Opinion: Protests increasing against local government decisions


Just as anti-Washington protests are increasing in this national political season, we're seeing some of the agitation locally.

Those objecting to a 33-home development on Lund Ranch in southwest Pleasanton recently succeeded in gathering enough signatures to force a referendum on the City Council's approval of the development. That referendum, to be on the state primary ballot on June 7 at a cost of $200,000 for Pleasanton taxpayers, will decide if the council's decision that followed years of public hearings will stand.

More recently, a new coalition called Citizens for Planned Growth (CFPG) is gathering registered voter signatures to ban retail stores over 50,000 square feet from locating on a 40-acre site on Johnson Drive that a City Council-appointed task force is considering rezoning.

The group, led by Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation which has its operations on Johnson Drive, wants to head off a possible bid by Costco to build on the site, which was once home to a Clorox research center that has since been torn down. The coalition will have until May 12 to collect the 4,017 signatures required to place its initiative on the ballot.

Unlike the Lund Ranch referendum which, if approved by a majority of voters, would overturn the council's approval but leave the site still open for another development bid, the CFPG's initiative planned for a vote during the General Election Nov. 8 would change the city's General Plan for the Johnson Drive site permanently.

Already, well in advance of any vote by the council or an actual bid by Costco to build here, Wheeler and others have been voicing their opinions at meetings of the council and the city's Planning Commission. During this time, the numbers of protesters have grown.

Now, a new petition, again against a local government decision, has been launched by Tom Cignarella of Dublin to block a bid by IKEA to locate its third Bay Area store on Hacienda Drive next to I-580. Cignarella's group is collecting petition signatures through, and, like Pleasanton's CFPG, wants to stop the Dublin City Council's consideration of IKEA's plans before they can reach the building permit desk. And, like Wheeler, Cignarella is working to spread the word against the Dublin governments endorsement of another big box store in the Tri-Valley.

Citizens coalitions that have not been successful in persuading their elected representatives to vote their way are moving their protests to the ballot box. Voters will have the final say if there's merit in these tactics or if enough is enough.

Pleasanton Weekly staff.


25 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

I would rather have a Costco than 300 more apartments

4 people like this
Posted by Kerrie Chabot
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

Down zone the general plan. Dublin management and council (with exception of Vice Mayor Gupta) need to be reminded that residents' desires count!

Let's fight the good fight together, Pleasanton! It takes a village to save a city.

8 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

Note that the $200,000 expense for the Lund Ranch issue on the June ballot is because the city council did not want that issue to color to their re-elections. It would be considerably less if on the November ballot.

7 people like this
Posted by El Jay
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

I welcome both Costco to Pleasanton and IKEA to Dublin!

10 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:52 am

Are you kidding, Kerrie? Pleasanton is practically rural compared to the havoc Dublin has wreaked on our pollution and traffic with its density-craziness over the last 10 years. I get that you're upset about It now. But that cow has left the barn. The time for Dublin to be conservative was a decade ago. Don't come to us and ask us to work with you; when we asked, you never mitigated your impact for us.

In fact. If I remember correctly, Dublin helped put the pressure on Pleasanton for the stoneridge extension, since 580 got so jammed up due to the car trips created by dublin's out of control growth.

It's not cool btw to blame Chris Foss for your problems. Policy decisions are made by the council. Not staff.

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

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