News


Council approves growth management ordinance

New regulation caps housing permits at 235 a year

The Pleasanton City Council approved unanimously and without comment Tuesday night a new growth management ordinance that will slow down residential building in the future.

Capping new housing units at 235 a year, the new ordinance is written to meet the state's ongoing Regional Housing Needs Allocation, yet keep the city's residential building floodgates reasonably closed.

Building won't stop for now. An Alameda County Superior Court order, favoring a lawsuit filed in 2008 by affordable housing coalition Urban Habitat against a 29,000-unit housing cap Pleasanton voters passed in 1996, along with supportive state mandates, means that work will continue on major apartment projects already approved. Two are already under construction on West Las Positas Boulevard and in Hacienda, with more to follow.

But that will be it. The new growth management measure limits new housing while also giving city staff and the council wiggle room to approve individual requests for up to 10 new homes each year and flexibility to allocate the allowable annual number to accommodate low-income housing.

It also changes the method of tracking housing unit allocations from the time building permits are issued to back when the development plan is actually approved, ending a process that was at times complex and confusing.

Adoption of the growth management ordinance brings to a close an era that started with a voter-approved housing cap, which voters approved by a wide margin in 1996. But later, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled that the housing cap flaunted California housing requirements that cities provide adequate and affordable homes and apartments for a state with a rapidly-growing population.

Besides declaring the housing cap illegal, and in the first ruling of its kind, Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch also ordered the city to complete rezoning that the city had ignored but had been required by state law so that Pleasanton could meet its share of the region's affordable housing. This major victory for affordable housing in California reverberated in cities across the state.

The court's decision, accompanied by the support of the then-Attorney General and now Gov. Jerry Brown, also ended the no-growth policies of late Mayor Ben Tarver, former Mayor Tom Pico and the no-growth City Councils elected with them. A new council, led by former Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, largely undid those growth impediments, although not because any council member or most voters wanted Pleasanton to become another high-density city like those along El Camino Real on the Peninsula or a thoroughfare of high-rise apartment houses and residential parking garages that we see today along Dublin Boulevard.

But with their hands tied by the court and state orders, they rezoned 70 acres of land for high-density housing, initiating a period of "by right" development, which we see underway today.

Tuesday's approval of the growth management ordinance was written so as to right the course once again for long-range growth in Pleasanton, yet still in accord with state housing requirements.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

Will there be enough water? When will elected members make water a priority ?


2 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Can anything be done to slow down the growth of Dublin if you're on our beautiful green hillsides we reserved for outdoor space you look over into Dublin and see massive development going on if you're up in their hillside with all their houses they get to ook over into our green space it just doesn't seem fair


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm

The council has their hands tied alright...right to the developers' mouths. The lawsuit required three parcels of land set aside for affordable housing, the BRE properties, not six. The other three were givemes to developers for at or above market rate apartments. It's rediculous the narrow space (former HP sales office parking lot) that the St Anton apartment complex is shoe-horned into. I doubt if the sun even shines on the lower apartments, the four story buildings are so closely packed against one another. I noticed that James Paxton called Hacienda properties "Hacienda Business and Residental Community" not Hacienda Buusiness Park". Tim Hunt - You commented that Hacienda and Bishop Ranch were in competition with one another. At this point I think Bishop Ranch definitily wins, hands down.


4 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm

If Pleasanton wants to slow down growth then they are going to have to say "no" to new businesses. The inability to say "no" to new businesses is why we have to build all of this new housing. As Jerry Brown pointed out in his 2009 memo, Pleasanton was lopsidedly "jobs rich" with 1.6 jobs for every working Pleasanton resident. That imbalance required many people to commute from other towns and cities to work in Pleasanton, adding to highway congestion, more air pollution, etc.. There is a requirement that cities have to have a balance between available jobs and housing, but Pleasanton didn't want to obey the rules.

The bottom line is that housing and available jobs have to go together. If Pleasanton wants to slow down the rate of housing growth, then they have to slow down the growth of new businesses in Pleasanton. Can Pleasanton learn to say "no" to more businesses?


3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Sam - open space is like a retirement account. Development uses up the cash stored in the open space retirement account. Once open space is developed the cash is all gone, and you can never get it back.
Dublin is just now realizing that they wasted their retirement account!
I think a lot of people moved to Pleasanton/Dublin/Livermore because, not to long ago, there was wetlands for waterfowl, cattle grazing on the hills, and hayfields to support the local ranches. It was a nice place to come home to. Now it looks like any other suburb of LA along the Interstate 5 corridor.
Good for business, not so good for quality of life.


Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

@bill, Damon, citizen, Sam

Any of you live in Pleasanton prior to 1985?


4 people like this
Posted by slow growth?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2015 at 5:41 pm

235 units/year is slow growth? We already have the ~1800 units from the lawsuit (which are "not" counted towards the 235/yr). The city approved to move forward with the study to add 1300 units in east pleasanton, starting in 2017/2018. By 2020, the city will have over 2000 more units, then continue to build to satisfy the 1300(235/yr). Good luck driving across town. There is no where for any new traffic to go, other than through the already over burdened streets.
The city should count the lawsuit units towards the 235, and then only approve new units after the lawsuit units (70 acres) are all built (and a comprehensive study is performed to determine the impacts).


5 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2015 at 8:39 am

Let's figure out our water problem before we allow too much growth. We are rapidly draining our underground aquifer as you can tell by the level of Shadow Cliffs right now. Dublin is out of control on development and that needs to be slowed down if anything.


4 people like this
Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Feb 18, 2015 at 8:40 am

Welcome to the new Fremont. Instead of the Tri Valley, you have the second coming of Tri-Cities (Newark/Fremont/Union City). The Council is owned by the Chamber. The Chamber is controlled by Developers and their allies. End of story.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

@ Pete....lived in Pleasanton since 1989. Grew up in Santa Clara Valley when it was mostly orchards. Stopped at Pleasanton many times for breakfast on trips to Stockton and Sacramento before 680 was built. Made occassional trips to Hacienda Business Park in 84/85 when HP had an engineering CAD support team at their office in Pleasanton. Your point?


Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 18, 2015 at 10:24 am

My point is that anyone who moved here after 1985 is part of the problem and should not complain about others who did the same thing.


1 person likes this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

I think I get Pete's joke. You just pick some random date (let's say the date you moved to Pleasanton), and say that anyone who moved to Pleasanton after that is part of the problem. Funny. Works for any date you pick.


1 person likes this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 18, 2015 at 10:58 am

BobB,

I have lived here since 1963. In the late 70's or early 80's we only had say 32,000 people. In less than 20 years it doubled. The huge influx of folks started around 1985. That is why I say that people who moved here after 1985 are part of the very problem they complain about


Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

@Pete: "My point is that anyone who moved here after 1985 is part of the problem and should not complain about others who did the same thing."

I'm with BobB. I didn't get the "joke", either. And what's so special about the year 1985? Why do you use that as the dividing line?


2 people like this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 18, 2015 at 11:07 am

@Pete: "I have lived here since 1963. In the late 70's or early 80's we only had say 32,000 people. In less than 20 years it doubled. The huge influx of folks started around 1985. That is why I say that people who moved here after 1985 are part of the very problem they complain about"

Well, if you really did live here in 1963, it's strange that you would be complaining more about the 70's and 80's than the 60's. Pleasanton's population more than tripled during the 60's. It then doubled during the 70's, but after that it has grown 'relatively' slowly. It took 30 years for Pleasanton's population to double from 1980 to 2010.

Still don't know what's so special about 1985, though.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

What about the school situation? Are we even thinking about that?


3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm

@ Pete - moved into a house that was built in 1984 in an established neighborhood. Specifically because the zoning and planned development would have kept changes to a minimum. This changed when the former council and present council members started willy nilly changing zoning and approving unplanned development in areas that affect neighborhoods along the Mocho Arroyo Creek. Hacienda Business Park was never intended to be a residental community, but it has become one, thanks to ever increasing mission creep by Hacienda Business Park (whom always seems to require a handout to survive) and the desire of the council to appease their sugar daddy.


2 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2015 at 11:26 am

Really, the ultimate way to stop the growth of Pleasanton, or Dublin, or any other city, for that matter, is to slow or stop population growth. We hear that the health of the economy, and our nation, is tied to growth. We can't grow forever, obviously, and we don't seem to want to live around the consequences of our growth (in the form of higher density development, or unsightly sprawl). So, which is it?


4 people like this
Posted by Hopeles Future
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 6, 2015 at 7:50 am

As you all know the overturning of the housing cap and the legislature mandating affordable housing was the work of developers who's money buys everything. They bought attorneys, judges, city council, atourney Generals (Jerry Brown) and foot soldiers. How is it there are judges who overturn the vote of the people because they interpret law to benefit those who have them in their pocket. The law is no longer about what is right. But is about what is right for whoever has the money to get their way. Developers are an invading army. And we are weak. Not because of our desire but because we do not have the money and resources to fight back. We have lost the fight over slow development. The last two city council and mayors have been in the pocket of developers since their beginning. You shall know them by their fruit. They will blame the housing law mandate. They where our only defense. Pleasanton voted slow growth. And the council put up a fake fight. So. Kiss your water, and way of life good buy. Unless you can buy a judge and an army of lawyers, you loose. Since when did california have to absorbs the entire global population. It's not the immigration itself but the rate and management of it.


Like this comment
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on May 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

I dont think its a joke I think its a fact. You really can t take any year and apply this. The big changes in Pleasanton took place in the early 1980's with the development of the mall and business park. Pleasanton was changed forever at that point. Houses were built and more people started moving here. I think the point is without this development most who complain now about development would most likely not have moved here. I think its a valid point. I bought my first home in Pleasanton in 1986 for $164,000 brand new. After that you could really see the town change and it was because of development. Good or bad?


3 people like this
Posted by all planning is not good planning
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

So Pleasanton was wonderful 40 years ago? When I moved here in 1980 Past Time pool, Haps and the Union Jack were full of drunks day and night. Wonderful? I don't think so.

Stop romancing the old town and embrace the good changes. Not every change was a good change, but some where.

But the East Pleasanton project with 1300+ new homes is a BAD idea, pushed by the land owners to make tens of millions of $$. I am a capitalists, so I am okay if they try - but for g*d sake, will this mayor grow a backbone and please put this thing on old for 20 years or more? Thank you.


Like this comment
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on May 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

never said anything about the good old days you made that up. You should go back to whoever you took the mind reading class from and get your money back. The point was if their was no development starting in the 1980's 30,000 or more people would not live here nor would most of those who complain about development. Yes i miss the town when it was smaller and you had less jerks around but I also like the fact I have made a ton of money buying houses and the development has helped that. So please tell me mr mindreader what side am I on. Not all development is bad development. On a side note how did you know they were full of drunks did you spend alot of time in these establishments?


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

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Nominations due by Sept. 17

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