Dublin scraps 573-home development over referendum threat

By Joseph Geha, East Bay Times, March 3, 2022

“A petition by some residents against the development forced the council to either repeal its approval or put the project on a ballot to let voters decide its fate.

“The council’s unanimous decision [on March 1st] to repeal its December approval quashed the East Ranch project from San Ramon developer Trumark Homes, which called for 573 houses to be built across 165 acres of vacant land next to sprawling residential developments near Dublin’s eastern boundary.

“The previous agreement guaranteed that 50 granny units and 18 houses would be reserved as affordable and Trumark would pay almost $5.5 million in affordable housing fees. Also, Trumark would turn over a two-acre plot at the southern edge of the site, intended to be used for housing for people who are developmentally disabled, that could be overseen by nonprofits Eden Housing and Sunflower Hill.

“A potential new project proposed under the state Housing Accountability Act, however, would only require Trumark to meet minimum affordable housing standards in the city, requiring 12.5 percent of the houses to be reserved at below-market-rate prices, or some can be reserved and the developer can pay in-lieu fees to make up the for the rest.

“Council members said they support residents’ rights to petition, but were disappointed about possibly losing out on a site for the Sunflower Hill project.

“ ‘It’s desperately needed, and if it doesn’t come to fruition because of this, that’s just very disappointing for us as a community,’ [Councilmember Shawn] Kumagai said of housing for disabled residents.”

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