It is unfortunate that the "Central Park Plan" initiative appears to be a classic bait and switch attempt. The bait being the "signature Central Park," with the switch being the hidden agenda of removing all housing from the area, which will require that the city of Livermore pay some $14 million in lieu of providing housing on the site.

The evidence is right there on the VibrantLivermore.com home page, and on the rendering sitting in front of every paid signature gatherer around town. On the right side of that rendering is a discrete two-story building with an "Artisan Market" sign. The reality is that the Central Park Plan calls for three-story, ultra-high-density housing in that location. The housing density specified in the initiative for that site is 150 dwelling units per acre. To give you a sense of what that means, the highest density anywhere else in the downtown is 55 dwelling units per acre. For reference, the building going up at Chestnut and P Streets is an example of a 55du density.

Figure 5-1C in the initiative also tells the story. Compare the size of the "160-room hotel plus amenities" on the northwest area of the site to the "multi-family residential" structure on the other side of the central park. Those residential units are going to be about the same size as a hotel room.

After the initiative passes someone will "discover" what a half-acre of 440 square foot flats is going to look like sitting right next to the central park, and another effort will be started to remove that ultra-high-density housing, which will cost the city the aforementioned $14 million.

It's no wonder that the plans put forth by the City weren't able to include as much open space as the Central Park Plan. They followed the density rules for housing in the downtown. The Central Park Plan "colors outside the lines" by tripling the housing density, apparently with the hope that the housing will go away at some point in the future.