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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Pleasanton
Measure MM - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


12,849 votes yes (37.37%)

21,532 votes no (62.63%)

100% of precincts reporting (46/46).

Shall the ordinance proposing to amend the City of Pleasanton's General Plan to prohibit retail uses of 50,000 square feet or greater, larger scale retail and club retail, in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

“Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed measure are the opinions of the authors.”




The City of Pleasanton is planning to create a big box shopping center in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone along a portion of Johnson Drive near the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680, bringing more traffic and pollution to Pleasanton.


The City’s current plan including a new Costco will generate an additional 12,000-15,000 vehicle trips and heavy truck traffic on a daily basis,impacting traffic at critical intersections in the Johnson Drive area, Stoneridge Drive and I-680. Do we really need more traffic in Pleasanton?


The City’s own consultants characterize these traffic impacts as “significant and unavoidable.” And they describe the pollution associated with the increased traffic as “significant and unavoidable.”


In addition to traffic and pollution, the project is estimated to cost $16 million for infrastructure improvements and other expenses, with potentially up to $11 million being subsidized by taxpayers.


But there is an alternative. Measure MM will:


· Provide for the development of small scale retail, office and other commercial uses,

opening opportunities for local businesses while still creating diverse jobs and a steady revenue stream, instead of a big box store that will offer mostly low-paying jobs;


· Help ensure traffic and air quality impacts are less than if the City’s plan were adopted; and


· Encourage the City to devise a better plan, with a view towards creating a gateway

“lifestyle center” that provides interesting entertainment,shopping and dining options for local residents and the region and that preserves what makes Pleasanton a great place to live.



Vote YES on Measure MM to ensure we get the best plan for the new Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone. 


Paul Souther, Citizen

William S. Wheeler, Business Owner Citizens for Planned Growth

Craig L. Schwab, E.A. Citizen Business Owner, T.J. Kristi Corporation

Connie M. Cox. Citizen Realtor

Kirsten Edwards, Citizen

Arguments AGAINST

“Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed measure are the opinions of the authors.”


We urge you to vote NO on Measure MM.

Measure MM will unnecessarily tie the city’s hands as we work to produce the best plan for the new Johnson Drive Economic Zone. It puts a blanket prohibition on all stores, like Costco, larger than 50,000 square feet in the Johnson Drive area.

Nearly everyone in Pleasanton benefits from Costco – families, youth sports teams, churches, parent groups, small businesses. Costco will locate somewhere near us. We can have our own Costco on Johnson Drive – but only if we vote NO on Measure MM.

This kind of prohibition would have prevented popular stores like the new Safeway, Kohl’s, Target, and Dick’s Sporting Goods from coming in – every one is over 50,000 square feet.

The public process for Johnson Drive has a long way to go. The Economic Zone plan must go through at least five more public hearings before the Planning Commission and the City Council. Why tie their hands?

Part of the process involves significant improvements to the Economic Zone area, including road widening and better circulation. These improvements will be completed before Costco opens and Costco will pay its fair share.

Sales tax revenue plays a major role in helping the City pay for services to our community. As a community we have so many needs we’ve already identified – a new library, downtown improvements for parking and parks, and the completion of Bernal Community Park – and they’re long term community benefits that currently lack funding.

A Pleasanton Costco would result in $1-2 million dollars in new sales tax revenue every year to help pay for these improvements. Why would we want to send that money to a neighboring city?

Measure MM is the wrong idea at the wrong time. We strongly urge you to vote NO on Measure MM.



/s/ Kathy Narum, Vice Mayor, City of Pleasanton

Arne Olson, Councilmember, City of Pleasanton

Michaela Hertle, Library Commissioner

John Sensiba, Pleasanton Business Owner and Past Chairman, Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

Judy Wheeler, Downtown Small Business Owner and Member, Downtown Vitality Committee

Replies to Arguments FOR


Get the facts! All of the documents related to the planning of the Johnson Drive Economic Zone are on the City's website at


Voting NO on Measure MM will allow the proposed Economic Development Zone, including Costco, to move forward under our normal public process. The Zone's benefits:


  •      Quality redevelopment of the former Clorox site along transportation corridors
  •      Millions of dollars of revenue for the City
  •      Providing a closer and more convenient altemative to Pleasanton residents who shop at Costco


The alternative plan required by Measure MM would not allow Costco to be built, but would

still generate significant traffic. (Johnson Drive EDZ Supplemental Comparative Analysis,

p. ES-4).


Many improvements were identifled in the planning of the Economic Zone to reduce traffic

impacts, but, according to the report, the "funding of traffic improvements would likely be more

difficult" under the development proposed by Measure MM (p. ES-2).


If we vote NO on Measure MM. these improvements will be completed before Costco opens with Costco paying its fair share.


Funding for the improvements will be paid for by Costco, the property owner, and from future sales tax revenue generated from the new Costco. Costco has agreed that NO taxes that you

have paid will go to support their project.



The Johnson Drive EDZ will bring new jobs to Pleasanton. Costco alone  will provide more

than 200 great jobs with excellent benefits.


Please join Councilmembers, community leaders, small business owners, and Pleasanton residents and vote NO on Measure MM.



Jerry Pentin. Councilmember, City of Pleasanton

Vani Vadera. Parent Leader/School Volunteer

Matt DePretis, Chairman of the Board. Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

Olivia Sanwong, Member and Past Chair. Economic Vitality Committee

Bryan Bowers, Parks and Recreation Commissioner



Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Rebuttals to direct arguments in support or opposition of the proposed measure are the opinions of the authors."


--Less traffic: 2500-3600 fewer daily trips on weekdays and weekends. respectively

--Less pollution: better air quality

--Creates over 500 more jobs

--Sales tax, after debt service, will be comparable to Big Box Store for at least 30 years

--No raiding of City's reserve fund to finance traffic improvements

--No 30-year debt service payment to fund trafllc improvements

--No incentive payment to lure Big Box to Pleasanton

Strong opposition to including a Big Box Store in the Johnson Drive Economic Zone has grown from citizens concerned about the negative traffic and pollution impacts plus financial incentives and a traffic mitigation plan that could potentially involve as much as $11 miltion in public funds.

The latest study by the City released August 9 shows diversified retail-allowed by MM produces less traffic, less pollution and creates more jobs than the Big Box altemative.

Our ballot argument was written by ordinary citizens and business owners who care about our community. If you let the politicians decide, special interests will prevail.


/s William Wheeler Business Owner

/s Paul Southem Citizen

/s Craig L. Schwab Citizen, Business Owner

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation



The People of the City of Pleasanton hereby ordain and enact as follows:

Section 1. Title.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Citizens for Planned Growth in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone"

Section 2. Findings and Declarations.

The People of the City of Pleasanton (" City") find and declare as follows:

1. The City has proposed a new " economic development zone" (" EDZ") in the northwestern area of the City, located generally along Interstate 680 and at the southeastern corner of the Interstate 680/ Interstate 580 intersection. The City' s proposed EDZ is called the “Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone" ( or " Johnson Drive EDZ").

2. The area identified for the Johnson Drive EDZ in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, dated September 2015 and on file with the City, identifies twelve parcels as being located within the EDZ. Eleven of those parcels front Johnson Drive and are currently designated as " Business Park" which allows for high-quality, campus- like development, including administrative, professional office, and research uses. Retail commercial uses are also allowed but are limited to those primarily serving business park employees. Floor area ratios are not to exceed 0. 6. The remaining parcel, which fronts Commerce Circle, is designated as " General and Limited Industrial" and allows for limited industrial uses with a floor area ratio not exceeding 0. 5.

3. The City's Johnson Drive EDZ, however, will amend the City's General Plan to allow several new uses, including a large " club retail" store within the Johnson Drive EDZ.

4. Given the proliferation of retail shopping centers, club retail, and strip malls, it is critical that Pleasanton maintain the capacity for uses such as administrative, professional office, research and development and general and limited industrial, to ensure that businesses have the opportunity to locate in the City and the citizens of Pleasanton have diverse job opportunities close to home.

5. In comparison with the current Business Park and General and Limited Industrial uses, some of the new uses allowed by the Johnson Drive EDZ will generate significantly greater traffic and air quality impacts.

6. The new uses within the Johnson Drive EDZ would degrade traffic level of service at critical intersections within the Johnson Drive EDZ that cannot be mitigated to less- than- significant levels. The increased traffic will also result in vehicle queuing and spill-back on major thoroughfares near the Johnson Drive EDZ, including on Interstate 680 and on Stoneridge Drive, and will result in blocked access to driveways to existing businesses along Johnson Drive. 

7. The Johnson Drive EDZ traffic impacts and related air quality impacts will significantly reduce the suitability of the area for uses such as administrative, professional office, research, and general and limited industry.

Section 3. Purpose and Intent.

In enacting this Act, the people of the City do hereby declare it is their purpose and intent to:

1. Encourage the development of business and professional offices, small scale retail, highway and service commercial uses in the Johnson Drive EDZ by preserving the area for such uses and prohibiting large scale retail uses, which would cause traffic and environmental impacts that would detract from the attractiveness of the zone for business and professional office, small scale retail, highway and service commercial uses.

2. Ensure that citizens of Pleasanton have diverse job opportunities close to home, not just entry level retail jobs.

3. Encourage large- scale retail uses in locations within the City that meet the General Plan goal of achieving a coordinated, efficient and environmentally sensitive pattern of development within the Tri-Valley area.

Section 4. Pleasanton General Plan Amendment

A new Program 15. 6 shall be added to Policy 15 of Section 2. 0 ( Land Use Element) of the Pleasanton General Plan 2005- 2025 to read as follows:

Program 15. 6:

a) Encourage retail uses of less than 50, 000 square feet, highway and service commercial, business and professional offices in the Johnson Drive EDZ; and

b) Prohibit retail uses ( including club retail) of 50, 000 square feet or more in the Johnson Drive EDZ.

For purposes of Program 15. 6, the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report identifies the Johnson Drive EDZ as twelve parcels of land covering approximately 40 acres. The Johnson Drive EDZ is generally located in the southeast corner of the intersection of Interstate 680 and Interstate 580. Eleven of the parcels front Johnson Drive and one parcel fronts Commerce Circle. The precise location of the Johnson Drive EDZ is shown on Figure 3- 2 ( Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone-Project Location Map) and Figure 3- 3 ( Parcel Subdivision) attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein as part of this initiative.

Section 5. Exemptions for Certain Projects.

A. Section 4 of this initiative shall not apply to any development project or ongoing activity that has obtained, as of the effective date of this initiative, a vested right pursuant to state or local law.

B. This initiative shall not be interpreted to apply to any development, land, or use that, under state or federal law, is beyond the power of the local voters to affect by the initiative power reserved to the people via the California Constitution.

C. Nothing in this initiative shall be construed or applied to prevent the City from complying with its housing obligations under state law. The City Council may, without voter ratification, approve a change to the amendments of the General Plan set forth in this initiative for the sole purpose of complying with the City' s housing obligations if it (I) makes a finding that such change is necessary to comply with the City' s housing obligation and there is no suitable land available elsewhere in the City that may be used to satisfy the obligation; and ( 2) makes such a change or approves a project only to the extent necessary to comply with the applicable state law housing obligation.

Section 6. Implementation.

A. The date the notice of intent to circulate this initiative measure was submitted to the City' s elections official is referenced herein as the " submittal date." The City General Plan and Zoning Ordinance in effect on the submittal date and the General Plan as amended by this initiative comprise an integrated, internally consistent, and compatible statement of policies for the City. In order to ensure that nothing in this initiative measure would prevent the City General Plan from being an integrated, internally consistent, and compatible statement of the policies of the City, as required by state law, and to ensure that the actions of the voters in enacting this initiative are given effect, any amendment to the General Plan that is adopted between the submittal date and the date that the General Plan is amended by this initiative measure shall, to the extent that such interim-enacted provision is inconsistent with the General Plan provisions of this initiative, be amended as soon as possible and in the manner and time required by state law to ensure consistency between the provisions adopted by this initiative and other elements of the General Plan.

B. The City Council is hereby authorized and directed to amend the City General Plan, all specific plans, the City Zoning Ordinance, the Zoning Map, and any other ordinances and policies if necessary, to implement this initiative and to the extent any of the foregoing are affected by this initiative as soon as possible and in the manner and time required by any applicable state law, to ensure consistency between the policies adopted in this initiative and other elements of the foregoing laws and policies.

 Section 7. Liberal Construction.

The provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes. Nothing herein shall be construed to make illegal any lawful use being made of any land in compliance with all required permits in force before the effective date of this Act.

This Act is intended to be compatible with the City' s anticipated establishment of the Johnson Drive EDZ, and with its re-designation in the General Plan of the Johnson Drive EDZ from Business Park and General and Limited Industrial to Retail/ Highway/Service Commercial/Business and Professional Offices, with the exception of the limitation on large- scale retail uses set forth in subdivision (b) of Program 15. 6, and shall be construed consistent with this intent.

Section 8. Effective Date.

If the City Council approves this measure, or if a majority of the voters pass this Act, it shall become a valid enactment

Section 9. Conflicting Law.

If this initiative measure and another measure on the same subject matter appear on the same ballot, and a majority of the voters vote in favor of both measures but this measure receives more votes than the other measure, this measure alone shall become valid, binding, and adopted in its entirety, and the other measure shall be null and void in its entirety. If a majority of the voters vote in favor of both measures but this measure receives less votes than the other measure, only those provisions of the other measure that are in direct and irreconcilable conflict with the provisions of this measure shall control, and all other provisions of this measure shall become valid, binding, and adopted. The voters expressly declare this to be their intent, regardless of any contrary language in any other ballot measure.

 Section 10. Amendment.

This Act may be amended only by a vote of the People at a municipal election.

Section 11. Judicial Enforcement.

Any aggrieved person or City registered voter shall have the right to maintain an action for equitable relief to restrain any violation of this Act, or to enforce the duties imposed on the City by this Act.

Section 12. Severability.


This Act shall be interpreted and applied so as to be consistent with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. If any provision of this Act or part thereof, or any application thereof, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining sections and applications shall not be affected but shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end, the provisions of this Act are severable.


(For diagrams for this measure, please go to

More information

News (5)

Emails Reveal Effort to Promote Costco, Undermine MM — October 27, 2016 The Independent
Measure MM donations highest — October 6, 2016 The Independent
Arguments for and against Measure MM initiative — September 6, 2016 Pleasanton Weekly
Pleasanton: Costco foes dismiss report — August 23, 2016 Tri Valley Times
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