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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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Pleasanton council reconsiders bad decision

Uploaded: Feb 21, 2023
The slow-growth majority of the Pleasanton City Council woke up to reality when it approved the final housing growth plan that went to the state for its approval earlier this month.
A central issue was how much housing the Pleasanton school district could put on its land at the corner of First Street and Bernal Avenue. At an earlier meeting, the council had ignored the staff’s recommendation for density and lowered it. That caused the school district leadership, which had been working with city staff, to cry foul. State law permits the district to build affordable housing for its staff at significantly higher densities than the council approved.
Superintendent David Haglund and the trustees had their first obligation to the students and their needs—quality teachers rank No. 1 on that list. Pleasanton has faced challenges in recruiting because of the expensive housing and rents and a project aimed at younger teachers offered the potential to reverse that situation. Other districts in expensive cities have been building staff housing on school sites.
Pleasanton already took the step of freeing up the district office site by purchasing a building Hacienda Business Park for both its staff and with some growth space that could be leased to other users.
Remember that the district enrollment has been shrinking, the worst possible trend for finances because districts are paid by the state based upon the average daily attendance. That goes down and the funding goes down. District enrollment has shrunk by 700 students over the past five years –a multi-million hit on the district budget.
The reality is that the district will need quality teachers to educate fewer students over the predictable future. That’s why the expansion of Donlon School is on hold and why using the district office site and the unused Vineyard Avenue site wisely is so important.
The Vineyard site, which the council majority insisted on reducing the density there, is surrounded by custom homes and vineyards. It’s a 10-acre site once planned for an elementary school. The maximum density there would be 3-4 homes per acre assuming a developer finds a project they think will work in the marketplace. The local and Bay Area real estate market is adjusting to the Federal Reserves’ much higher interest rates to fight the inflation that the Biden Administration and the Democrats fed with unnecessary and highly inflationary rampant spending after they took control in 2021.
This parcel should have been zoned with maximum flexibility for expensive housing because any type of multiple zoning there would be completely out-of-place.
Just what will come forth on the district office site, that is surrounded by single-family homes on two sides including the historic homes on First, Second and Third streets, remains to be seen. The school district retains some leverage and both agencies will have the incentive to play nice with each other.

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Posted by Willy, a resident of Old Towne,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 10:24 am

Willy is a registered user.

I hope the City of Pleasanton can hold down the number of lower income housing units that are going to be built in this community. I and many others moved to this City
to get away from the things that lower income housing brings to communities.

Posted by PLSN Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 10:32 am

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

Why does an otherwise informative and useful article need to inject politics around blaming inflation on “Democrats...unnecessary and highly inflationary rampant spending" particularly given one could level as much or more potential blame on Republicans' unnecessary multi-trillion dollar tax break to corporations and millionaire combined with many more trillions indiscriminately given away during Covid? All that money floating around chasing a reduced availability of goods due to supply chain disruption is a far more likely suspect for causing inflation... And none of this makes a lot of sense to interject into this particular topic. How about commenting on the 3-4 houses per acre density which seems like a huge waste of land.

Posted by Joe V, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:45 pm

Joe V is a registered user.

Tim needless interjects baseless politics into his blogs for his loyal readers like Willy above, who thinks he is too important to live near low income housing individuals.

Posted by Pleasanton Valley Rez, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 1:03 pm

Pleasanton Valley Rez is a registered user.

My opinion:
The district does NOT need a new facility and in buying a new site has wasted millions of dollars on an unnecessary purchase. Many of our schools are in a worse state than the district offices. The money for the new Hacienda building should have gone to upgrade our school sites.

Posted by Been here a while, a resident of West of Foothill,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 3:28 pm

Been here a while is a registered user.

I agree with PLSN Resident, and wonder why Mr. Hunt time and time again proves unable to restrain himself from injecting partisan nonsense into virtually every “local issue" column he pens.

Posted by, a blogger,
on Feb 23, 2023 at 6:44 pm is a registered user.

Kevin is back with his inappropriate posts, so I have to close the thread.

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