Despite opposition from the Pleasanton Downtown Association, developer James Knuppe has gained approval from the City Council to build a three-story commercial center and apartment complex at 273 Spring St.
The project will include two separate buildings, with a ground floor retail center on Spring Street and two apartments above in a three-story building. A second three-story building will be built behind the mixed-use retail complex consisting of three residential units.
Several members of the council expressed concerns that the complex lacked sufficient parking and that residents there would park their cars on downtown city streets, where parking is scarce.
That was also a concern of downtown merchants represented by the PDA.
Laura Olson, executive director of the PDA, said her organization felt that the proposed residential units would not benefit the downtown district, "especially since they are located one parcel in from Main Street, the core of our commercial district."
The PDA also said its experience has been that residents of downtown often complain about noise, while the PDA is seeking more restaurants and bars that feature noisy nighttime entertainment.
In his negotiations with city planners, Knuppe agreed to paint his two buildings in a more subdued color than the stark white initially proposed and to set the retail building farther back from Spring Street.
Still, the council demanded more. In approving the project, it requires Knuppe to advise residents that they can only use their garages for vehicles, not as workshops or for storage.
Before moving into the residential units, they must also be notified that they will be living in an entertainment district that at times can be noisy.
In recommending approval of the project, Gary Beaudin, director of Community Development for Pleasanton, told the council that Knuppe's complex "will enhance the vitality of the downtown while also increasing the city's supply of above-moderate level rental housing stock."
"The revised proposed project would establish a pedestrian-oriented retail use on the ground floor along Spring Street and upper floor offices," he said. "This will include five new residential units which would generate new activity and vitality along this segment of Spring Street.
Earlier, Pleasanton architect Charles Huff endorsed the project.
"This site has included two businesses that failed," he said. "The city was offered the land for a public parking lot and said no. Now we have a developer who has gone way beyond the city's requirements to please city staff and this should be approved."