Pleasanton Planning Commission Approves Housing Site Inventory | News

In the wake of an online community meeting earlier this month, the Pleasanton Planning Commission unanimously adopted a proposed housing site inventory list for council recommendation last Wednesday.

As required by state law, City of Pleasanton officials have been working over the past year to identify land that can accommodate nearly 5,000 new housing units. Although the city must plan its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) during the sixth housing cycle 2023-2031, no actual buildings are required by the city government.

A total of 24 sites were approved at the planning committee meeting on December 15, including Hacienda Shopping Park, Stoneridge Mall, Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare, and Pleasanton Unified School District Administrative Office. Other locations on the inventory include the Muslim Community Center, Signature Center, Workers’ Council, and a plot on Vineyard Avenue owned by PUSD.

Some of that evening’s in-depth discussions involved several key sites, including Mission and Valley Plaza shopping malls, which had not been recommended by the Planning Commission or city staff.

During public comments, some residents said Valley Plaza could be “a great place” for mixed-use development, while others wanted the area to remain as is. However, a staff report cited “a number of community comments against including these sites” at a community meeting on December 1 and other factors for not including either. shopping center in the inventory of housing sites.

Both sites “are filled with small businesses, many of which have served the city for many years,” according to staff, and “are also located further in the center of the city where local services and downtown amenities are needed.”

Representing the owners of Valley Plaza, Ralph Martin said the staff recommendation to remove the sites “is premature and should be reconsidered as a mixed-use project.” According to Martin, the owners are considering a mixed-use site with 10 to 20 units per acre that “would fit the neighborhood better and be more buildable.”

“The way it’s presented now, we think the three outdoor plots would stay, namely Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hunan Chef and Jack in the Box,” Martin said. “Then we would do mixed use where some of the original tenants could be relocated or new tenants would be part of the mixed commercial development that would serve the neighborhood. “

Vice President Nancy Allen said the inclusion of Mission and Valley places in the inventory “may make sense in the future … but right now it is a vital business center serving thousands of people. community members “.

Commissioners Ken Morgan and Matt Gaidos agreed, Morgan saying Pleasanton needed “all the services provided by sites like Mission Plaza and Valley Plaza.”

“The biggest priority for me right now is making sure that we don’t take away the services and buildings that are useful to the community, and that’s even more important as the community grows,” said Morgan.

Originally a supporter of including the SteelWave site in east Pleasanton, Gaidos ultimately voted with the rest of the committee to remove it, but said “it will be inevitable that it grows.”

“It’s right across the city line and on the edge of our community, and it’s an asset in the development, that it’s not going to shake up what Pleasanton really is,” said Gaidos. “The number of units that our RHNA number could represent allows us to be more flexible with other areas,” he added.

Former East Bay Regional Park District Board member Jocelyn Combs suggested combining the two spots with the Tri-Valley Inn site so that “you have a long line of properties there to you could make a specific plan for mixed use ”.

Combs also supported the staff recommendation to remove the SteelWave site.

“It was a contentious, large and complicated project and moving it forward with the housing element is really awkward… like getting around almost any traditional process,” Combs said.

Allen said she “felt strongly that we should also delete” the SteelWave site.

“By getting down to it, we could divide the community and usurp the planning process,” Allen said.

“I just appreciate the fact that what needs to be done in this area requires strong public feedback or we could have a community so divided that I can’t even imagine,” Allen added.

City council is due to take a final vote on the housing component’s site inventory next month.

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