Preserve Our Historic Downtown
Civic Center Redevelopment Proposal:
I do not support the Civic Center redevelopment project as it is currently proposed. While I believe Pleasanton would benefit from a community center and an improved and larger library, I do not support the cost of demolishing the police station and our beautiful library building. I also want the community to understand that the agenda for moving our City buildings, at a cost projected at $200M+ is to rezone the land (where the Library/Civic Center is now) for mixed-use residential.
For the past two years, I have attended all Downtown Specific Plan meetings. There are aspects of the Downtown plan that I look forward to seeing implemented. Pavers will add charm, and proposed changes to Peters and Division streets are intriguing. But, the agenda for our Civic Center site and Bernal property is alarming.
I am not comfortable with an agenda that is dependent on defying a commitment to Pleasanton voters. Development of the current Civic Center property is not possible without moving city offices and the police station* to the Bernal property. The Bernal property was identified as the “Crown Jewel of Pleasanton”. This land was a hard-won negotiation and dedicated to community benefits in exchange for development of commercial and residential on much of the property. Currently, building City offices would be illegal without a public vote to allow a change in land use.
I believed the plan for the current Civic Center site would become our new “Crown Jewel”. I thought we were being cajoled to accept some mixed-use residential to help pay for an exciting Grand Town-Square filled with citizen enticements and amenities. However, what is being proposed now is a tremendous disappointment. It is a mixed-use residential/office complex. The pressure to allow housing and increased building height has been extreme. The response from Pleasanton residents has been a loud and clear “no” – a City survey showed 75% of Pleasanton residents do not support adding housing in our downtown.
The redeveloped project is marketed as an “Arts & Cultural Town Square” but, instead of a plan filled with citizen amenities and enticements, it is a lot of residential and office space. A parking garage is for the office/residential complex. A hotel, which is not for residents, was given the premier location at the entrance to Main Street at Bernal. The proposed theater is an illusion; it has already been determined that the demand for another theater is minimal. The location of the small town-square, squeezed in the middle of this residential/office complex, seems intended to serve the new tenants, not the overall community. The town square should be right on Main Street, at the entrance to downtown.
I see a tremendous expense to taxpayers, more impact on traffic and schools, loss of our precious Pleasanton “Crown Jewel” location, and all with little benefit to Pleasanton citizens. I support an improved library but, Pleasanton should not be held hostage to so many costly negative impacts.
* For years we were told the police station could not be moved because it would be cost prohibitive. I have been told that there is nothing inadequate about the current 30-year-new police station, and “moving it is a purely land use decision” to redevelop the Civic Center site. I am supportive of Pleasanton’s second police station, which is currently being built at Stoneridge mall.
I Stand for Residents, not Developments!