Public hearing tonight on city's long-term housing plan

After 2 years of public review, City Council expected to ratify 2015-2023 'Housing Element'

The city Council will hold a public hearing starting at 7 p.m. tonight to consider approving its new Housing Element, a part of the city's General Plan required by all California cities to show that they are meeting the statewide housing goal of "attaining decent housing and a suitable living environment for every California family."

The plan covers land use and housing development during the next cycle of the state's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), which starts next year and extends through 2023.

It's all part of the periodic updates of the Housing Element that must be certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Certification is required to ensure that city's General Plan, to be fully legal in meeting state requirements, includes policies that continue to reflect changing community needs, challenges and opportunities in compliance with state law.

In order to catch up to the 2007-2014 RHNA cycle, which ends this year, and after nearly two years and hundreds of hours of community meetings, public hearings and staff discussions, the city Council rezoned 70 acres for high density residential development in 2012.

In the end, those rezonings of nine separate sites in various parts of Pleasanton provided a surplus that some critics want stripped out of the plan before it goes to the state for new certification.

According to city data, the city provided entitlements for 508 units in 2012, 1,148 in 2013 and 247 this year. The majority of these approvals are apartment-style units to accommodate requirements in State Housing laws.

The city's rush to rezone sufficient acreage for more high density development came after Pleasanton lost a costly court battle over its 1996 housing cap, which was ruled illegal. Both the California Attorney General's Office (then Jerry Borwn) and an Oakland-based affordable housing coalition demanded the city meet its RHNA requirements.

Of 20 sites considered for rezoning during a series of public hearings and community meetings, the council chose nine where high density developments of 30-units per acre would be allowed.

Only one of those developments is currently underway, a 168-unit, three- and four-story complex on West Las Positas Boulevard near Stoneridge Drive being built by St. Anton Partners.

Three years ago and also part of the legal settlements with the city, the council also approved a project by BRE Properties, which was recently acquired by Essex Property Trust, for high density apartment buildings with 498 units in three-and-four-story buildings in Hacienda Business Park. The developer is expected to break ground on those apartments in early 2015.

Earlier this month, the Pleasanton Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the new Housing Element that will go to the council Tuesday. The only exception was that it recommended cutting the density allowed on an already-approved apartment complex on property owned by C.M. Capital on West Las Positas Road to 12.5 units per acre from 30 and to chop the height of anything built there to two stories at the most.

After rezoning the nine sites for high density housing in 2012, the council then imposed a new growth management restriction which limits new projects since July 1 to a maximum of 235 units a year.

If approved by the council Tuesday, the 2015-2023 Housing Element Update will be submitted to the state's HCD for a 60-day review period. During that time, the proposed update will remain available for public review and ongoing comment.

Once the HCD has approved the proposed plan from Pleasanton, the plan will be considered once again by both the Planning Commission and city Council for final approval.

The city Council meeting will be held at the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.


Like this comment
Posted by Love Pleasanton
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

When exactly this hearing will start on next Tuesday?

Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm

The meeting is the council meeting at 7pm Tuedsday. The community calendar still does not have any materials or agenda detail....but that's the one.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm

What role did water availability play in this planning? Why not?

Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm

vote all of city council include major out. They will turn Pleasanton like Oakland soon.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

[Removed because it was irrelevant]

Like this comment
Posted by The small town is disappearing fast
a resident of Ponderosa
on Aug 28, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Growth has been out of control under these developer happy elected peeps. Vote them OUT! They are funded by developers and labor contractors for a reason. Put a fork into it, their time is over!

Like this comment
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

The City Council was under a mandate from the State of California to meet our city's allocation regarding its fair share of housing. The City was sued for not previously providing that allocation. Fortunately, the State recently changed how they calculate that amount and as it turns out, Pleasanton has meet the requirement as I understand it through the year 2022.

So to the people who throw rocks, get educated on the reality of this issue instead of just saying throw the politicians out of office. No one, including our elected officials want more development than our infrastructure can handle. I know that from watching TV of the meetings and reading the reports on line. And if you have moved here after me, which is within the past 25 years and have children, then you are part of the growth in population, school impacts and traffic increases. Of course, unless you live and work in Pleasanton and dont have kids. How do you like that fuzzy logic.

Fact is, we have population growth and to think our city wont grow too, or that surrounding cities in the Tri-Valley and Central Valley, or the State for that matter, wont have growth as well and continue to add cars to Pleasanton streets, well you are smoking something bad. Like it or not, that is reality.

Like this comment
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

On more thing. Everyone is soooooo upset about the housing, and yet no one thinks to make a peep about how a big auto sales center or a six story, 400,000 square foot corporate campus soon to be built in Pleasanton will increase traffic and add demand for housing. But heavens no, dont approve apartments for young adults and senior citizens because they will ruin our small town feel. Gimme a break. . .

Like this comment
Posted by Deport Cholo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:15 am


Just cut the racist crapola. Everything seems to be painted with the "racist" label these days, and quite often the folks hollering "racist" are the biggest racists. People have serious reasons for not wanting Pleasanton to turn into Oakland, San Jose, Hayward, Fremont, Los Angeles, etc., etc. Those places are congested messes, developed with little or no planning, and riddled with crime. We don't want that here. Now, if you associate those desires with racism, then it is likely you that are the racist. Your postings are clearly biased against a segment of society that is in the minority in California, that minority being non-Hispanic whites, so perhaps you should be looking in the mirror when you espouse the "bias" and "racist" garbage. You'll be ranting at one of the perps.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

sknywench is Right On With The Right On! go go go...

Like this comment
Posted by Tom F
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:08 am

(Removed because it was disrespectful, posted only to inflame and did not further the conversation.)

Like this comment
Posted by citizen 2
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:27 am

Water trumps all. City lawyer say we can not place a moratorium on building since Zone 7 has water for Dublin and Livermore so We can't go it alone if Zone 7 has water for other cities. So council can't find a way around this. Why can't we slow down permits while we deal with this water crisis? Shouldn't we know how much water we have to support more building? We are in an emergency and we continue to build baby build?

Like this comment
Posted by School and Water SHORTAGE
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:36 am

We need to stop all building until we have more schools, and more rain. I have several friends that have kids in two schools because the local school is full for one of the childrens grades. They have to drive to two schools each morning and afternoon.

We are overcrowded in schools already, and water is short.

Elect those who will help us with this issue.

Like this comment
Posted by Oliver
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:50 am

There is a clear shortage of starter housing that younger folks can afford. No, I am _not_ referring to Section-8 subsidized housing. The City should work with a developer to come up with nice, but not too fancy or expensive, multi-family units that can sell for well UNDER half a million.

As for the water issue, most water usage is irrigation, not household. A high-density structure will have very little landscaping "per person", and could also feature separate gray water systems that can reclaim most household water. Retrofitting gray-water collection to an existing building is usually difficult and expensive, but to build it in from the start is easy and cheap.

We may not like the fact that the population of California is growing, but it's still a free country and people should be allowed to live where they want, within reason. Do we need more schools? Probably. We've got plenty of tax base here, let's build another one, or expand one. I live near Donlon; there's plenty of room to add some classrooms.

Like this comment
Posted by Tom F
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

@Oliver "but it's still a free country and people should be allowed to live where they want, within reason."

What exactly is that supposed to mean? Live where they want doesn't mean live where they can't afford. Yes, this is a free country (still I suppose) and market forces drive real estate prices. It's communist the state mandating that cities provide "affordable housing" to people who otherwise can't afford to live here. All that does is bring in lowlifes that drag down the quality of life for everyone.

Like this comment
Posted by GatorCountry
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:46 am

GatorCountry is a registered user.

This is a BIG DEAL!

The Housing Element is a large very vague document which looks like it failed to mention one of our community meetings on the subject.

There is little or no teeth in the document to insure affordable housing.

Mayor Thorne, Councilman Pentin, and Councilwoman Kathy Narum have all taken Developer money and have voted lock step to go ahead and plan to build up to 2200+ new homes on the Eastside. This plan is in the Housing Element which they will all vote for again Tuesday night.

At the Candidate Forum last week the above were asked straight forward if they would support the actual building of up to 2,200+ new homes on the Eastside. They never really answered the question and all were on the same talking point of, "we want to continue the planning process". The answers were almost word for word the same. They were very vague and gave no details.

Our schools are over crowded and our traffic is getting worse everyday!

Follow the money and watch the votes Tuesday.

Please know the facts and vote in November!

Like this comment
Posted by curious george
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

curious george is a registered user.

Now that the high density housing "mandated" by the state has been approved on parcels in and around the Hacienda Business Park, we hear the requirement has changed. Now Kay Ayala, Karla Brown and the other entitled property owners on that end of town can rest easy knowing that none of these pesky low income people will be locating in their sacred neighborhoods.

Like this comment
Posted by hoops
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

hoops is a registered user.

I really do not understand why people think they have a right to be provided cheap housing so they can live in Pleasanton or anywhere else.So say Pleasanton builds some and there are 5000 applicants for1000 units.....What about the unlucky 4000?Where does the fairness begin and end?I was always under the impression that in a free country you can live anywhere you can afford.I might want to move to Los Gatos,but cannot afford it.Am I a victim?I could not afford Pleasanton 20 years ago.I did not live here .I can afford it now.I live here.What a concept.

Like this comment
Posted by Rhel
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Rhel is a registered user.

20 years ago, I was a worker. In 1996, I broke $16K for the first time. I managed a bookstore. Tom, according to you I would have been a lowlife, even though I worked full-time at a job that I liked.

If I worked at, say, a book store downtown, I would have to commute in from someplace more affordable. Like Union City, Oakland, San Leandro… That would add anywhere from 2-3 hours per day to my schedule, lowering my base pay from 7.95/hour to 6.36 or less. I don't know about you – lots of people are willing to spend that time in traffic – but I value my home life and my friends more than that.

Why shouldn't people like me, in those conditions, be appropriate for low income housing? Working in the same city that I live in?

I do think that new housing should be limited. If we have accounted for new housing for the next eight years, I personally would prefer to limit new housing to closer to 100-150 per year. Give the developers that bone, and have them apply every year for a new building on the same property.

Like this comment
Posted by curious george
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

curious george is a registered user.

Rhel: If preference were given to those people who actually work in Pleasanton I believe people would be a lot more receptive to the whole idea. However more often than not you wind up with multi-family public assistance renters crammed into small apartments who drain our resources and contribute nothing to the community.

Like this comment
Posted by Jam
a resident of Parkside
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

Jam is a registered user.

I attended the city council meeting last night.
There were no surprises! They voted exactly as everyone figured they would. The only council member that voted NO and because she DOES listen to the residents of this city was Karla Brown! The rest of them voted to approve more building.
I just don't understand how they think there will be resources for all these new homes. We don't have enough water or room in the schools now! They need to get their heads out of the sand and actually look around at what is happening here.
They voted yes, and I will get my chance to vote also. And it will not be for Mayor Thorne that's for sure. We need a mayor and city council that cares more about the residents of this town.
Until we get that they will keep on building!!!
I'm tired of hearing them say 'we are doing what we have to do because of the lawsuit' It's the excuse at the end of most sentences!! Pure BS!

Like this comment
Posted by curious george
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:14 am

curious george is a registered user.

Of course Karla voted against it. It's not that she listens by any means. She's still worried that some of this might still impact her sanctuary.

1 person likes this
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

So, George, we should advocate for the new slums in vintage hills? Fine by me, thanks for volunteering.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Central Oregon population is soaring with former Californians
By Tim Hunt | 7 comments | 624 views

What Exactly Is FAFSA and Why Should You Complete It?
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 226 views