News

36-home Valley Trails project wins Planning Commission's approval in 3-2 vote

Pair on dais raise concerns over developer's 'free' public restroom offer

The Pleasanton Planning Commission voted 3-2 last week to approve a plan by Ponderosa Homes to buy and tear down the financially troubled Evangelical Free Church of Pleasanton in the Valley Trails community and replace it with 36 new single-family homes on the 9-acre site.

Ponderosa also will build a clubhouse in its new development and make improvements at the adjacent 6.1-acre Valley Trails neighborhood park, including a new tot-lot and landscape improvements with groundcover to promote water conservation.

Although part of the housing development with control by the new neighborhood's home owners' association, the clubhouse will be available to all the residents in the 498-home Valley Trails community 12 times annually.

Though planning commissioners, city staff and most of those in the crowded City Council chamber at the April 12 public hearing endorsed the Ponderosa development, concerns over the proposed public restroom dominated much of the four-hour-long meeting.

In the end, commissioners Nancy Allen and Greg O'Connor voted against the entire Ponderosa development plan, mainly because of their opposition to the restroom.

"I don't think taxpayers should be burdened with maintaining restrooms in neighborhood parks," Allen said. "I'm concerned about the costs over the years, as well as with security and graffiti."

However, commissioners Jack Balch, David Nagler and Herb Ritter, a majority, backed the project, including the restroom.

The commissioners also agreed to move the project forward to the council even though a member of the Pleasanton school board suggested April 11 that the Valley Trails site might be suitable for a 10th elementary school. Funds for that school are contained in a bond voters approved last November.

Gerry Beaudin, the city's community development director, and planning manager Adam Weinstein, in documents prepared for the Planning Commission, said the school district once owned the site, but sold it years ago after determining it wasn't needed.

The restroom issue centers on city policy limiting costly public restrooms that also have high annual maintenance costs to "community" parks that are at least 10 acres in size. These include Bernal, Lions Wayside, Creekside and Delucchi Parks, as well as Stoneridge Creek Neighborhood Park, which because of its tennis courts, also has a public restroom.

The city's 33 "neighborhood" parks, including Valley Trails, are typically 5-6 acres in size and are considered within convenient walking distance of homes to serve the needs of its users. Most of them also lack on-site parking, lighted sports facilities or community rooms.

What makes the Valley Trails Park restroom proposal attractive is Ponderosa's agreement to contribute the land, build it and give it to the city free-of-charge, and to contribute $5,000 toward maintenance costs for the next five years.

Jeff Schroeder, Ponderosa's senior vice president, told commissioners that the restroom was a priority mentioned by Valley Trails homeowners when he met with them at two meetings to describe his 36-home proposal.

It was also favored by all the 21 speakers at the commission's public hearing, except for former Councilwoman Kay Ayala, who said, "It will not be a community-wide benefit."

Most of the speakers also spoke against building an elementary school on the site.

City Manager Nelson Fialho said the Planning Commission's Valley Trails approval will go to the City Council for a final decision in May, although a specific date has yet to be chosen.

Comments

19 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

The 36 home project is a great solution to the Valley Trails site. The added restroom will be a community benefit for the park. This is a far superior project than when the land was considered a candidate for massive high density housing (Site #15) in the Housing Element update in 2011.

I am perplexed by the comments on the restroom since this was an amenity long planned for the park (but the city budget did not allow for it at the time when Phase 1 was originally dedicated for the Valley Trails park) when Mr. Jim Fales was the city manager of Pleasanton. The developer offering to as long last build it for free is wonderful. Had he had the budget at the time, Mr. Fales would have surely constructed the park amenities long ago as was planned. Contributing $5,000 to maintenance is also a very generous offer from the developer.

I don't understand why one school trustee would again want the land for a school given the soot issues from the adjacent freeway that were discussed by neighborhood members as part of the Housing Element update workshops that were held in 2011. The soot and the expansive soils issues are well documented in the Community Workshops Summary reports from March 2011 that are on the city's web portal.

I am looking forward to construction starting soon.


15 people like this
Posted by RU Kiddingmii
a resident of Valley Trails
on Apr 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

RU Kiddingmii is a registered user.

I agree, its a great project. However, believe it or not the project is in jeopardy now that the PUSD Board does not want to look foolish and wants to go through the motions to delay the project so they can "review" if they want the site for a school. Really?? They have stated several times they do not want the property over the last 40 plus years!!

I GUESS THEY FORGOT THE FACT THAT THE BOARD APPROVED THE SIGNING OF THE MITIGATION AGREEMENT WITH PONDEROSA BACK IN OCTOBER AND ARE CONTRACTUALLY BOUND TO ENDORSE THE HOUSING PROJECT.

If you are against this silly and foolish action by the PUSD, please show up tonight at 7:00 at the PUSD Board Room at 4665 Bernal Ave and let the School Board know they need to stop their foolish actions!! Where do we get these people - is it no wonder the school district is in turmoil and spends money like drunken sailors.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Considering the land is not rezoned, it was premature at best and, at worst, gave an advantage to Ponderosa in advance of those hearings. The Board should never have endorsed or suggested support for this project. It is not their role and that language is false.

RU: YELLING doesn't make your point for you. Who you are will be obvious (already is) when you speak. Things have changed over 40 years, including those who declined the option on this land. I will go so far as to say the law firm is the only constant here, and a bad one.

I hope anyone interested in this topic, no matter their opinion, shows up this evening. The board needs to hear from the community.

To be clear, RU, the district hasn't sold any bonds.


6 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Mighty kind of ponderosa homes to allow access to the private clubhouse 12 times a year to the other Valley Trails homeowners and to give $5000.00 annually for 5 years for those restrooms, that will go a long way to cover the costs of graffiti, damaged plumbing, building maintenance! Once again the city sold out to the builders, good luck with that unstable clay soil, been there and paid dearly for that.


8 people like this
Posted by RU Kiddingmii
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm

RU Kiddingmii is a registered user.

Kathleen - interesting that you think you know who I am. I am glad that I have such a distinct style. To remove the mystery, my name is Howard Kazeele. I can provide my email and other pertinent info if you so desire and think it will help you make your points, but now you know. Also, not sure if I missed something or not, but I don't recall mentioning bond issuance at all.

Regardless, the facts still stand on their own. As mentioned in other posts, it is not a matter of capacity (as 5 of the 9 elementary schools fall below the guidelines of the GP), but rather a matter of allocation. This is based on the data that you have passed on from the PUSD.

I will go so far as to say that your passion is laudable, I just think you need to focus your efforts away from the Valley Trails property and focus somewhere else. It is not a viable site and its time has passed. Several Planning Commissioners have also publicly stated that any school or larger institutional usage will chokehold the neighborhood with traffic. Am also waiting for an update as to what took place at the PUSD Board meeting last night too.


9 people like this
Posted by RU Kiddingmii
a resident of Valley Trails
on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

RU Kiddingmii is a registered user.

One additional comment for those interested check out the "Whats Wrong With Portables" post as well as this weeks Blog by Tim Hunt entitled "Valley Trails site is poor location for a school".


13 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I would never want any school with the current mgt near my house. No wonder VT would want houses there. I just drove and saw all the logs and branches in piles at HPMS on Greenwood Dr and Valley. What a mess. They can't even maintain their property when schools are in session.


13 people like this
Posted by RU Kiddingmii
a resident of Valley Trails
on Apr 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm

RU Kiddingmii is a registered user.

Kathleen - your comment above, stating "Who you are will be obvious (already is) when you speak" is highly, highly offensive. It is too bad that you choose to stoop to such a low level. You have obviously heard me speak somewhere at sometime. And, as you so eloquently felt the need to point out, english was not my native language and, as a result I have an accent. Most folks never give it a second thought. Then, unfortunately there are people like you, who choose to bring it up in some sick attempt to humiliate me.

Nevertheless, I will not be silenced. Shame, shame, shame on you!


7 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

RU, I most certainly could have written my comment better, that I believe I know who you are and that your speaking at the board meeting would make it more obvious. I would never call anyone out for having a different native tongue--you'd know that if you knew my extended family.

I also hope you know that I did not speak in favor of a school on the Valley Trails site last night at the board meeting. I am more upset about how the district gave away too much too soon and needs to change their practices and sit down and get a better understanding of what options are left and how they will move forward to address student needs.


10 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Kathleen, when you are fishing for information or claiming to "know" who someone is that is posting or asking questions to try to figure out who is posting or when you make accusations claiming you know who someone is, I feel that this is inappropriate. I don't know what purpose it serves to scold posters like it looks like you did in the posting above.

Why you feel you need to announce to posters that you think you know who they are is also puzzling.

The Terms of Use clearly states: "You agree not to disclose personal information about another person."


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

RU, Why, and just exactly how, would I silence you? You lobbied for your development; you appear to have won. I'm fine with it.

Long time, I have been posting out here for eight years now under my real name. I try very hard to provide fact, links to those facts, and/or some way for people to get to those facts. I try very hard to note what is my opinion or best guess. I've acknowledged any mistakes and apologized where I was out of line, even when it is unintentional. I felt through all this time that if I had something to say, I would own it. Sometimes it is a good debate; often I learn and dig deeper. The rest of you use fictitious names in fear of retaliation. There is no retaliation; only conversation.

Also, I didn't disclose personal information about another person.


9 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Fear of retaliation? Nope.

The bottom line is that the Pleasanton school districts all bought land that they 'banked' and never intended EVER to build on in order to sell for developers in mass to make money for salaries and bonuses for its top administrators.

They would say they were selling to developers because they could not pay their taxes after they had held the land vacant for 5 years (same ol' story).

They would say they needed the land sell-off to developers for building maintenance or technology (same ol' story).

At times MULTIPLE Pleasanton school districts would do mass changes at the same time at the City Council --- for example, the big Rezone of Remaining School Sites Bonanza that occurred December 6, 1983 --- where the two Pleasanton grammar and intermediate school districts suddenly made school sites the citizens had paid for with their hard earned tax money in the first place all over town "Residential" in a matter of 15 minutes.

They would approach the city each December in the mid-December for mass General Plan changes to change the zoning from school to residential so that if the citizens wanted to referend the changes, they had to spend their entire Christmas holiday collecting signatures.

Then when a neighborhood would be built around a vacant school site, like was done around the City Operations Center for the Ironwood development, the developer builder and school district would promise a school to sell the houses to unsuspecting residents. Then the school district would quietly sign away building rights to the builder to build more houses, not a school.

What a scam.





4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Can't take capital funds for salaries.

I have no idea what you mean by multiple districts--there were two; they unified in 1988. I do realize sites were sold.


14 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2017 at 7:49 pm

There were more than two entities for primary schools in Pleasanton. Murray built the schools in western and northern Pleasanton and Pleasanton Elem. built the schools in eastern and southern Pleasanton. There was a separate Amador Valley Joint Union High School district for high schools. There were even more if you count school districts toward Livermore and Sunol and Hayward.

Most of the time, the districts used condemnation proceedings to obtain the property dirt cheap from its rightful owners, then held on the land for 20 to 25 years in order to sell it for top dollar to the developers.

If the sale of all this surplus property went to the fictional idea that the sales proceeds were for building schools, where exactly did all the money go?


10 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:04 am

Seems to me there is a lot of discussion superfluous to the proposed 36 homes in Vslley Trails. This housing is appropriate for the existing neighborhood. A school site is not appropriate because it is the wrong location. For school board members to now say the signing of an fee agreement was premature sounds a little uninformed at best and incompetent at worse. Obviously, i have to continue to question the competency to administer the school budget. And Ms Ruegsegger I understand is now on the school board. I think she should quit posting and blogging all the time and start focussing on the needs of our kids and administering our taxpayer money in a responsible manner instead of spreading her obvious anti growth agenda.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Bella, it is the last "available" piece of public and institutional land in Pleasanton. But, my issue is not with the 36 homes, even though it is the right area of town; it is holding the school board accountable for their actions back in October. I am not on the school board; not anti-growth; been focusing on the needs of students and taxpayer funding for quite some time as an interested citizen.


12 people like this
Posted by Stop the Lies
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 20, 2017 at 9:49 am

Kathleen- I am afraid you and others are misinformed with regard to this being "the last available piece of public and institutional land" in Pleasanton. That is a LIE that you and others continue to spread and it is NOT true.

The TRUTH is that there are 600 acres of Public & Instituitional land designated overall in Ptown. of that, (60) acres are developable at this point. If you dont believe me, it is a matter of public record and was stated by city staff at the last Planning Commission meeting on 4/12. So, please stop spreading this lie.

Also, the property is NOT available it is in contract with Ponderosa which is fully within the church right to do so. Oh yeah, its also ALREADY ZONED for residential, but the General Plan shows it at P and I. How are your going to explain that one?

Lastly (now, please pay attention everyone) ... this whole controversy about this property is a moot point because ... ITS TOO CLOSE TO HIGHWAY 680. Yes its in all CAPS so I can emphisize the point.

State Senate Bill 352 makes makes it UNLAWFUL to place a school within 1/4 mile of a freeway. In this case, the border if the site is within 500 FEET OF 680.

So, in 1970 maybe this would have been a good site for a school, but the school district sold it to the church. In 2003 SB-352 was passed and the law changed, prohibiting schools being built within 1/4 mile of a freeway. Air quality studies have already been perormed at the proposed site and show the levels of exhaust exceed the allowable threshold for a school.

The PUSD consultants that they pay hundres of thousands of dollars to should know this.

OK everyone understand the F-A-C-T-S now??


7 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

KATHLEEN, mea culpa that I thought you were on the PUSD Board but now remember you ran for a seat but were not elected. You say you want to hold the PUSD accountable for past actions. Then in the same thought you say this is the last P&I zoned land in town. What is your real issue? If its about the Board's process or past action, leave the Valley Trails site out of your diatribe because the Ponderosa plan for 36 homes is what the neighborhood wants!

STOP THE LIES makes good points that prevents a school there and a bigger church campus sized for 10 acres would be so impacting to Valley Trails. Other P&I uses would be totally inappropriate as well (like public facility buildings, animal shelters). Kathleen, If your concern is about churches, any church by right can locate into a residential area with proper mitigation but most churches these days opt to locate in office parks in order to avoid spats with neighborhoods over noise, traffic, and parking. That sounds like the same issues a school would present but daily!!!


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 20, 2017 at 10:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This was an issue because the district let the last available public and institutional piece of property go. The district conferred with the developer before the developer had approval. The district signed that they would support the project--which is not their role and which gave an advantage to the developer. So, the district should be held accountable for those errors and that process should be changed. If you watch the board meeting, I specifically said I was not asking for a school to be placed on Valley Trails because I don't know that it is the best place and I didn't think the board knew that answer either.

I have not lied. Children need to be educated and most parents prefer those schools be within their neighborhoods. You want to sell your house some day? Having a school close by is a selling feature to the likely young family who wants to buy. But again, I care about the process and errors, not the church, not whether there is a school in that location.

I hope you realize the board has officially, and for the second time, stated they are not pursuing that property. No lie.


6 people like this
Posted by Stop the Lies
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Kathleen to continue to state: "This was an issue because the district let the last available public and institutional piece of property go". Is a lie. I and others have sited the reference, yet you continue to ignore the facts for your pre-conceived opinion - why??. Please check the city records.

Furthermore - regarding your statement of "The district conferred with the developer before the developer had approval". Let me explain the process, if you wish to listen and learn. The Mitigation Agreement is required before the PUD (Planned Unit Development) application can be processed/approved. By processed, I mean anything from a simple staff review and approval to a more complex approval process. Either way, the developer has to have that in-hand before the next step can be taken. It cannot be issued after the fact. The Mitigation Agreement is exactly that. The School District states that whatever influx of students will be generated as a result of the development have been accounted for and can be accommodated as long as conditions as set-forth in the agreement are met. In some cases it is land that the developer may set-aside, in some cases it is a monetary condition and in some cases it is both. So, again it is required so the city can make sure that the developer has worked with the school district and the school district is in support.

Lastly, and I hope you and an ex-city council member pay attention ... in the case of the Valley Trails site, all of this nonsense is a moot point in light of SB-352. This cannot be a school site because it is too close to the freeway. Period, end of story, no need to go any further than that. My goodness.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I'll tackle SB 352 first: "without mitigation" language is included. Doesn't mean it would get approved, but it's in the legislation.

The agreement: didn't need to include "support for the project." However, it's signed and done. Lesson learned, I hope.

There is no other P&I land available. That only changes IF some other P&I land goes up for sale.

I did not lobby for a school to go on this property. I talked to board members; I understood the issues.


1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Let me see if I got this straight.

KR, your point is that the mitigation agreement was only to ask the district to assess whether 36 additional houses on that site would impact the district, which it clearly wouldn't, but that they went well past their leave and also stated that they didn't need the very same parcel to support growth district wide? So your argument is that the board failed to perform the required diligence and not that such diligence would have resulted in building a school there?


5 people like this
Posted by Stop the Lies
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Kathleen-I don't mean to be insulting but it seems as if you are inferring that the word mitigation in SB-352 and the mitigation agreement signed by the PUSD cross-reference each other? Are you trying to pull my leg or are you serious?

Again, I will try one last time to 'put the cookies on the bottom shelf so the kiddies can reach them'. Taking language directly from SB-352 this is the best summation of the whole bill (ready)?: "It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to protect school children from the health risks posed by pollution from heavy freeway traffic and other non-stationary sources in the same way that they are protected from industrial pollution". Get it???

The word mitigation as used in the bill, references prevention measures or measures taken to address certain pollutants/exposures. The word mitigation as used in the Mitigation Agreement with a school district refers to the accommodation of the impact that the proposed project will have (in terms of number of students) and ensures that there is a plan in place to accommodate those students.

"Without mitigation" language in SB-352 does not in anyway cross-reference or infer that a mitigation agreement is not needed. The two are completely different uses of the same word. A school mitigation agreement is a REQUIREMENT before a development application can be processed. It has nothing to do with SB-352 whatsoever.

Glad you have semi, sort-of, kind of admit your statement on this being the last piece of P&I land was/is wrong. And, again the Valley Trails parcel is not available and never was available for sale openly.

Respectfully, can we please stop splitting hairs on this issue and just agree that the PUSD needs to do a more effective job with their primary duties?


4 people like this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm

To: Stop the lies

Please do your research before making such bold statements, and insulting people behind anonymity.

At least Ms. Ruegsegger has the courage to identify herself, and own what she says.

City Manager Nelson stated at the Joint Meeting between the PUSD Board & City Council that the Valley Trails property is the ONLY property in the GP with P&I which is large enough to support a school.

While you may be correct that over 600 acres in the GP are identified as P & I, City Manager Nelson also addressed this during the joint meeting. He stated that most are under 5 acres, specifically sized to accommodate a church (or similar use).

Please be do your research so that you can make accurate statements, unless your purpose is to deceive the community.

John


5 people like this
Posted by Own What You Say
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm

FalseNews & AlternativeFacts-you chide the other poster and ask them to "Please do your research before making such bold statements, and insulting people behind anonymity.", yet you have a cleaver user name as well.

Whats wrong with making bold statements? Also, by the way the City Manger also stated that is wasn't too late for the VT property, when in reality it was. So, looks like that was two mistakes he made at that meeting. The only ones deceiving the community is the PUSD Board and those that played the swan song for this ridiculously expensive an unnecessary bond measure. Sounds like you have been around a long time, so it is likely the new parcel tax will be equal to or greater than your base property tax. Oh, sorry that was a bold statement for me to make.

-Matt


3 people like this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

To: Stop the Lies

Stop the lies.

You are posting false and deceiving information. Insulting people behind the cloak of anonymity is gutless.

The PUSD mitigation Agreement was approved by the PUSD Board on Oct 10, 2016. It was pulled from the consent calendar for further public discussion.

By the developer’s own admission, Pnderosa has been in process regarding this development for 3+ years.

There has been a lot of Planning Dept activity related to this site before Oct 10, 2016. When did the Planning Commission hold the workshop regarding at this development?

Before or after Oct 10, 2016?
For anyone who REALLY want to know what happened (and draw your own conclusions), go to the video of the PUSD Oct 10, 2016 meeting, and start at timestamp 18:00.

At the recent Planning Commission meeting, the developer referenced this Mitigation Agreement many times to advocate approval for this application, and is leveraging the $775k (not the $1MM stated to the planning Commission) he is paying to PUSD as a reason to approve this application.

John


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Grumpy, 36 homes will impact the district, but the developer agreed to pay $770,000 to mitigate that impact--portables? They went "past their leave" to say they supported the housing project, giving the developer a leg up in the process. Not the board's role. They get to say, "yes the developer agreed to pay the mitigation fees." Nothing more.

I believe the board had concerns about access and maybe other issues (clay?) so, had they really investigated, it is very possible they would have chosen not to build a school there.

StL, I am not conflating the SB and the Mitigation agreement. One could mitigate the pollutants with filters, etc. and try for approval. Don't know that it would fly with DSA.

I'm not wrong about P&I. And without rezoning, the district could have had right of refusal, probably the city too. Wasn't that the fear? The city would take it and build affordable housing or the district would replace an inattentive neighbor with a noisy one?

On your last sentence--been asking that for a while now. Hoping for a superintendent with strength and integrity.

Thanks FNAF!


4 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:36 pm

P&I is all over Pleasanton. Take a look at the Blue areas. There is plenty of space in Pleasanton to build any primary or secondary school of any size. The problem is who is going to sell any P&I property to PUSD, given their reputation? Do you really think AC is going to sell any Fairgrounds portion to PUSD? Probably not. But the bottom line is if the schools at the elementary levels have empty classrooms, what needs to happen is that the District needs to re-think whether Elementary Schools should be K-6 instead , and middle schools should be 7-9 in order to reduce the size of the mega high schools.

Here is the map

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2017 at 5:03 pm

I read the school sgreement after all the cabal. The language looks like standard contract recitals to me. No undue concessions to the developer other than the District acknowledging the fees adequately mitigate school impacts from 36 new households and in recognition of such, the district would not later object to the project or require more fees than the approx $7.14 per sf or $775,000 which is btw way more than the State mandate of somewhere around $3.50 per sf. Sounds reasonable and good faith language to me.
Kathleen, the District had several opportunities to acquire this site in the past and turned it down. It is unfair to keep a P&I designation so the District can drive down the acquisition cost and hold it off the market longer until the District decides if it will ever have the money to purchase, build and operate a school site eveb when enrollment is declining and Neal and the East Side will be available. The City knows no ither big church, mosque, temple or ashram is appropriate at the Valley Trails.
Kathleen, do you live within walking distance of a school. I assure you, this is not Mayberry and parents drive their kids causing way more traffic and problems for surrounding neighbors. How would you like mini vans queuing across your driveway every day and idling everywhere and then speeding to make it to work or a pilates class or piano lessons. Gimme a break and lets get real. If you think its so great for property values to be next to a school, think again.


1 person likes this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

To; Own What You Say

Matt:

Thank you for your constructive "Bold statements"


You'll note that I also sign my name at the bottom of ALL my posts, and consequently people know who I am, and how to get in contact with me if they wish.

FOr decades, PUSD has not had $ to do anything (they really still don't). The PUSD has serious financial challenges in the future.

I'd also state, that my taxes are currently $10k+ per year total. You know, the total amount of the bill with all those voter approved line items for bonds long ago. I think my current number of line-items is 4. Soon to be 8 after this Nov 2016 election.

My concern is, am I getting good value for my money?

The Community College bond (tax) is a great example. Many people associated with Los Positas stated that the current Bond was a waste of money, and did not support the bond of Nov 2016. So what did the voters do...passed a bond for almost $1B! So much for an informed voter.

The reason the PUSD needs money (from the Bond), is to pay off debt (about $15MM, which they are only able to currently make the interest payments...so some people will say it is a bailout...it's much more akin to the debt situation of Puerto Rico), repair school facilities (due to neglecting regular P & M in my opinion after spending 5 hours at the PUSD Measure I1 open houses), and IT upgrades.

I'd encourage you to get involved...it's the only way to effect change.

As one poster stated, these "games" have been going on since 1974.

Everyone in the community I think is looking for an end to the "games". Everybody suffers...Teachers, administrators, students, the community.

I think everyone is looking to hit the "reset" button.

Just hope the current PUSD Board is listening and we have not elected the "same story-different people".

But that takes courage...let's see if the current PUSD Board has that courage.

I think they would be surprised at the support they would receive from the community.

I almost feel like sending each one a copy of the JFK book "Profiles in Courage" :)

John


1 person likes this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 5:22 pm

To Bella:

Thank you for your comments.

This mitigation agreement is just a "bad Deal" for the PUSD.

The PUSD is giving up property with a value to them of $9MM+, in exchange for $400k.

To me, that is a "bad deal".

Maybe acceptable to you, but to me NO WAY!!!!

I suggest you review the video from the recent PUSD Board meeting along with the joint meeting. Very informative.

2 key points...

Being near a school actually increases property values (comments by Hintzke)

THe PUSD Board would like to have neighborhood schools, ones that children can walk to (comments made by numerous PUSD board members)

Keep posting!

John


2 people like this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm

To Bella:

1 other item...

Go to time stamp 18:00 of the Oct 10, 2016 PUSD Board meeting.

It's obvious that NO One in the room that evening had any idea what they were approving.

Now the developer is stating that he has an agreement with the PUSD which the PUSD "affirmatively supports" the project

....and guess what...Ponderosa Homes is absolutely 100% right!!, and using that as leverage to get his application approved.

John


3 people like this
Posted by Own What You Say
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

False News - Good points. Can I ask where the PUSD is giving up property valued at $9MM for only $400K?

Also, thank you for using MM for millions - so many people only use one M which is wrong!

Bella-
All great points as well.


-Matt


4 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm

False News, the District did not give up property because the District does not own it. It is owned by the Evangelical Free Congregation which has been there for over 30 years. Im in real estate, and frankly if the District were to purchase 10 acres in Pleasanton, the price would be much higher than 9 million as you projected. But again, the District had several chances in the past to acquire the site and did not. In fact, they gave it up numerous years ago when they sold it to the church. If no one on the PUSD board understood the mitigation agreement, then why did they vote to approve it? Huh, is that what the board members are now claiming? Like the dog ate my homework? C'mon. But I think there is some merit in thinking this public agency is trying to reduce the property value by making it impossible for the church to develope by keeping it P&I.
How is an agreement accepting payment of $775,000.00 to fully mitigate school impacts per State and local law for 36 homes considered leverage. It is the law as I understand it and nothing more. And such agreements have been required in Pleasanton before a development proposal is processed.
Spread the conspiracy theories but people will understand the Law.
I dont care what PUSD boardmembers want to think. Living next to a school or immediately adjacent to it is a nightmare especially after your kids get older and attend another school where you need to drive them. The traffic, the delay and congestion, the speeding, the noise, the loitering (if joint use), the parking on the streets, etc. Most people see that as a lowering their value versus being instead a short driving distance away.
The City Council has always put a premium on what the neighborhood supports and from what friends tell me, they want the Ponderosa plan.


1 person likes this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm

To Matt & Bella:

Bingo!!!

You're both spot on....

The value of land is based upon the GP P&I and Zoning.

Usually the GP P & I = Zoning.

As it relates to this property the zoning does not equal GP.

Bella, a $1MM/acre cost differential came up at the joint meeting as it relates to the value of a parcel. Thank you for pointing out it could be much more. And that is exactly my point.

The Church is looking to sell based on a residential GP & Zoning...The highest value land can currently be sold for.

The PUSD demographer stated the need for a school in North Pleasanton. This is the ONLY property in Pleasanton which has GP P&I designation large enough for a school.

One alternative for the PUSD is to acquire commercial property in North Pleasanton (Hacienda Park). All property in Hacienda is either zoned commercial or Residential (which PUSD could have picked up in 2009 ~ 2012 for a song).

Now that the economy has turned, the value of this property is selling at top $.

Maybe VT site is not the best school site available.

But as Bella points out, acquiring property in Hacienda Biz park to meet the student demand costs significantly more money.

Is this $ worth the trade-off?
Removing the VT property for consideration is a dis-service to the community.

What this really boils down to is that the City Council has absolute power regarding the value of property within the City.

They can take any property, and approve a re-zoning request to "up-zone" a property to its highest value.

Sometimes this makes sense, other times not.

The PUSD made a bad-deal for not only themselves, but the community.

acquiring land for $9MM +, for a school in North Pleasanton would be a waste of taxpayer money. Not for the school, but the amount of extra $ to acquire the land, and have it "down-zoned" to P & I.

Of course, the cheapest land for the PUSD to develop, is land which they currently own..."the Neal site".

Bottom line...the PUSD should have kept all options open & available.

Removing the VT option, as they agreed to do in the mitigation agreement, was just a "bad decision" .

BTW...Does anyone know who "negotiated" this Mitigation Agreement on behalf of PUSD?

John


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Bella, just a quick response to say I lived for years behind Harvest Park (our fence line). Trash, students hopping the fence during PE, PA announcements (including the loss of The Challenger). Loved it. We tried to move back in the neighborhood when we returned.


4 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

The Murray school district handled North Pleasanton, which is maybe why the PUSD ignored it for so long. The Valley Trails location is not even located in North Pleasanton.

In 1981, the 3 school sites in North Pleasanton were rezoned and lost forever including the 20 acre middle school and a 10 acre elementary school in Northeast Pleaanton and the Northwest 10 acre K-6 elementary school site that was orginally supposed to go in the residential area between I-680 and the Stoneridge Shopping Center.

Obviously, the PUSD is one big mess, but to suddenly indicate interest to re-acquire property it sold 40 years ago after there have been 10 years of meetings with the neighborhood in Valley Trails to come up with a plan with Ponderosa is absurd.


3 people like this
Posted by Rocky Balboa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2017 at 5:19 am

Yo Adrian.....you people are mad.

Where are your children right now? Have you paid your bills for the month? How about dinner? Dishes? Laundry? Soccer? Baseball? Dance lessons?

I continue to be baffled by the incredulousness that goes on here....how do all of you people, specifically a certain few who are ALWAYS on these posts, have so much spare time on your hands to rant and rave?

Oy vey!

To continue with the anonymity....

Daffy Duck


1 person likes this
Posted by JustHere
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2017 at 9:46 am

Rocky: It doesn't take much deducing to figure out the ave age of the poster here is, er, um, ah, at or near or past retirement.....And a few are just trolls with nothing better to do than agitate for no good reason...


2 people like this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 21, 2017 at 11:19 am

Calling out: Rocky Balboa & Just Here...

So what is wrong with being old?

Or retired?

Personally, I am grateful to those “old-timers” who post.

Their perspective is unique, and invaluable (regardless of whether you agree with them or not).

John


7 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 26, 2017 at 7:48 am

Flightops is a registered user.

Seems like the PUSD is more like BART everyday, the taxpayers buy the property for one intended use then years later it is sold for a totally different use, planned commuter parking lots become condos and apartments and planned school sites become churches and residential sites all this while the poor taxpayer keeps paying! What's wrong with the "old timers" ??


8 people like this
Posted by Duped
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 26, 2017 at 8:41 am

This is because Plrasanton Schools has consistently failed to deliver on its promised 28 elementary/intermediate schools in each neighborhood and 4 comprehensive high schools it promised over 50 years ago. It duped the developers, the county, the city, the state and the children. It failed to build 90 percent of what it promised when properties were annexed starting in 1967, the same year the board fired the superintendent. The fault lies in incompetent boards unwilling to invest in facilities and instead focusing on removing walls / putting back walls in response to fads from the 70s rather than sticking with the guarantees they outlined in 1965. Petty infighting means citizens have been deprived time and time again from what the community, the residents and the developers were promised.


8 people like this
Posted by It is all on-line
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2017 at 9:44 am

Floyd Sparks was the editor of the local newspapers and these articles on the internet confirm that time and time again, the school board failed to take the recommendations from architects and move forward toward building schools. And the school board seems to spend most of their time attacking parents in the press rather than moving forward to actually achieving things. This happened all over town to multiple developers if you scan through the archives of some of these newspapers.

I am reading an article entitled "Valley Trails area school gets priority" on the web from December 3, 1970. Architect Jim Aitken explains that Valley Trails elementary should be the first priority and will be operating by September 1972. It should start he says with five portable units immediately moved to the school-owned site in Valley Trails to put K-3 there, with higher grades attending Besco School (which became Donlon).

The article says Donlon has 703 students in 1970 and is full and the district has moved upper two grades to rented out space in St. Augustine's Catholic Church.

Time and time again, in these articles, school board members then are quoted in many instances disagreeing with the recommendations to build the schools. They declined to build Valley Trails school over and over again.

In some instances they call parents "completely selfish" for wanting a school delivered to their neighborhood like was promised in 1965. For example, on the internet you can see an article called "Parents' Actions Called 'Selfish' By Officials in Construction Dispute" in an article February 1, 1967. That person is school board president Frank Stager who is labeling all parents west of I-680, most of them in Highland Oaks, as "selfish" for wanting Lydiksen School built.

Disgusting behavior from the school district. And it's all online.


7 people like this
Posted by Very Interesting
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 26, 2017 at 10:01 am

It is All On-Line: Could you possibly provide the links? I tried looking it up but was unsuccessful and I am interested from a historical point-of-view. Thank you for your research. Sadly, I see the common denominator to be a consistent web of lies and incompetence from the leaders in PUSD. Most recently this was demonstrated by a teacher who gave a presentation asking for upwards of $2MM for certain educational materials. She stated that there were 138 teachers who responded in support. When one of the Board members asked her what percentage of total staff did the 138 represent, she was unable to do the calculation. Sad.

This is what happens when you put "educators" in charge of large amounts of money. They make emotional, not business decisions. Mark my words, the storm of the state mandated retirement fund contributions is brewing and a huge financial shock is on its way.


9 people like this
Posted by It is all on-line
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

You know, I have a different take on your comment "Very Interesting." If one of the Board members is asking a teacher what percentage of the total staff did 138 percent represent in order for the teacher to do the math computation in his or her head on the spot, that would sound to me that the the Board member is just trying to humiliate the teacher, and also prevent the teacher from ever wanting to speak in public again.

Parents complained about lack of educational materials in classrooms in an article I found called "Officials Walk Out of Meeting" dated January 7, 1967 where the school board and superintendent stormed out of a meeting after accusing the parents of "civil disobedience" (???) and breaking some law that they do not say what it is. Furthermore, the article states that teachers were asking inappropriate questions to students concerning financial family information or marriage or divorce goings on in the households, etc. Make sure you look that one up too.

I will provide links to the newspaper archives, but I am sure there are more locations on the internet. Here is information on how to get to the Floyd Sparks' newspaper collections. There are multiple places they are available. Most of the articles were repeated in the various local editions, but they might be a day or two apart:

Fremont Argus
Web Link (some are here)
Web Link (some are here)

Hayward Daily Review
Web Link (some are here)
Web Link (some are here)

If you use the second link for the Hayward Daily Review, search the keyword "Valley Trails school" to get the first article and "parents actions called selfish" to get the second article.

The Herald
All editions are at the Livermore Library, but no on-line.

The fired superintendent and his lawsuit for wrongful termination referred to in 1967 by another forum responder called "Duped" can be found my searching the name "Michael Lindemann" in the publications or also the name "Kenneth Bradshaw," his successor who quit almost immediately after he was hired.

I think anyone will find the information enlightening which shows chaos, fighting, and floundering is not new, but has continued on a regular basis for the last 50 years.


3 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 26, 2017 at 10:14 pm

@it is all on-line. Thanks for the info, will do some more research, brought back some bad memories from the 70's when my own kids were in school in here in my home town. Way past the time to remove and replace the bad decision makers at the top of the PUSD, too many sneaky things happening in their own little world.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 27, 2017 at 9:40 am

Without even commenting on everything else here -- this is what caught my eye.

"Being near a school actually increases property values (comments by Hintzke)" Not in any lifetime! Try living near the convict school on First and Bernal. When those kids get out they trash every yard on their way to whatever illegal activity they plan for the balance of their day. There is no justification that I can think of for EVER wanting to live near a school. The noise, the nasty kids, the overly entitled parents, nothing could make it worthwhile.


5 people like this
Posted by JustHere
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:46 am

Really.....no justification for living near schools? I'm guessing you have no school aged kids, then?
Some of us actually want our kids to be able to WALK to school and that is a key justification. Now being childless I can understand not wanting to be close to a school, which is why if you move you need to do due diligence. Wouldn't want YOU to accidentally miss a nearby school, aye?


6 people like this
Posted by Perry Mason
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

JustHere - wow you draw a lot of conclusions from Resident's comment -aye. Amazing ability you must have in order to jump to those conclusions - aye. Its true, just like anything else in this world, there are positives and negatives - aye.

If you wanted your kids to WALK to school, then move closer and then move each time they go to their new school as they advance through PUSD - aye.

One last comment - regardless of if folks have kids or not, or if those kids even attend public school, all of us taxpayers are still paying for your kids to attend - aye! So keep your "ayes" to yourself and have some consideration.

AYE -sheesh...


3 people like this
Posted by JustHere
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2017 at 9:14 am

Mister Mason: I draw no conclusions to an opinion that was w/o any factual basis.
Actually, in my case, my child can walk to all 3 schools as he 'progresses'.
AND if you don't like paying your RE taxes, you are free to RENT where the cost is buried, aye?
Just keep in mind good schools increase house value; something YOU take advantage of; can't be all free, huh?


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

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