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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Dublin mayor suggests asking voters on Ikea

Uploaded: May 8, 2018
With citizens gathering recall signatures and an election looming in November, Dublin Mayor David Haubert had an interesting suggestion for his colleagues when they consider the Ikea application this spring.

The international retailer owns land at the corner of Hacienda Drive and Interstate 580 and has released revised plans for the shopping center anchored by its 300,000-square-foot store. Ikea is a regional draw even stronger than the San Francisco Bay Premium Outlets nearby in Livermore. It’s difficult to imagine how Dublin can require Ikea to mitigate the traffic impacts—the city already has received a letter expressing Pleasanton’s formal concerns.

Haubert’s suggestion is simple: put it on the ballot for Dublin residents to decide the question. He believes that if it is approved, citizens will referend that decision. If it is denied, Ikea may take the same route.

So, skip the signature fight and put the proposal on the ballot. He readily admits that he’s not a fan of ballot-box planning. I agree. Diligent council members who do their homework are far better equipped to make a good decision.

That said, the chances of Ikea landing on the ballot are good—of course, landing in courts also is likely. So, give the citizens a choice—that won’t stop potential legal action, but it will give the council an understanding of where the residents stand.

When opponents to Costco in Pleasanton paid signature gatherers to put a measure on the ballot, both they and council members learned that well over 60 percent of residents want the Costco on Johnson Drive. That made future decisions easy.

In Dublin, four council members recently took a bold step toward continuing to revitalize the 50-plus-year-old core of the city.

The council approved the application for 499 apartments to replace an old Prologis warehouse along I-580 behind the Dublin Boulevard shopping center with Marshall’s and Michael’s. The warehouse is 70 percent vacant. The apartments will be one bedroom, two bedrooms and studios.

Based upon a similar apartment project nearby, it is expected to generate only about 50 students, but will contribute $5 million in impact fees to the school district. That’s a bargain for the district and the funds can be used to build or renovate schools elsewhere in the district.

The developers also will contribute a minimum of $10 million on a community benefit fund that the council can allocate. Mayor Haubert said it could be used to accelerate further changes in the area such as a downtown pocket park or alleviating the high fees for sewer connections for restaurants that are an obstacle for many restauranteurs looking at the city.

The council’s decision reversed a 4-1 denial of the project by the Planning Commission. According to Haubert, it opens the door for a four-star hotel development on the adjacent vacant parcel. The mayor said that the hotel would include convention and meeting space and would be an easy stroll from the west Dublin BART station.

There’s no four-star hotel in Dublin and very few in the Tri-Valley. The Rose Hotel in downtown Pleasanton is the one non-chain boutique hotel that comes to mind.

A full-service, four-star hotel will add a major business amenity to Dublin and likely would be the catalyst to further revitalize the core area (Despite the city’s signage, I cannot call it downtown because there’s still no there there.).

In a related development, the developers of the proposed 92-unit per acre plan at the East Dublin BART station have filed suit challenging the City Council’s 4-0 rejection of their plan. As I previously reported, the parcel was covered by a development agreement that the landowners had paid the city $1 million to extend for 10 years.

The matter now will be in the hands of a judge who presumably will encourage the parties to find a middle ground and settle. That Haubert’s view of what should happen, but it remains to be seen what alternatives will be acceptable to both parties. From the developers’ viewpoint, they already have invested millions in what they anticipated would be a sure approval.

The project density likely was based on trying to build enough units to spread 15 years of carrying costs over them plus the cost of building so the project cash flows based on the anticipated rents.
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Comments

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Voter / Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 9, 2018 at 11:27 am

It's too bad Pleasanton voters can be part of the IKEA decision since the traffic will clearly have a negative impact on our city.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dublin Resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 11, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Dublin residents are trying to help our neighboring cities, but our Dublin City council isnscrewing is and everyone else in the Tri-Valley so they can support their campaign contributors, the developers. Viva Recall!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on May 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

Again...IKEA is more th an capable of creating a negative impact anyplace on planet earth.

No so re: Chabad...a group of a very nice community of people who know how to celebrate! yup...keep up the good work Chabad.

VIVA CHABAD! HOORAY! also...please get rid of those noisy church bells and smelly back yard food that's cooked up for family and friends...thank you...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Hotslide, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on May 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

There are no serious concerns for more building, retail, wholesale, apartments, whatever. It's this "more money cycle of life syndrome". Pack it in. With more people we get more schools, more auto congestion, summer pollution, stressed water/sewer systems, trashed roads, deteriorating quality of life, higher prices, more regulations, bigger government...all the ills that higher density brings. There is no endpoint. We are told this is all very controlled. More money is coming in, so repeat, repeat. If you were driving through here with no signs, you would have no idea that Dublin was a separate entity from Pleasanton and I think you will probably be able to include Livermore pretty soon. What is the density endpoint. Someone once commented on here that there is plenty of room for more housing on those worthless weed filled hills along 580. Being retired, I don't even leave the house until after 10:00 because the roads are so packed. If this is controlled growth and "progress" I think the endpoint will be self evident.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MatthewWhite23, a resident of Las Positas,
on Jun 6, 2018 at 7:33 am

MatthewWhite23 is a registered user.

Our city has potential to be the Emerald Gem of Bay area. ..and this is how our city manager and perhaps council plan to sell one of our final remaining parcels? Disappointing. But then again, our city manager and developer and attorney doesn't reside in Dublin.


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

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