nice to see you're still around these parts.

Basically, the law on the books says Pleasanton will have no more than 29,000 housing units, interpreted as not counting 2nd units, assisted living, or residential hotels. Our city attorney agrees that measure PP will not change this interpretation and no one I know in the pro-PP campaign is looking to change it.

The conversation that isn't taking place is why the city is using up the 2,000 or so remaining units under the cap approving luxury housing on the hills or into non-affordable senior villas and apartments.

When ABAG is looking for Pleasanton to provide something like 7,000 affordable or workforce housing units and Pleasanton is being sued for not making a good faith effort to meet even more modest affordable housing goals (Note: Our city is making strides, the 20% affordable apartments planned for the Stoneridge BART area is a huge concession) the real question is why the city is even considering ANY development that doesn't provide inclusive affordable or workforce housing?

Beth, I don't know whether we really need the age in place housing or not. It is an excellent idea. Assisted living units still won't be counted towards Pleasanton's housing cap if PP passes, but the villas and apartments would count towards the cap as very well they should.

The people who might live in senior residential villas and apartments are not invalids, they are to be able bodied adults who will drive around town and use services including stores, churches, parks, library, events, etc. same as the rest of us. I would like the senior housing to include, as I believe they are investigating, some sort of an affordable element.

If the senior housing at Staples is only for the wealthy, well, the wealthy already have a lot of options.

It seems like some of our leaders are making sure the luxury homes get approved quickly before residents begin to notice that it's too late to do anything to preserve the housing cap.

Without the housing cap (Pleasanton is the only Tri-Valley city with one), how many residents would be acceptable? 90,000? 100,000? 120,000? Where do I get an invitation to participate in this conversation, and who really are the stakeholders in a Pleasanton without a housing cap? Isn't the "elite" we ought to be worried about?

YES on PP (Protect Pleasanton), NO on QQ.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2008 at 7:53 pm

The city attorney is not the one who will determine what the language in Measure PP means. When it is litigated it will be a judge who will look at what the words say.

The council is following the 1996 general plan. These units have been allocated and some cases reduced from the general plan allotment. That is how Pleasanton got the 500 acre open space park accessible to all in perpetuity. The plans come from long term planning and has included a huge number of people.

This is from the text of Measure PP

Policy 15.3: A housing unit is defined to include any residence that includes a kitchen (sink, cooking device, and refrigerator) and a bathroom (toilet, tub or shower). The City Council shall uphold the housing cap and shall not grant waivers that exclude housing units consistent with this definition.

There is nothing in that language that exempts anything. In fact, it specifically prohibits the council from altering the definition even if common sense indicates. This defines some assisted living facilities, second units, separate or within a home, and extended stay hotel rooms. It's plain English.




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Posted by Susan
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 11, 2008 at 12:15 am

All land in Southeast Hills has already been allocated units in the 1996 general plan and is already counted toward buildout/housing cap. Our current City Council has been working hard to reduce the number of units that the general plan allocated. The citizens of Pleasanton also voted on an Urban Growth Boundary. Now, we want to move the line, change the rules. There is NO ONE proposing houses on ridgetops unless you count the PP people who exempt 10 units or less. If they were serious about saving the hills, why is one house on a ridgetop acceptable?


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