The Dublin City Council can affect nearly 3,000 units of future growth, or 55% of the residential units still remaining for construction, as set out in the city’s General Plan. This would control the rapid growth that Dublin has had in the past three to four years.

The council learned during its Jan. 8 meeting that 5,292 total units could become a reality if the General Plan were not modified.

The estimated total is based on the middle range of the highest and lowest densities in a General Plan zoning district, a staff planner stated. The inventory provides a snapshot of the General Plan as of Nov. 30, 2018.

The total number of the remaining units are split into two categories: vested and non-vested. The vested properties are those for which developers have either a development agreement with the city, or a vested tentative map. The council cannot touch those, without risking a lawsuit from a developer.

The non-vested properties have no such approvals. Developers have the right to build on them, but the densities can be negotiated.

The 2923 non-vested units represent 55% of the remaining homes; the 2359 vested units amount to 45%.

The biggest segment of the non-vested total is located in the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan, at 1716 units. In the vested category, some 446 units remain to be built. They include 220 at Ashton Station and 105 on the Moller Ranch.

The second largest area of non-vested units is sited in the Downtown Dublin Specific Plan, with 1218 units. The Downtown Dublin Specific Plan shows 499 vested units, all of them in the Bayview Apartments on St. Patrick’s Way. They were approved last year on a 4-1 vote by the previous City Council, with Councilmember Arun Goel opposed.

The third major planning area is positioned in the Dublin Crossing Specific Plan. All of its 1395 units are vested, with some under construction.

A fourth, minor area, called the Historic Area Specific Plan, shows 19 vested units in the Schaefer Ranch, and no non-vested units.

The staff report was informational only; no action was taken. Mayor David Haubert called for the report several months ago. Staff has plans to follow up with reports that address more aspects of the density’s impact, including mitigation that would be needed for traffic congestion.

The inventory discussion comes at a time when two new councilmembers, Jean Josey and Shawn Kumagai, have begun their terms.

Growth has been a contentious issue for several years in Dublin, because of its effects on school campus population, and the ever-growing traffic congestion, especially on Dublin Boulevard and the streets that feed into it. Many of the complaints have come from residents in the East Dublin Specific Plan, who want growth slowed or reduced to help control what they say is a traffic nightmare along Dublin Boulevard. East Dublin residents must drive down Dublin Boulevard to bring their teen-age children to Dublin High School. However, the school district is planning a second high school campus for up to 2500 students at the 23-acre former Promenade proposed site between Dublin Boulevard and Central Parkway, east of Chancery Lane.

THALBLUM IS NEW PLANNING PANELIST

The council reappointed planning commissioner Scott Mittan to a four-year term on the Dublin Planning Commission, and appointed former Councilmember Janine Thalblum to a four-year term. Dawn Benson was assigned to a two-year term. She is a former Dublin San Ramon Services District director.

Thalblum served nine months on the council, as an appointee replacing the late Vice-mayor Don Biddle. She agreed not to run for re-election as a condition of her appointment. The council made it clear that her promise does not bar her from any future run for a council seat.

The selections were made by Haubert, but under Dublin’s appointments policy, the council has a voice, and can override choices with which it does not agree.

There were 14 applicants for three terms on the planning commission. Kumagai asked Haubert what “litmus test” he used to determine selections. Josey said, “On the campaign trail, we heard a lot of sentiment for fresh (opinions). We heard that people want change in the city, new ideas. How do you weigh that versus people with good experience?”

Haubert said that incumbent planning commissioner Mittan brought four years’ experience to the commission, the longest on the five-member panel. Two others had two years; the remaining two would be new.

Haubert said he thought more experience was needed, so he selected Thalblum, with her council experience, and Benson, because of her service on the DSRSD board.

Haubert said he thought similarly about experience vs. freshness in other appointments, trying to get a geographical balance around the city, and as much of a gender balance as possible. He also asked staff’s opinion about people who had a record of service.

Goel thanked Haubert for sharing his process, and said his proposals had “a lot of depth and breadth. not just a stroke of the brush.”

On the Human Services Commission, Ankita Sharma and Janet Songey were reappointed to four-year terms; Candy Velasco was chosen for a two-year term.

The council reappointed Joe Washington, and appointed former school board member Sameer Hakim as well as Kristen Speck to the Parks and Community Services Commission, all to four-year terms.

Kathy Blackburn was reappointed, and Gina Gabriell and Steve Minnier were appointed to the Heritage and Cultural Arts Commission to four-year terms.

On the Senior Center Advisory Committee, Christine Sevier, Michele Wayland, and Susan Wood were appointed to four-year terms. Susan Miller was given a two-year appointment.