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."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the kind individual that gave me this website address.
I can't believe that the City, after months of public testimony,
went ahead and rezoned San Ramon's two older golf courses from "Parks" zoning to "Commercial
Recreation" zoning and left San Ramon's newer golf course,
Bridges, zoned "Parks". After all those packed meetings of people asking them not to do this, they went ahead and pushed this through!

What really angers me is that Mayor Abrams continues to mislead
the public on televsion. Before they approved the Commercial Recreation zoning, he said on Channel 30 that rezoning the two
golf courses was "simply a name change from "Parks" zoning to "Recreation" zoning. He said
the opponents didn't know what they
were talking about.

On this more current interview which I just played on this website - (which does not look like an interview between News Reporter and Mayor) - IT LOOKS LIKE A SCRIPTED EXCHANGE OF WORDS!

Channel 30's news reporter says "so the City Council recently made some zoning changes, one being the two golf courses from... (long pause)" - then Mayor Abrams responds "FIRST IT WAS COMMERCIAL RECREATION..."

San Ramon's Mayor is lying and confusing the public AGAIN. First,
the golf courses were zoned "PARKS" and on 7/25/06, they approved rezoning it to "COMMERCIAL RECREATION"!

Just days after approving CR zoning, he's saying it leaves too many loopholes for developers!

This lying, incompetent City Official has to GO !!!!!!!

Ben Franklin 2006 said...

Yes, you are right about this Mayor misleading the public. The Mayor tends to use the weekly community "Mayors Report" as an forum area for continually patting himself and the City Council on the back without being called into question by his answers.

As far as protecting the Golf Courses are concerned, after reading the initiative measure to be submitted directly to the voters, it provides the greatest protection of all. While the plan the Mayor is proposing to have a "Golf Courses" only zoning does have a degree of merit to it, it may be opening up the city to a lawsuit by a developer who could make the argument that for years the golf courses were zoned as "Parks" then the city council voted to change it to "Commercial Recreation" and now they are changing it to "Golf Course" only classification.

They should have left well enough alone and not touched it in the first place. Now, the best thing might be to have it come before the voters to bring it back to what it was classified to begin with. If the initiative is passed by the voters then it would take a vote of the voters to have it changed to something else.

I believe this is why the Mayor and City Council do not want the initiative. It effectively takes their control away from them. This is the only reason that the Mayor is now proposing "Golf Course" only zoning. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the Golf Course only zoning would be passed by the City Council, or how long it would take.

Additionally the initiative excludes the Golf Courses as being counted toward the City's acres/population parkland quotas. This benefits the new San Ramon residents in the Dougherty Valley by having developers still provide parkland to meet the city quotas.

If the Mayor and City Council were smart they would be backing this initiative instead of trying to knock it down. Maybe there are ulterior motives or just plain incompetence on the part of the Mayor or the City Council. If the City Council had done their job and listened to the people in the first place, this initiative would not even be in the works. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind voting against this initiative.

Ben Franklin 2006

Harry Jonas said...

I just checked out this website and played the video. Did this Mayor check with the land use attorney's prior to voting in
Commercial Recreation zoning for the two golf courses. If he did,
he probably would not have voted yes to rezoning it from Parks to CR
just last month.

I tend to agree with Comment 1, this Mayor has to GO! Why did he not consult land use attorney's prior to saying yes to Commercial
Recreation zoning.

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the City Web site for the change that the Mayer was referencing in this interview. Well I found it, the City is looking at changing the Golf courses to their own designation, but as an exchange, they are also asking the community of San Ramon to allow mixed use at the new proposed City Center. Oh how our City officials weave this web of deceit and lies. These are two totally separate issues that the City Counsel has combined in to one. The public has asked and has been very specific about the not allowing Mixed use at the City Center. The people do not want to see any retail or residential homes mixed in with the City Center period. In contrast, the citizens have been very vocal about leaving the golf courses in this city under the Parks definition. By combining these two issues, the City Counsel has purposely pitted these two groups against on another. The San Ramon City Counsel is dead set on getting this Mixed use in place so they have picked a highly controversial issue to attach it to. This is another example of the City Counsel manipulating the citizens and pitting one citizens group’s against one another in San Ramon to confuse and belittle the people of this city.

This has got to STOP. This City Counsel is out of Control again……..They have lost site of their Community sense and the underlying will of the great people that live in this city. They gleefully take credit for programs and functions that has been set up years before they took office and then back door devastating agreements and pass undermining proposals that have changed the face of this community overnight. The new affordable developments in this city are now riddled with crime and that crime is seeping in to our community. The City Counsel has played the implantation of our new City Police force as logical great next step for our community. The reality is they had no choice in this matter if they wanted to keep this growing infestation of crime under the covers to this community. Our city is seeing an increase in drug and prostitution arrests along with a long list of increased burglary. Growth comes and a cost. That is why cities have planning commissions and departments. If we the citizens continue to turn a blind eye to this current City Counsel, this community will be living in a crime-ridden slum in the next few years. Oh, by the way, you can thank your existing City counsel for the new 48% hike in garbage prices. Another great contract negotiated for the people by our City Counsel.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster's assertion that "The new affordable developments in this city are now riddled with crime and that crime is seeping in to our community" is patently false. It's inflammatory statements like this that show the vast ignorance of the majority of those who post here.

A quick check of the crime stats actually show burglary has declined between 2004 and 2005, and Part 1 crimes have decreased on a "per capita" basis.

It's a shame when ignorance rears its ugly little head on this blog.

Anonymous said...

In response to the previous posting on ignorance. Check out the crime facts for yourself, and then ask, who is ignorant?

Go to: www.areaconnect.com then enter the two cities you want to compare. Enter San Ramon, CA for City #1; and, enter Danville, CA for City #2, press enter. The results speak for themselves, (ie. San Ramon Vehicle theft was 310, and, Danville was 106) for 2004 crime comparison per 100,000 people. Don't let City Hall fool you!

The new term being used at City Hall is "Affordable Housing" and, is code for "low income housing." The City Council has implemented this type of housing throughout San Ramon.

Anonymous said...

The problem with statistics is that if you don't tell your frame of reference then the data is meaningless. Comparing San Ramon to Danville may make San Ramon look like an unsafe place, however, if you compare San Ramon to Oakland, Richmond or other places, then San Ramon is much safer. It's all in how you frame the data.

FBI Part 1 crime statistics show that between 2004 and 2005 San Ramon's overall Part 1 crimes declined by 245 reports. By comparison, Part 1 crimes between 2003 and 2004 increased by 129. During the same time period 2003 - 2005 our population grew by 6,808.

The Part 1 crimes per 100,000 population figure in 2005 is the lowest since the city has been incorporated.

I personally feel that San Ramon is a very safe city to live in. You might not, nothing is keeping you from finding a safer place to live.

As for your fear of those who live in "low income" housing, you might be surprised that many of the police officers who patrol our streets and keep us safe ( along with fire fighters and teachers) can't afford to live in the same city they protect and serve.

Put another way, in the event of a natural disaster, aid and support might be as long as 72 hours away. I would feel very comfortable knowing that a trained fire fighter, EMT, paramedic or police officer lives in my neighborhood instead of Tracy, Manteca, or some other city where they can afford to live.

It's time we change our attitude about affordable housing and begin to understand that it benefits our entire community.

Phillip said...

Just a bit of clarification for the crime rate stats. The area connect link for a comparison between San Ramon and Danille can be found here at www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm

These stats will be updated in October.

People can look at the crime rate stats in various ways. The argument was not necessarily about the crime in the neighborhood, but how the Mayor has flip-flopped on the issue of zoning for two of the three San Ramon Golf Courses.

For all of the City Council's arguments for changing the golf courses to Commercial Recreation from Parks zoning, and now in a period of a month to say they agree that Commercial Recreation is not a good zoning category for the golf courses, after they unanimously passed the CR zoning changes, while ignoring hundreds of citizens that spoke out against this change over a course of seven months, is very inconsistent and irresponsible of the City Council. Additionally, for the Mayor and City Council to repeatedly put down the argument of the concerned citizens, having stated, "These people do not know what they are talking about," is another sign that this City Council is out of touch with the citizens of San Ramon.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the clip is courtesy TV30's "Mayor's Report", an entirely different show than "TV30 News".

San Ramon said...

Thank you for pointing that out. It is now corrected.

Anonymous said...

From the mayor's actions and behavior at council meetings, has obviously grown a bit too large for his britches. Hopefully, we have a viable candidate for mayor at the next election.