Staples Ranch retirement community, auto mall expected to win Pleasanton City Council approval tonight

Opponents, proponents agree to final plan for multi-million-dollar development after five years of debate

Development of the 124-acre Staples Ranch property at Pleasanton's northeast corner could get under way early next year following an agreement by the city, environmental groups and Alameda County, which owns the land, over issues that have been debated over several years.

The City Council has scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. tonight to ratify the agreement that will allow the construction of a complex for seniors, a new auto mall, and eventually a retail center and public ice arena.

The agreement will also allow Stoneridge Drive to be extended to El Charro Road once Livermore extends Jack London Boulevard on the east side of El Charro to Isabel Road, which the City Council of Livermore has approved.

That project has been delayed, however, until new developers are found for an outlet mall at the northeast corner of El Charro and I-580, whose development would pay most of the costs of extending Jack London.

Although the Staples Ranch master plan has been approved, long-time opponents of the development have held up to the project from moving forward over environmental concerns. Those have been withdrawn after a near-$1-million settlement aimed at protecting wildlife habitat.

In a statement issued by Ralph Kanz of the Alameda Creek Alliance, Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity and Patrick Cashman of the Alameda County Surplus Property Authority, the organization's announced that they have signed a mitigation agreement "allowing the proposed 124-acre Staples Ranch development in Pleasanton to move forward while providing up to $925,000 in funding to enhance creek vegetation along Arroyo Mocho and acquire and protect habitat for rare plants."

If the final development plan is approved Aug. 24, Cashman and the city of Pleasanton will ask LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission of Alameda County, to annex Staples Ranch so that development can get under way, a process that could take six months. That moves the earliest date for CLC to start construction on its first Northern California retirement community well into 2011.

Mayor Jennifer Hosterman is a member of the board of LAFCO and could possibly expedite a LAFCO public hearing on the annexation petition, where there appears to be no opposition. She is seeking re-election as Pleasanton's mayor in the municipal election Nov.2 and would need to keep her post to remain as a member of the LAFCO board.

Public hearings on Staples Ranch and City Council action to approve the final development plans will come in two stages, with the most important hearing on the supplement EIR and Stoneridge Drive considerations on Aug. 24. A second hearing would come at the council's regular meeting Sept. 7 to approve specific development plans, with time set aside at its meeting on Sept. 21 if additional actions need to be taken.

City Manager Nelson Fialho, who has spearheaded negotiations on Staples Ranch development issues with Steven Bocian, assistant city manager, and Brian Dolan, director of community development, said he believes all of the groups that have been involved in the Staples issue "are now on the same page."

"I'm confident that we have an agreement in place that the council can accept on Aug. 24," he said.

If approved, specific projects would be able to get under way once the property is annexed into the city. These include:

* Stoneridge Creek Pleasanton, a 45-acre senior continuing care community to be developed by Continuing Life Communities (CLC), with up to 800 units for assisted living, skilled nursing and independent living residents.

* Hendrick Automotive Group, which wants to build a new auto mall on its 37-acre portion of Staples, next to the junction of I-580 and El Charro Road, directly across El Charro from a the 160-plus store outlet mall that Livermore has approved, but where a new developer is being sought.

The plan for Staples also include 11 acres set aside for future use as a retail center and about 17 acres identified as parkland, with about 10 acres earmarked for a two-story, four rink facility to be built by San Jose Arena Management, a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks.

Troy Bourne of CLC said his firm is ready to build the independent living and assisted care facility as soon as the plan is approved and Staples is annexed. Several hundred applications have been submitted for units in the independent living section of Stoneridge Creek, with deposits ranging from $1,000 and higher.

Since applicants must be in good health at the time their applications are accepted, Bourne urged the council to give its final approval on the project so everyone who wants to move into CLC will be able to do so.

The extension of Stoneridge Drive has been the most controversial part of the Staples Ranch plan and the cause of repeated delays in actions by both the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The new agreement, to be voted on Aug. 24, appears to satisfy both proponents and opponents. It allows Stoneridge to be extended as a two-lane thoroughfare but barricaded before it reaches El Charro. The barricade would be removed for public use of the roadway once Jack London Boulevard is opened on the other side, which could take several years. Separate entrances would be made available to the auto mall and the Stoneridge Creek complex.

Alameda County will pay for the extension and the construction of two four-lane-wide bridges with the city of Pleasanton spending an estimated $600,000 for "noise attenuating pavement" on Stoneridge between Santa Rita Road and Kamp Drive and to extend the soundwall on Stoneridge to Trevor Parkway.

Eventually, according to tonight's proposed agreement, Stoneridge could be widened to four lanes from El Charro to Santa Rita, but only after Jack London Boulevard is extended on the Livermore side and additional public hearings are held.

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Like this comment
Posted by Neilson Park Neighbor
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 13, 2010 at 9:11 am

Does anyone know if the "800 units for assisted living, skilled nursing and independent living residents" counts toward Pleasanton's "affordable housing" count? With only a $1,000 down payment that would fit. I also hope Pleasanton looks at the speed on Stoneridge...people who live off of it already ignore the posted 35 mph speed limit, usually going 40-45 mph past St. Elizabeth's & Neilson park - when this goes through it will be like Concannon in Livermore. I have no problem with Stoneridge going through to Livermore - we bought here 20 years ago because of this promise. I just hope something is done to prevent speeding on Stoneridge here.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I believe so. I know there was an issue regarding how many of the units would count towards the housing cap, but of course that is moot now.

Like this comment
Posted by Hangin' way too loose !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Oh NO ! Way too many 'outs'. NOTHING moves forward until Stoneridge is READY TO GO FORWARD ! ! ! ""Held up UNTIL new developers are FOUND for a shopping center ACROSS the freeway"" ! !
Who's kidding who ??
NO DEAL ! ! Livermore needs some sort of advance to proceed with
Jack London...NOW ! NOW ! With the selfish loose nuts who are not above dirty tricks....this is NOT ready to fly....not ready to vote !NO deals with the sneeky devils. The only guarantee we have is to wait on all those LOOSE ENDS that are a LONG time away from being 'tied up'. Stoneridge is part of the deal. No Stoneridge? No deal ! No more tricks. No more lies.

Like this comment
Posted by Hangin' way too loose !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

To those who want to move into Stoneridge Creek, WHY haven't YOU been helping and working to MAKE Stoneridge Drive happen ? a package ? You're so eager to sacrifice the rest of us who are waiting for Stoneridge to connect to Jack London. What a shame for all.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:31 am

To answer the question about the retirement community being "affordable housing", OH HECK NO! My parents just put a deposit down of $10,000. The unit itself will cost well over one million dollars, and the monthly fees are $6,000. Trust me, it ain't "affordable housing"!

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:42 am

To "Hangin' way too loose!",

I don't understand your question. You are asking why the seniors who want to move into this new facility are not helping and working to make Stoneridge Drive happen as a package? What do you mean? The people who want to move in there, generally, are not Pleasanton residents (yet). They are coming from all over the Bay Area. They are over retirement age, and are paying an enormous chunk of money to live there. What specifically do you want these people to do? I have no idea what you're talking about.

Like this comment
Posted by Hangin' way too loose !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

There is a very vocal group of Pleasanton seniors who are very anxious to 'get started'. IF that goes forward without Stoneridge Dr extension, then the extension will never happen. Why haven't these people been working on making the package happen ? Then EVERYBODY could move FORWARD together. They're just not helping very much. All the loose IFFY conditions for the extension will be forgotten for another generation. Stoneridge has been waiting a generation longer than the senior complex. ALL VOICES in unison might help keep the pressure on. I don't like all the loose ends and won't rest until it's in stone....along with the (yes joe, expensive) senior complex. (I'll need to find another town to buy into a MIDDLE-income senior development...not high or low).

Like this comment
Posted by Matt Morrison
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Matt Morrison is a registered user.

Just to clarify, the roadway for Stoneridge Drive through to El Charro will be constructed at the same time as the senior complex and the auto mall.

Under the agreement Stoneridge Drive would have a temporary barrier inhibiting through traffic to El Charro until Jack London is connected to El Charro.

Jack London extension is necessary for Stoneridge Drive to form a route into Livermore because there are currently no roads connecting El Charro with the rest of Livermore.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Aug 15, 2010 at 6:25 am

To "Hangin'",

Good luck finding another middle-income senior development anywhere else in the country. Not if you want to have the types of benefits that these places have (lifetime medical care, skilled nursing care, etc). All of those places are BIG BUCKS.

Like this comment
Posted by Hangin' way too loose !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Gee thanks Joe, So if you're approaching senior housing age, and you're middle-class, it's just suck the exhaust. Better to be low-income then there's a list of all the 'programs', freebies, subsidies, fixed 'pricing' of newly build 'senior' options, etc. etc. Rich, or long-term couples, get to spend their fat, shortage created home equities, on story-book new senior compleses. But single, middle-income workers have zero new pay-go senior housing complexes. Something wrong with that picture!

Like this comment
Posted by Fairlands Park Neighbor
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thank you Matt for clarifying the Stoneridge Rd. issue. The seniors have been doing what they can to raise awareness for the homes they have been anxiously waiting for, which in turn has also raised awareness for Stoneridge Rd. going through. However, their priority is not necessarily Stoneridge, nor does it have to be. Hopefully all goes well tonight at the meeting and all parties are happy!

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

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