Staples Ranch project moves forward

Planning Commission OKs new environmental report

Plans to develop Staples Ranch moved forward Wednesday when the Pleasanton Planning Commission gave its nod of approval to a new environmental report and other recommendations. Now the project goes to the City Council for a public hearing, tentatively at its June 15 meeting.

The project for the 124-acre property south of I-580 and west of El Charro Road includes a 46-acre senior continuing care community to be developed by Continuing Life Communities; a 37-acre auto mall; an 11-acre retail/commercial center; a 5-acre neighborhood park; and a 17-acre community park. The community park would have a four-rink ice center built by an affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.

"I'm personally optimistic," said Patricia Kohnen, who plans to move to the Continuing Life Communities. "We were the first couple to put down 10 percent. It will be good for the whole Tri-Valley."

The City Council voted 3-2 in February 2009 to certify the environmental report, giving the go-ahead to for the development and allowing Stoneridge Drive to be extended past where it now ends at Trevor Parkway. The city was to assess whether Stoneridge Drive should be four lanes on the bridge crossing Arroyo Mocho, which is adjacent to Staples Ranch, or reduced to two lanes.

Two environmental groups - San Francisco-based Center for Biological Diversity and Alameda Creek Alliance - and a citizens' coalition called Safe Streets filed a lawsuit the next month in Alameda County Superior Court to halt the project. They called the environmental report inadequate, noting that it did not include the Stoneridge Drive extension so violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The supplemental environmental report was presented to the Planning Commission members Wednesday, asking them to certify it and to rescind approvals by the City Council of the old report. They also were asked to adopt the revised CEQA findings and a Stoneridge Drive Specific Plan Amendment.

A re-evaluation of the California red-legged frog showed that it is not in Arroyo Mocho, said Senior Planner Robin Griffin. Two western pond turtles were observed but the report concluded that fencing could ensure that they would not be affected by bridge construction.

"The bridge will be striped to have one lane of travel in each direction," said Griffin, adding that it could be changed at a later date. "As drafted, the project contains flexibility."

"There will be significant unavoidable impacts," said Director of Community Development Brian Dolan.

He noted the change aesthetically and visually of going from a rural to a developed site as well as impacts on air quality, noise and traffic.

Proposed mitigations include repaving Stoneridge Drive between Kamp Drive and Trevor Parkway with "noise attenuating pavement"; intersection improvements at Stoneridge Drive and Santa Rita Road; and installing traffic lights at the intersection of Stoneridge and Newton Way, Guzman Parkway and Trevor Parkway.

Dolan also pointed out the benefits of the project, noting that they outweigh the impacts.

"It allows us to maintain our auto sales businesses," he said, as well as adding a greatly needed senior continuing care facility. "The ice center and special events will draw people to do business at restaurants and stores. The ice center will contribute to our community park."

The city will also add a soundwall on Stoneridge Drive between Guzman and Trevor Parkway.

"That's the only area that doesn't have a soundwall," said Dolan. "We will need a more detailed plan before we move forward."

"What are the city of Pleasanton's responsibilities to other jurisdictions?" asked Commissioner Phil Blank. "Could Dublin sue us because we're impacting their intersection?"

Consulting attorney Michael Roush said cities work together to help solve traffic problems caused in each other's communities.

"We engage in a process with our regional partners," Roush said. "There is an overarching attempt to reach agreement on all the intersections impacted."

"A letter from the city of Dublin said they support this," added Assistant City Manager Steve Bocian.

Residents near Stoneridge Drive are opposing its extension, and several spoke at the meeting.

"Stoneridge Drive was not going to be put through until the 'proper time,' when 84 was widened and other arterials were opened," said John Carroll. "The impacts will be much greater than the mitigations are going to alleviate."

Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce president Scott Raty spoke in support of the Staples Ranch project and the Stoneridge Drive extension on behalf of the Chamber.

"Stoneridge Drive was the mitigation for Las Positas," he pointed out. "Not a single driveway opens on to Stoneridge Drive."

Pleasanton must also apply to the Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) to annex the Staples Ranch property. Before this application is made, Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and the county will discuss traffic priorities in the area.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Push It Through
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Finally, this needs to be acted on...holding up the Stoneridge extension for a few NIMBY's is hurting the rest of the city...

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

It's about time. This is a GREAT project for the City of Pleasanton. Just the ice rink alone will bring in new business to the city. The new ice complex will be the jewel of the project and be create jobs and revenue for the city. The people on Stoneridge need to consider the benefits to the city instead of their own selfish wants.

Remove Mr. Sullivan from the city council as soon as possible. He does not support the project and does not want what is best for the city.

Like this comment
Posted by OpenStonerigde
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 29, 2010 at 8:03 am

Opening Stoneridge is and always was part of a master plan. Everyone that bought along there knew about it. While a few NIMBYs have resisted the opening, most people are for it! Pleasanton used to be the main "draw" to the tri-valley. Now it is old and tired. We now play "count the vacant storefronts" with our children. You should ALL take a look at what other cities are doing to improve their communities. Downtown Pleasanton is a virtual eyesore! Go look at Livermore! Man, it's thriving. Look at the new sports park in Dublin....beyond world class. Walk around Foothill & Amador HS. Both are filthy hodge-podge campuses that need complete remodeling. No, we are to busy making a fuss about 50 "Mansions" being built on someones private property. ( Ask every homeowner that has a No on D sign which ridgeline this vote is about? You'll get 20 different answers...behind Castlewood, behind Golden Eagle...behind blah blah blah....ALL are incorrect...MOST are uninformed.) But I digress. Stoneridge will be open in two those of you that thought you we living at the dead end of a 4 lane divided expressway...please sell your homes NOW so we dont have to hear your sniveling...there, the mighty Oz has spoken! Oh, and VOTE YES ON D

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

I'm very happy that Stoneridge Drive will finally be extended. I wish the NIMBY's had been unsuccessful at getting the Las Positas /680 off-ramp eliminated. Kinda reminds me of the people who buy homes across from a rifle range or near an airport, and then complain about all the noise. Just like the completion of Stoneridge, the Las Positas offramp was an important part of the master plan for access to and from Pleasanton -- We definitely need some changes on the City Council.

Like this comment
Posted by I've Been Thinking
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 31, 2010 at 8:31 am

About that land that was to be used for the Las Positas offramp, how will it now be used by the City? Seems like a good place to put some of those affordable homes, there must be several acres just sitting there on both sides of the freeway. Oh vote YES on D.

Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Thank heavens. Let the grading work begin without delay.

Like this comment
Posted by L. A. Nott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2010 at 9:33 am

All those cheering for Stoneridge Drive to be punched through will soon be cussing at the gridlocked traffic in Pleasanton. These people seemingly can't wait to turn the Tri-Valley into another San Jose or Los Angeles. The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce seems to be one of the leaders on the dark side - they fought hard to get Stoneridge punched through, to build the 10,000 sq ft mansions in our hills, and they were a major force in getting the three developer's lap dogs on the city council - the Hippie Mayor, Thorn and Cook-Callio. Its time for the voters to toss these three; and the businesses that belong to the Chamber need to replace the CEO and the Board of the Chamber. If you don't like the prospect of the Tri-Valley becoming LA, its time to clean house.

Like this comment
Posted by Jamie
a resident of Country Fair
on May 31, 2010 at 9:59 am

This project is a glimmer of hope for our city. Please move forward with it. The Sharks Ice facility will be a great family friendly facility that will bring a lot of money to our community.

With the recent news that Amador Theater will no longer be available to rent for local community members (such as dance studios who have been doing their annual recitals there for 20 years!), the city residents sure could use a little good news.

Like this comment
Posted by Push It Through
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Hey L. A. Nott,
Are you lost in the times? I sit in more in town gridlock because Stoneridge doesn't go through as planned and Santa Rita and Valley have to take it all...get real and accept it that growth is inevitable...fighting it will just hurt us all...let it happen planned, like the general plan attempted.
If you want to live in a town forgotten by time...look to the hills, as in the sierra foothills...or somewhere else.

Like this comment
Posted by lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm

disagreeing with the staples ranch project does not mean you don't want what is best for the city.
it merely means he has a difference of opinion, and that,mark , is what makes this country so great, the right to have public officials disagreeing with the status quo.

Like this comment
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

Staples is a wonderful opportunity for a sports facility, community park, retail/commercial and senior housing on an infill site. Oh yes, and the completion of Stoneridge Drive per the General Plan Circulation Element. Now let's get moving on El Charro to complete the network and distribute traffic instead of bottle-necking it. Pleasanton is at the I580/I680 Interchange and center of the Tri-Valley. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto, but to say Stoneridge Dr completion will turn us into L.A. is ludicrous. FUD and the sky aint falling.

Like this comment
Posted by livermorehockeyplayer
a resident of Livermore
on May 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I personally cant wait for this ice rink to be finished. I wish everone would stop complaining about how this is going to make the tri valley like LA... it wont, and even if it would... its called expansion. You can't stop it. Just embrace it and be excited there will be something new in the town, and it might help a lot of the struggling local businesses.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary Robinson
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

What makes the City of Pleasanton think that the (original) businesses who were interested in Staples Ranch still are?

Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

it's amazing reading all of the comments from these debbie downers living in the past and not accepting change for the better. especially in this down economy, this project will inject much needed revenue and new jobs to the area. face it, the ice rink alone will be a magnet for kids and adults of all ages. hockey alone has grown so much especially in california. just this past year for the first time in nhl history, a native californian was drafted first overall in the 2010 entry draft which is increadible since this sport is dominated by the canadians and euro players.

Like this comment
Posted by Cyrus
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

If you want to live in commercial areas with lots of crimes and so many other things, go live were you are belong to. Go to San Jose or livermore or even Oakland. You people deserve that. Leave Pleasanton alone. God knows how much money the people involve got to approve this stupid plan.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Premarital and Existing Couples: Marriage Rules: Yours, Mine, or Ours?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 966 views

Three Alameda County Supervisors vote thumbs down on public safety
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 632 views

Council halts plans for 90-home senior housing on Merritt property
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 364 views