City of Dublin

During a seven-hour marathon meeting and public comment period, the Dublin City Council Monday night shot down a proposed apartment and retail development on a parcel of land in the eastern portion of the city.

The At Dublin project was denied 4-1, with councilmember Jean Josey the lone vote in support of the development. The meeting was a continuation from the previous week when technical difficulties on the video feed forced the council to reschedule to a special meeting Monday, June 22.

Nearly 50 speaker cards were submitted to the council, with approximately half that many calling in to the meeting to voice their opinions. The comments were varied.

“I’m a Dublin resident, and I want to urge you to vote no for the following reasons,” said Robert Doig. “You voted ‘no’ two years ago… and number two, your planning commission rejected it twice. We look to you for your continued leadership.”

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce spoke out in favor of the project, as did other community members.

“I'm a 31-year resident of Dublin, and I want to let the council know now that I support the Dublin project as presented,” said Dublin resident Marilyn Hansen. “The Bay Area is sorely lacking in housing. I feel the project is aligned with city council and state mandates for more housing … I urge the council to approve.”

Matt Regan, member of the Bay Area Council on Housing, also supported the project, saying he couldn’t recall a project that had been as generous as far as impact fees and benefits were concerned.

“I would caution you to proceed with extreme caution, because we are seeing as close as Lafayette where they abjectly refuse (to build) and the decision is being taken out of their hands,” Regan said. “I would urge you to approve this great project, or you face the potential of (another project) being approved without input or community benefits.”

The At Dublin project, a 79.9-acre proposal bordering Tassajara Road, Interstate 580, Brannigan Street and Gleason Drive, calls for 566 residential units and 240,000 square feet of commercial space. The project was planned to include apartments, detached small-lot single-family homes, senior housing, retail development and other infrastructure and landscape improvements. The current general plan allows for 261 residential units and 902,563 square feet of commercial development on the parcels. Approval of the project would have required amending the city’s general plan and the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan.

But a lack of traffic impact considerations, among other items – including the future planned high school near the project – proved problematic for the council and some of the community.

“We’re outraged that this has been called good for the community,” said Dublin resident Shirley Lewandowski. “You have the right to turn down this project … please listen to the residents and not the developers.”

David Burrows agreed, urging the council to reject the project.

“We as residents will make every effort to replace the council members who ignore the overwhelming input from the community that now is not the right time to rezone for more housing,” Burrows said. “It would be better to leave this important property vacant for a time than to take this bum deal.”

Kevin Fryer, with Shea Homes, said that traffic impact studies had been conducted taking into account afternoon traffic, but not morning traffic. It remained a sticking point for members of the council in their final decision.

“We want to continue to try and find a way to move the project forward,” said Fryer. “I don’t think that the project is unsalvageable. But I’m not sure that I know exactly what the road is to success here.”

In the end, the council agreed.

“(Shea has) the opportunity to work with the community; they have the opportunity to work with us … but they know the mountain they have to climb,” said Mayor David Haubert. “If they decide not to come back, they don’t come back.”

The proposed project was the third attempt by developers to claim the same property. In 2013, SummerHill Homes tried twice to build, but was unsuccessful. In 2015, Trumark developers also presented to the council for a similar yet smaller project, to no avail.

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