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Alex Chen

Dublin Draws the Line


In the early 1990s, the City of Dublin chose to greatly expand through sprawl development. At the time, Dublin resident Dan Scannell wasn’t aware of what his city leaders had decided. But he is certainly aware of the results.

According to Dan: “Dublin made a mistake in the early ’90s by approving so much sprawl that is now having a huge impact on traffic, water supply, and schools. And no positive impacts, I would argue.”

“People are willing to take a stand and get involved. Not just in Dublin but all over the place.”

Dan is committed to making sure the City doesn’t make the same mistake again. Today, Dublin is one of the fastest expanding cities in the Bay Area. For years, a sprawl developer has been trying to build in Doolan Canyon—a gorgeous slice of greenbelt just east of Dublin—and for years, passionate residents such as Dan and local groups such as Greenbelt Alliance, the Sierra Club, Save Mount Diablo, and the Tri-Valley Conservancy have been fighting it.

This past spring, Dan was a driving force behind the grassroots campaign for an urban limit line on the east side of Dublin to protect Doolan Canyon. An urban limit line defines where development can and cannot go. It is a policy that helps cities focus on growing within their already urbanized footprint—and is the best defense from sprawl. Dan volunteered to collect petition signatures on weekends and it became apparent that the sprawl developers had very little support.

The wildly successful campaign culminated with the Dublin City Council unanimously approving the urban limit line in front of a packed house at a city council meeting, which is a very rare sight.

“That was the most awesome feeling,” he says. “I think people are really looking at new growth very carefully and scrutinizing, ‘what is the real benefit for us?’ People are willing to take a stand and get involved, and I see that not just in Dublin, but all over the place. I think it’s a very good thing.”

This year, voters around the Bay Area have the opportunity to vote to protect greenbelt lands, including Doolan Canyon, at the ballot box. Sprawl developer-sponsored Measure T in Dublin would nullify the city’s recently-adopted urban limit line, so we urge you to vote no.

See all of our ballot recommendations for the upcoming November election here.

Photo: Amy Henson


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