Around Dublin: Save Mount Diablo to Dublin, CA: We Heard You, Now Help Us Help You

This article was originally published on February 7, 2014 by Around Dublin.

By Around Dublin Team

For over two years, residents in and around Dublin, CA have been quietly sharing their concerns about their city’s eastward expansion towards Livermore through the Save Doolan Canyon online petition hosted on the Around Dublin Blog. In addition to Dublin City Hall, the signed petitions from concerned Tri-Valley residents have been going to Greenbelt Alliance, Sierra Club, Tri-Valley Conservancy, Friends of the Vineyards, Friends of Livermore, and the highly regarded Save Mount Diablo.

Doolan Canyon is a gorgeous piece of currently protected land sandwiched between Dublin and Livermore, CA. Pacific Union Homes, the City of Dublin, and an investment group led by Charter Properties and the Lin Family are hoping to develop the area as part of what is currently proposed to be an active lifestyle senior community with 1,990 homes.

Of course, no one in the Tri-Valley believes this coalition of public officials and private land owners will stop at just 1,990 homes for seniors. Citing “market conditions” as Charter Properties has done at the Promenade, Pacific Union Homes will likely toss out the plans for senior housing in favor of a 5,000-6,000 home Dublin Ranch-style community once the area falls under Dublin’s sphere of influence and is zoned residential.

Long-time Dublin residents Morgan King and Dave Bewley are leading their Friends of Doolan Canyon have plans to limit that eastward expansion. “Certain developers have approached the City of Dublin and requested that Dublin study a plan to annex the area to the City of Dublin and to re-zone this open space from agricultural to residential, and permission to build a residential development,” said King and Bewley on their website Save Doolan Canyon.

Following the lead of Friends of Doolan Canyon, Save Mount Diablo recently reached out to everyone who signed the online petition on the Around Dublin Blog with the following message:

My name is Juan Pablo Galvan and I am writing this email to you because you have previously signed a petition to help protect Doolan Canyon. Now we have a chance to create laws that provide real protection for this special area. Even though Dublin has already approved thousands of units in its East Dublin Specific Plan, which have not yet been built, a developer is proposing to build 2,000 more housing units in Doolan Canyon, which is also home to threatened wildlife. Building here would mean more traffic, destruction of important wildlife habitat, and more urban sprawl. The beautiful rural greenbelt separating Dublin and Livermore would be lost. Right now we have a chance to manage growth and channel it in an efficient, sustainable way, and in so doing protect this special area. You can assist us by collecting signatures for two-hours on the weekend to get an Urban Limit Line (ULL) initiative for Dublin qualified for the ballot.

Doolan Canyon is currently protected by Alameda County Measure D, the ULL initiative passed by county voters in 2000. Developers, however, have encouraged Dublin to take the first step towards annexing Doolan Canyon and approving urban development without a vote of the people. If Dublin annexes Doolan Canyon, it would no longer be protected by County Measure D.

Alameda County, Livermore, and Pleasanton all have voter approved ULLs, which require a vote of the people to change. Dublin has a ULL along the city’s western boundary, but not on the east. This initiative would simply bring Dublin into alignment with neighboring cities. Any change to the line would require a vote of Dublin residents.

Several environmental leaders in Dublin have drafted an initiative to create a Dublin ULL on the east side. To qualify the measure for the ballot, we need to collect about 3,500 signatures of Dublin registered voters this winter and spring. Save Mount Diablo is working together with Dublin leaders and other groups to make this happen.

How You Can Help

You can volunteer to collect signatures in and around Dublin, at locations we provide. No prior experience is necessary. A brief training session will be held the morning of the first day of signature collecting. The only requirement to collect signatures is that you be eligible to vote in California, that is: a California resident, U.S. citizen, and at least 18 years old. You do not need to live in Dublin.

We expect to begin collecting signatures on Saturday February 15th. You will be paired up with another volunteer for a two-hour shift in front of a store or other high-foot-traffic area in Dublin. No door-to-door soliciting will be involved. All you have to do is ask shoppers as they enter or leave the store if they are Dublin registered voters and if they will sign the petition to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Collecting will occur on Saturdays and Sundays in Dublin from the second half of February through March.

If you can help in this vital effort to protect Doolan Canyon from urban sprawl or just want more information, please contact me at: jpgalvan@savemountdiablo.org

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