60-Unit Downtown Dublin Development Gets Green Light

Contra Costa Times

November 17, 2015

DUBLIN — When the City Council took a brief intermission at Tuesday’s meeting, a flock of residents hustled to submit their speaking cards. It was a harbinger for what has become the norm: a stream of furious residents imploring the council to snuff out a proposal to add residential units to a city that has become weary with growth.

This time the effort was to no avail, as the City Council voted 3-1 with one abstention to approve a plan by Trumark Homes to add 60 units to downtown Dublin in the form of nine contemporary-styled three-story buildings replete with rooftop decks.

The development will be on a 2.7-acre parcel in the 7000 block of Regional Street, within the retail segment of the Downtown Dublin Specific Plan.

In approving the project, council members suggested the development could revitalize Dublin’s downtown, an area that has struggled to carve out a cohesive identity when compared to its neighbors in the Tri-Valley.

“If we really are intent on having a downtown, we have to move forward on these type of things,” said Councilman Don Biddle.

Meanwhile, residents raised what have become frequent objections to growth, arguing that more development would exacerbate issues with traffic, parking and school overcrowding.

“Dublin has become a new word for ‘homes everywhere,’ ” said Ganesan Ramu. “I think it’s going to be added in the dictionary.”

The bare facts of what was on the agenda was whether an agreement, which would provide the city with roughly $1.8 million between cash, an affordable housing allowance and a trash capture unit, was sufficient.

But those elements were nowhere near as salient as the debate over growth.

City Councilman Kevin Hart, who opposed the development, called the project “dead on arrival,” primarily citing issues with traffic and parking.

Vice Mayor Abe Gupta, known as the most anti-growth member of the council, supported the project. Gupta said the current look of the area was undesirable and hoped the development would be a catalyst for future downtown growth. He touted a similarly designed project by Trumark in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles.

Doreen Wehrenberg also supported the project, while Mayor David Haubert abstained.

Residents, many of whom during the public comment period bristled with frustration at the pace of building, lamented the decision as they filed out of council chambers.

“Why do we even bother speaking?” one woman said.