It's time to honor the General Plan and preserve and protect the natural resources of the southeast hills including blue oak woodlands, plant and wildlife habitats, heritage trees, watershed areas and the scenic resources that enhance the visual beauty of our entire community. The General Plan actually shows us the way, "Develop a ridgeline preservation ordinance and scenic hillside design guidelines to improve safety and reduce the potential negative visual impacts of development in hilly areas." Eleven years have passed since this plan's adoptions and no ordinance is in place.
If this ridgeline preservation ordinance had been developed and adopted, the Oak Grove development would not have been approved since it has ridgetop streets and driveways, houses of up to 12,500 square feet (plus an additional 800-square-foot garage) within 100 vertical feet of the ridgeline, and grading on slopes of 2 percent or greater in these picturesque southeast hills. In addition, another housing development is being proposed in the southeast hills. Without an adopted ridgeline preservation ordinance similar housing developments could be built in these hills. Therefore, to protect all southeast hills ridgelands, we must referend the Oak Grove housing project and pass the Save Pleasanton's Hills & Housing Cap Initiative establishing the ridgeline preservation ordinance.
Language in the Save Pleasanton's Hills & Housing Cap Initiative states, "Ridgelines and hillsides shall be protected. Housing units and structures shall not be placed on slopes of 25 percent or greater, or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline. No grading to construct residential or commercial structures shall occur on hillside slopes 25 percent or greater, or within 100 feet of a ridgeline."
I have many concerns with the approved Oak Grove project: the loss of blue oak woodlands, the loss of the Callippe butterfly habitat, the lack of a 5 minute fire response time with only one street for ingress and egress for residents, the proximity to two earthquake faults, the enormous up to three story houses with proportionately vast consumption of energy and water resources, etc.
Signing both the initiative and referendum petitions gives Pleasanton voters a chance to discuss the issues, become informed and vote on the future of development in our southeast hills. Please give us all the opportunity by signing the petitions. The community deserves the dialogue.
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