Pleasanton Referendum on Oak Grove, Measure D (June 2010)
The Oak Grove development was a proposed 51-home subdivision on a 562-acre hillside location owned by Jennifer and Frederick Lin. The Lins originally asked the City of Pleasanton in 1992 for approval to build 122 housing units and an 18-hole golf course. The City Council approved their request in November 2007 and opponents proceeded to collect signatures to force a public vote on the council's decision.
A "yes" vote on Measure D would have allowed the development to move forward. A "no" vote was a rejection of the development.
- These election results are from the Alameda County elections office
Pleasanton City Council members Jerry Thorne and Cheryl Cook-Kallio supported a "yes" vote, as did Mayor Jennifer Hosterman.
Other supporters of a "yes" vote included Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kurt Kummer, and Tanya Ludden, past president of the Peralta District PTA.
Arguments in favor
They said that the local school district would receive a $2 million gift if the development were built, and that the school district would receive an additional $500,000 in property taxes each year thereafter from homes that would be built in the proposed development.
Supporters also said, "Oak Grove is designed as residential. There will be development there. Through collaboration the city will get almost 500 acres of open space parkland, protecting the most visible ridgelines and providing a buffer, stopping development to the southeast forever.”
Pleasanton City Council member Matt Sullivan supported a "no" vote on Measure D. So did School Board Member Valerie Arkin.
Karla Brown-Belcher of "Save Pleasanton Hills" was in favor of a "no" vote, as was former city councilmember Steve Brozosky, and Ralph Kanz, Conservation Director of the Alameda Creek Alliance.
Opponents of Measure D maintained that the proposed Oak Grove development would locate building and access roads “mainly on the ridges”, the subdivision would “cut the top off the main ridge” of the Southeast Hills, and that large houses that would be built in the proposed subdivision would be visible from elsewhere in the city.
The editorial board of the Tri-Valley Herald opposed Measure D. They said, "We urge residents to vote no on Measure D and reject the Oak Grove proposal for 51 custom hilltop mega-homes ranging in size from 7,000 to 12,000 square feet. We believe voters have been clear about their hillside development concerns. Those concerns should be respected. The developer should be required to comply with Measure PP."
- 1992: The City of Pleasanton approved a request from Jennifer and Frederick Lin for a 122-unit housing development at the Oak Grove property.
- 1993: Opponents of the development collected signatures on a veto referendum measure to overturn the city's 1992 approval. Opponents collected enough signatures to force the measure to the vote. On the 1993 ballot, the city's approval was overturned.
- 2003: Oak Grove developers proposed a scaled-down plan to the city, reducing the number of homes that would go on the property from 122 to 51.
- 2007: The City Council approved the scaled-down plan to build 51 homes in the subdivision.
- 2008: "Save Pleasanton Hills", a group opposed to the development, collected sufficient signatures to put the city council's approval to a vote. The developers sued and Frank Roesch, an Alameda County judge, removed the measure from the ballot. Roesch said that the petitions were invalid because they did not include details of the development such as the maximum allowable height of homes in the subdivision. "Save Pleasanton Hills" appealed the decision.
- November 2008: The group "Save Pleasanton Hills" won their campaign to pass the City of Pleasanton Growth Limits, Measures PP and QQ (November 2008).
- July 2009: California's First District Court of Appeal overruled Roesch. The appeals court said that state law only requires a veto referendum petition to include the exact text off the law that the referendum is challenging and that the petitions did, in fact, contain the exact text of the ordinance that approved the Oak Grove development, including its size, location, history and environmental impact. The developers appealed this decision to the California Supreme Court.
- Ocotber 2009: The California Supreme Court upheld the July 2009 decision of the First District Court of Appeal, and ordered that an election take place.
- August 2010: Jennifer and Frederick Lins filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court to allow them to go ahead with their development plans on the grounds that Measure D only negated Ordinance No. 1961, whereas Ordinance No. 1962 is the ordinance that approved the development.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure D: "Shall the Development Plan for the Oak Grove property be approved?"|
- Pleasanton Weekly, "Anti-Oak Grove petition certified for action Feb. 16", January 21, 2010
- San Francisco Chronicle, "High court OKs vote on Pleasanton development", October 15, 2009
- Pleasanton Weekly, "Oak Grove development plan back before City Council tonight", January 19, 2010
- Independent News, "No Change in Ballot Arguments"
- Contra Costa Times, "Tri-Valley Herald editorial: Pleasanton residents should vote no on Measure D", May 27, 2010
- Pleasanton Weekly, "Oak Grove developers sue Pleasanton to force housing project OK", August 13, 2010
- Pleasanton Weekly, "Council to consider response to Oak Grove lawsuit at special meeting this afternoon", August 24, 2010
- Smartvoter, Directory of Alameda County, CA Measures