PLEASANTON, Calif. — The Pleasanton City Council voted on Tuesday to conduct additional environmental review on the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ).
The JDEDZ began in April 2014 as a way to encourage investment in roughly 40 acres of underutilized and vacant land fronting I-680 along Johnson Drive at Stoneridge Drive. A citizens’ initiative to prohibit retail uses of 50,000 square feet or greater (thereby eliminating large retailers like Costco) qualified for the November 2016 ballot but was defeated (approximately 63 percent of voters rejected the measure). The City Council subsequently approved the JDEDZ in November 2017. In December 2017, a group of citizens filed a lawsuit challenging the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document that was certified for the project. Two allegations were made—that insufficient information was provided in the supplemental environmental impact report regarding air quality effects of the JDEDZ on the Stoneridge Apartment Complex, located across I-680 at 6259 Stoneridge Shopping Center; and that more time was needed for public consideration of the economic impact analysis.
At last night’s meeting, the Council voted unanimously on consent, with Mayor Jerry Thorne recusing himself from the specific item, to rescind the current JDEDZ approvals in favor of additional review to ameliorate any concerns associated with the project and to avoid further delays and costly litigation. When this additional environmental review regarding the Stoneridge Apartment Complex, already underway, is concluded, this new air quality analysis, as well as the economic impact analysis, will be recirculated for public comment. After this, the Planning Commission and City Council may once again consider reapproving the JDEDZ project, likely in early 2019.
Environmental reviews associated with projects in California is often challenged. In 2009, Pleasanton faced a similar lawsuit challenging the environmental review associated with Staples Ranch development. In that case, the City reconsidered and reapproved the project after completing additional environmental review. For more information, contact Community Development Director Gerry Beaudin at 925-931-5614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.