Glenn Stewart, Livermore
In a July 7, 2016 letter to The Independent, former Mayor Marchand said: “Our greatest successes come when we work together.
In 2016, the city council chose Lennar Multifamily and Presidio to develop 8.2 acres of land without inviting the community.
The city council had already decided to build a hotel to the east (Presidio) and high-rise condominiums (Lennar) next to Blacksmith Square on the 8 acres of prime real estate without input from residents of Livermore.
The City was moving forward without a master plan and, for most of us, without consultation with planners. I assume that our former and current members of the city council have experience in urban planning.
Council member Bob Woerner proposed in June 2017 to the Town Center Development Steering Committee that a hotel and its parking lot be separated from the planning of the rest of the Town Center development site.
This is exactly what the city council approved 5 years ago.
The City has hired three consultants regarding the feasibility of a downtown hotel. Consultant #1 said they work with a hotel developer on parking needs. Consultant #2 said a hotel should engage and activate the community, have character and a fit that reflects community consensus. Consultant #3 said a 125-room hotel would need a 2,000 square foot conference room, as meeting space to fill the rooms. Rakesh Patel of Presidio said a hotel in the west or east is doable. He was asked if timing (to build a hotel quickly) was not an issue, if a hotel on the west side would work. He said yes.”
At several council meetings, residents urged the council to increase public participation through workshops. Community workshops for the downtown redevelopment began in September 2017.
The results of the workshops indicated that the majority of residents preferred a hotel on the west side, were concerned about increased traffic congestion, lack of parking, community character, open spaces, new commercial uses, facilities cultural with housing last.
In 2018, the City Council approved a massive 5-level L-Street conventional parking lot, 4.5-story Eden Housing on the west side, and a 4.5-story boutique hotel on the east side of Livermore Ave.
Did you know that openness and accountability go hand in hand with local government transparency?
How many of you reading this letter think there has been transparency from our past and present city councils?
Residents should put in place public servants, who work in the best interests of the community.