Author Archives: Vinnie

Newark Has its Own Development Issues by the Bay

Fremont has Patterson Ranch. Newark has Areas 3 and 4. In short, this is the wrong area to plan for massive development. It appears that the Newark City Council is in favor of this project and will soon approve it.

Areas 3 and 4 are even closer to the Bay than the proposed Patterson Ranch development is. It is right next to the sensitive wetlands of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. To deal with the low altitude of the land and sea level rise, the project plans to import over 2.1 million cubic yards of material to build over 1,200 homes and a golf course.

The Citizen’s Committee to Complete the Refuge has an interesting article on their web site with more information about this proposed development.

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Victory for Smart Growth in Union City

It was looking like there would be a battle in Union City this November over development near the Mission Hills. Masonic Homes was planning on putting a measure on the ballot that would’ve overturned the Hillside Protection Measure (Measure II) that was passed years ago by the voters of Union City.

The plan was to overturn Measure II and change the zoning to allow over 1,400 homes and 100,000 sq. ft. of retail. A more appropriate site for such development would have been the area around the city’s BART station, where people can walk to public transit and local businesses.

Last week, Masonic Homes announced they were canceling their plans. While the developers noted the economic downturn as the reason for not going forward, I would agree with the Save Our Hills group that the actions of their group and others had a significant impact on their decision. Voters are becoming more aware of bad development decisions occurring in their cities, and are becoming more organized to demand better from their local government.

Patterson Ranch Position Paper

I just posted a position paper on the Patterson Ranch development. The conclusion is below. The full text is at:

“The current General Plan allows for about 260 homes to be developed on the Patterson Ranch site. The latest development proposal would require that the City Council amend the General Plan to double the amount of homes allowed on this land. I see no reason to permit more homes to be developed in this area than current zoning allows.”

Corporate Funded Elections Hurt at the Local Level Too

The Supreme Court recently rolled back restrictions on corporate spending in campaigns.

While this ruling only affects federal elections, it is worth noting that corporate interests can still have a strong, negative influence on local elections. Fremont has a history of campaigns that are funded largely by developer interests. It’s not surprising that our City Council has consistently made decisions that help the developer community at the expense of good planning. The Friends of Coyote Hills has a web page which looks at the money that Mayoral and Council candidates have taken in recent elections.

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News of Vinnie's Campaign Printed in the Argus

Matt Artz of the Argus wrote an article about my campaign.

I would clarify two things. First, I don’t necessary think the City has allowed too many shopping centers. It’s the quality of the retail that we have allowed. We don’t need more big-box type retail along the freeway. We need more pedestrian-friendly retail areas in the center of town.

Secondly, I don’t even think that ballparks bring restaurants and bars close to them. If you look at the San Jose Arena or the Oakland Coliseum, it’s evident that no restaurants or bars have sprung up right near the ballpark. The restaurants and bars that Arena attendees visit in San Jose are several blocks away in the downtown area that existed before the Arena was built.