Union City: Save Our Hills scheduled to hold rally Tuesday night at City Hall

Here’s part of a press announcement released by Save Our Hills, the grassroots group that opposes a plan to build housing east of Mission Boulevard near The Masonic Homes in Union City. Here’s the announcement: 

Save Our Hills and the community will speak out against this development and is asking for your support to protect pristine views of our hills for future generations.  We do not have enough open space and agricultural land in the region.

Please join our rally in the front of City Hall Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, June 10th

City Hall

34009 Alvarado-Niles Road

Union City

6:30- 8:00 PM


Chris DeBenedetti

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    Chris, what requirements does one need if they wanted their cause showcased and promoted in a post to the TCB? Just a website and an assertion that one represents *something* seems to be it.

    My organization called “Save Our Hills From Save Our Hills” is scheduled to have lunch at 1230 pm today. At this lunch, we discuss/rally/protest/muse over the development of topic. Please notify the community of this pressing event.

    Martin Force
    Founder, Save Our Hills From Save Our Hills and aspiring municipal committee member.

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    Here is the official website of “Save Our Hills From Save Our Hills”


    See, we are an official activist group too! Chris, please promote it at will.


    Martin Force
    Founder, Save Our Hills From Save Our Hills

  • bbox231

    “Hill area” as shown on the general plan consists of three distinct hill areas, namely:

    (a) The hill area located above the toe of the hill line, subject to the provisions of the Hill Area Initiative of 2002.

    (b) The hill area located below the toe of the hill line but within the area affected by the Hillside Initiative of 1981. This area is generally located easterly of Mission Boulevard and I-680.

    (c) The other hill areas not included in subsections (a) and (b) of this section. These areas are generally located between the northern and southern crossings of Mission Boulevard and I-680 as well as the Coyote Hills area.”

    Hey – whatdya know – there’s more to it than just that thing we all point to and call “a hill”. . . but we all knew that already – - right?


  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    Yes box, there certainly is more to it than “saving our hills”. You get the joke.

  • bbox231

    Oh hell no…. Youre not gonna play that “i was only joking” excuse are you??? #fail

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    You got me, boxie. The website is totally serious. Caught again :(


    Martin Force
    Founder, Save Our Hills From Save Our Hills and a serious man.

  • bbox231

    Geezus, Marty – at least have the guts to stand somewhere on your own convictions – - however flawed they may be.

  • bbox231

    Come on marty at least have the guts to stand by your position and call it what it is. Humor isnt selective in its application.
    But since you appear to be flailing wildly to identify your own position … bigotry comes to mind..

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    “…bigotry comes to mind..”

    Expound on that please. Sounds interesting.

  • Charlie C

    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of reasonable development is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of a professional sports franchise coming to your community is no virtue!

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    Chirp, chirp…

    Boxie must be laying down and getting some rest after spending so many hours standing by his convictions.

  • Bill Spicer

    Union City is just wants to save there hills, like Fremont has…. Go to Hayward or Milpitas, the hills are covered with homes, looks ugly…

  • Esteemed Poster Marty

    Bill, this development is not on the hillside. It is a swath of land in front of the hills that is entirely flat. Look at a google map and drive by the land in question. The development is 100% in line with current development immediately north and south of the Masons property, all of which is not intrusive of the hill landscape in any way.

    Opposition to this development is hyperbolic crap.

  • bbox231

    It may be hyperbolic crap Marty but it also respects Fremont’s definitions (posted below within this thread.
    You might take your concerns up with the CoF.

  • Cloudsuk

    Media isn’t giving this one the attention it deserves . . . why is that?

    My Word: Don’t allow development near Masonic Home in Union City

    By Jan Frydendahl
    Guest commentary

    Posted: 02/03/2010 12:01:00 AM PST

    UNION City residents: Your help is needed.

    The Planning Commission and City Council seem ready to ignore the hillside protection measure (which overwhelmingly passed in 1996 with nearly 70 percent of the vote) and allow development on property east of Mission Boulevard.

    This land was specifically set aside for protection.

    This is turning into a sad story of greed by the Masonic Home developers and a complicit Union City staff ready to ignore our vote and plea for open space.

    Years ago, the Meyers family set aside hundreds of acres in the Union City hills for protection. Much of that land can be found in the beautiful Dry Creek Regional Park.

    Some of that land was agricultural land that fell out of the park. About 30 acres were sold cheaply to the Masonic Home (after the vote labeled it as protected property) and now the Masonic Home wants to build five-story condos and a retail center on property that we voted to protect.

    While the Masonic Home may have good intentions, it is acting like a greedy corporation, acquiring land cheaply and then trying to put a monstrous complex next to Mission Boulevard.

    What is sad is that elected officials of Union City are behaving even worse.

    At a public meeting last year, the mayor of Union City said that he thought the voter-approved protections were too stringent, so he was going to support undermining them. Recently, the chairman of the Planning Commission said in a public meeting, “When this project goes forward … .”

    This is highly unethical behavior. They are talking about land that we voted to protect. It is illegal to build on this property, yet they are meeting with developers in private and supporting a project we specifically voted to keep off this beautiful land.

    While my family would be directly impacted by this project (we would be looking right across Mission Boulevard into a five-story monstrosity), I strongly oppose this project for other reasons.

    This land needs protection. I have counted as many as 10 deer and more than 30 wild turkeys foraging on the site where they want to build a retail/townhouse complex.

    The East Bay Regional Park District has a parking lot on the north end of this property. This land should be given, or sold, or leased to the park system and Dry Creek Park should be expanded. That is the right thing to do.

    This will end up being a classic case of David vs. Goliath. The developer has money and an apparently complicit city staff to undermine legal protection of this property. They don’t seem inclined to listen to us residents.

    Please call City Council members, tell them we want the hillside protection measure to remain. If they don’t listen, then resoundingly tell them we want this property protected if they place it on the ballot again this November.

    Jan Frydendahl, Ed.D., teaches mathematics and statistics in Fremont, which he has done for 18 years. He resides in Union City.

  • Charlie C

    Calling Fremont City Council members will not help you…some are known hypocrites and most if not all have been compromised.

  • Cloudsuk

    It seems like if you were sincere about identifying reasons NOT to contact the Fremont City Council re this issue – - the MAIN point would be because it’s not a matter that (directly) involves Fremont.
    So you opted to emphasize issues which are more personalized in nature and off-topic. Why is that?

  • Charlie C

    Go ahead and call all the members of the Fremont city council …you will find a least one who claims to mean business while at the same time hugging a tree. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo7zkd0kRS4

  • Dan Ondrasek

    Frickin’ hiralious. I am priniting that and bringing to the next meeting. PLEASE LEARN from this.

  • Dan Ondrasek

    Thank you for making the ‘rare’ laugh at this God awful hour on this God awful day at this God awful age.

  • Charlie C

    Book em Dan-O… hypocrisy in the first degree.

  • Dan Ondrasek

    OK – humor aside.

    Like it or not, these lands were included in Union City’s voter decision in 1996 – Hills or
    No Hills. Now, Dominic Dutra smells
    money, and wants to reverse this voter decision. If successful, what will be reversed next?
    THE HILLS? (I think that is what these
    folks are trying to say – and IMO, is correct).
    The voters decided to protect the Masonic area as they did the hills. If
    you, Marty/Dominic, want to cash in; you need to start gathering signatures. Have fun in winter doing this – I’ve been
    there. Hopefully, due to the Karma
    coming back at you – it will rain.


    We need rain.

    Go for it.

    (GREAT website Marty and
    great try at side skirting that little voter thing)

  • Dan Ondrasek

    As always, I ignored Charlie.

    But I actually like what he has done with the wave. I picture Dominic/Marty standing under it
    gathering signatures….

    (…and Charlie – way to go: No mention of the A’s. The pills are working cupcake)

  • Dan Ondrasek

    Look at you go

  • Charlie C

    As always, for only a $1 donation the *demonize a developer* crowd will give you one of these. Free Fremont… Viva Bacon…PLAY BALL!

  • Dan Ondrasek

    Wow…pills on a cupcake.

  • Charlie C

    Beware Dan-O…if you eat one of these you might just take a campaign contribution from one of those evil developers. PLAY BALL!

  • Alan Butler

    No on Proposition KK (Save the

    Reasons to
    vote no:

    Emergency parking along Mission.

    Just down the road from the
    Mason’s foothills high density housing was recently built along Mission. The result is the shoulders of Mission Blvd
    are filled with parked cars. There is
    nowhere for a car to pull over in an Emergency, flat tire whatever. The same will happen to Mission near the

    -Not enough
    water already. More consumption will
    increase drought probability.

    -Land fills
    are already past capacity.

    congestion which is terrible already will get worse leading to:

    -road rage

    -inability to get patients
    (senior citizens) to hospitals in an emergency in a timely matter

    -more smog as cars spend more
    time on the road

    -worse gas mpg as cars are

    -more lights and stop signs
    causing cars to idle longer causing smog and wasted gas.

    -worse gas mpg as cars are
    spending less time in overtime gears stopping/ slowing for these traffic

    -cramming all these people
    together has led to Spare the air no wood burning days.

    studies are showing that open land reduces stress, instill happiness, fights

    density housing tends to congregate tenants prone to criminal activity.


    tactics of Masons

    -Bought land dirt cheap with
    understanding they couldn’t develop on it.

    -Putting “Save the
    hills” on Yes on KK signs to
    confuse the voters.

    City Greed:

    -The city wants anything that will
    increase tax revenue. The population growth
    of this area has been obvious, but the city has done next to nothing to widen
    or add roads. They just want to
    build, build, build with no
    consideration of the quality of life of the people they serve.

    -If we allow them to open this door,
    they will likely be after the hills (Garin Park) next.

    Rebuttal: Building on this land will create jobs:

    Rebuttal to rebuttal:

    We do need more jobs but not
    more housing:

    -Union city already has high
    percentage of people living here but not working as there are few local places
    to work. Enough high density housing

    construction jobs will be temporary.

    -There is plenty
    of land already zoned for building. They
    don’t need to build on land voted for and zoned as open land.

  • Cloudsuk

    Chris does some painfully balanced reporting on Measure KK in this morning’s Argus. Nice job of letting the proponent/opponent speak for themselves –


    You wanna separate fact from fiction it’s REALLY simple folks. Drive north on Mission thru Hayward – do you like what you see? If so – vote “YES” on Measure KK. Alternatively – drive south thru Fremont on Mission – do you like what you see? If so – vote “NO” on Measure KK.
    The difference is in how Hayward and Fremont protect (or NOT) the hillside AND (far more importantly) THE SPACE IN FRONT (called the “toe” of the hill).
    The Masonic folks would like you to ignore this little consideration. They think the flat land in front of the hill is just a wasted opportunity. Fremont, on the other hand, sees it as a beginning of an important geographical feature.
    And while the pro-KK faction ignores this very important distinction, they also do a nice job of painting pretty pictures – - -Like it isn’t going to be a 7-11 at some strip mall – it will be a “….Napa style deli….” – - – MWAHAHAHAH!!
    In WHO’S LIFETIME will you EVER find a “Napa style” deli in Union City or in a 10 mile radius of Union City????? But – this is all speculation – right? If Sanjay opens another liquor store in front of the Masonic home – - as opposed to a “Napa style” deli – - – who’s gonna complain – - -and just what the frick do you propose to do about it?????
    AND – Vineyards ???
    Yeah – like plant a few running feet of vines and plop park bench at one end – - – you’ve pretty much filled that little promise haven’t you?
    Look – it’s all a question of how much in fill you want and how much of a loss you’re willing to take on your property values.
    Do you suppose the grazing deer in open fields are attractive to prospective buyers OR do you think another 7/11 and a strip mall (what the masonic folks are calling “a Napa style deli”) will encourage or discourage improving property values? Do the math!!!!
    You like Hayward or Fremont?
    You get to choose . .

  • Cloudsuk


    “Save our Hills – Vote YES on KK”

    I saw these signs posted up Alverado-Niles today

    .TO THE PRO-KK CROWD, I HAVE A QUESTION – What INCREMENTAL protections does KK offer *OUR HILLS* that is not already in place?

    And since the answer to this question is “none” – - then doesn’t that make these signs just a tad bit on the deceptive side?

    And since the answer to THIS QUESTION is “yes” – then, just what kind of campaign HAS TO RELY ON DECEPTION?????

    Why can’t you simply argue the merits of your case????


    Come on guys, at least have the guts to stand up and call it what it is. You need to amend the previously granted protections to construct your vision. There are NO incremental protections offered to the hills by measure KK.

    And, while, If the electorate shares your vision – no problems – I can respect that – but, when you have to rely on deception to win your case – sorry – for this one alone, you lose in my book.

    Folks – it’s real simple –
    If you want to PROTECT the hills – you vote NO on KK.
    If you want to see more in-fill and construction closer to the hills than is currently permitted – vote YES on KK (and watch your property values to a nose dive when you do).

  • Charlie C

    and in the next election…DECEPTION MEANS BUSINESS

  • Dennis David

    Why are the Masons willing to spend $500,000 + to buy your vote in exchange for only 63 acres? 1. Local politicians are expensive and it’s not easy to fool the people of Union City. 2. This is only the first step of their master plan to develop the entire hills. DO NOT BE FOOLED – VOTE NO on Measure KK