Brown sues over city's general plan

Chris Rizo Jun. 25, 2009, 9:39am

Jerry Brown (D)

PLEASANTON, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown is challenging the city of Pleasanton's 13-year-old limit on housing construction, saying the Bay Area community is flouting state housing laws.

In a legal challenge filed Wednesday, the Democratic attorney general said the city's housing plan is, among other things, adding to vehicle use and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Pleasanton's draconian and illegal limit on new housing forces people to commute long distances, adding to the bumper-to-bumper traffic along (Interstates) 580 and 680 and increasing dangerous air pollution," Brown said. "It's time for Pleasanton to balance its housing and its jobs and take full advantage of its underutilized land and proximity to BART," the Bay Area Rapid Transit System.

The lawsuit seeks to repeal a ballot measure Pleasanton voters approved in 1996 that allowed no more than a total of 29,000 housing units in the city, which at the time already had 21,180 homes, apartment units and condominiums and now has 27,000 units.

In papers filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the attorney general argued that Pleasanton's housing shortage will worsen if the city adopts a revised general plan. The revised plan calls for more office construction and the creation of 45,000 jobs by 2025--without allowing any additional housing to accommodate the employees.

The Pleasanton City Council is scheduled to consider the plan at a July 21 meeting.

Brown's said in court papers that the city's 29,000-unit limit will leave Pleasanton 1,270 housing units short of the minimum that state and regional agencies have determined the city will need through 2014.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

More News