Here is the link to Vice Mayor, Karla Brown's interview on KPIX about the Downtown Specific Plan and the August 20 City Council Meeting


EAST BAY TIMES REPORT, Local News, August 19, 2019 by Angela Ruggiero

Sample of 3 new houses currently under construction in the downtown area:

  • 377 Peters Avenue, Pleasanton
  • 110% Floor to Area Ratio
  • 34ft. 8 inches high

The Pleasanton City Council will consider the final Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update at its Tuesday, August 20 meeting. The meeting gets underway at 7:00 p.m. at the City Council chambers located at 200 Old Bernal Avenue.

We appreciate the large numbers of supporters and others that have weighed-in during the DSP process.  Through letters, emails and appearances at meetings since the taskforce began in January 2017, you have made a significant difference. 

The Planning Commission met in June 2019 to consider the task force recommendations, review your input and make their recommendations to the City Council.  We think the Commission did a good job and provided a balanced plan that will both preserve the charm of downtown Pleasanton and sustain its economic viability going forward.

We like most of the plan, but we would like to tighten up the specification on 3 items as follows:

  • We support a 2-story height limit for ALL new residential buildings in the entire Downtown Specific Area.  We do not like loopholes that can come with a customized Planned Unit Development (PUD).  We want a firm two story residential maximum-period.

  • We prefer a 2-story limit on downtown commercial and mixed-use (residential with commercial) buildings, but we would support a 3-story height maximum on a very limited case-by-case basis.  One example of a quality 3-story building is the Rose Hotel. In addition, if the voters approve the $200 million price tag with Bernal Park modifications, for a new Civic Center in the Bernal Park, then any new construction on the current Civic Center site should also be limited to 2 stories with 3 stories on a very limited case-by-case basis.

  • We agree with the PDA, the Chamber of Commerce and most of our residents about the need for increased downtown parking.  Any new parking should be for our downtown businesses and clientele. New parking should not be used to expand residential housing downtown!  Any new housing units must require on-site parking for residents and their guests.

 Here is the link to Item #22 of the City Staff report for more details and background:

Send your comments about the report to the Pleasanton City Council no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 19, 2019. The Council email address is: 



​Residents Input on Building Heights and Zoning Contributed to a Solid Plan

At the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7pm at 200 Old Bernal Avenue, expect a continued discussion on key policies for the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP).  

Pleasanton residents support the preservation of our historic and friendly small town. You said that you want to keep the scale of 2-story buildings on Main Street. You don’t want 3-story townhouses in or beside our Downtown Commercially-zoned areas like the newly constructed residential units in the downtown commercial core.  We agree and we will never support city approval of residential units where active retail and restaurants should be!

If the Council is left unchecked, without the benefit of your input, their decisions could lead to the dramatic supersizing of downtown. This is not the time to be silent.

On Agenda item #14 (weblink below), the Council will continue to discuss:

1)     Active Ground Floor Overlay: Businesses on Main Street and into the current Civic Center site would be encouraged to have active first floor uses such as retail and restaurants. This is a positive strategy that should help increase Main Street vibrancy. We encourage the Council to ensure there is a rigorous process for any exceptions to the new rules.

2)     Height and Density standards are expected to be discussed again. At the April 16 meeting, any new commercial buildings in the current civic center site could be constructed up to a staggering 46-feet with a 3-story limit! This is pending voter approval to fund a new $200 million civic center and move it to the Bernal Park property, which was secured as city parkland by 82% of Pleasanton voters in 2006.

3)     Two downtown properties request a preferential residential “overlay” zoning added to their property. This special treatment not available to other downtown property owners would ease the transition to building new residential units, plus it would cut developer costs. It could also set a dangerous precedent! Popular Barone’s restaurant with its huge parking lot, and the Shell gas station on First Street want to be first in line to gain a residential “overlay” zone. According to the city report (link below) staff estimates this could add 28 new houses on the Barone’s site PLUS another 10 houses at the gas station. We want a vibrant downtown, with more commercial retail and restaurants, not housing! 

For more information, here is the May 7, 2019 Council Agenda item #14:

Pleasanton’s vibrant and unique downtown is a key feature of our community, and its value is priceless. Can you make the time to write a brief message to your City Council or forward this email to a friend? The Council email address is:  

Task Force recommends 4-story buildings and hundreds of new housing units in the core of our historic downtown. We at say NO.

Major growth changes are being proposed for Pleasanton’s historic downtown. For 125 years Main Street has been a source of pride as it draws tourism, hosts holiday parades and offers shopping and dining options, which are important tax resources. We love our restored Veterans Hall, great restaurants, Concerts in the Park and the Museum on Main. 

Two years ago, a task force was formed with the goal of improving the “vitality of the downtown while preserving the traditions of its small-town character and scale.” Sadly, the task force results are instead recommending over-sized buildings, major housing developments and increased building density.

Pleasanton Voters believes the changes downtown are massive and will negatively affect the scale and desirability of our community. 

The task force suggests three major changes to allow greater height and density for any new construction. The next step is a review by the Planning Commission and City Council. We need your emails, letters and speakers to block these changes as follows:

Raising the building heights downtown up to 46 ft. high (4 stories). The limit is 3 stories now, which seems out of scale. For example, three houses on Peters Ave. behind the Salt Craft restaurant are 3-stories and about 35 feet in height. Today no 4-story buildings are allowed in the downtown. Where will everyone park? We vote NO to all 4-story buildings downtown.

Increasing the density of the buildings on each lot to 300% Floor to Area Ratio (FAR). This is equal a to 3-story building occupying 100% of the ground space. There will be no room for a tree, a patio or outside dining. A 300% FAR does not exist now and will create too much building density in the downtown area. We value sidewalk café dining, trees, coffee plazas and space around our buildings. We vote NO.

The new plan will add 370 new housing units (1000 new people) in our downtown. More people living in the downtown core will increase demand for parking and will not improve our town. Instead we prefer more restaurants, a theater and more retail shopping. We vote NO to hundreds of new stacked-housing units in the downtown core area. 

Two years ago the City sponsored a survey of Pleasanton residents. You said you want:

  • To maintain the small town charm of the district
  • No high-rise residential, limit heights to two stories
  • No more housing, apartments or condos in the downtown core
  • More restaurants
  • Add a theater
  • More places open later
  • To slow down traffic on Main Street
  • No new banks, we have too many
  • .....and more!

 We agree! Pleasanton doesn't need a super-sized downtown. Danville is an example of a local, successful and vibrant downtown. Danville's zoning laws block ALL residential housing in their "historic core" downtown area because its core focus is to attract successful restaurants and retail businesses.

As a result, Danville's landowners know they can't sell-out to high-density housing to increase land profits. The management of the Town of Danville carefully controls the scale of their downtown, limiting commercial buildings to 35 feet in height and 80% FAR, a dramatic difference from Pleasanton's proposed supersized 46 feet and 300% FAR!

Share your thoughts on the proposed Pleasanton Downtown Specific Plan by writing an email, a letter to the newspaper or speak at a City Council meeting or a Task Force meeting. Here are the details:

City Council email:
OR Attend the City Council meeting on April 16 at 7PM located at 200 Old Bernal Ave.

DSP Task Force and Planning Commission email:
OR Attend the Downtown Specific Meeting on April 23 at 6:30PM

located at 200 Old Bernal Ave.

Newspaper Letter to the Editor:

YOU Made a Difference….But We’re Not Finished Yet!

We extend our many thanks to all of the supporters who sent emails and letters in opposition to the Downtown Specific Plan Task Force (DSPTF) recommendations. We were told that the Council was inundated with emails encouraging them to maintain the small-town charm of our historic downtown. Your letters asked for a BAN on supersizing downtown with four-story buildings plus medium density housing. Most of the Council listened! Your overwhelming input showed the City Council that yes, we ARE passionate about the future of our downtown!

 Please note that the next DSPTF meeting originally scheduled for April 23 has been deferred until a tentative date of Tuesday, May 28. Watch your emails for a confirmation on the actual date, time, and location. 

We also thank the City Council for prohibiting newly constructed housing to be tucked-in behind shallow business sites on Main Street, which would eliminate our scarce parking spaces.

Councilmembers Karla Brown and Julie Testa made a motion to limit all new construction in the civic center area to two stories and were disappointed that the motion did not gain the third vote needed for passage.

Coming soon will be a decision whether to allow two downtown property owners to use a residential “overlay” to up-zone their land from only commercial uses, to residential and/or commercial uses. This change offers the potential of adding large amounts of housing in key retail/restaurant locations and sets an important precedent for downtown. The two sites requesting preferential treatment are the Shell station on First Street and Barone’s Restaurant on St. John Street.

This KEY change will skirt some of the environmental studies normally completed and paid by landowners for housing developments. The Council will take a second look at the impacts, then vote on this issue at their May 7 meeting. What do you think?

Remember, your input is the only thing that may change a Councilmember’s vote to preserve and improve the vitality of downtown Pleasanton. Please stay in touch with your elected officials.

More to come……..

Task Force Votes to 'Supersize' Downtown Pleasanton


​​​News from Pleasanton Voters

KPIX Interview August 18, 2019


Email May 5, 2019



Email August 18, 2019

About Pleasanton Voters: is a non-partisan group of Pleasanton residents with the goal of educating Pleasanton voters about new and massive development projects that may negatively affect our City.  We have defined goals of preserving ridgelines and open space, protecting our voter approved Urban Growth Boundary, and retaining the best qualities of our City for future generations.  

Pleasanton Voters has well over 7,000 residents on our growing email list.  Hundreds of you have shown up at City meetings, written letters, shared information with your neighbors, and helped support this grass roots organization.

CAN WE ADD YOUR NAME to our website as a "Supporter of Pleasanton Voters"? If so, simply reply to CONTACT/JOIN US above with your approval. Additionally, please consider sharing the costs of Pleasanton Voters.  Collectively we have demonstrated our success in educating and engaging residents - we have helped stop the largest residential development in Pleasanton's history.  But we need your help.  Click DONATE to make a donation to Pleasanton Voters.

Kelly Cousins, President
Sandy Yamaoda, Secretary

Al Exner, Treasurer
Committee # 1377399


Email April 11, 2019

Next Downtown Specific Plan Task Force on Tuesday, May 28...

Show Up, Write in, Make Your Voice Heard!

The Downtown Specific Plan Task Force meets again on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 to discuss its recommendations for the future of downtown Pleasanton. You care whether we have multi-story buildings and high-density housing downtown, where parking is already scarce. Please plan to attend the meeting at the City Council Chambers, 200 Old Bernal Avenue, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Here is the agenda link for your review:

Send your comments and concerns to your elected officials at and the DSPTF at
Remember, your input is the only thing that may change a Councilmember’s vote to forever change or preserve downtown Pleasanton. Please stay in touch with your elected officials and give us your feedback.



Email May 26, 2019

     Working to:

  • Protect our Urban Growth Boundary
  • Preserve Ridgelines and Open spaces
  • Retain the best qualities of ourcity for future generations.  

Email April 21, 2019