Category Archives: Development

Battle over "Oak Grove" Development in Pleasanton

There’s a very interesting battle brewing over a development in the Pleasanton hills called Oak Grove. It’s a classic case of developer-funded Council members pushing for an environmentally-unsound project that is bad for the city, and not wanted by the majority of the residents.

The Council approved the project back in 2007. A citizens group completed the difficult task of gathering over 5,000 signatures in 30 days to put a referendum on the ballot. The property owners sued to have the signature gathering effort invalidated. It took a long, two year legal battle but the courts ruled that the signatures were valid earlier this year. In response, the Council decided last month to put the referendum on the June 2010 ballot.

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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.”

Will the New Ballpark Plan Include Rezoning to Allow Over 3,000 Homes?

On the Tri-City Beat blog Matt Artz created a post noting that the original agreement to bring the A’s to Fremont included allowing them to develop over 3,000 homes. Mayor Wasserman noted that he would reconsider doing this if a ballpark were back on the table. Below is my post on this.

Of all of the huge issues that were glossed over in last week’s Council meeting, this was arguably the biggest. Why in the world would Wolff and the A’s be willing to spend the $400-500 million needed to build a ballpark? I guess establishing the rationale for a developer actually wanting to pay for the ballpark is not necessary if you’re just doing a ‘conceptual analysis’.

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