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By Roz Rogoff

San Dublin

Uploaded: Mar 22, 2012

I used to like going to Dublin. I liked shopping there and bringing foster cats to adoption events at the Petsmart on Amador Plaza Road.

Dublin is at the cross-roads between the I-680 and I-580 and Alameda County and Contra Costa County and attracts shoppers to Burlington Coat Factory (I liked it better when it was Montgomery Wards), Target, Petsmart, and Performance Bicycles, all in the same shopping center. There used to be a fat ladies (oops, large size) boutique there where I could find attractive clothes that fit me, but it's long gone now.

I liked the convenience of the Dublin BART when I needed to go into San Francisco. There was always a lot of free parking, and it was easy to spot from Dublin Blvd. because of the wavy roofline. Now of course apartment buildings block the view from Dublin Blvd and the parking costs a dollar and the lot is usually full by early morning.

Dublin has grown a lot in the last ten years, and not all of it has been an improvement. I'm on the e-mail list for the Around Dublin blog, which tends to be something of a tabloid blog, but it's interesting to see the comments by readers against the high-density apartments and the lack of a promised new High School.

When Janet Lockhart was Mayor of Dublin, she said on TV30's Mayor's Report that plans were to increase Dublin's population to 50,000. I don't recall the details, and maybe someone can add this information, but according to Lockhart cities with a population of 50,000 or more get advantages from the State.

Dublin is closing in on that 50,000 number now. Here are the population numbers from the City's website:

"From a population of approximately 14,300 in 1982, the City of Dublin has grown to a resident population of 46,743 (per the California Department of Finance, 2011). The City has consistently been one of the fastest growing cities in Alameda County for the past several years, and the City is projected to have a total population of between 65,000 and 70,000 at build out."

That would make the population of Dublin about the same as San Ramon is now.

When I drove down to Hacienda Crossings last week to see The Artist, I was surprised to see a housing development going up on Dougherty Road, near Dublin Blvd. The buildings looked like duplexes or triplexes. The builder is Kaufman and Broad, which Ms. Bunny recently described as "scourge of the building industry in tract housing." Indeed, the buildings look tacky and the location isn't very desirable either. This isn't like anything I've seen in San Ramon and isn't likely to be.

One thing Dublin has that San Ramon doesn't but needs, is a Civic Center. This consists of a very attractive City Hall building with a theater-like auditorium for Council meetings. The City Hall shares Civic Plaza with the Dublin Library on the other side of the parking lot. This is a nice Civic Center, without all of the retail proposed for San Ramon's City Center, but then Dublin has shopping centers all over town.

San Ramon is planning more big box retail to keep sales taxes from leaking to Dublin. Because of recent growth and retail plans, San Ramon is being called San Dublin now by critics who say we are too much like Dublin.

Hey, San Ramon used to be San Dublin. In the early '60's the only local government agency in the area was the Valley Community Services District (VCSD), which at that time was responsible for fire protection, sewer and water services, and parks.

The VCSD increased its Board of Directors to five in 1961 with representatives from Dublin and San Ramon. The District was renamed the Dublin San Ramon Services District in 1977. Representation on the DSRSD Board of Directors was always shared between the two Cities until 2002, when Cynthia Jones from San Ramon lost to Tom Ford from Dublin and all five Directors on the Dublin San Ramon Services District have been from Dublin for the last ten years.

I ran as the San Ramon candidate in 2004 and 2010. Since more of Dublin votes in DSRSD elections, I lost both times. It wasn't just me either. Mohinder Khanna, a resident of Dougherty Valley with 36 years of experience in water and sewer systems, lost in 2006.

This year could be different if someone from San Ramon runs. I'm too old and tired to go through that again, but I hope someone from San Ramon will make the Dublin San Ramon Services District into San Dublin again.