The Dublin City Council made the right decision to listen to its constituents this week. After two meetings, a generous handful of hours and dozens of public speakers, the At Dublin project was voted down 4-1.
The project would have seen development on 79.9 acres of land bound by Tassajara Road, Interstate 580, Brannigan Street and Gleason Drive. For any municipality, adding rooftops can generate generous revenue, but the main sentiment of those opposed seemed to echo the question: At what cost?
The answer would have been the quality of life and education in Dublin. The fees developers kick in for school districts would not offset the impact new students would bring to the already cramped Dublin campuses.
In addition, the plan called for 566 residential units, but they weren’t affordable housing. At the very least, the proposal should have included an immediate action plan for a portion of those proposed residential units to be affordable on the first wave of construction.
As pointed out by one opponent of the project, according to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals from 2016-2023, Dublin is providing housing in these categories: 3.3% Very Low Income, 8.7% Low Income, 7.3% in Moderate Income and 551.5% Above Moderate Income. Because of current concerns about the effects of the pandemic and social inequality, it is now particularly important for Dublin to shoulder its share of low-cost housing.
The plan also resulted in a 217% increase of residential units and a 74% reduction of the commercial space. It was a recipe to encumber the city with more traffic and residents, while dwindling the opportunity for commercial growth. Overall, the project was too large for the area already burdened with the poor reputation of careless overdevelopment.
While some speakers spoke in favor of the project, the overwhelming concern from longtime residents who’ve watched Dublin grow beyond its britches resulted in a positive response from leadership. The council listened to the public.
There is a lesson to be learned. Continue actively engaging in your local government. Your voice can make all the difference.