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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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A bad decision haunts East Dublin

Uploaded: Mar 10, 2016

East Dublin parents and members of both the Dublin school board and the Dublin City Council are wrestling with the effects of a decision made more than a decade ago.
In the mid-1990s, the initial plans to “Double Dublin” were submitted that started the process from open grass fields to the planned development you see today. The process was similar to what was done just north in the Dougherty Valley of San Ramon and Contra Costa County.
In both cases, there was a master developer (two in case of San Ramon) handling the overall planning for the community and working with both the cities and the school districts to determine what was needed. In San Ramon, although the approval was through the county, the developers and the city worked together to basically duplicate in the Dougherty Valley facilities and amenities that were present in the existing city.
That’s why there is a community center with a small theater, a branch library and plenty of parks in the Dougherty Valley. The planning in San Ramon also included a full range of schools (elementary through a high school).
It should be noted that district officials and city planners missed on the influx of Asians and Indians with larger families so an additional elementary school is needed.
There was that same miss in East Dublin—who could have guessed in the 1990s that Feng Shui would be an important consideration in housing design to sell homes?
The bigger miss was the decision to improve and expand Dublin High School (which had shrunk to less than 1,000 students at its lowest enrollment) so it would be the only high school in the city. Union City has taken a similar approach with James Logan. (Developers in San Ramon also worked to get state funds to greatly expand and improve California High to accommodate students before Dougherty Valley came on line.)
The challenge in Dublin that decision-makers just flat out missed is how students get to school. The upgraded Dublin High campus is good and located well for the older neighborhoods, but the transportation is awful if you live on the eastside.
With the Parks Reserves Forces Training Area dividing Dublin east-to-west, there is only one arterial road serving the city—Dublin Boulevard. To reach Dublin High from the east side involves driving down Dublin Boulevard to either Dougherty Road or Village Parkway and then wending their way to the high school (It’s particularly bad taking Dougherty to Amador Valley and then to Brighton (narrow and going right through a neighborhood) to reach the school.
The transportation factor was a huge miss as was the reality that East Dublin folks, who already feel isolated from the original city, do not have a high school to rally around.
The challenge now is coming up with both very expensive land and a cool $100 million or so to build a comprehensive high school. No wonder, alternatives such as satellite campuses or small magnet schools are being considered.
The decision-makers in Dublin today are trying to cope with what was a just a bad decision made years ago. Parents are right to pressure the elected officials, but they are playing with a bad hand and limited options because of those prior decisions.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Dublin school traffic?

For anyone who has a child going to Foothill HS let me just say that the traffic for that school is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS but for different reasons.

To get into the area to pick up my daughter there is a turnout that goes from 2 lanes to 3, with the middle lane being a pass-through.

However, what happens is that there is some mother (and it is ALWAYS a mother) who parks right before the middle lane opens up and holds up ALL the traffic so that her precious kids don't have to walk an additional 100ft to the car.

There appears to be a traffic-watcher but he just stands there and says nothing. Meanwhile, the traffic in both directions on Foothill is backed-up for a 1/4 mile and moves at a snails pace.

PLEASE FOOTHILL, have your traffic guy move the traffic along!

Whew! There...I vented.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.


Aren't you a Uber fan?

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


Why yes Michael, I am a fan of Uber!?

Now would you please explain what that has to do with my traffic complaint at Foothill, or for that matter, traffic in Dublin?

I'm, oddly, curious to know.


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:59 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Have Uber drive your child to school!
Than you will not have to deal with the traffic!

Posted by J, a resident of Vineyard Hills,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 8:58 am

Tim Hunt is fixated on school overcrowding issues in Dublin, but he played a role in the even more overcrowded Pleasanton schools. Tim took a very public position opposing building a third comprehensive high school in Pleasanton, when PUSD had the money and ability to do so. Tim's wife was a PUSD teacher at the time and the teachers union wanted campus operating money to be used for salary and benefits.
Pleasanton lost valuable facilities that would have served our community in perpetuity. With the thousands of new housing units being built... the school overcrowding and traffic problems in Pleasanton have only just begun.

MA, really??

Posted by Tony, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

Why are you writing about issues in Dublin? Is this a commentary or editorial? You do not have any sourced facts or quotes from anybody? Where did you get your information?

Posted by Bill, a resident of Pleasanton Heights,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Quit the Dublin stalking. Your fixation is not healthy.

This is the Pleasanton Weekly.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Ok Michael,

Your comment was so brilliantly presented. It was witty and informative without any hint of sarcasm or jealousy.

Happy now?


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

I think what's absolutely terrific is that of all the comments on this topic, only one poster has absolutely nothing to say about the topic.

Talk about troll.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Trolls are anonymous!

Posted by SharksFan, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 9:48 pm

"It should be noted that district officials and city planners missed on the influx of Asians and Indians with larger families so an additional elementary school is needed."

As a Cal grad, Tim should know that Indians are Asians.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Let's talk about the overcrowding in our Pleasanton schools! It am extremely frustrated with all the new housing being built especially rentals.. My daughter goes to Fairlands and only 6 kids out of the 25 in her class live in the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood. The rest live in the apartments by the hospital. How do I know this? There is a class roster with addresses. I am not against renters, however, I moved to Pleasanton because I thought this was a community where my kids could grow up with kids that lived in their neighborhood. I guess I had nieve visions of my kids having friends from Kindergarten to High School. I find there to be an increasing transient culture to this area and it is disappointing to me.

Posted by Fred Rihinely, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 12, 2016 at 8:48 am

A few bicycles will fix the traffic problem and maybe the students will lose some weight in the process.

Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 12, 2016 at 11:19 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

What is truly odd is Dougherty Valley has been mentioned several times by the author as a 'master planned' community; like somehow they got it right? Just looking at Gale Ranch the schools are at capacity or over already DVHS is slated to have over 3000k as the elementary and middle school bubble moves towards it.
Why does any of this matter? In Gale Ranch alone there are 1800+ units about to/will come online in the next year. A single new elementary school will help at the bottom end, but nothing for middle or HS.
Developers clearly underestimate how many children will be in each house so they won't be on the hook for building schools. I mean, really, no other big draw to move to Gale Ranch BESIDES the schools.
So, nope DV as master planned community did not quite get it right.

Posted by [email protected], a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm

It's not just that Asians have big families, but often apartments and condos are shared by two families, which was never anticipated in the development of Dougherty Valley. You can't blame the planners for that.

The City Council kicked in $1M to the School District to share the theater at DV High School for a Performing Arts Center. That has worked out very well.

There is still room to add on to the High School, but if it isn't needed yet, then why do it now? Wait until the need is closer. We don't want to overbuild for a short term bubble.


Posted by caywen, a resident of Del Prado,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Another option seems to be Central Parkway. This road has a sign indicating future widening to 4 lanes for many years.

Posted by caywen, a resident of Del Prado,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Another option seems to be Central Parkway. This road has a sign indicating future widening to 4 lanes for many years.

Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 7:41 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Roz: The fact that many houses have multi-generational families is NOT a new phenomena. So old, in fact, should have been part of the planning. And certainly not limited to 'Asian' families. And condos and apts generally have rules about how many can live per bedroom (loosely enforced no doubt). Still, a variable that should have been considered. Doesn't matter since those 'possible' variables aren't the cause of the current over capacity school issue. Pretty much only reason to move to DV IS the schools, so stands to reason most who DO move here ARE for the schools. Please also keep in mind the apts buildings here in DV were REQUIRED to clear he 'below market value' requirements. Again, part of the planning.
the HS is already being built out. In a few short time it will have over 3k students for a site designed for 2k. A problem for sure. At least for parents with grade school kids....

Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of Vineyard Hills,
on Mar 16, 2016 at 9:38 am

ED DATA Most recent info is 2013-2014
Web Link
Dubin has done a vey poor job of planning. They have a fraight train of kids speeding toward their High School!

Dublin HS 1,906

Eleanor Murray Fallon 1,021
Wells Middle School 820

Murray Elementary 382
Frederiksen 698
John Green 910
James Dougherty 805
Harold William Kolb School 960
Valley High (Continuation) 79

Now for the all so superior PUSD. Pleasaton has been having a party of approving thousands of housing units with no regard for the fact that even school exceeds the City General plan for enrollment. With every campus overcrowded PUSD has not begun to feel the impact of the thousands of units already approved and being built. Every Pleasanton campus is landlocked with no space for expansion. Pleasantons Amador HS is 160% overcrowded per State recommendation of land required.
General Plan guideline is 600 Students per Elementary School –
Alisal Elementary 626
Donlon Elementary 771
Fairlands Elementary 746
Henry P. Mohr Elementary 697
Lydiksen Elementary 713
Hearst Elementary 705
Valley View Elementary 681
Vintage Hills Elementary 610
Walnut Grove Elementary 712

General Plan guideline is 1000 Students per Middle School–
Harvest Park Middle 1,222
Pleasanton Middle 1,239
Hart Middle 1,112

General Plan guideline is 2000 Students per High School –
Amador Valley High 2,634
Foothill High 2,158
Village High 98

Oops! Doesn't look good for PUSD either!

Posted by Shane, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 2, 2016 at 12:51 am

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