The City Council, or three fifths of it, with Mayor Abram Wilson and Councilman Scott Perkins absent, met with the Planning Commission one more time to put together the final draft of the 2030 General Plan. The Planning Commission will vote on it at a special meeting June 29 and the Council July 13.
Tassajara Valley Resident Dorothy Burt wanted to know why the Council spent $3 million on land in Tassajara Valley for a training facility for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.
Councilman Dave Hudson explained that the money was owed to the SRVFPD, and that the district was responsible for purchasing the land not the city.
Burt felt that putting a five-story tower on the property, when there are height limits on other buildings in Tassajara Valley, didn’t make any sense. She wondered if this purchase was connected to the New Farm development plan to put a Fire Training Facility on five acres in Tassajara Valley. Hudson said it was an arrangement between the city and the fire district.
Matt Vander Sluis, representing the Greenbelt Alliance, said that voters in Brentwood voted 57 percent to 42 percent against Measure F, which would have moved Contra Costa County’s Urban Limit Line into the open space around the city. Vander Sluis felt that San Ramon voters will have the same reaction to moving the city’s Urban Growth Boundary into Tassajara Valley.
Jim Gibbon, representing San Ramon for Open Government, went even further, saying, “There will be vigorous opposition to approving the whole package.”
This did not deter the Council’s resolve to add a portion of Tassajara Valley to the city’s sphere of influence. Hudson said that while Brentwood voted against moving out the ULL, Antioch and Pittsburgh voters expanded the ULL around their cities.
Hudson said the real threat was not from development in Tassajara Valley, but from 13,000 homes planned over the County line in Dublin. That’s where the Camp Parks development of is underway, and there’s nothing San Ramon can do about it.
The rezoning of the El Nido property was taken out of the 2030 General Plan and will be taken over as a separate issue by the Planning Commission and the Parks and Community Services Commission.
Staff also recommended taking the modifications to Measure G out of the 2030 General Plan.
Councilman Jim Livingston was concerned about this.
“There is a legal problem that should be corrected, but staff says to leave it alone,” he said, referring to Measure G’s requirement of a four-fifths vote of the Planning Commission on amendments to the General Plan before they can be voted on by the City Council.
Hudson said, “We’ve been living with this since 1999, but things change. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I won’t keep the 2030 General Plan off the ballot.”
The Planning Commissioners voted to table any changes to Measure G indefinitely.
So now the Planning Commission will consider extending the policies of Ordinance 197, the Save Our Hills initiative, which expires this year, and expanding the Urban Grown Boundary on the west to include Norris Canyon Estates and on the East to Tassajara Road at their special meeting June 29.