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Dublin Residents & Community Leaders Turn In “Dublin Open Space Initiative” Petitions in Record Time

Authors and supporters of the Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014 stand with signs supporting the initiative and the petitions to be submitted to the City.
Authors and supporters of the Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014 stand with signs supporting the initiative and the petitions to be submitted to the City.

Dublin, CA – Supporters of the “Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014” will turn petitions in to the Dublin City Clerk’s office Wednesday April 16, after just 8 weeks of signature collecting.

“We’re celebrating.  We’re turning in more than 3650 signatures,” said Morgan King, one of the authors of the community-group sponsored “Dublin Open Space Initiative. “That’s 160% of the 2281 valid signatures we need and more than enough to qualify.”

“Even though legally we had 26 weeks to qualify our Open Space initiative,” said Dave Bewley, another sponsor, “our goal was 3500 signatures in 10 weeks.  Instead it took just 8 weeks.  Dublin residents are fed up with development and traffic and they want to see more open space protection.”

Long-time Dublin, CA residents King and Bewley worked with community groups to draft the initiative to protect open space on both the west and east sides of Dublin.  Save Mount Diablo, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Vineyards, Tri-Valley Conservancy, Greenbelt Alliance, the Alameda Creek Alliance, and the California Native Plant Society are all involved in the qualification effort.

The initiative is in response to development proposals around town, especially Pacific Union’s proposal for 2,000 residential units in rural Doolan Canyon, even though thousands of houses have been approved in East Dublin, but not yet built.

Meanwhile, developers—almost certainly Pacific Union--have started circulating a competing measure deceptively titled “Let Dublin Decide” which would do just the opposite—it would force the city to expand east, allowing Pacific Union’s 2000-unit development project.  It would take urban growth boundary decisions out of the hands of voters, leaving control in the hands of the city council.

“Our citizen sponsored signature drive is over,” said King, “Don’t believe the paid signature gatherers out there—they’re being paid by the developers $5.50 to $7.50 per signature.  They’re collecting for 5 different initiatives around the state.  They don’t know anything about Dublin.”

“Ask them if they’re paid.  If the developers measure had any support they’d be using volunteers like we did,” said Dick Schneider, a volunteer with the Sierra Club Bay Chapter.  “They’re even claiming that they’re us, that we had a problem with our petitions—we didn’t—and that they’re circulating a new version.  They’re flat out lying.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know they don’t care about Dublin any more than Pacific Union does.”

“The developer measure would allow thousands of houses of new development.” said Seth Adams, Land Conservation Director for Save Mount Diablo, “Trying to look green is an old developer trick.  Community groups like ours work with local residents on an environmental measure, and developers come in and try to pretend they’re us.  Their measure is bought and paid for by developers.  Our measure is sponsored by Morgan King, Dave Bewley, Save Mount Diablo, the Bay Chapter Sierra Club, Friends of the Vineyards, Tri-Valley Conservancy, Greenbelt Alliance, the California Native Plant Society, and the Alameda Creek Alliance.”

“Our measure will give Dublin voters the final say on any further expansion of Dublin into the westside hills or east into Doolan Canyon,” said Bewley. “It will reduce traffic, limit development, and protect Dublin’s beautiful scenic views.  Without our initiative, more traffic will snarl Highway 580 and Dublin Boulevard.  Our measure will allow Doolan and Collier Canyons to continue as agricultural lands and open space.”

“Our beautiful hills are at stake,” said Bewley, “and Doolan Canyon will be destroyed if the developers can trick the public.  They’ll further reduce the quality of life for all of us in the Tri-Valley area, destroy more beautiful hills, and burden the City with more fire and polices costs.”

The “Dublin Open Space Initiative” would create an Urban Limit Line on the eastern boundary of the city, requiring a vote of the people of Dublin before development of Doolan and Collier Canyons could occur. Dublin had previously pledged with Livermore to leave this area alone as an open space buffer between the two cities.

Alameda County, Livermore and Pleasanton all have urban limit lines, as do all of the cities in Contra Costa County.  Bewley and King were behind Dublin’s Measure M which established an urban limit line on Dublin’s westside.  That measure will sunset in a few years.  The new initiative would bring East Dublin in line with the county and neighboring cities, and remove the sunset provision of Measure M, helping to protect open space and agricultural lands on both the east and west sides of Dublin.
Morgan King Sr. April 18, 2014 at 02:15 AM
There is much to be said about the respective competing initiatives, Let Dublin Decide, and Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014. But what I want to discuss here is the notion that if Dublin doesn't grab Doolan Canyon and develop it, Livermore will, and Livermore has already taken the first steps to annex the area into the Livermore city boundary. The fact that Livermore has applied to LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) to annex the property is being used as a scare tactic by the promoters' of the "Let Dublin Decide" initiative. However, a look at the actual public records shows that Livermore's motive in annexing the land is to preserve it as open space and agricultural land, not development. In contrast, Dublin has approached LAFCO to annex the area and build residences on it. The minutes of the 09/12/2011 Livermore City Council meeting at which the application to LAFCO to bring the property within Livermore's ambit was approved, make it clear the purpose is preservation of open space. The Livermore staff report of the same date, to the Council urged the Council to take steps to preserve the area. Livermore's actual application for annexation, filed with LAFCO on 09/14/2011, states as its purpose the preservation of Doolan Canyon and associated parcels, as open space. The LAFCO staff report dated 11/03/11 to the LAFCO board on the issue makes it clear that the purpose behind Livermore's application is to preserve it as open space. Several years ago the Livermore City Council adopted an initiative (almost identical to the current Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014, which is promoted by Dublin residents with no monetary gain expected - to preserve the area as open space. The Livermore initiative, which is now law that can only be changed by a vote of Livermore's electorate, provides that any attempt by Livermore to annex the land for anything other than open space / agriculture, must be approved by Livermore voters. Accordingly, the scare tactic that Livermore will grab the land to annex it for development is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. The fact is, the real threat to Doolan Canyon is from Dublin, not Livermore; Dublin does not yet have a voter-control mechanism. Hence, three votes on the City Council control the fate of Doolan Canyon. By contrast, the Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014 does exactly that. Our initiative is the only way that Dublin voters have control to decide what happens to the entire area (notice that the developers' initiative is called the "Let Dublin Decide" measure, and does not contain the word "voters."). That initiative leaves control of the 40% area in the hands of the Dublin City Council, not Dublin's voters. - Morgan King, a co-author of the Dublin Open Space Initiative of 2014 (with Dave Bewley). For more information go to LetDublinVotersDecide.com.
Punxnotdead April 21, 2014 at 07:08 PM
Follow the money. One initiative supported by local volunteers and the other is using paid signature gatherers. Very telling. Thx for the article.

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