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The rubber starting to hit the road about housing in Pleasanton

Uploaded: May 18, 2021
This evening’s Pleasanton City Council meeting includes two key items related to housing in the city.
The council, after two long working sessions, is expected to approve the two-year work plan that covers a wide variety of areas. This is the basis for both the two-year budget and what work the staff members will prioritize over the next two years. It’s on the consent calendar, so barring a council member pulling it, approval should be routine.
This ties directly to the start of the process to update the housing element of the General Plan to accommodate the new regional housing goal numbers for the period of 2023-2031. As the Pleasanton city staff has been reporting to the council, these are nearly triple the goal for the last cycle (which notably was about half of the prior cycle).
The goal is for the city to zone enough land for 5,935 units to be built in that eight-year period. The very low income category grows 1,034 to 1,750 while the low income grows by 617 to 1,008. That’s 2,758 in just those two categories that many cities have failed to address in past cycles. The above moderate—in other words market rate, comes to 2,313 an increase of 1,760.
This will be a major challenge, but the city does has a couple of things going for it. If it seriously restarts the planning for the East Pleasanton area, there’s lots of land there and the opportunity to scale housing by spreading costs over hundreds of units. That, coupled with designing affordability in by building smaller units could result in adding quality new neighborhoods with homes that could house teachers and other key professionals. It also has the area around Stoneridge Shopping Center where those huge surface parking lots are rarely used. Some already is zoned for housing, but more could be.
To put the housing goal in perspective, if achieved, it would add about 20% more housing stock over eight years. Currently, the state Dept. of Finance estimates Pleasanton’s population at 78,371 with 27,292 households.
For the majority of the council that already is demonstrating its slow growth approach to say nothing about its horrible mistake of pulling out of the planning for potable reuse of waste water valley wide, it’s going to be a major struggle to deal with its goals amid the state pressure for more housing. Recycled water that is locally controlled is a huge asset in droughts like we are facing this year.
Councilwoman Julie Testa is a leader in an organization battling to maintain local control.
The Legislature did little in 2020 during the pandemic to deal with the statewide shortage of new housing, but there’s plenty on the agenda for the current session. Homelessness statewide has soared and that’s driven by the affordability issue that comes from the lack of supply.
The state has a whopping $76 billion surplus and Gov. Newsom has proposed a $268 billion budget that he and the Legislature must agree on by June 15 to avoid legislative pay being docked. Since that provision has been in effect, the Legislature hasn’t missed yet.
Stay tuned to see what happens with housing legislation once the budget is settled.
Local Journalism.
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Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on May 18, 2021 at 9:41 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

No to potable water! Desalination is the way to go . Desalination can remedy farmlands and residential and commercial needs! Pleasanton was smart to pull out of the potable idea and should focus on ocean water via desalination like they do in San Diego and Israel and Dubai

Posted by David, a resident of Alisal Elementary School,
on May 18, 2021 at 10:17 am

David is a registered user.

The no growth or so called slow growth groups (who also call themselves sensible and reasonable growth advocates) have been limiting housing for years and claiming local control. That has lead to a gross shortage of homes making compliance with the State requirements now nearly impossible without going super dense at specified locations instead of blending units to integrate with the community. We need to open our eyes to increasing population and growth rates in the State and start addressing the issue without creating islands of dense subsidized units.

Posted by Dirk Svensen, a resident of Country Fair,
on May 18, 2021 at 8:23 pm

Dirk Svensen is a registered user.

The so-called the "water shortage" is likely a self-inflicted problem; at least six new dams had been planned in California in the recent past - all of which were never built due to "environmental issues", among other things. As noted, desalination might also be feasible if we can proceed with small nuclear reactors; and would reduce carbon issues and possibly silence those that mistakenly believe life will end in the next 12 years. Surprisingly, the current Administration may be coming around on this. And the state and locals seem to ignore the need for greater water storage. Much of the state's water is fed right out to sea. Reuse/toilet-to-tap may be completely unnecessary. Its a nasty work-around - just fix the root cause and we can move on.

5,935 units. So we are trying to build our way out of a housing crisis primarily created by Facebook, Google and Twitter. It might be more effective to force them to relocate out of the Bay Area, or better yet, California - to moderate the housing market and overall cost of living here. Then we can consider how to handle any remaining housing shortage.

But on a more serious note, the City has a major challenge here. I am all in for moderate housing growth, but this was not what I bargained for. Many of you voted for Newsom - you own it now. Wish you had local control now??!

Posted by Michael, a resident of another community,
on May 18, 2021 at 8:39 pm

Michael is a registered user.

The city of Pleasanton has been NIMBY about creating affordable housing for so long that it has finally caught up and bitten. The past leadership failed to address the needs of all people so now it is crunch time and now the city has lost control. Imagine that.
Lets hope the future leadership in Pleasanton can get this right by being inclusive and equitable as we look to forward.

Posted by, a resident of another community,
on May 18, 2021 at 9:10 pm is a registered user.

The state of California now functions/operates, and struggles with symmetrical issues that were once exclusive to San Francisco...
Do we have a vision for this state? Are we reimagining, or are we merely a giant gentrification filter. Is all of this right? Is this what is best for our children? Are we building community? Are we ruining communities? Are we coming, or are we going? I will just keep reading in hopes to get answers...maybe co-create a solution. Who's right? Who's wrong?

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on May 18, 2021 at 9:25 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Seven years ago I posted blogs on desalination costs and cost resolution. I recall Roz Rogoff wrote on desalination.

East bay cities leadership and county supervisor are just not interested. East bay city leadership and county supervisors need to be herded into a room, with instruction to agree on a desalination plan.

The door is locked, with no bathroom, until they arrive at a consensus for desalination.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 19, 2021 at 5:24 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Nothing good for the community will ever happen unless the politicians and lobbyists (like the environmentalists) who control the decisions can create ways to financially (and secretly) ingratiate themselves in the process.

I am simply amazed that citizens have not caught on to this scam.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on May 19, 2021 at 10:04 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

I am all for innovative ways to address our water issues, including recycling water and desalination. (Portion removed- off topic)

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 19, 2021 at 10:20 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


You still peddling that bleach stuff even though you know it to be false...

Doubling down on a losing hand is not a good strategy.

Now go outside and play and let the adults talk.

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