Newsletter from Pleasanton Voters.com
January 10, 2021
As we enter 2021 and shut the door on the last days of 2020, PleasantonVoters.com congratulates and welcomes our new Pleasanton Mayor and two new City Councilmembers, all of whom were sworn in on December 15, 2020.
Mayor Karla Brown moved to the top seat and picked up the gavel, following two terms as a popular Councilmember. We have supported Brown for years as an advocate for slow and smart growth policies, safe drinking water, and the greater good for all Pleasanton residents.
New to the council but no stranger to Pleasanton residents is Councilmember Valerie Arkin who joins the city council following a 12-year tenure as a trustee on the Pleasanton Unified School Board. Arkin championed a new era of transparency and public input and promises to bring that spirit with her to the city council.
We also welcome new Councilmember Jack Balch who has invested more than a decade of civic work on the Parks and Recreation and Planning Commissions. Balch works at his family’s commercial development firm, Balch Enterprises Inc. We look forward to his valuable input on city budgets and financial matters.
First Council Meeting - a Sign of Positive Things to Come
The dynamic scrutiny of a new city council was apparent at their first meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, just minutes after the new mayor and councilmembers were seated. First on the agenda was a critical review of the Planning Commission’s recent approval of a 3-story expansion of an existing Public Storage facility at 3716 Stanley Boulevard.
The expansion included bright orange striping, tan stucco and a flat roof. The massive bright building would be located next to two new home communities, Irby Ranch and Sunflower Hill. Kudos to Councilmember Julie Testa, who requested a council “review” of the exterior design. Testa and others cited Pleasanton’s General Plan Policy 15, stating new commercial developments should “incorporate attractive architectural and site-design features” plus minimize “bright franchise colors.”
Upon Testa’s request, the developer took inspiration from the adjacent housing development and returned with a superior design. City staff agreed and endorsed the new improvements which passed with a vote of 3-1 (Brown, Arkin, Testa in favor; Narum opposed; Balch barred from voting as he voted on the original design when he was on the Planning Commission.)
We would like to thank Mayor Brown and Councilmembers Testa and Arkin for requiring this project to look more upscale, fit into the neighborhood, and follow the city's General Plan.