Pleasanton’s housing cap not only broke the law, it was also a bad deal for city residents. With luck, as John King notes (“Ruling could shake up land use,” March 17), this ruling could reshape the landscape of our cities and towns — for the better.
Homes bring customers to keep local businesses bustling and attract additional shopping options to serve current residents. Similarly, as more people live near a train station or bus stop, demand for service rises, leading to more frequent and convenient transit for current and new residents alike.
We can all point to vacant lots and run-down strip malls that are both eyesores and missed economic opportunities; in San Mateo, there’s an aging Kmart store surrounded by a huge, empty parking lot right next to a Caltrain station. Those are exactly the right types of places to encourage new growth to revitalize the neighborhood; Pleasanton can take advantage of similar sites near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
Greenbelt Alliance’s Grow Smart Bay Area research found that Pleasanton has plenty of under-used land within city limits to accommodate the new homes it needs. By putting a cap on housing, the city of Pleasanton ended up capping its own opportunities.
Policy director, Greenbelt Alliance San Francisco