The City of Pleasanton City Council and the Planning Commission are currently working to create the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ), and are considering the addition of a big box store (likely Costco) and gas station plus hotels, office space and other retail to maximize the use and revenue from that area.
Redevelopment of this area is badly needed. But the choices being made about exactly what to put there are not in line with what most people want. The plan is to include Costco, and the Planning Commission is advancing this idea as the most economically beneficial scenario for the new economic zone.
According to the Economic Impact Report prepared for the JDEDZ, “The proposed EDZ would result in significant and unavoidable impacts with respect to air quality and transportation and traffic.” They estimate that with a big box store there, daily trips per day would jump to over 12,000 vehicles on weekdays and 18,000 on weekends.
In addition, the resulting pollution from these many vehicles on a short strip of highway is also cited in the EIR as being significant and unavoidable.
Measure MM, on the ballot in Pleasanton on November 8, would prevent Costco or any big box retailer from locating on Johnson Drive, by limiting size of retailers to 50,000 square feet or less. In a staff study conducted by the City Council on August 9, 2016, it was shown that by encouraging more diversified retail, MM would result in less traffic and pollution, and more jobs.
Subsequent discussions have revealed that the city planners are willing to give what amounts to almost a $20 million subsidy to Costco for the privilege of having them in Pleasanton. They are offering tax relief and discussing a loan from Costco to cover the infrastructure costs to build the new store, putting the city into debt for the next 25-30 years.
In the surveys we have conducted, over 65% of people express dismay that a Costco would be located so near Stoneridge Mall and in an area already experiencing significant traffic problems. Many, including Costco members, point to the stores nearby in Livermore and Danville, and ask “why do we need another one?” and object to the city’s subsidy for a $16 billion corporation, one of the largest retailers in the world.
Our solution: LET THE PEOPLE OF PLEASANTON DECIDE! We have created Measure MM to allow the people to vote on November 8 as to whether they want a big box retailer to be part of the JDEDZ. The initiative, if approved, would alter the Pleasanton General Plan to specifically limit the size of any retail business in this particular economic zone to 50,000 square feet. It would not apply to any other area of Pleasanton or specifically ban any particular retail company.
To see the official Ballot Title and Description of the Initiative, click here.
We need your help to keep Pleasanton a beautiful and vibrant city where families and local businesses can thrive and enjoy their community. Vote YES on MM!
We have a few yard signs left–so if you want to let your neighbors know where you stand, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get one delivered to you right away!