News


Backers of measure to stop Lund Ranch development face Friday deadline

Coalition must collect 4,124 signatures from registered voters to put referendum on June ballot

Backers of a proposed referendum to overturn the City Council's approval of a housing development on Lund Ranch will be at high-traffic locations this week in their final push to collect enough signatures from registered voters to put the measure on the June ballot.

Proponents of the referendum have until 5 p.m. Friday to gain signatures from 10% of the city's registered voters, or 4,124 signatures from 41,237 on the city's registered voter rolls as of today.

Kelly Cousins, president of a grass-roots organization called PleasantonVoters.com, which is gathering signatures in support of a referendum, said her group is actually pushing for 5,500 Pleasanton voter signatures to have a sufficient margin in case of those who signed their petitions are not actually registered voters.

Allen Roberts, another referendum backer, said he's hoping for at least 6,000.

Once the petitions are filed at the end of the day with Pleasanton City Clerk Karen Diaz, she will send them to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' office, which will check each signature against voter registration records and also look for duplicates.

It's that office's final number that will determine if there are at least 10% of the city's registered voters to call for a referendum.

If there are, Diaz will send that verification to the City Council which could repeal the ordinance it approved Jan. 5 authorizing Greenbriar Homes to build 43 homes on the Lund Ranch parcel on the city's southeast side, or within 88 days call for a special election to ask voters to decide how to proceed. That election would likely be held during the June 7 primary at an estimated cost to city taxpayers of $250,000.

It's that cost and the view by many residents, especially those living in the Ventana Hills and Junipero Street neighborhoods of Pleasanton, who supported the council's decision to allow Greenbriar to build its project, that has generated strong opposition to the proposed referendum.

At street corners and at Farmers Market on the last few Saturdays, a citizens' coalition under the online name of ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods has been countering referendum backers, urging voters not to sign those petitions. At times, both sides have been accused of loud interruptions.

Also, those against a referendum have accused the referendum backers of using paid signature gatherers who are not residents of Pleasanton at a cost of approximately $30,000 to $50,000, "bankrolled by an unknown number of wealthy individuals in order to acquire enough signatures to put their referendum on the ballot."

"That's true, we are using some paid signature gatherers," Roberts said, explaining that outside help was need because of the difficulty in reaching more than 4,000 registered voters in a tight-30-day time frame.

"We originally thought the council vote would vote on Dec. 15 and we would have the busy holiday period to gather our signatures," he said. "It's a lot harder in January, but we still have far more volunteers doing the job than those being paid."

At issue is the council's approval to allow Greenbriar to build 43 homes on the 194-acre Lund Ranch site. As part of the agreement, Greenbriar would donate 177 of those acres to the city as open space, which would be kept free of any future development in perpetuity with hiking trails to be added.

Although the number of homes was reduced from Greenbriar's earlier bid to build more than 100, a road extending Sunset Creek Way to reach the development would have to be built on hillside slopes greater than 25% in violation of Measure PP, a voter-approved measure that now rules against hillside construction.

Many of those backing the referendum to overturn this vote also were among the more than 60% of Pleasanton voters who approved PP three years ago.

Councilwoman Karla Brown voted against the approval. Councilman Jerry Pentin abstained because he lives close the neighborhoods affected by the development. Three others – Mayor Jerry Thorne and councilmembers Kathy Narum and Arne Olson – voted for the agreement.

If there is a referendum and a majority of those voting approves it, the council's approval would be rescinded and Greenbriar would have to wait at least a year before returning with another development plan.

If the referendum is put on the ballot and fails, the council's action stands and Greenbriar could proceed with the development.

Comments

54 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:28 am

This whole referendum petition effort is a massive 'perception deception' by a select few seeking to protect and preserve their own self-interests.

First, please read this PW Town Square post on 1/26/15 by 'Don't Understand the Fuss,' a resident of West of Foothill:

"With the clear weather today I decided to drive over to these neighborhoods and explore for myself what is being referendumed. Started by parking at Mission Hills Park and walking the length of Independence Drive past the fire road up to Sycamore Heights. Noted that both Mission Hills and Ventana Hills are clearly on flat land in the valley.

First street encountered in SH (Sycamore Heights) was Sunset Creek Lane. Seems to be perched on a ridge with about 1/2 a dozen homes. At the end of the street is a sign saying Pleasanton would extend the road further. Hill past the road rose slightly for about 50-60 yards then dropped off into a valley. I assume this is where the new homes are going. Met another walker doing the same examination of the issue. We agreed the SH people had it made - sitting on top of a ridge on a road on top of a ridge with great views.

Then walked over to Sycamore Creek Way. Whoa this was quite a climb. This street is on a higher ridge with about a dozen homes on that ridge. You know its the top of the ridge because there's a water tower and cities generally locate water towers on high points. Met two other walkers, also on a mission to examine what all the fuss is about. They agreed - SH residents have it lucky being on top of the ridges.

So SH residents are making a fuss about extending a road over a slight hill down into a valley. At the same time there are Pleasanton residents willing to take the time to examine the properties affected and make informed, intelligent, on-site visual decisions.

It's not supposed to rain the next few days. I suggest anyone interested in whether to sign the referendum or not first "walk the property" to see what all the fuss is all about.

Shakespeare may have had it right - it's seems to be much ado about nothing and the referendum supporters protest too much."

Here are the facts to consider before signing the petition:

1. The last full-page ad in the 1/22/15 edition of the Pleasanton Weekly on p. 9 is a complete and total misrepresentation of the Lund Ranch II project, designed to instigate fear in order to compel voters to sign the group, "SavePleasantonHillsides'" referendum petition. The Mayor and City Council, on 1/5/16, approved a project of 43 homes, of which, ALL of them will be built on FLAT land, in a VALLEY, with NO homes to be built on ANY hillside or ridgeline whatsoever.

2. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, along with Allen Roberts of Gray Eagle, a gated community at the top of Crellin Road, and Councilmember Karla Brown, a resident of Kottinger Ranch, a subdivision of some of the most expensive homes in Pleasanton, of which many could never have been built under Measure PP because they sit on hillsides and ridgelines (involving thousands of truckloads of dirt removal to create the pads for those homes on those hillsides and ridgelines), object to a road being extended from Sycamore Creek Way to access 31 of the 43 homes to be built. They are using the argument that a road is a structure, and that that is part of Measure PP, to thereby leverage Measure PP to force the rescinding of the project's approval.

3. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims to be a 'grassroots' effort to protect Pleasanton's hillsides and ridgelines/safeguard Measure PP. The definition of 'grassroots,' as found on Wikipedia:

"A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) as defined by Webster's Third International Dictionary, is one which uses the people in a given district as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations utilize collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level."

SavePleasantonHillsides is using PAID signature gatherers who are NOT residents of Pleasanton (i.e., are NOT local), at a cost of approximately $30,000 to $50,000, bankrolled by an unknown number of wealthy individuals in order to acquire enough signatures to put their referendum on the ballot.

4. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record several times requesting that ALL traffic to the Lund Ranch II project be accessed through Lund Ranch Road, which currently is a dead end road located in Ventana Hills.

5. Residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek signed documents when purchasing their homes that clearly stated Sycamore Creek Way would be extended into the future Lund Ranch II housing development.

6. The Mayor and City Council approved a compromise re: traffic access into/out of Lund Ranch II, whereby 12 of the 43 homes will be accessed via Lund Ranch Road, and the remaining 31 will be accessed via Sycamore Creek Way (via Sunset Creek Lane). Part of that approval requires the building of a very short road (the City can confirm the exact length) that will not be visible to the public.

7. Greenbriar Homes, the developer, agreed to building just 43 homes. The original plans for Lund Ranch II, part of the City's General Plan for over three decades, calls for approximately four times as many homes. Greenbriar is giving the City 174 acres of the property as permanent open space, which amounts to the remaining amount of the property (89.5% according to Greenbriar) which they can NOT build on, due to Measure PP (i.e., hillsides and ridgelines).

8. The Mayor's and City Council's decision was a compromise decision to strike a balance between honoring previous, long-standing obligations previous City administrations had made to the residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, in addition to following through on similarly long-standing plans to provide road access to Lund Ranch II via Sycamore Creek Way (extending it by building Sunset Creek Lane). The Mayor and City Council, in reaching their decision, also took into account PUD-87, which is the major apartment (approx. 350 apartments) and retail complex being built on the southeast corner of Bernal and Stanley. Much of the traffic resulting from that project will be traveling on Bernal, with a strong likelihood of much of it adding to the existing cut-through traffic that flows through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Independence to Junipero to Sunol Blvd.

9. Re: SavePleasantonHillsides claim that the Mayor and City Councilmembers previously voted/determined/finalized that "roads are structures," that is NOT true, as what's known as a 'second reading', or vote on that matter NEVER has taken place. Thus, it has never officially been determined, regardless of what others may claim.

10. The SavePleasantonHillsides group claims that the Mayor and City Council's approval of the Lund Ranch II project sets a precedent for future projects. That is also NOT true. According to former City Attorney (now retired), Jonathan Lowell, he clearly stated during City Council meetings held in late 2015 that that was NOT the case, and that the Mayor and City Council could make determinations on whether projects adhere to Measure PP on a case by case basis.

11. The developer, Greenbriar, can reject any future decision to further reduce the number of homes in the Lund Ranch II project, and could choose to file a 'takings' lawsuit against the City, rather than resubmit a new project proposal. That could expose the City to tens of millions of dollars in liability. The former City Attorney stated anything below 30 homes, in his opinion, would put the City at risk of losing in court. Regardless of whether or not Greenbriar accepts a 30 home project, which would require the cancellation of the current project, and Greenbriar submitting an entirely new project proposal, it does NOT eliminate the fact that the residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek are on record for NOT wanting to accept ANY traffic for Lund Ranch II through their neighborhoods (insisting that all traffic go through Ventana Hills and Mission Hills via Lund Ranch Road), and are now using the argument that it violates Measure PP to succeed in doing so because they refuse to accept the Mayor's and City Council's majority compromise decision. Greenbriar, if the referendum qualifies and is approved, will need to decide which makes more sense/would be more profitable to them--building a 30 home project, or a 10 home project, which under Measure PP, allows them to build all 10 homes atop of hillsides and ridgelines within the project site, but with no guarantee that any reduced project will be approved, or filing a 'takings' lawsuit against the City to recoup lost potential profits from the rejection of the previously approved project, PUD-25.

12. The referendum petition, if successful, will result in costing taxpayers at least $247,000 to put on the local ballot, based on the cost per person Alameda County charges for doing so, times the minimum number of valid signatures required to qualify the referendum to be put on the ballot.

In conclusion:

Please think about what paid signature gatherers (the vast majority) are telling you in order to get you to sign on the dotted line, in addition to the few who aren't being paid.

Then you need to think and decide, is this referendum petition REALLY about protecting Measure PP and "Saving Pleasanton Hillsides", OR, is it really about protecting the self-interests of two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Pleasanton, who selfishly insist on a "Not In My Backyard", or NIMBY attitude under the guise of protecting Measure PP/Pleasanton's hillsides and ridges, and are bankrolling/paying out-of-towners several dollars per signature to absolutely ensure that they get enough local residents to sign their petition to ensure a referendum gets on the June ballot so they can continue to pursue those NIMBY self-interests.

Ultimately, you need to decide--have the City continue to spend considerable, further time, money, effort and resources for who knows how long (think years) on further debating and planning, yet again, the Lund Ranch II project, or decide that the COMPROMISE decision, where NO one gets everything they wanted--NOT Ventana Hills and Mission Hills residents, NOT Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents, NOR Greenbriar Homes--makes the most sense for ending this matter once and for all, moving on, and also preventing the City from any potential exposure to a takings lawsuit that could cost all of us tens of millions of dollars.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:31 am

CORRECTION:

The PW Town Square post referenced above was made on 1/26/16 (i.e., this year), not on 1/26/15 by 'Don't Understand the Fuss,' a resident of West of Foothill.


35 people like this
Posted by Bill Brasky
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

Bill Brasky is a registered user.

Is anything man made a structure? Definition of a structure- the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex. A bridge yes and a road hmmm. I wonder what a fire department would call it if this road was on fire since they use the term structure fire every day.

When a building or dwelling regardless of its use (occupancy type) is on fire, FD calls it a "working" structure fire. A bridge on fire, FD calls it a working "structure" fire. Grass field or mountain side is on fire "brush" fire.
Trash on a road FD would call it a "rubbish" or "trash" fire.

Exactly what this attempted referendum is.... RUBBISH

Just because a road is man made does not make it a structure


27 people like this
Posted by Don't Understand the Fuss
a resident of West of Foothill
on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:52 am

@Resident of Ventana Hills;
Took your advice and took my morning walk over to the cattle gate at the end of Lund Ranch. It's definitely a valley surrounded by ridges. Looked to the right of the gate and saw several houses on the ridge, nothing but open sky behind and above the rooflines. Those are houses in Sycamore Heights.
Then walked to end of Independence Drive where the fireroad goes up to Sycamore Heights. Same picture, homes on a ridge, lots of sky behind them. Walked up to the street (Sunset Lane) and out the the end where the sign indicates a road extension is planned. That seems to be the high point on the ridge for the street. It's all down hill into the valley from there. So the road, in essence, is already there and on top of a ridge as well as maybe a dozen homes.

So if Measure PP would have been the law when Sycamore Heights was proposed it would have been rejected because both the street and the homes are on top of a ridge.

Where were the "don't build on the ridges" protesters then? Why are they now protesting homes being built in a valley? Unbelievably ironic.


24 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:19 am

To all of the above,

Unfortunately, many who sign the measure won't have any idea that it is really about the things you pointed out. You guys need to get the message out.


17 people like this
Posted by kmary1
a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:23 am

Why do we want to pay $200,000 for a vote? The next Council could come to the same conclusion on the next piece of property. For 45 homes in a valley, this is absurd.


20 people like this
Posted by Sycamore Hts neighbor
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:45 am

Throughout this entire debacle opponents of the referendum project have saw fit to name call their neighbors at every opportunity. It is rare to find a post or letter not filled with invective. While it is tempting to respond to this behavior, its not productive.
There is one accusation, however, no longer subtlety being thrown at us that needs addressing. This is that we are some group of greedy, evil individuals with powerful money ties funding this effort. Quite the opposite is true. We are families with children just like you who happen to live right next to you and with children who attend the same schools as you do. We have funded, with our own money, this effort and we are risking our own savings to support the referendum. Contrastingly, opponents of the referendum are having their advertising costs PAID by the developer (see GHC Lund Ranch at bottom of ads) and yet they see fit to paint us as the ones being bankrolled? How can opponents possibly describe themselves as "saving neighborhoods" if they are in bed with the one entity who is actively involved in ruining them?

I would also like to separately mention the following: Measure PP is law whether or not one can "see" the development (opponents have mentioned that the development is in a valley, so, who should care?). The reason why is the proverbial slippery slope (pun intended) argument. If one allows, as did the council with the Lund Ranch ordinance, building on any area, small or large, that is in violation of Measure PP, what's to stop the next developer from doing the same and even, perhaps, a little bit more? Explained another way, if one can only see a little bit of road from the bottom of the hill, would it be ok to add 50 more feet? How about 100 more feet? Is 250 feet ok? Roads are of a particular concern in this case because the Lund Ranch ordinance makes road building (remember, asphalt and retaining walls are *not* structures according to them) acceptable. So coming to a hillside near you are roads and carved out hillsides. We are, with this referendum effort, saying "no" to the council and "no" to their failure to uphold measure PP.
Take a moment to read about our referendum effort www.savepleasanronhillsides.com and understand the need for adherence to the law. Give yourself the chance to voice your right to be heard via the voting process by putting this on the ballot for consideration. Don't let others tell you that you can't.


16 people like this
Posted by Ridgerunner
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:59 am

I'm ready to sign! But if we're spending $200k on a referendum vote we should tack on a recall election to remove the council members and mayor that are going against PP because they are on the developer's payroll.


40 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 11:17 am

@Ridgerunner and "Sycamore Hts neighbor",

This is not about PP or "saving the ridge lines" or anything like that.

This is about one neighborhood not wanting any of the traffic from 41 houses and trying to route all that traffic through other neighborhoods.


21 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 11:17 am

@Sycamore Hts neighbor:

Please note that Allen Roberts lives in Gray Eagle, a gated community at the top of Crellin Road. Councilmember Karla Brown lives in Kottinger Ranch, a development built on hillsides and ridges.

Additionally, as others have pointed out, under Measure PP, many Sycamore Heights homes [and Kottinger Ranch homes, for that matter] wouldn't even exist today. I strongly encourage you to read @Don't Understand the Fuss, and his post before yours. S/he gets it.

Additionally, Greenbriar is pursuing their own ads. The two half-page ads that ran in the 1/15/16 and 1/22/16 editions of the Pleasanton Weekly were paid for by contributions solicited from residents of Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, by the people who represent our two neighborhoods, and let me tell you, we ain't rich.

We have NO control over what ads Greenbriar chooses to run. They choose to place and purchase ads with what they wish to publicize regarding this matter.

No one that I'm aware of in Ventana Hills or Mission Hills is "in bed" with (i.e., collusion) with Greenbriar, and, to the best of my knowledge, Greenbriar didn't pay for or contribute to the ads that ran on 1/15/16 or 1/22/16. We did.

Greenbriar DOES accept the compromise decision made by the Mayor and City Council, as do we.

You and the other residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek REFUSE to accept the COMPROMISE decision that was made, and that's what this boils down to.

NIMBYism, pure and simple.

Go to ProtectPleasantonNeighborhoods.com to check out the FACTs, instead of the 'perception deception' that's going on via others.


14 people like this
Posted by Sycamore Hts resident
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jan 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

Ridge runner, I agree with you. This referendum effort is, in essence, putting the council on notice: if you do not abide by the law you will not be re-elected. Additionally, to the extent it was possible, leadership should have encouraged communication between affected parties instead of letting our relationship devolve into its current sorry state. Our neighborhoods are stronger, together, and we, after the referendum is passed, hope to work with adjoining neighborhoods to stop Lund Ranch altogether.


13 people like this
Posted by I am puzzled
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Jan 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

Okay, I do not live in either of these developments (really), but if this is about traffic routed one way or another, how can VH call SH nimbys? In the true sense of the term, neither one wants the traffic or development and is just standing up for their own community.

But I have to say to my friends that live off of Independence, your emails to me, your anger and the way I hear yelling from your neighbors about "don't sign the petition" and "did you hear the other side" at Farmer's Market are a turn off. Sorry friends, fight this at the ballot but not in front of me and my 2 kids. We don't like it at PUSD and we really don't like to see adults acting like bullies.


17 people like this
Posted by Charles Liu
a resident of West of Foothill
on Jan 27, 2016 at 12:12 pm

There are not ribbons given out for participation or best efforts. The fact is this happens to the be the first real test case for Measure PP. It is important the interpretation represents the will of the voters as it will have significant implications for future developments. It is essential that voters have a voice in this decision. To reduce the costs, the city can reject the ordinance and ask the applicant to come back with a PP compliant decision in one year.


40 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

@puzzled

"but if this is about traffic routed one way or another, how can VH call SH nimbys? In the true sense of the term, neither one wants the traffic or development and is just standing up for their own community."

No, it is the neighborhoods that refuse to compromise that are behind this referendum. The other neighborhoods approved this compromise with some traffic going through each neighborhood.


27 people like this
Posted by Useful Roads
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 1:14 pm

To @Ridgerunner and "Sycamore Hts neighbor",
So the accusation is that the mayor and some council members are ignoring the law and are in the pockets of the developer.

1. This is the kind of inaccurate remarks many of us are trying to avoid. It does not set a good tone for honest and fair discussion.
2. It presumes that Measure PP is so crystal clear and immutable that different interpretations can't be made. If that were the case then why do we get Supreme Court decisions that are 5-4? Because laws are subject to interpretation and PP is no different.
3. My initial notice from the city for Lund Ranch II is date June 2007 so this discussion has been going on for years with city council meetings, planning meetings, testimony from neighborhoods (and not just the affected ones), the builder, city engineers, outside consultant engineers, city attorneys, etc, etc, etc. So lots of evidence and interpretation has been presented.I attended many of these meetings and can understand why the decision was so difficult.
4. Based on the evidence City Council (just like a Supreme Court) made a civil decision that resulted in 3 for, 1 against, 1 abstain. The decision contained a lot of compromises that all parties would need to agree to.

I voted for PP to keep homes off the ridges. However, if a road needed to be built across a ridge to provide public safety (like fire access) or access to open space for hiking and biking then that seems reasonable. If that same road provided access to a valley containing a few new homes then how is that road any different? Heck, if we didn't have roads going over ridges none of us could enjoy Yosemite or Yellowstone or Lassen or Sequoia or King's Canyon.

Is this the future of Pleasanton - get out the pitchforks and torches, storm the castle and throw the bums out? I hope not.


20 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

@Useful roads,

God bless ya. Spot on. If people weighing in could only appreciate how many YEARS this project has been under all kinds of review, planning and scrutiny, instead of focusing on soundbites ferried out by the "Save Pleasanton Hillsides" camp.

If only more people researched all of the history and facts, but, that takes time and effort--too much of both for folks who'd rather rely on simplistic assessments based on ignorance.

Life isn't black and white--there's a lot of gray in between.

Even if the petition succeeds, and the referendum succeeds, it does NOT eliminate or prevent the Lund Ranch II project. It's in the General Plan. The builder can legally pursue the project, and if push comes to shove, they can file a takings lawsuit against the City, if it comes to that.

This is a fight over traffic disbursement for Lund Ranch II, and Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek residents won't accept any of it in their backyard.

When the Mayor and City Council determined that forcing Ventana Hills and Mission Hills residents to take all of the traffic from the project was unfair and unjust, and forged a compromise decision, that's when this whole referendum ball got rolling.

Another chapter in a very long saga that we all wish/thought had reached the end.


10 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jan 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Let's just kill the whole project and turn the property into a park.


12 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 27, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Bill,

We would love that. But how can we achieve that? It is private property owned by The builder.


20 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 27, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

You buy it at market price.


20 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

By the way, if you find the funds, and the owners sell, and you make it a park, how are you going to access it?


48 people like this
Posted by Not going to sign
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm

This referendum is such a sham. We go to Mission Hills park all the time, and the traffic there is CRAZY. Getting in and out of the car while parked next to the park, we constantly have to watch out for the onslaught of cars zooming by. The residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek have lots of $, and while I don't fault that, I definitely fault you when you use your $ to divert traffic into another neighborhood that already has so much. Plus, you leave the rest of Pleasanton to foot the bill of $250K for this lame referendum. I just can't believe it!


15 people like this
Posted by ObeyTheLaw
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:28 pm

The voters passed PP measure needs to be upheld. The coucil's approval of the project clearly shows unacceptable favoritism of one neighborhood over the other, totally disregarding the law protecting our hillsides. Such discretionary power at the expense of objective law plunges society into a casino-like morass in which outcomes are decided by a roll of dice instead of the rule of law, or even worse, personal interests trump the law.


9 people like this
Posted by ForReferendum
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:14 pm

Sick of the actions taken by some extremists of Ventana hills neighborhood, rudely disrupting normal democracy process is un-American. Yelling, intimidating, throwing others under bus won't win you sympathy. Referendum is just to give voters a chance to decide on such important matter protecting our ridge lines and clarify further the PP that they passed. Those 60 percent voters who approved PP before deserve chance to protect what they believed. The project should be rejected, and city could force the builder to sell the land or keep delaying the approval indefinitely, you do not have to build anything there, we have a drought in California!


60 people like this
Posted by huh?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2016 at 7:22 am

FR, you either don't understand the process or are choosing to ignore it by your post. This property has been in the General Plan for 20 years zoned for up to about 150 homes. First, please explain how you think the City can force the owner to sell the land. Second, who is going to buy it if they can't do anything with it. Yes, the city could continue to stall approval of something but that certainly creates exposure for a takings lawsuit. I get really irritated at the thought of the millions the city spent on the urban habitat lawsuit, only to lose and still have to build all these apartments!! Got to be a better use of our tax dollars.

This referendum does NOT stop building on the property. All is does is force the developer to submit a different project. Think about it!! The developer can just bring back the currently proposed project but have ALL the traffic go out Lund Ranch Road with interpretation of PP needed. Why shouldn't some of the traffic go out through Sycamore Heights neighborhood? It was really CLEAR in the CC & R's they signed at the time of purchase of their home.

There are far bigger issues to be concerned about in the City than the 31 homes approved to exit through the Sycamore Heights neighborhood. Can this be over now so I can not be harassed by paid signature gatherers every time I go the grocery store, Peet's etc, please?


28 people like this
Posted by AgainstReferendum
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 28, 2016 at 9:08 am

@ForReferendum
So opposing the referendum by not signing is extreme and/or un-American but suggesting the city can FORCE the developer to sell the land isn't extreme or un-American?


21 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

I drove up there and looked at the map. This is not a hillside area. But it does protect open space for future public trails. The real traffic producer is the golf course which was built for the public based on the new road being built to spread traffic access. To object to the General Plan on this long range plan now is total NIMBYism. Even the author of the hillside ordinance objects to the referendum and placing it on the ballot. Why should we taxpayers be duped by a small bunch of rich estate owners, including Council Brown who lives there, into paying for an election that was fully vetted during public hearings for years. If you think it's just to allow people a voice, you are naive and the rich people are counting on that. Who coronated Ms Cousens to be the town savior? She just wants to be a Councilmember or continue to yell from the back row.


9 people like this
Posted by Rudgerunner
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

Who cares how long it's been owned or planned. The law's changed with PP. keep the land for grazing cattle and open space. And to those who commented about this being about residents not wanting more traffic in their neighborhood; more power to those residents - Who wants more traffic?! Unwanted traffic is a good reason to stop the development. Pleasanton Council should put quality of life over their constant money grab for tax revenues, fees, and developer/realtor campaign contributions.


34 people like this
Posted by Very Simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2016 at 10:31 am

Watching all this commotion is disturbing.

It boils down to adults (in Bridle Creek and Sycamore Heights) pouting and whining like children about a document they signed and now regret. Then lobbying others to support them.

If you regret it and don't want the traffic in your neighborhood, MOVE!

It's really very simple.


44 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

To @huh?

Thanks for 'getting it.' Some of the other posts above I'm reading just really bother me. More misguided conclusions based on ignorance.

To ALL: First off, the builder, Greenbriar, would love nothing better than to route ALL of the traffic to Lund Ranch II through Lund Ranch Road, as would residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek. Read/review the City Council meeting minutes from late 2015.

When neither Greenbriar nor the residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek got that from the Mayor and City Council, Greenbriar ACCEPTED the COMPROMISE decision to split the traffic; residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek did NOT, and one of their neighborhood representatives even commented to the Mayor and City Council before they voted on and approved the compromise decision that, "We are well-funded" and then proceeded to advise that they would be pursuing a referendum to get what they wanted.

They definitely are "well-funded," as they're paying tens of thousands of dollars to out-of-town paid signature gatherers to get their referendum on the ballot; a referendum that's also supported by two people who don't live in Sycamore Heights or Bridle Creek, Allen Roberts of Gray Eagle (a private, gated community at the top of Crellin Road), and Karla Brown, of Kottinger Ranch, a large housing development up the hill on Hearst, with many homes built on hillsides and ridges. Ironic considering all their rhetoric about "honoring Measure PP." If you care so much about protecting hillsides and ridges, why do you live in housing developments that are built on them?

Unbelievable hypocrisy.

Additionally, a lot of people commenting about rejecting the 43 home development, telling Greenbriar to go away (which they won't), I guess, historically speaking, a lot of other far larger housing and commercial developments in Pleasanton should also have been rejected over the years/previous decades--both residential and commercial, like:

-The Jensen tract (across the street from Amador Valley High School), built in the 1950s and 1960s;
-All of the building up and down Hopyard Road, so named because it used to be nothing but hopyard farms all the way up to where I-580 is;
-Stoneridge Mall;
-Hacienda Business Park;
-and the list goes on and on and on.

Please--check out the long history and FACTS re: Lund Ranch II, and it will become VERY evident that this whole referendum effort is nothing more than a last-ditch attempt by residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek to keep traffic from 31 homes of the project in a VALLEY from being accessed via Sunset Creek Lane.

Even better, visit the project site, like other posters on this string have done, thankfully, to see what "all the fuss" is about. A real eye-opener.

Also, learn what a "takings" lawsuit is, and what kind of liability it could expose all of us taxpayers to, if the City rejects the project or drastically reduces it, also noting that if it were to be reduced to 10 homes, Greenbriar, if they accepted that, under Measure PP, could build every single one of those homes atop a hillside or ridge on the property, and extend Sunset Creek Lane to get to them, to boot. More irony.

Finally, for those from other neighborhoods, tell you what, if you're going to decide where traffic gets routed for OUR neighborhoods (Ventana Hills and Mission Hills, and Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek, for that matter), after YEARS of debate, MANY Planning Commission and City Council meetings which ultimately resulted in officials making an informed, thoughtful decision to end the matter on 1/5/16, then I guess we should be able to decide where traffic gets routed through YOUR neighborhoods, right? Let's referend everything WE don't like, too.

The CEO/owner of Black Tie Limousine has made frequent appearances at City Council meetings to complain/contest the possibility of Costco building a new store on Johnson Drive, saying the traffic it will bring will be detrimental to his business and to Pleasanton. Never heard him ONCE say anything regarding traffic involving Lund Ranch II, or traffic involving PUD-87, the major 350 apartment and retail complex being built at Bernal and Stanley. Why? They're not in his backyard.

Gee, would really like to have an interchange off of I-680 at Las Positas, by the way. Would be very convenient, additional access to/from Pleasanton. Let us vote on/referend that, because that traffic would not be in our backyard.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. The referendum effort is nothing but NIMBYism by people who've got the financial wherewithal to pursue it.


89 people like this
Posted by waste of money
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2016 at 11:26 am

The Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek neighborhoods paid signature gatherers 30-50 THOUSAND DOLLARS because they don't want any traffic going through their neighborhood? And then they are going to cost the rest of Pleasanton $250,000 for a special election if they are successful? That has to be the epitome of selfish, entitled and spoiled. There are people starving, homeless, kids going to school hungry and ill-prepared, refugees fleeing war, famine and pestilence and this is what they spend their money on? Seriously. There needs to be a serious reality check. The traffic from ~30 houses??? seriously.


26 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm

@waste of money,

Very cogent comments.


13 people like this
Posted by NoDublin2
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jan 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

The money spent on this important precedent-setting, possible PP measure breaking matter is not big at all, very reasonable considering tens of millions Pleasanton city made last year. It could be very well worth as it could set a good precedent to stop the city from helping to build roads and houses all over our hills, and save money as the cost of future referendum price will only go up. If your neighborhood doesn't care about ridges, doesn't mean other Pleasanton voters won't care. Do we really want to be next Dublin?!


46 people like this
Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jan 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

More first world problems. Get over yourselves. Just the amount of donated land far offsets the other "issues." Be thankful the final deal is so good.


46 people like this
Posted by Jay
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 29, 2016 at 6:50 am

Jay is a registered user.

To NoDublin2, code word Bridle Creek. There are NO homes on the hillsides like Dublin. All 43 homes and are in the valley on 17 acres, the remaining 178 acre are open space with hiking trails. You know that originally there were going to be over 150 homes built on that property. All were plan to exit Sunset Creek Way and Sycamore Creek Way. Over $247,000 so you don't have to share any of the traffic from this project. Sad


58 people like this
Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

This is a question I ask to the people behind the referendum. If the city council had voted for all the traffic to flow through Ventana Hills/Mission Hills would you be pushing so hard to get it on the ballot?

I was at the library the other day and was approached to sign. When I questioned the fellow he said it was to protect the Ridge. He showed me the map of the project, pointed to the proposed road and said it would be dangerous for all the children who play there.
We frequently walk through Sycamore Creek and have yet to see any children playing outside.


15 people like this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 30, 2016 at 11:15 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

I went to the Farmer's Market this morning to sign the petition calling for a referendum. The person manning the table was courteous and businesslike. The person with the "do not sign" poster was right at my elbow when I was ready to sign. I asked him to move back and be more neighborly. He retorted "it's a free country". He followed me for 25 feet as I left the area saying softly in my ear "those houses will get built anyway". I guess they must be desperate. Was this person a paid interrogator? The questions and remarks seemed to follow a script.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jay
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Jay is a registered user.

Mooseturd, I'm at work today and couldn't be at the Farmers Market today to help inform pleasanton residents about the Lund Ranch Development. I'm Against this Referendum for the same as many of the other writers above. I would personally like to apologize if someone from the "do not sign" group acted like you have stated. We have asked that all of our neighbor volunteers please be curious to everyone while out there today and every day.


9 people like this
Posted by No more, poor favor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm

No more, poor favor is a registered user.

These righteous and rabid folks in the Ventana Hills neighborhood are as two faced as they can get. Their "control center" is run by Blaise and Amy Lofland, wealthy and successful real estate tycoons in Pleasanton. Is it a shock that they support this Lund Ranch project? They are probably licking their chops at prospective listings in affected neighborhoods as more traffic comes thru after other hillsides continue to be graded. Or perhaps even handling sales for Greenbriar if Lund Ranch II goes through. While Greenbriar Homes, LLC bankrolls their negative "Do not Sign" campaign, including paying for their newspaper ads and thousands of robo-calls to Pleasanton voters, they slam the "rich" folks paying referendum costs from their own pockets. And, who is calling the kettle black--they are as NIMBY as anyone. Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes--sign the referendum petition and let's put it on the ballot for all of us to decide if this is a good fit for Pleasanton.


8 people like this
Posted by fradycove
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Feb 1, 2016 at 9:06 pm

fradycove is a registered user.

It’s quite ironic the same people who are so adamant on not having any homes built on Lund Ranch were quite okay with the extension of Stoneridge exposing those residents to 580 cut through traffic, 2 car dealerships, Pacific Pearl and outlet mall traffic. I guess as long as it isn’t in their neighborhood, that’s fine with them.
First, there is land owner rights. If these people don’t like the hillside to be built on, cough up the money and buy the land at fair value, then they can preserve it as they find it fit. Not at some else’s expense (land owner in this case). If they don’t like the minuscule traffic as a result of 43 new homes, move those selfish people to Stoneridge area so that they get accustomed to excessive traffic. We have schools and small children right on Stoneridge too.
Secondly, why build only 43 luxury homes? We need affordable homes so that common people can afford to buy them. Who wants luxury homes? Build mid density or high density homes in that area just like other parts of Pleasanton.
So far, city of Pleasanton has had one specific goal: increase revenue at any cost and total disregard for anything else. Why shouldn’t this goal also apply to Lund Ranch? Is it because current or previous city council members live in that part of town?


14 people like this
Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:38 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

@No more, poor favor - someone the other day called me out for using a screen name, called me a troll. I acknowledged that person and said who I am. Suggest you do the same, use your real name instead of hiding behind a screen name otherwise, as the person said to me, you are just a troll.


16 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2016 at 8:38 am

BobB is a registered user.

@No more

"... paying referendum costs from their own pockets ..."

That is just false. The tax payers will be paying for any referendum that gets on the ballot. What the pro-referendum people were paying for was signature gatherers.


Why all the lies from the pro-referendum people?


22 people like this
Posted by Alexis B
a resident of Mission Park
on Feb 2, 2016 at 8:41 am

Alexis B is a registered user.

@no more

I am a member of Protect Pleasanton Neighborhoods group, which asks people to NOT sign the misleading referendum. We do not receive any funding from the developer and pay for our ads out of our own pockets. We print our fliers on our home computers, and all those of us you see are unpaid volunteers who live in Mission Hills and Ventana Hills neighborhoods. We feel strongly that this misleading referendum is a tool to divert traffic from Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek and down to our neighborhoods which are overburdened with traffic. www.protectpleasantonneighborhoods.com


20 people like this
Posted by SeniorCitizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2016 at 11:30 am

SeniorCitizen is a registered user.

@fradycove
1. Stoneridge is a 4-lane, tree-divided, walled-on-one-side, bermed-on-the-otherside road to move traffic thru Pleasanton. Not a single home in that area of Pleasanton has a driveway the exits/backs onto Stoneridge. All traffic flow into homes and driveways is via cross streets controlled by traffic lights.

2. Junipero Street through Mission Park is a 2-lane street with approx 40 homes and driveways directly accessed from Junipero street. So adding additional traffic is quite a burden, especially for those whose driveways are near the Mission Hills Park curve.

3. If you think traffic is bad on Stoneridge try Sunol Blvd which crosses Junipero at the Raley's shopping plaza with morning and late afternoon traffic flowing onto Valley Ave/Junipero St for Pleasanton Middle School or Sunol Blvd to/from the I-680 freeway interchange. Add to that all the cut-thru traffic on Bernal from/to the I-680 and you've got quite a traffic mess around the neighborhoods.

4. Suggesting we need more high density housing in that area just adds more cars to the mess. The original developer proposal was for 113 homes, now it's 43 homes thus mitigating the amount of traffic.

5. As a bonus no one has to buy the land - the developer is deeding 177 acres back to Pleasanton Open Space use-only.


Like this comment
Posted by fradycove
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:13 am

fradycove is a registered user.

@SeniorCitizen

How come Pleasanton city council mitigates traffic for the wealthy neighborhoods by reducing number of homes to be built from 113 to 43 and also allocating large parcel of land as green open space? But for the rest of us we get retirement home, Dollar Store, Walmarts, Pacific Pearl, dealerships, Stoneridge extension and now frequent break-ins because of the extension. It is clearly double standards and that is my point. City council at its best! Welfare for the rich!


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

Wrapping up a 100-year-old detective job
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,747 views

Couples: “It’s Not My Problem. It’s Your Problem.”
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,151 views

Livermore's Marchand, aka the mayor of Seville, seeks re-election
By Jeb Bing | 4 comments | 523 views

 

Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form