Barbara Doggett, Livermore

For one moment, put aside all the arguments about where to put Eden Housing, parking spaces, open spaces, and broken promises.

Just simply ask yourself the bigger question, what is it that makes Livermore a unique place for living and visiting. Until now, our beautiful town has grown in good ways. Do you want it to continue and thrive for us and for future generations? Twenty years ago, when I said I worked in Livermore, the response would be,” Where?”

Our home was an unknown, obscure, little city. Twenty years ago, people went to Pleasanton or Tracy for dinner, movies, and street fairs,

Today, people come here for all of this, wine and beer tasting and more. I have friends that come from San Leandro just for dinner, to shop and to stroll around. Today, when I say, “I live in Livermore,” we are recognized throughout the U.S. … even in Europe, I ordered Wente wine in restaurants. Today, our town has retained its attraction with unique, old, wine-country atmosphere, while smartly modernizing first street. Today, Livermore has become a destination for visitors, family neighborhoods, and young adults.

But ask yourself these questions about planning our future:

• Will driving downtown L street between 1st and Railroad, with 3- and 4-story buildings on both sides of the street be like driving through a dark tunnel?

• Is a 4-story building domineering and darkening the park area appropriate? The only other 4-storied structures are public buildings - the parking garage (away from pedestrian town) and the Bankhead theater (unimposing - set way back with public use space in front).

• How will fewer parking spaces adversely impact local businesses?

• How and why did this present Eden Housing plan emerge from the original, and subsequent myriad of proposals over the last four years, to be the largest and most invasive?

• Why is the central park the only place for the massive Eden Housing, when many other nearby sites are available?

Now is a vital pivotal decision-making point for the future of our community. Do we take a lead from the Napa-Sanoma area to continue the warm wine country environment welcoming residents and visitors? Or do we to greatly overbuild downtown into a Dublin-Fremont type of city. Hopefully, our Mayor and City Council are good visionary stewards of our community.

What do you want to happen?