You're likely familiar with the acronym NIMBY -- Not in My Back Yard. Well, if you listen carefully to the Dublin winds, you may hear YIMBY -- Yes in My Back Yard -- being loudly raised by a group of Dubliners who want the City Council to slow down or stop new housing on the east side of town but say "yes" to making developers build a long-delayed retail plaza that was promised.
That's admittedly a pretty simplistic explanation to what is developing into a bit of a complex row between community activists and City Council members. Council Member David Haubert recently voted to have city staff study the current situation and determine the best balance of housing and retail in a development known as the Promenade.
"At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, and that's quality retail and commercial and what's best for Dublin. I'm glad there's an engaged and informed public. My job as a council member is to be engaged with them," says Haubert.
Since it was first developed many years ago, the Dublin Master Plan laid out a vision for housing and retail on the expanding east side. But that plan was created long before the economic and housing downturn (and now recovery) and before the Paragon outlet mall across the freeway in Livermore was even envisioned. As a result, various City Councils have made slight amendments to the master plan, which is precisely what the activists want to see occur again, especially in regards to the building of a strollable retail and restaurant complex that area residents were told would be built.
Developers appear to have shelved those plans and want to see more high-density housing, suggesting that there are not enough people living in the area to make a Promenade retail complex viable. This is a position that the activists and some City Council members -- including Haubert -- believe to be inaccurate. Haubert says he wasn't on the council at the time of the original vote for that area but would have mandated retail be included.
"I would not have approved the building and occupancy of the condos (in that area) without requiring that the retail was built."
Haubert says the reason he voted to go ahead with a study of additional housing along with less retail is because there's not enough data yet known. He says he is not in favor of ditching the Promenade retail area in lieu of housing, as developers would like.
"Retail will be built in some fashion," adds Haubert. "Of the whole land area available, I would currently guess that somewhere between a quarter-and-a-half will be devoted to a walkable, non-big box store retail area."
The YIMBY residents are pushing for a town-hall meeting with council members and the general public sometime in January.
Citizen of the Year: Do you know of a deserving adult, young person or organization that should be recognized for their contributions to Dublin? If so, then you need to fill out and submit a nomination for the city's annual awards program.
The 2013 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Organization of the year "recognize outstanding individuals and groups who have contributed to the quality of life in Dublin in 2013," according to a news release. The Young Citizen of the Year recognizes the volunteer service of a Dublin student in the first through 12th grade.
To learn more about the specific criteria or to obtain a nomination, go to the city's website www.dublin.ca.gov, or call the city clerk's office at 925-833-6650. The nomination deadline is Jan. 17 at 5 p.m.
Contact Alan Elias at email@example.com.