Ballot Fight Brewing Over Costco

Dennis Cuff of the Contra Costa Times/Bay Area Newspapers outlined the latest developments in the Citizens for Planned Growth’s efforts to place an initiative restricting big box retailers from being included in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone.CCT Cuff 3.28.16

Planned Growth Initiative on Johnson Drive Introduced

An initiative to let the people of Pleasanton vote on whether a big box store should be included in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone has been submitted to the city of Pleasanton. Sponsoring group Citizens for Planned Growth (CFPG) will be gathering signatures to place it on the ballot for the General Election to be held November 8.

If approved, the initiative would dictate the following changes to the Pleasanton General Plan:

 A new Program 15.6 shall be added to Policy 15 of Section 2.0 (Land Use Element) of the Pleasanton General Plan 2005-2025 to read as follows:

Program 15.6:

(a) Encourage small scale retail, highway and service commercial, business and professional offices in the Johnson Drive EDZ; and

(b) Limit retail uses including club retail to less than 50,000 square feet in the Johnson Drive EDZ.

In citing the need for this new proposal, the initiative outlines these arguments:

“The area identified for the Johnson Drive EDZ is currently designated as ‘Business Park’ and ‘General and Limited Industrial’ in the City of Pleasanton’s 2005 General Plan which allows for high-quality, campus-like development, including administrative, professional office, research and limited industrial uses.

“The City’s Johnson Drive EDZ, however, will amend the City’s General Plan to allow several new uses, including a large ‘club retail’ store within the Johnson Drive EDZ.

“In comparison with the current Business Park and General and Limited Industrial uses, some of the new uses allowed by the Johnson Drive EDZ will generate significantly greater traffic and air quality impacts.

“The significant and unavoidable traffic impacts and related air quality impacts associated with some land uses proposed for the Johnson Drive EDZ will significantly reduce the suitability of the area for uses such as administrative, professional office, research, and general and limited industry.”

Once submitted, the initiative goes to the Pleasanton City Attorney, who will prepare an Official Ballot Title and Summary no later than March 24. Following that, the Notice of Intention and Official Ballot Title and Summary will be posted or published, and the organizers can begin circulating the document for signature collection.

4,017 signatures are required to place it on the ballot. Collectors will have the signature sheets available at public places where Pleasanton citizens gather throughout the city from now until the deadline.

“We are concerned that the Commission and council have not listened to the people, and we want everyone to have a say in what happens in their community,” said Bill Wheeler, a member of CFPG. “This initiative will simply give Pleasanton citizens the right to vote on a zoning decision that affects a large percentage of the population.”

See the official Ballot Title and Description of the initiative here.