The Pleasanton City Council unanimously approved a an agreement last night that will allow for multi-million-dollar residential, commercial and recreational developments on Staples Ranch along with extending Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road and Livermore.
Cheers from a roomful of supporters of the plan ended the two-hour meeting after the council vote, hopeful that finally Stoneridge Creek will be built. Many have already placed large deposits on homes and apartments planned on the 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.
Stoneridge Creek's development plans will be specifically reviewed at a second council meeting on Staples Ranch scheduled for Sept. 7. At that time, the council will also hear from Hendrick Automotive Group, which wants to build a new auto mall on its 37-acre portion of Staples.
Other plans for Staples, a 124-acre empty field at the southwest corner of El Charro and I-580, include a retail center and a four-rink ice arena planned by a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks. Those plans have yet to be finalized and will not be part of the initial approval plan for Staples Ranch.
A key part of last night's agreement permits extending Stoneridge Drive from its current barricade at the edge of Staples through the property to El Charro Road where it will connect to Jack London Boulevard. Livermore plans to extend that thoroughfare which runs alongside the south edge Livermore Airport, from El Charro to the newly-widened Isabel Avenue.
The Stoneridge Drive extension has long been a contentious issue among neighborhood groups with several on the council at one time vowing in their election campaigns to never allow the extension until traffic congestion on I-580 is eased.
Last night's agreement, while providing for the extension, which Alameda County will finance, calls for opening Stoneridge to El Charro only when Livermore extends Jack London. That extension is on hold as Livermore awaits a new developer for its planned retail outlet mall at the northeast corner of El Charro and the 580 freeway, a project that is expected to fund all or most of the extended Jack London Boulevard.
Once the development agreements to be reviewed at the council's Sept. 7 meeting are approved, Alameda County, which owns the Staples Ranch property, and Pleasanton officials will ask LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission of Alameda County, to annex Staples Ranch into Pleasanton so that development can get under way, a process that could take six months.
CLC has said that it has the funding and is ready to start construction on its complex when that happens, with the first of its homes and apartments to be ready in 2012 or 2013.
In urging the council to approve the Staples Ranch project last night, one of the speakers said he'll turn 80 in three years and hopes he'll still be in good enough health to qualify for a Stoneridge Creek Pleasanton home.