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Ayala seeks to block hillside developments

Original post made on Apr 27, 2008

Former Councilwoman Kay Ayala was back before the City Council last Tuesday, this time with another 5,000 signatures on a petition for an initiative to stop hillside development and to enforce the city's 29,000-unit housing cap.
Following close on the heels of an earlier petition that sought a voter referendum to stop the planned Oak Grove housing development, this initiative would prevent development on hills with slopes greater than 25 percent.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 21, 2008, 10:12 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Whether you agree with the proposal or not, it is heartening that the process exists and that there are people willing to take the time and energy to use it.

Nice balance, I think.

Posted by Mireya
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Our City Council members do take the time and energy to work hard for all of us - the Council has previously asked city staff to provide ordinance language to safeguard the hills to the south of my neighborhood. I think the Council is doing a good job. I think this initiative is politically motivated, just like the referendum. ps - every time I e-mail them, which hasn't been too very often, I get a response from atleast one of them. I like the responsiveness!

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 27, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I could be wrong but didn't a member of the city council ask city staff to provide the ordinance language AFTER it was established an initative was on the way. What indicators point to this initative or the OG referendum as "politically motivated". Without providing logical supporting evidence, this seems to be a common theme for referendums or inititives originated by certain citizens of this city. Where's the "smoking gun"!!!

Posted by Election
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Wonderful...should draw out the elected city officials that are going to run for reelection...and the wantabes.

Great fun!!!

Posted by more curious
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Nope, you're wrong. The Council has had as its priority "preservation of the S.E. hills" for a number of years. That's why Sullivan and Hosterman were able to pull together the public, the property owners, and city staff to negotiate a good deal. Think candidates will come out on this one? I'll bet on it!

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 30, 2008 at 1:39 am

Nope, don't think I'm wrong. Read the last sentence of the article. This "direction of the council" was initiated by a council member at a recent council meeting. It was on TV 30 for all to see.

"Council has had as it's priority 'preservation of the S. E. hills' for a number of years" - A priority for a number of years??? Must not be much of a priority if it takes a citizens initative to get things rolling.......

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Apparently the issue has come before previous Councils and was rejected (according to Anne Fox's letter to the PW editor). I wish I knew more details regarding the history of that and why the rejection, but c'est la vie. We can focus upon the present. Keep in mind that Cook-Kallio was the Councilmember who brought it up and this is her first term on Council. I'm wondering if Kay Ayala went to _this_ Council first to ask them to consider a ridgeline preservation ordinance before filing the initiative. Frankly, I think the initiative was a way of trying to ensure that Oak Grove couldn't be developed if the referendum were successful and so perhaps _this_ Council wasn't asked.

But yea, the 1996 General Plan gives direction to the City government to make a ridgeline preservation ordinance and the ball got dropped. The initiative has "pinged" the Council.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 1, 2008 at 12:52 am

What's a "pinged" and who gets to decide what that is??? :)

Why go before the Council when historical records will apparently show little or no interest in the subject(per Ann Fox's letter). The present Council has been in power for some time, if they were really interested they could have taken some action before this initative was introduced. Weren't some of the present Council Members on the planning commission. By the way, I think this Council's action on the ordinance is "politically motivated". :)

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2008 at 8:58 am

A "ping" is a Navy sonar term adopted by the computer world. A small program called "ping" allows a user to check and "see" if a remote computer on a network is also talking on the network.

The comment on "politically motivated" is somewhat funny to me. AP US Govt. and We The People teacher and mom with a history of integrity, Cook-Kallio, called for staff to bring a proposed ordinance to Council. I suppose if you call her staunch support of representative democracy "political" then I guess that must be so.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 2, 2008 at 2:02 am

I have no knowledge of the Council Member's abilities, but it would seem it took "direct democracy" to "ping" "representative democracy" into action. Does anyone sincerely believe this request for city staff action on a ridgeline ordinance would have surfaced if a citizens group hadn't taken the matter into their own hands.

The "politically motivated" comment was meant to be somewhat funny. After all, it seems almost anything that's proposed by a certain Pleasanton citizen is refered to by some as "politically motivated". Using the same logic, what's to stop someone from wondering if this call for action by the council isn't "politically motivated" to counter that citizen.

Of course the Council Member is a staunch supporter of representative democracy - the Council Member is a politician and when has anyone seen a politician that enjoys being countered by direct democracy.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 2, 2008 at 7:57 am

The hawk? :)

Yea, I think it also seems like you say regarding the initiative making the Council take action. But I do sincerely believe that the issue could have surfaced without the initiative because it has in the past!

Posted by aj
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Seems somewhat interesting that if the Council was working on a hillside ordinance all this time that they did not finish it BEFORE they worked on Oak Grove. Maybe they put it on hold since the ordinance would have prevented Oak Grove. Or maybe they had no intention of doing so but decided to start the process now that the initiative has collected signatures so they can say they were already working on it. Whatever the reason, I find it condencending when the mayor at the council meetings says the initiative is unneeded and silly since the council is working on it. Sort of reminds me of "I am the all powerful Oz."

Posted by Marie
a resident of Heritage Valley
on May 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Ah, but wasn't Ms. Ayala on the City Council previously?? I guess she didn't care about the hills then and no, she did not approach the council to adopt an ordinance before she filed her initiative. Don't be fooled.

Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 9, 2008 at 7:00 am

Other people did approach the council and it was rejected. In fact, several years ago, the planning commission voted to recommend it to the City Council, it was rejected. It was proposed in the new General plan, the city council took it out. It is very clear that the council will not do this unless forced to. As you said in your post, don't be fooled.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2008 at 7:47 am

Does anyone know which Council meetings all this was done at? It would be useful to look up the old meeting minutes.

Posted by Politics as Usual
a resident of Mission Park
on May 9, 2008 at 10:33 am

Hosterman and Pico have become tools of the big money developers. Its good for Pleasanton to have someone with the knowledge, interest and political savvy to oppose them. Thank you Kay Ayala!!

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Politics as Usual,

Speaking of, when is Ayala going to file the campaign finance information for the Save Pleasanton Hills group?

Posted by Don
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2008 at 12:33 am


You seem to have connections. Why don't you call Ayala and ask her instead of griping about it.

Posted by hello????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2008 at 11:20 am

Ms. Ayala has been asked and asked and asked about who financed her group. In fact, one of the council members pointed out that she was also one asking for transparency concerning campaign financing from the council. I guess she lives by a different set of rules. She doesn't want to have to tell the whole story or be upfront about who is giving her group money. More importantly, she can't claim ignorance since she has served in an elected position and has been well informed of the requirements.

Posted by Don
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Who asked her face to face and when?

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