Monday, October 23, 2006

Golf Course Neighborhood Update

Can You Believe It?

On October 10, 2006 the City Council Voted and Approved the Golf Course (GC) Zone for Canyon Lakes and San Ramon Golf Courses. Bridges, the other San Ramon golf course, still remains as a Parks (P) zone and is inconsistent with the other two golf courses.

This San Ramon City Council story is more like a saga then a short story. The City Council could have taken care of this issue nearly a year ago and saved the San Ramon Taxpayers money, not to mention the wasted time they incurred on themselves and the San Ramon Citizens.

On July 25, 2006 after seven long months and many meetings with hundreds of people standing up before the Planning Commission and, urging the City Council repeatedly not to change the zoning of the golf courses, and, to KEEP the golf courses (Canyon Lakes & San Ramon Golf Club) zoned in "Parks" (where it has always been) and, NOT to change them to Commercial Recreation (a new land use developed by the City Council/Planning Department which is Commercial Development with many unrelated uses to a golf course), the Council completely ignored the wishes of the people and VOTED AND APPROVED THE NEW ZONE CALLED "COMMERCIAL RECREATION (CR)."

A group of citizens filed an Initiative with the City of San Ramon soon thereafter, and, they need 4,000 signatures to put it on the Ballot for November 07, in order to let the citizens of San Ramon decide the future of the 250 acres of golf course open space, not the City Council.

In August, 2006, Mayor, Abram Wilson announced on Channel 30 TV the City Council has changed their minds and, now realize the CR zone was not the best for the City, and will now begin the process to Re-Zone the two golf courses from CR to a Golf Course Zone. It will take another three meetings with the Planning Commission and, another three meetings with the City Council to vote and approve it. Why Mr. Mayor and Council did you waste the Citizens time by refusing to listen to us and, then to do what we asked for after you rezoned to CR and, to use City funds of over $20,000.00 to fix your error?

The Bridges Golf Course (the newest golf course on Bollinger Canyon Road) was annexed to the City of San Ramon in 2001 and, the City chose to leave it zoned under, "Parks." That way it cannot be touched by developers.

On October 10, 2006 after three more months of meetings, the City Council Voted and Approved the Golf Course (GC) Zone for Canyon Lakes and San Ramon Golf Courses. Bridges still remains as Parks (P) zone and is inconsistent with the other two golf courses.

The Council created a window of opportunity for the owners of the golf courses when they rezoned the 250 acres of Open Space from Parks (P) to Commercial Recreation (CR) on 7-25-06 that continued through 10-10-06. The Council was warned by Citizens multiple times that this rezoning would create legal entitlements for the owners of the golf courses if they choose to sell or develop the golf course property.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

San Ramon Golf Course Initiative Measure

The Golf Course Initiative was written and prepared by the people of San Ramon to go before the voters in the November 07 Election to give the people the choice to protect these 250 acres from future development.

The "Save Our Golf Courses as Parks/Open Spaces Initiative" is to take the control from the City and, give it back to the people! If the people of San Ramon vote to protect the two golf courses from future development, and keep them zoned as Parks, then the only way the City can change that in the future, is with another vote by the people. This is the most permanent way to protect this land.

Actual Wording Of The Golf Course Initiative Follows:


The City Attorney of the City of San Ramon, California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:


This initiative amends Section 4.4 of the City of San Ramon General Plan by deleting golf courses from the "commercial recreation" land use classification and by adding all golf courses to the "parks" classification. Additionally, the initiative adds language to the parks classification stating (a) that any future rezoning of golf courses shall be approved only by majority vote at a Citywide general election and (b) that golf courses would be excluded from the City's acres/population parkland quotas.

3 Petition for Submission to Voters of Proposed Amendment to the General Plan of the City of San Ramon

To the City Council of the City of San Ramon,
We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters residing in the City of San Ramon, hereby propose an amendment to the San Ramon General Plan relating to zoning San Ramon's golf courses and petition you to submit the same to the voters of San Ramon for their adoption or rejection at the earliest possible regular general election. The proposed General Plan Amendment, Title, and Text of the measure read as follows:
SECTION 1. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as: Save Our Golf Courses as Open Spaces Initiative.
SECTION 2. Findings and Declarations
The people of the City of San Ramon find and declare as follows:
(a) Many golf courses are being lost to "infilling" in suburban areas. This occurs in cities like San Ramon where there are Urban Growth Boundaries which don't allow cities to develop outwardly.
(b) San Ramon's golf courses have been zoned Park since their inceptions. Recently, the zoning designation was duly changed by the City Council to Commercial Recreation (CR). CR, as defined in the City's Zoning Ordinance, is a very broad designation which includes, amongst many other potential uses, cogeneration facility, transitional housing, and scrap and dismantling yard.
(c) There is little open space left in San Ramon. Unless our golf courses remain zoned Park, most assuredly they will be developed to their legal "highest and best use". Profits would be too great to expect otherwise. These open spaces would be lost forever.
(d) Therefore, we the people of San Ramon to preserve our open spaces, to maintain the character of our neighborhoods and quality of our lives, to avoid overcrowding of our schools, traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, wish to have our golf courses remain zoned Park.
SECTION 3. Purpose and Intent
In enacting this measure, it is the intent of the people of San Ramon to put strict limits on uses of the golf courses and limit the ability of City government to change their uses. The people's underlying purpose is to maintain golf courses as open spaces with only two permitted uses: parks and/or golf courses. To this end, the citizens want rezoning of golf courses to be reserved for themselves by requiring approval by majority vote in a Citywide general election.
  • Commercial Recreation. Golf courses, s Sports and fitness clubs, horse stables, and amusement parks at intensities of up to 0.35 FAR.

  • Parks. Public and private recreation sites and facilities at intensities of up to 0.10 FAR, including all golf courses. Future rezoning of golf courses shall be approved only by majority vote in a Citywide general election. Golf courses will be excluded from the City's acres/population parkland quotas.

4 Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition: Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear hearon of their intention to circulate a petition within the City of San Ramon, California for the purpose of qualifying a measure to amend the City's General Plan relating to zoning of the City's golf courses. A statement of the reasons for the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:
(Include Section 3 here).

To help expedite the City's tasks, the petitioners propose that the ballot title and summary state: SAVE OUR GOLF COURSES AS OPEN SPACES. INITIATIVE GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT. Amends San Ramon's General Plan to return San Ramon's golf courses to their original zoning of Park. Any future golf course rezoning would be subject to majority approval of the people of San Ramon in a Citywide general election. Golf course acreage would not count toward the City's parkland quotas.

The undersigned, all registered voters in San Ramon, have filed this Notice of Intent with the San Ramon City Clerk on June 14, 2006 specifically to obtain the City Attorney's ballot title and summary so that they can begin gathering necessary signatures to qualify the measure for the earliest possible regular general election. Signed by Ray M. Howard Jr., Thomas Perillo, and Janis Desmarais

Permission to publish this golf course initiative on San Ramon Talk was granted by:

Save Our Golf Courses as Open Spaces Campaign

A Key Feature of The People's Initiative

Once the "Save Our Golf Courses As Open Spaces" goes to the people for a vote to protect these two golf courses as Parks or Open Spaces, then, the City officials will not be able to change it again in the future, without another vote of the people. With the General Plan Amendment "GPA" for golf course zone, the City could change it again anytime in the future with another GPA (without the vote of the people).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mayor Wants To Change The Golf Courses Again

San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, Now Agrees That Commercial Recreation Zoning Was Not The Best Zoning For The Golf Courses

Video clip courtesy of TV30 "Mayors Report"

San Ramon Mayor now agrees that CR, Commercial Recreation zoning allows too many loop holes for developers to take advantage of, "and anything can go on Commercial Recreation." This, after City Council said that Commercial Recreation was the way to go with the golf course rezoning. City Council passed the golf courses unanimously from Parks to Commercial Recreation the month before.

Hundreds of people spoke out against Commercial Recreation rezoning of the golf courses over the past six months. The Mayor and City Council said they listen to the people, though they pushed through the rezoning unanimously to CR.

Good work Mr. Mayor. What took so long for it to sink in? Mr. Mayor, are you going to change your mind again next month? Are the rest of the City Council members agreeing with you on this proposed change? Can we really believe you, that you and the rest of the City Council will follow through with this proposed change to Golf Course zoning, especially after you said, "those people didn't know what they were talking about."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Golf Course Initiative Filed With City

San Ramon, CA
Residents File to Keep Golf Courses Open Spaces

San Ramon, CA, residents have filed an initiative with the City of San Ramon to keep their golf courses zoned as open spaces and save them from redevelopment. The citizens feel they are victims of unfair "bait and switch" rezoning tactics.

San Ramon, CA (PRWEB) July 29, 2006 -- San Ramon residents filed an initiative with the City of San Ramon to save their two public golf courses as open spaces. The older course, San Ramon Golf Course, had been zoned Park for 44 years before being rezoned on Tuesday to Commercial Recreation.

Golf course neighbors became concerned when they discovered that city officials had redefined the CR zone. The residents have begun calling it the "bait and switch" zone because it has no semblance to the CR zone found in San Ramon's voter-approved General Plan 2020 where it reads, "Golf courses, sports and fitness clubs, horse stables and amusement parks." In the new ordinance, the "switched" CR zone allows, amongst many other "permitable" uses, a cogeneration power plant, halfway houses for felons, and scrap and dismantling yards. Golf course neighbors say they have been targeted by the city as a "dumping ground" for whatever more recently developed areas don't want in their neighborhoods.

To add insult to injury, the zoning switch was made without neighbors' representation. They received no notification during a multi-year, "behind-closed-doors" redefinition of CR. Incredibly, the current city council seems to have no regrets that the rezoning occurred in such a furtive manner. Although many procedural irregularities have been brought to their attention, Council members, ignoring formal protests from hundreds of citizens, voted unanimously for the rezoning.

Meanwhile, Council members have been emphatically assuring citizens that "The golf courses are golf courses now and will remain golf courses for the foreseeable future, regardless of their zoning." Citizens fear that there are external pressures lurking much closer to the surface than Council members are willing to admit, like: land-use laws allowing owners to develop to the "highest and best use" that zoning permits, Eminent Domain, and state and federal mandates. Residents fear that these exogenous factors will surface and allow the City to justify changing its facile position of "keeping the golf courses as golf courses" to one of "redevelopment, full-speed ahead." Residents say, "Rezoning is like throwing raw meat to the developers. Immense profits will motivate many of them to rapidly move in for the kill."

For additional information on the content of this release visit:

About "Save Our Golf Courses as Open Spaces" Campaign:
San Ramon's residents have started a citizens' Initiative to keep the golf courses zoned Park and reserve any future rezoning to a majority of the voters. The campaign is interested in finding groups or individuals who are waging similar battles against local governments that are "in-filling" traditional open spaces like golf courses by taking property using furtive rezoning tactics and Eminent Domain.

Contact us at:
Ray Howard, Spokesman
Save Our Golf Courses as Open Spaces Campaign

This press release was found on PRWeb and was written by another group of concerned San Ramon Residents, who want to protect the San Ramon Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course from Commercial Development in San Ramon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Three Strikes Mr. Perkins

Fight Tyranny Day
July 4, 230 Yrs Later

An Open Letter to San Ramon's Councilman Scott Perkins,

I'm responding to your letter in Sunday's, June 18, Tri-Valley Herald, Mr. Perkins, where you attacked a golf course rezoning critic's anonymity. There can be many valid reasons for remaining anonymous. You used the Declaration of Independence as your standard of courage. The irony is that its most influential signer was renown for his many pen names, which he used to great effect. That signer, of course, was the great tyranny fighter Benjamin Franklin, a.k.a. Silence Dogood amongst many other names.

Mr. Perkins, you're trying to change the subject on a very important matter by calling us names and besmirching our characters. The issue is still the City's blind use of legalized stealing and its power to do it. I speak of Eminent Domain and Rezoning without Representation. It's about us "named citizens" losing businesses that we've owned for decades. It's about hundreds of us "named citizens", showing our faces at public hearings, giving our formal appeals, and then being totally ignored on the issue of the City's furtive golf courses rezonings. It's about the City's "bait and switch" zoning tactics. It's about a wrongheaded and misapplied planning rationalization called "intensification" that intends to stuff more people inside the City's self-imposed Urban Growth Boundary while, ironically, reducing open space exactly where needed most, that is, where "named citizens" live.

Intensification as it's now being applied in San Ramon will surely make immense profits for lurking developers and more tax dollars for City Hall; conversely, it will also erode quality-of-life in San Ramon as traffic congestion, overcrowding in schools, air pollution, and crime rates soar. Overcrowding by any other name is still overcrowding!

Thus, as you know, Mr. Perkins, it's not really about "courage". Your letter is about "spinning" the truth and changing the subject. You want to shift the debate away from an out-of-control City Council, City Finance Committee, and Redevelopment Agency whose members are conspicuously all the very same few people. You don't want it to be about the City's recent appointment to the powerful Planning Commission of an outspoken advocate of "in-filling" who, from his writings, will rabidly vote for all future Eminent Domain condemnations and open space rezonings.

So Mr. Perkins, you've gotten our attention, no matter what our names and faces. You can call me Joe or Jane Citizen, if you want. Whatever you call me, I'm still asking myself, "What's really behind all this?" The answer, I've painstakingly discovered as I dig deeper (read the in-depth facts we've found on, is quite alarming.

Take rezoning of San Ramon Golf Course (SRGC), for example. It's been zoned and protected as a Park for forty-four years. At this moment, it's in the final throes of being rezoned to Commercial-Recreation (CR), a very broad and furtively-developed zoning designation.

Over the past six months, my SRGC neighbors have been asking simple questions of City Officials, first at Planning Commission hearings and then at City Council hearings: "Who officially did the rezoning?", "Why?", and "How?". Unfortunately, we've not received any straight answers. Instead, the City Council has used its "Bully Pulpit" to harangue us citizens for being paranoid ...or fear mongers ...or rabble rousers ...or (shudder) cowards. They've fed us irrelevant pabulum and mislead us with (using the same words you used against us, Mr. Perkins) "half-truths, distortions, innuendos, and lies". Here's some of the misinformation that we residents have endured, not just once, but as recurring themes:

Strike one! "Rezoning is mandated by Calif Law". WRONG! City Officials say "the City's Zoning Ordinance and General Plan must be consistent with each other, thus, the rezoning. It's Calif Law." This has not been true since City Officials made San Ramon a Charter City, ironically, to avoid California Law, in 1997.

Strike two! "Golf Course Acreage counts against Parkland Quotas". WRONG AGAIN! The City says, "Future developments won't provide land for new parks if golf courses remain parks because their acreage overwhelms the City's Parkland Quotas." Not true. The City's general plan says golf courses will not count toward parkland quotas.

Strike three! "Parks need to be City owned". WRONG FOR A THIRD TIME! The City's general plan defines a park as either "public or private".

That's THREE STRIKES, Mr. Perkins!

On this July 4th "Fight Tyranny Day"
YOU! deserve to be VOTED OUT!

There is more bad news for those of us who would like to preserve San Ramon's open spaces for residents and not outside developers. The owner of San Ramon Golf Course is closely tied to a major land developer in Hawaii. The company developed Wailea, Maui, and also develops in California. The reader should "google" and s/he will find the SRGC owner to be a client of one of the largest land-use law firms in Hawaii. Thus, once the City's rezoning is a fait accompli, there's probably legally no way to stop them from redeveloping SRGC to its "highest and best use". CR zoning permits, amongst many other "best uses", halfway houses for felons and wrecking yards!

The writing's on the wall, Mr. Perkins, and it's not about courage. It's about legalized greed and city tyranny. The City should stop the rezoning now! The City Council has until July 25th to change its mind on the CR rezoning.

Just in case it doesn't, the people have filed a ballot initiative to take back zoning of the golf courses for themselves. The measure should qualify for the November 2007 election when a majority of Council members, including you Mr. Perkins, will come up for re-election.

It's time to get fresh faces and ideas on the City Council. All current members have been playing musical chairs at City Hall for at least a decade. They've forgotten how to talk and deal straight with us, San Ramon's citizens. It's past time for us to find out what's really happening. We need at least one straight-shooter at City Hall.

Jane Citizen
Member of the STOP! Alliance

Sunday, May 28, 2006

State Mandated Requirements for the City of San Ramon

San Ramon Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course
(Land Uses Governed by Commercial Recreation (CR) Primary Zone)

Existing Park (P)

Cultural Institution Day Care, General Park/Rec Facility
Utilities, Major/Minor
Riding Academies
Government Offices
Eating/Drinking Establishments
Limited Warehouse/Storage
Horticulture Unlimited
Accessory Uses
Rezone to Commercial Recreation (CR) Zone

Recycling Facility *
Emergency Shelter *
Homeless Shelter *
Transitional Housing * (1)
Public Safety Facility * (2)
Cogeneration Facility *
Wireless Telecommunications Facility *
Office Accessory
Outdoor Retail Sales/Activities
Accessory Retail/Services
Movie Theater
Performing Arts Theater
Dance Studio
Martial Arts Studio
Roller Skating Facility
Sports Assembly Facility
Entertainment Facility
Specialized Education School (3)
Training School (3)
Art Gallery
Golf Course
Fitness/Health Facility
Conference/Convention Facility
Commercial Recreation Outdoor
Commercial Recreation Indoor
Religious Assembly
Proposed CR/Golf Course Overlay Zone

Golf Course
Park/Recreation Facility
Accessory Retail
Accessory Office

  • * State Mandated Requirements for the City of San Ramon may include: (See * above)
  • * City may choose to use Eminent Domain because there is "No place left to put these."
1 Transitional Housing Two year Housing for Troubled Teens; Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation; Temporary Housing for Convicted Cons Released from Prison.

2 Public Safety Facility With the elimination of businesses as part of the Crow Canyon Specific Plan, (proposed for 735 Low Income/High Density Affordable Housing Units); the City will need a place for all of those listed under Commercial Recreation (CR) Land Use Zone. (This is the Primary Zone and, it defines the land uses for the golf courses over the golf course Overlay). In addition, the City is currently establishing their own Police Department and, will no longer contract with the Sheriff'’s Department of the Contra Costa County in the future, and will need a larger space to house the Police Department.

3 Specialized Education School And Training School Laborer's Training Camp to be eliminated and planned for Housing on the West Side (behind Albertson's). Where will the Training Camp be moved to?

Our City of San Ramon Officials have established these increased Land Uses and are rezoning the San Ramon Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course to be the future dumping ground for all of the above CR land uses that, "have no place left to go," or the City will use Eminent Domain to meet, "State Mandated requirements."

In the event, the owner of the golf course property or the City choose to modify the golf course with a land use not allowed by the Golf Course Overlay, although, allowed by the Commercial Recreation Zone, it would require only ONE meeting with the Planning Commission and, ONE meeting with the City Council. In addition, Notification to surrounding homeowners would be at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator, Phil Wong, Director of Planning.


Abram Wilson, Mayor

Carol Rowley, Vice Mayor

Jim Livingstone, Councilmember

Dave Hudson, Councilmember

Scott Perkins, Councilmember

May 26, 2006

City Council Final Vote: June 13, 2006

(Information compiled from the March 7, 2006 Staff Report to the Planning Commission; and the May 23, 2006 City Council Staff Report.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Golf Courses Changed To Commercial Recreation - OH Really!

San Ramon Golf Course Results/Facts Regarding:

How was the San Ramon Golf Course and the Canyon Lakes Golf Course Changed to Commercial Recreation in the General Plan in 1995 without the Knowledge or Notification to Surrounding Homeowners?

* Requested from City Clerk 3/14/06: Resolution No.95-114 approving GPA 95-003 to update the General Plan, (dated October 24, 1995); All City documents used to change the golf courses from Park to Commercial Recreation;

* NO discussion at all, in either the Planning Commission and/or the City Council (Minutes of their Meetings) to change the golf courses from (P) Park to CR (Commercial Recreation) in 1995;

* Resolution NO. 20-95: "Planning Commission Recommending the City Council Adopt the Negative Declaration for Update of General Plan” (Attachment 1) – Left blank. No Vote taken. No signature by Phil Wong (Never Officially Passed, Approved, or Adopted in '95);

* Resolution NO. 21-95: "Planning Commission Recommending the City Council Approve General Plan Amendment No. 95-003 to Update General Plan" (Attachment 2) – Left blank. No Vote taken. No signature by Phil Wong (Never Passed, Approved, Adopted in 95;

Requested from City Clerk 4/21/06: A list of who the City Notified for the change of the golf courses from Parks to Commercial Recreation? And, a copy of 1/8 page Ad for Notification in the paper?

On the address list of who was notified by the City of the Public Hearings for the General Plan Update in 1995, it shows various governmental agencies from Richmond to Martinez and, NOT A SINGLE resident of San Ramon was notified or homeowner surrounding the golf course properties was notified.

Illegal Action By San Ramon City Staff

This is illegal action by our City Staff. Under the law, they are required to follow legal notification guidelines under Government Code 65091. In addition, there is NO copy of the 1/8 page AD that was supposed to be placed in the paper; No discussion in any of the Minutes of the Meetings; Incomplete Resolutions that were left blank, not voted on and approved, along with the signature line left blank (missing signature by Phil Wong). This was all accomplished fraudulently by the City, and passed through under the Radar and, was virtually INVISIBLE to the citizens of San Ramon. The City failed to legally notify the citizens of San Ramon and, the surrounding property owners of these changes for our golf courses in the General Plan Update in 95. See the proof in these City documents!

Map Insert For the General Plan Update in 1995:

The Golf Courses were changed on the map. They were taken out of the Parks designation (which falls under Community Facilities and Open Space) and, put into the Commercial Recreation designation (under OFFICE, COMMERCIAL, AND INDUSTRIAL), without any knowledge or discussion in the Planning Commission and City Council Minutes; No notification to surrounding homeowners of these Public Hearings; Missing signatures and NO vote taken on two of the above-mentioned Resolutions approving this General Plan Update in 1995, that changed our golf courses to a Commercial Recreation designation. As a result, this was done if ERROR and, we REQUEST our City Officials make this right and, CORRECT THESE ERRORS!

Our golf courses DO NOT belong in an Office, Commercial and Industrial land use designation? Who proposed this? And, why? No one has owned up to this, and we demand an explanation from our City Officials.

* Does our City have the Authority to push this through WITHOUT the knowledge or notification of our Citizens? NO

* Is this Fraudulent Action by our City Officials? YES.

New land use ENTITLEMENTS will be GIVEN to the GOLF COURSE OWNERS by our CITY OFFICIALS when they VOTE this through on May 23, 2006.

STOP San Ramon City Council NOW!

The 1995 update to the General Plan (processed illegally) placed San Ramon Golf Club and Canyon Lakes Golf Club within a Commercial Recreation land use category by mistake. This was done in error and, without any knowledge or notification by our City Officials to the residents of San Ramon. This needs to be corrected before May 23, 2006 (the next City Council Meeting) at 7 p.m. at the Alcosta Community Center. Email our City Officials IMMEDIATELY.

San Ramon City Council
Mayor H. Abram Wilson
Vice Mayor Carol J. Rowley
Councilmember David E. Hudson
Councilmember Jim Livingstone
Councilmember Scott Perkins

San Ramon City Council
Email Addresses - Phone Numbers

This appears to be more than a simple error by a Consulting Firm. Who directed the Consulting Firm to make this change? We request an explanation and, a correction to change our golf courses back to a Parks designation. And, to address the number of errors that have been made.

This Commercial Recreation land use designation (for the San Ramon golf courses) was carried forward when the General Plan was updated in 1995, and ultimately approved by voters in 2002. At the March 5, 2002 Election, (a very low turnout of voters approved the General Plan 2020 (under Measure P at this off-year election). Results as follows:

Out of 55,000 residents, 5,722 voted, Yes 1,686 voted, No

Only 7,408 voters showed up to vote at this Off-Year Election of the 55,000 residents of San Ramon in 2002. This is NOT a fair representation of the City vote. When our City Officials say the General Plan 2020 was approved by 77% of the vote. Be aware that this means only 77% of who showed up to VOTE! Having it held during an Off-Year Election was VERY detrimental in getting a fair, or higher voter turnout. It is usually anticipated to have a low turnout during an off-year election.

The Mayor has stated, "the reason we need to change the golf courses from Parks to Commercial Recreation is to keep it consistent with the General Plan 2020, and, because Commercial Recreation was recommended for the golf courses by a group of San Ramon Citizens who made up the General Plan Review Committee." This is not true.

The Commercial Recreation land use designation WAS NOT recommended by the citizens who made up the General Plan Review Committee. In fact, some of those folks indicate that it "was never even discussed for the golf courses." And, the minutes of those meetings were pulled by the Planning Commission for review and, confirmed that no mention of the golf courses changing to Commercial Recreation was shown.

What is the REAL reason our San Ramon City Officials keep insisting the San Ramon Golf Course and the Canyon Lakes Golf Course must change to Commercial Recreation?

Why has the San Ramon Bridges Golf Course not been included in this rezoning proposal? City staff has indicated the Bridges golf course is part of the Dougherty Valley Specific Plan and, does not allow for this at this time, even though it is located within the City of San Ramon, and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the County.


Speak Out

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

San Ramon City Council's Hidden Agenda

Summary of Facts on the Proposed Rezoning of San Ramon Golf Courses

April 26, 2006

* San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson has said, "Commercial Recreation for the golf courses was decided by the General Plan Committee of citizens." That is a lie! It has been confirmed with five members of that Committee, that Rezoning the golf courses was N E V E R discussed, and never proposed by the citizens on that Committee!

* The Planning Commission requested the Minutes of those meetings to confirm discussion of the golf courses changing from Parks to Commercial Recreation (CR). The minutes showed NO discussion of changing the golf courses to CR. If this really was discussed, then why is it so invisible, and how did it get changed in the General Plan?

* Over 450 San Ramon residents signed Petitions that were given to the Mayor, City Council, and Planning Commission saying NO to rezoning the golf courses from Parks to Commercial Recreation. And, NO to the increased building intensity from .10 FAR to .35 FAR (a 250% increase in building intensity) along with many Commercial Development land uses not even related to golf courses.

* The Mayor, City Council and Planning Commission totally ignored the 450 San Ramon Residents who signed the Petitions to keep the golf courses zoned as Parks. They also ignored the many emails, letters, speakers and over 230 residents at the Planning Commission Meetings. Who are our Elected Officials working for? Are there some hidden motives behind our elected officials?

* Did you know the Planning Commission's Proposed Golf Course - Overlay (.10 FAR) in the Proposed Zoning Ordinance is actually "governed by the Primary Zone of the Commercial Recreation definition in the General Plan 2020." This directly contradicts the purpose of the overlay to keep it protected as a golf course!

* The Commercial Recreation/Golf Course Overlay is NOT effective for protecting our golf courses from development. Once this is voted and approved, it gives the owners NEW entitlements under the law.

* We believe the only way to protect the golf course land as open space and, to keep it zoned as "Parks" undevelopable land) is to bring an Initiative before the voters this November.

* The City Council has only two Public Hearings left before they vote on May 23, 2006 to make it law:

May 9, 2006 at 7 p.m. - Alcosta Community Center

May 23, 2006 at 7 p.m. - Alcosta Community Center

Corrections - To What City Staff Has Said

* The General Plan 2020 and, the Proposed Zoning Ordinance both allow for golf courses to remain as a "Parks" designation, and would be consistent with each other as required by law.

* Our City Staff and Officials say they cannot do a General Plan Amendment to keep the golf courses zoned as "Parks." They have just REFUSED to do one.

* The City is in fact currently proposing TEN General Plan Amendments GPA's; ( mostly to DOUBLE the building density and, number of units allowable per acre in multiple projects; change Open Space and Parks to Residential outside the Urban Growth Boundary; increase the building density to .70 FAR up to Maximum of 1.35 FAR (very similar to the City of Concord); and, give unprecedented authority to the Zoning Administrator without accountability to the people), all in opposition to the voter approved General Plan 2020.

* Golf Courses cannot be counted against the City's required Parkland numbers according to the General Plan. As a result, the City cannot use this argument to disallow golf courses to be designated as Parks.

* Golf Courses are privately owned sites and, "do not have to be land that is owned or leased by the City" according to the General Plan. City staff have miss-quoted the General Plan and, said, "golf courses cannot be zoned as Parks, because they would have to be land that is owned or leased by the City." This is NOT TRUE.

What is going on with our San Ramon Elected Officials? Why are they doing this? Who in their right mind would want to increase the building intensity on golf courses? Is it incompetence or something more sinister? What is their hidden agenda?

Mayor H. Abram Wilson
Vice Mayor Carol J. Rowley
Councilmember David E. Hudson
Councilmember Jim Livingstone
Councilmember Scott Perkins

San Ramon Council's Email Addresses and Phone Numbers

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

San Ramon Golf Courses - Summary 4/19/06

Questions to the City Staff and Planning Commissioners – Still Unanswered

1. How did the Golf Courses get changed from Parks to Commercial Recreation (CR) in the General Plan?

Answer: City staff: "The General Plan Review Commissioners implemented CR with increased building intensity to .35 FAR for the golf courses."

2. Three General Plan Review Commissioners stated they never even discussed CR for the golf courses. They are not even familiar with the Commercial Recreation designation. "Where did it come from?"

Answer: The Planning Commission requested the "Minutes of the Land Use Committee" (part of the General Plan Review Commission) and, there was NO discussion of the golf courses being changed to Commercial Recreation.

Question to San Ramon Planning Staff: Then, as a result of the above, when did the golf courses get changed to Commercial Recreation .35 FAR in the General Plan?

City staff: "It happened in 1995 when Club sport was changed to Commercial Recreation."

3. When in 1995 did the golf courses get changed in the General Plan to Commercial Recreation? And, who changed them? Why were the surrounding homeowners not notified?

Answer: The City ignored these questions, and refused to give answers:

As a result, some citizens filled out a "Request for a Public Record" form at the City Clerk's office, and were charged $29.30 for the following documents that were delayed beyond the normal ten days. The law allows for an additional 14 days under unusual circumstances (Gov. Code 6253 (c). The City of San Ramon then delayed an additional 15 days to April 6, 2006 (which extended it beyond the date the Planning Commission took their final vote to approve the Golf Course Overlay on April 4, 2006). The Planning Commission was urged to wait for these answers before taking a final vote. They ignored these requests and proceeded to approve what the City staff has recommended as RZ18 – Commercial Recreation (.35 FAR)-Golf Course Overlay (.10 FAR) for the San Ramon Golf Course and parts of the Canyon Lakes Golf Course.

Documents Requested on 3/14/06 to City Clerk/Planning Dept.: The 1995 General Plan Update is: "Resolution No. 95-114 – Documents per this resolution. GPA 95-003, all documents relating to the change from Parks (P) to Commercial Recreation (CR) for the Royal Vista Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course."

Answer: In the Planning Commission Staff Report dated September 19, 1995 a General Plan Amendment GPA 95-003 was recommended for approval. Page 8 of 28 reads as follows:

"Economics of Land Use" is an entirely new section, and is included in recognition of the increasingly important relationship between the local economy and land use decisions.

4. The creation of a new Commercial Recreation (CR) land use

Designation, to be applied to the two golf courses in the City

(Canyon Lakes and Royal Vista), and the Club Sport facility

and its adjoining tennis courts at the current terminus of

Bollinger Canyon Road in Canyon Lakes.

Why wasn't there a Public Hearing Notice mailed to the surrounding homeowners? Why wasn't the Public Hearing Notice (1/8 page ad placed in the paper) no earlier than ten days prior to the Public Hearing Date? Why were the affected citizens left out of this process? Did the City Planning Staff have to notice three public hearings for the Planning Commission and three for the Council?

Question to Planning Staff: Where is the copy of the (1/8 page Newspaper Ad) placed for the Public Hearing Notice? Where is the list of who the Public Hearing Notice was mailed to? And, when were these notices mailed or placed in the paper?

Answer from Planning Staff: "You didn’t specifically ask for the list of who the Public Hearing Notice was mailed to." "You need to fill out another Public Record Request Form to specifically ask for that." 4/13/06

Our request above stated, "all documents relating to the change from Parks to Commercial Recreation." Why were these not provided by the City? Another delay tactic?

We believe the City did not properly notify the surrounding homeowners of the two golf courses, and/or notice the Public Hearings properly in the newspaper with an 1/8 page ad. The citizens were cut out of this process back in 1995 with that General Plan Update. This was done in error. And, as a result, the City implemented Commercial Recreation in the General Plan in 1995 without the knowledge or notification of the citizens who lived on, and around the golf courses who are the affected property owners.

Now, the City states, "we must make the Proposed Zoning Ordinance consistent with the voter approved General Plan 2020." This change to (Commercial Recreation .35 FAR) from (Parks .10 FAR) for the golf courses was never proposed by the citizens of the General Plan Review Committee. It was proposed "under the radar" and implemented by the urging of City staff without proper Public Hearing Notification to the Citizens.

In addition, the City states that the reason they are changing the golf courses to Commercial Recreation is because they don’t want the golf course acreage to be counted towards their Parkland numbers. And, as a result, they anticipate acquiring more parkland from developers. This makes no sense, because the General Plan 2020 (approved by the Voters) already states that the golf courses cannot be counted towards required Parkland as shown below:

The current General Plan 2020 reads as follows:

Section 6.5I-1 Establish and maintain a standard of 6.5 acres of

Public parks per 1,000 residents, and public

Facilities to be within one-half mile of all homes

With only usable acreage considered in meeting

This standard.

It is the City's intent to meet this criterion with

Functional acreage only. Private recreation

Facilities (such as golf courses and homeowners'

Association amenities including mini parks, tot-lots,

And picnic areas) shall NOT BE SUBSTITUTED


Now is the time for our San Ramon elected City Officials to recognize their errors and, to stand up and do the right thing! Otherwise, it is time for a Recall.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Planning Commission Approves Golf Course Rezoning

Planning Commission Voted to Approve Commercial/Recreation .35 FAR Zone for Golf Courses with a Golf Course Overlay at a .10 FAR. This was the City Staff's recommendation and Commissioners refused to do a General Plan Amendment requested by hundreds of citizens. Now it goes to City Council for final approval. This may be at the next scheduled City Council meeting on April 11 at 7:00 pm. It is not clear at this time if it will be on April 11 agenda or the next scheduled meeting that would occur on April 25 at 7:00 pm. It might be wise to attend both because information from the city staff is not flowing promptly.

The documentation from city staff showing when the golf courses were changed to Commercial/Recreation is non-existent in discussion. Sources indicate that they are waiting for documentation from city staff for this information. However, this is taking excessively long from city staff and will be available at the earliest Friday, April 7th.

Stay Tuned

City Council may decide to place this in the agenda at the last minute.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

San Ramon Late Notice

Tonight is the final vote for the Planning Commission on the golf courses!
April 4th, 7pm.
City Council Chambers

Getting the correct information from the city is like pulling teeth.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Proposed Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update

San Ramon Golf Courses Proposed to be Rezoned

First Meeting With City Council To Be Held

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
(Time and Location to be Announced

(Review of (3) Planning Commission Meetings):

The City of San Ramon has proposed for the 250 acres of the only remaining Open Space; (Royal Vista Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course) to be rezoned from Parks (.10 FAR which allows for little, or no expansive land development) to COMMERCIAL RECREATION (.35 FAR which allows for extensive commercial development on golf course land with an increase of 250% building intensity). It is zoned as Parks in the current Zoning Ordinance, and there is a provision in the Proposed Zoning Ordinance under Special Purpose Zones, to allow it to remain as Parks!

The City claims that the "Zoning Code" has to be, "put in line with the voter approved General Plan 2020." The City Staff and the City Council claims the citizens on the General Plan Review Committee changed the golf courses from Parks to Commercial Recreation. This is not true! Nowhere in any of the minutes is there any discussion of either of the golf courses! This was confirmed at the Planning Public Hearing on Feb. 21, 2006 in which the Planning Commissioners themselves found no evidence of the Golf Courses rezoned in any of the meetings' minutes.

Now, the City claims that the golf courses were changed to Commercial Recreation in 1995 with Resolution # 95-114, with a General Plan Amendment No. 95-003 to update the General Plan. The citizens have requested the minutes of these meetings. These minutes show absolutely NO discussion of the golf courses being changed to Commercial Recreation! If it really was changed, why is it so invisible? Why is it so difficult to get a straight answer from our San Ramon City Officials?

A source informed us that, on March 14, 2006 another record request was made to the City Clerk for all documentation, maps etc.. relating to the golf courses being changed to Commercial Recreation in 1995 as mentioned by City Planning Staff. Rene of the City Clerks Office, called our source on March 23rd, and stated, "the request has now gone to the planning department and they will not be able to get these documents to the citizens until April 7, 2006." The April 7 date is well beyond the 10 days allowable as required by law for providing a request for public records. In fact, it is a full 25 days after the REQUEST was made. And, it falls on April 7, 2006, the same date the Planning Commission is scheduled for taking the final vote on this topic! By then, it will be too late! Is the City delaying this information on purpose? Are they to be trusted? Why are we, the San Ramon citizens, being denied our rights to this information in a timely manner? Are they trying to ramrod this proposal through?

Public Legal Notification

The Planning Commission (PC) is required to hold three legally noticed (proper public notification) Public Hearings before going to Council. Two (PC) Public Hearings were "legally noticed" in the paper with an 1/8 page ad; although, the third Public Hearing on March 7th was not placed in the paper. The City claims, "it was a continued meeting" and did not have to place an ad in the paper to notify the public. How can it be the third Public Hearing, if it is just a continuance of another meeting and the public is NOT NOTIFIED? Additionally, two earlier "Public Meetings" with the Planning Commissioners held in January 2006 pertaining to the Golf Course Rezoning, were not given any notification to the public. This was also confirmed by city staff that no notification had gone out for these two meetings. Again, the City refuses to follow Government Code to notify it's own citizens that are being affected by these proposed changes!

The City of San Ramon Mayor and City Council have refused multiple requests to use the newspaper as a tool to notify the citizens of their proposed Citywide zoning changes! In addition, the Mayor and City Council refuse to mail out notification cards to the hundreds of property owners who live on, and around the golf course properties, notifying them of these proposed zoning (land use) changes for the golf courses. The City has stated, "we mailed notification to the actual owners of the golf courses." However, no notification went out to any San Ramon Citzens that would be affected. How is this action or lack of action serving the San Ramon Citizens? Why do our City officials continue to refuse to notify us? Why are they proposing further restrictions in the Notification process to the Citizens? (See: Proposed Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update (on the City's website) – go to the end of the document to see more details).

On February 21, 2006, a group of over 230 citizens held the City accountable by having their own attorney stand before the Planning Commission and claim, "these proceedings are Illegal due to non-notification to the public." In addition, the first two Public Hearings in January were also held Illegally due to Non-Notification to the Public! As a result, "The Negative Declaration Period" ended before anyone even knew it existed! How is this legal? How can we trust our City Officials if they are not being honest in their actions? They say one thing, and do the complete opposite! They are very contradictory in their words and actions!

The Planning Department City staff recommended a "Golf Course Overlay at a .10 FAR" to the Planning Commission against the strong urging of hundreds of citizens to make a General Plan Amendment (which is the strictest possible protection.)

The Golf Course Overlay can be easily removed, especially with the NEW "proposed Zoning Administrator's Authority" and, the proposed, "newly reduced City Notification Requirements" to the public! (Again, see the back of the Proposed Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update – on the City’s website!)

The Mayor and City Council continue to urge the Citizens of San Ramon to trust them to make the right decisions! How can we do this when there is SO MUCH dishonesty! Maybe it's time to talk about... RECALL!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What About The Golf Courses?

San Ramon Golf Courses Rezoning
Why aren't you writing more about the golf course rezoning?

Last night I saw the Mayor of San Ramon on Channel 30. He said the zoning change was just a name change from "Park" to "Recreation". He forgot to say the "Commercial" word, as in "Commercial Recreation" - (you know - with all the multiple land uses and the increase of 250% building intensity from when it was zoned as "Park").

Mr. Wilson, if this is just a name change, why is the building intensity increasing from .10 FAR to .35 FAR? That's an increase of a minimum of 35 buildable acres on one golf course alone.

The mayor said they weren't building homes on the golf course -but what concerns me even more is all the other commercial land uses that can be built on the golf course under this Commercial Recreation zoning code.

I've done a lot of research on golf course land use and zoning and found that golf courses are zoned in a .10 FAR zone to protect the open space.

On the other hand, I've read stories where City Councils have changed their golf course zoning code similar to our situation here, only to have it result in REDEVELOPMENT of the golf course property!

I don't like our Planning Commission's "overlay-bandaid" solution. Why put the golf course in a .35 FAR Commercial zoning code only to put a patch on it and say its a .10 FAR golf course.

What is our City up to and why are they making this zoning change seem like nothing. Zoning codes are serious business!!! They obviously want to make our golf course land available for other "commercial" uses if need be, or else they would not be so adamant about changing our Park .10 designation to a .35 FAR Commercial Recreation designation.

Remember - for 40 years our golf course has been zoned "Park" with a .10 FAR - like the majority of all other golf courses in the United States. This is proper Zoning for a Golf Course in order to protect the open space.

They can call it Open Recreation or Park or Specialized Recreation or Golf Course or Open Space - just leave the .10 overall designation(NOT a .10FAR bandaid)-within a .35FAR Commercial zone!!!! That is not a solution.

If 1/3 of Canyon Lake's golf course is being changed from Park to Open Space, than why not zone 9/10 of the San Ramon golf course Open Space and the other 1/10 Commercial Recreation?

Who in this City ever came up with this Commercial Recreation .35 FAR zoning - that only applies to three city locations: Club Sport and San Ramon's two golf courses? WHY did they come up with it?????? AND show us documentation of HOW, WHEN, WHERE, WHO and WHY this came to be.

To date, the City has not provided the people with this information. We've heard all their words - but no written documentation that proves that the golf course zoning was ever authorized to be changed to Commercial Recreation.

If anyone out there has this information - can you please post it to this website. Thank you.

Excellent comments from a San Ramon Reader

The two are linked together by the use of the Redevelopment Agency. In todays public redevelopment plans the golf course is not included for Redevelopment. It is tomorrows use of the Redevelopment Agency that should be of major concern to all the citizens of San Ramon. Once the rezoning of the golf courses takes place, then the City Council, who is the Redevelopment Agency, can take the next step from rezoning it, to include it in redevelopment, to approve it, finance it, and develop it, all with out public approval or input.

Bear in mind, that most of the homes on the south end of San Ramon are over 50 years old and the businesses on the north end of town are also old established businesses and hence the City is targeting the older sections of our communities for potential redevelopment and Eminent Domain.

Feel Free to send in your letters to

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Eminent Domain Will Wipe Out San Ramon Businesses


Recap - Proposed 4th Amendment to Redevelopment Plan/Eminent Domain Hearing March 14, 2006

San Ramon, CA - The City Council Chambers was standing room only with people flowing out the doorway into the hall. All of the speakers represented citizens, business owners and the property owner of Beta Court who stated, "I do not want to sell my property." He continued, "I was approached by a developer who offered me only one-half of the value of my property." "I do not want to be forced to sell my property."

The City Council (who is the Redevelopment Agency) has proposed to expand the uses of Eminent Domain from public uses to private uses as well. Specifically, for implementing Redevelopment Plan Areas and Affordable Housing projects citywide over the next twelve years. That means a private citizen may loose their property to a developer who will make a big profit on a Redevelopment Plan. Not a single speaker was in support of the City's proposal to expand its uses of Eminent Domain for Private Gain, and questioned the City's definition of a "blighted" area.

The City Council defended their intent to use Eminent Domain in Redevelopment areas in very rare situations and, sited the Ralphs Grocery store going out of business as, an example to ensure another grocery store goes into that space.

In addition, the Beta Court Business Owners (41 in total) prepared a survey and presented it to the City Council showing their businesses are thriving and growing larger each year in total sales volume. Many citizens urged the Council not to use Eminent Domain to take these businesses away that are providing necessary services to thousands of San Ramon residents each year. And, it was mentioned many times, that there is nowhere for these businesses to move to without going outside of their customer base. The closest location for the San Ramon Valley Tow Truck Company would be Livermore, which would not allow for adequate response time.

It was suggested to the City Council (they refer to other cities with redevelopment agencies) and, their loss of public funds to support their police, fire, and schools as documented online at:

The San Ramon Valley Fire District's attorney sent in a twelve page letter to the City Council requesting that there be no loss of continued funding in order for the Fire Department to continue to implement their Emergency Response Time for 911 calls.

Other letters and emails were sent in and read. Some with strong opposition to the increase in tax increment from 94 million to 623 million; bonded indebtedness from 35 million to 100 million; and their concern that the taxpayer will be the victim of these huge and burdensome increases.

The Mayor closed the meeting without taking a final vote by Council. He continued the meeting, and reassured the public that the Council will do the right thing for the citizens of San Ramon. Quote, "We are your elected officials and we will be accountable."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Eminent Domain Hearing

Who Really Wants 12 Years of Eminent Domain in San Ramon?

City Council of the City of San Ramon (the "City Council") and the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Ramon (the "Agency") will hold a joint public hearing on March 14, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, located at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, California, to consider and act upon the proposed Fourth Amendment to the Redevelopment Plan (the "Amendment") for the City of San Ramon Redevelopment Project (the "Project") and to consider all evidence and testimony for or against the approval and adoption of the proposed Amendment.

At any time not later than the hour set forth above for the hearing of objections to the proposed Amendment, any person may file in writing with the City Clerk of the City of San Ramon a statement of objections to the proposed Amendment. At the day, hour and place of the hearing, any and all persons having any objections to the proposed Amendment, or the regularity of any of the prior proceedings, may appear before the City Council and the Agency and show cause why the proposed Amendment should not be adopted. At the hour set forth above for the hearing of objections, the City Council and the Agency shall proceed to hear all written and oral objections to the proposed Amendment.

The purpose of the proposed Amendment is to:

  • 1) increase the limit on the amount of tax increment the Agency can receive from $94 million to $623 million;
  • 2) increase the bonded indebtedness limit from $35 million to $100 million;
  • 3) re-establish Agency authority to use eminent domain within the Project Area for an additional 12 years, except that eminent domain may not be used to acquire real property outside of the Focus Area that is occupied as a residence; and
  • 4) update the land use provisions within the Redevelopment Plan to conform to the City's General Plan as it may be amended from time to time.

In addition, the City Council and the Agency will, at the same time and place, hold a joint public hearing to consider the Negative Declaration on the proposed Amendment and consider all evidence and testimony for or against the adoption of the Negative Declaration. At the day, hour and place of the hearing, all interested persons desiring to comment on, or having objections to, the adequacy of the Negative Declaration may appear before the City Council and the Agency and be heard.

Above From San Ramon: City Agenda See Project and Focus Area.

1. What is this planned $623 million tax increment?
2. Are we going to put ourselves more in debt?
3. The city can expand the project area or the Focus area at any time.
4. They can change the zoning code in the Redevelopment Plan any time they want.

Do we really want to loose our auto repair, body shops, shower door company, sign business, woodworking shop, and other privately owned small businesses in San Ramon that provide vital services to the community? These businesses have thousands of customers every year and are thriving. Why on earth would we want to remove a tax base for the city of San Ramon? Furthermore, why the need to implement and provide a 12 year extension to eminent domain? Once we go down this slippery slope, eminent domain could be used for anything. This is exactly what has happened in other cities.

Say No To Eminent Domain.

Speak out at the meeting.

Public hearing on March 14, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, located at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, California.

Note: The City Website has been down at various times. Here is a list of the council members.

Judge Jury Executioner

Meeting Times:
2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month
in the Council Chamber

Mayor H. Abram Wilson
246 Canyon Lakes Place, San Ramon, CA 94583
City Voice Mail: (925) 973-2548
Term Expires: 2009

Vice Mayor Carol J. Rowley
San Ramon, CA 94583
City Voice Mail: (925) 973-2545
Term Expires: 2011

Councilmember David E. Hudson
162 Pebble Place, San Ramon, CA 94583
City Voice Mail: (925) 973-2546
Home Telephone: (925) 828-5578
Term Expires: 2009

Councilmember Jim Livingstone
44 Dos Rios Court, San Ramon, CA 94583
City Voice Mail: (925) 973-2547
Home Telephone: (925) 820-5801
Term Expires: 2009

Councilmember Scott Perkins
2764 Ellingson Way, San Ramon, CA 94583
City Voice Mail: (925) 973-2544
Home Telephone: (925) 833-7743
Term Expires: 2011
2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: (925) 973-2530
Fax: (925)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Planning Commission Recap 3/07

San Ramon Planning Commission - Recap 3/07

Of the two Rezoning options considered at the previous 2/21 hearing for the Golf Courses, the Planners chose the easy one for them.

It became apparent that the Zone-Overlay option is the only one the Planning Staff has been promoting. This option would rezone to CR/GC, Commercial Recreation / Golf Course Zone. They have allowed for Golf Course/Country Club, Park and Recreational Facility (two acres or less), Accessory Retail and Services, and Office (accessory.)

Over 450 San Ramon Residents have signed petitions, preferring the option that stopped the rezoning, thus, keeping it Parkland. This would slow down the Ordinance approval process, as it would legally require an amendment to the General Plan. The City representatives en masse don’t want to be slowed down. Why are they in such a hurry? There is no reason to change it from zoned Parkland immediately.

Golf course rezoning now goes to the City Council for approval, embedded in four years worth of Planners work on other Ordinances.

Note: According to the city planning staff, it does not have to follow state laws regarding public hearing notification to San Ramon citizens. Therefore, what is to prevent them from doing anything they want, whenever they want in the future? See the San Jose Mercury News article for additional insights.

Email the San Ramon Mayor and City Council today, and tell them no to Golf Course Rezoning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Zoning Hearings Planning Commission Recap

San Ramon Planning Commission Public Hearings
Feb 7th and Feb 21, 2006

Hundreds of Citizens voiced opinions to protect the golf courses with the strictest possible protection against future development with a General Plan Amendment with special designation for Golf Courses .10 FAR (as recommended by Planning Director, Phil Wong.)

Citizens Oppose -– Overlay Option for Commercial Recreation(CR) / Golf Course(GC). This is only a temporary Band-aid with NO REAL PROTECTION for the Golf Course.

Citizens have strongly opposed the City's recommendation to rezone the golf course to Commercial Recreation .35 FAR and have made this VERY CLEAR.

As it stands, the Commission has totally ignored the Requests of the San Ramon Citizens and, is Recommending an Overlay for CR and GC.

Hundreds of San Ramon Citizens Have Signed Petitions

250 Signatures on Petition for San Ramon Golf Course; 100 Signatures on Petition for Canyon Lakes; 100 Signatures on (4x6 cards); and multiples of letters, emails, and speakers urging the Commission to vote to allow a General Plan Amendment, only to fall on DEAF EARS.

Although, the Planning Commission and City Council had no problem voting to approve a General Plan Amendment to rezone the Open Space for the developer, Davidon, to build 55 Homes on the ridge at Old Ranch Road, again in OPPOSITION TO THE VOICE OF THE CITIZENS!

Past Planning Commission voting records show: NO to Citizens and YES to Developers!
Hold our Planning Commission and City Council Accountable.

Our elected Officials (City Council), and Planning Commission, (Appointed by the Council) - need to be REPLACED if they REFUSE TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE!

We have asked the Mayor; City Attorney; City Manager; Planning Commission; and Planning Director to see the Consultant's Presentation of the Comprehensive Draft Zoning Ordinance since January 17, 2006, and have been denied our RIGHTS!

The Consultant's Presentation was shown on January 3, 2006, the first Public Hearing that was held Illegally due to Non-Notification to the Public by the City of San Ramon

The next Public Hearing on January 17, 2006, was also confirmed to be held illegally, again due to the City failing to follow State Government Code for Notification to the Public!

No one has seen the presentation of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update, because the City refuses to show it to the Public. Why is the City being unfair and unreasonable? The Planning Commission saw it, why canĂ‚’t the Public?

Now, it's going to be too late! The City has delayed the showing of this presentation and, the last Planning Commission Public Hearing is March 7, 2006, 7:00 p.m. Senior Center where they will take their vote, and make their recommendation to Council!

Tell The San Ramon Planning Commissioners NO to Rezoning
Mike Digeronimo
Donna Kerger
Jeff Rhoton
Bob Patrino
Dennis Viers

Read the latest at on Eminent Domain, and the City'’s proposal to rezone the San Ramon Royal Vista and Canyon Lakes Golf Courses to Commercial Development with a 250% increase in building intensity! Share your comments and knowledge with our fellow citizens! Get the Word Out!

Pass the word about Tell your friends and neighbors.

Eminent Domain - A Loaded Gun

EMINENT DOMAIN - San Ramon Residents Protect Your Rights

Our elected City Council members, Dave Hudson and Jim Livingstone, have proposed to Re-establish the City's Authority to use Eminent Domain in the City of San Ramon over the next 12 years. A proposed Fourth Amendment to the Redevelopment Plan for the City of San Ramon will allow the City to take property away from private citizens and businesses for private and public purposes with potentially increasing taxes. The Redevelopment Agency is the City Council.

Today, Eminent Domain is being proposed for:

  • Crow Canyon Specific Plan (Beta Court)
  • Public/Private Proposed Redevelopment Activities
  • Implementation of Affordable Housing Projects Citywide
  • Alcosta Redevelopment Area

Deadline to file your statement of objections is March 14, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.
Send to Pat Edwards, City Clerk, regarding the City's proposed use of Eminent Domain.

2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon
Come to the Joint Public Hearing: March 14, 2006 at 6 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon 94583

Eminent Domain is a loaded gun; where will it be pointed next?

Stay tuned and check back often for updates at

Stop Development on SR Golf Courses


Are you aware, the City of San Ramon is trying to change the zoning code of the San Ramon Golf Course and Canyon Lakes Golf Course to:
COMMERCIAL RECREATION – which will allow for 250% more building intensity, and allow for multiple uses for development on our golf course land.


Last and Final Planning Commission Meeting
March 7, 2006, at 7:00 p.m.
Senior Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd
Submit written opposition to the golf course rezoning in advance to:

Pat Edwards, City Clerk
2222 Camino Ramon, or Email:
(Ask for a green, "Public Information Record" form; attach your written statements requesting that they be read during the meeting if you are unable to attend, or if you simply choose not to speak.)

Our website will continue to post information as we receive it at

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Zoning Ordinance Planning Commission Meeting 2/21/06


Excellent insight and comments on San Ramon Golf Course Rezoning Issue by a San Ramon Reader, re-published in this new posting.

As a resident of San Ramon, I sat through the planning commission meeting last night.

Two things became apparent on the Golf Courses Rezoning Issue: (1) the planning staff options 1 (to change the General Plan) and 4 (to build an Overlay in the Ordinances) were the only two options that were seriously considered; and, (2) there was a major split between Residents who were nearly unanimously in favor of Option 1 and the Commissioners who , until the very end, were likewise unanimously in favor of Option 4.

An important exception occurred at the end of the meeting after both Commissioners and Residents had made their comments, including input from the Planning Staff. Commission Chair, DiGeronimo, stated that he could support a General Plan amendment (a modified Option 1) that would make a Special Purpose Zone for Golf Courses with an FAR of 0.1, that is, if the City Council so instructed the Commission to do so.

This looks like a viable solution to this observer. It seems to solve many of the issues facing the Planners and Residents. The residents would get "maximum protection" for their golf courses and the City would resolve the GP and Golf Courses Zoning inconsistency that, we are told, has existed since 1995. It also would help settle some convoluted linkage issues facing the city, like park-acreage vs resident ratios for new developments. Linkages are not easily understood by Residents; thus, they worry us. We know that we are ignorant on these matters, but they are being brought up by the Commissioners and Planning staff as to why one option facing the City is better than another. Many of us don't feel that we have had time even to begin to understand these linkages, nor to discover who the linkage players are. We are time-limited in understanding these linkages, especially since we were not given fair notice of these rezonings.

Thus, in this resident's mind, the Chair's suggestion to give us an even better Option 1 would be the best and quickest way out of this dilemma between our representatives and ourselves. We appreciate that it would require extra effort on the City's part, but it's in the best interest of the City, in our opinion, to resolve this issue ASAP.

San Ramon eMail contact

Saturday, February 18, 2006

San Ramon Royal Vista Golf Course Zoning Changes Proposed

San Ramon 2020 General Plan Obscured - Glasses Required


Beautiful San Ramon Royal Vista Golf Course

Canyon Lakes Country Club With Spectacular Vistas of Mt. Diablo and the San Ramon Valley

The San Ramon Golf Course and the Canyon Lakes Golf Course are slated to be re-zoned from P (Parkland) to CR (Commercial Recreation) with an increase in the building intensity from .10 FAR (Floor area ratio) to .35 FAR. For example, the San Ramon Golf Course is 129 acres multiplied by the .35 would allow for 45 acres of development. The land uses are varied and include: Waterslide, Arcade, Bowling Alley, Co-Generation Plant, Homeless Shelter, Transitional Housing, Recycling Center and a multitude of other land uses.

The City of San Ramon Planning Commission is in the midst of putting together the final proposal for the City wide zoning changes. Below is a direct link to the draft zoning ordinance proposed changes.

The City claims that these changes are required and need to be consistent with the General Plan 2020 document that was voted on, and approved in March 2002 by the citizens. It was a special election on the ballot as (Measure P). This measure was approved by only 5,600 approximate voters during an off-year election, (out of 46,000 residents in 2002).

San Ramon Government Officials Fail To Legally Inform Public Of Public Hearings

The City of San Ramon originally scheduled three Public Hearings with the Planning Commission before a vote is taken, and, then brought before the City Council for final approval. The original dates were January 3, 2006; January 17, 2006 and February 7, 2006.

These Public Hearings are required by law prior to the Planning Commission proposing these changes to the City Council for final approval. These Hearings allow citizens to voice their concerns or opposition to these proposals at this time.

The Public Hearing Notice shows a Negative Declaration Period (your opportunity to challenge) from December 16, 2005 to January 23, 2006.

The City has failed to follow the State Government Code for the legal notification requirements for the first and second Public Hearings. Under Government Code 65091(3), the City is required to place a Public Hearing Notice (1/8 page Ad in the local paper) at least ten days prior to the hearing for changes that affect more than 1,000 people.

The City Clerk, Pat Edwards and the Planning Division Manager, Debbie Chamberlain admitted that the City failed to legally notify the public for the first two Public Hearings for the approval of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update. At the February 7th Public Hearing, City Attorney, Byron Athan admitted it was due to human error for the non-compliance for January 3rd. On February 10th we discovered that the City has also failed to legally notify residents of the January 17th Public Hearing as well.

Proposed Zoning Changes Cover All Of San Ramon

This update affects all of the land in the City of San Ramon and is a huge document online at the City's website. There are many other changes in the zoning code that may affect you.

Public Notice was not provided by the City, as a result, you have not had an opportunity to participate in the first two Public Hearings. The Planning Committee continued the Public Hearing for one additional meeting on February 21, 2006, (time and 7:00 PM, location to be announced) to voice your concerns before it goes to the City Council.

As a result of the City's illegal activity, the Planning Commission needs to reestablish a new Negative Declaration Period along with an extension to the Public hearing to allow the public to look at and understand the changes and modifications in this document.

We have been asking the Planning Commission to give us more time to decipher this information, and comment before a vote is taken, but we need more people to do the same.

The first meeting of January 3rd included the Consultant's power point presentation to the Planning Commission regarding their proposed recommendations and changes to the City's zoning code. We have requested they include this presentation at the February 21st Public Hearing because no one saw the presentation at the January 3rd Public Hearing.

We also feel that it is vital for the City to give the public the capability to cross-reference the Proposed Zoning Ordinance changes document to the General Plan 2020. This capability is not yet available on the City'’s web site and, must be provided so that the citizens of San Ramon can attempt to understand these changes.

We need speakers to stand before the Planning Commission on February 21st to ask for more time to review these documents and proposals. We must hold the City accountable for failing to follow legal notification guidelines to notify the residents of San Ramon, of these proposed zoning ordinance and land use changes.

The residents that live on, and around the San Ramon Golf Course, (formerly known as the Royal Vista Golf Course) never received notification from the City either. It was a stroke of luck that we came across it on January 18, 2006. The San Ramon Golf Course Neighborhood united and, at the February 7th Public Hearing we had 36 speakers with a total of 230 residents from our neighborhood speak out on the rezoning issues. There was not a single speaker for the Canyon Lakes Golf Course.

We have set up this Blog website (A web log (or "blog") is similar to an online journal), as an open forum for the residents of San Ramon.

We could use your help and assistance. We need speakers to address your concerns with the process and the proposed zoning changes at the February 21st Public Hearing and support our request for more time. These changes affect all of the residence of San Ramon.

Summary Statement

Note: This could take away the last open space in South San Ramon and turn the San Ramon Vista Golf Course into anything from a co-generation plant to low income high density affordable housing. Impacts overall infrastructure with increased traffic, over-crowding of schools, negative impacts on the environment, air quality, population density over-crowding, impacts to migratory animals, and totally goes against the San Ramon 2020 General Plan of Neighborhood Preservation.

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San Ramon Community Talk

San Ramon, California Community Talk

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