Pleasanton’s Costco project, which has seen years of delay, has hit yet another speed bump in the form of a lawsuit this month.
On the heels of a Feb. 4 city council meeting, a group by the name of Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth (PCRG) on March 4 filed its second lawsuit seeking to stop the project, slated for the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ). The lawsuit came after the City Council on Feb. 4 voted to certify the project’s final Partial Recirculated Supplemental Environmental Impact Review (PRSEIR).
“We were forced to file a second lawsuit against the project due to the still-insufficient environmental study performed for the JDEDZ, and the failure of the City of Pleasanton and Costco to fully evaluate and disclose the true impacts of the project,” wrote PCRG spokesperson Matt Sullivan in a press release.
“Especially egregious is the lack of analysis performed on the cumulative impacts to air quality, public health and traffic from the project itself, and from the hundreds of thousands of square feet of new commercial development along Interstates 580 and 680 that Dublin and Pleasanton have together approved since the original project EIR was performed in 2015,” the release said.
While the City Council is unable to comment on pending litigation, Councilman Jerry Pentin spoke to the project itself.
“I know that the City of Pleasanton, city staff and council have vetted this project fully, if not beyond expectations,” Pentin said. “We know, by a resounding margin with the ballot measure in 2016, that our residents want a Costco sited in the JDEDZ. I know that the JDEDZ is our best opportunity to bring economic vitality to this area of Pleasanton. So yes, I’m disappointed that there is a new filing — that there may be more delays with this project — but am fully confident that the City of Pleasanton will fulfill any requirements necessary for this project to proceed.”
The lawsuit hinges around opponents’ claim of the city’s failure to respond adequately to comments on the draft EIR. They argue that the project violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires public agencies to analyze the environmental impacts of a project, while mitigating any of those adverse impacts, such as additional traffic and more air pollution.
Costco hopes to build a warehouse store on roughly 40 acres at Johnson Drive and Commerce Circle. The area is zoned mixed-use with light industrial, office and retail, currently housing 224,688 square feet of occupied building space. The project would increase the building space up to 535,490 square feet of building space.
The Costco project began in 2015 when the city released a supplemental EIR (SEIR) before seeking voter approval in 2016. Voters said yes. That was followed by council approval of the final SEIR. The first petition followed shortly thereafter, filed through the Alameda County Superior Court on Dec. 1, 2017, challenging the city’s actions under CEQA.
To view the December 2019 Planning Commission report, visit https://bit.ly/3d4WEGI.