SunCal in the news

June 20, 2013

Dublin council backs accord on big development project at Camp Parks

DUBLIN — A plan to build up to 1,995 homes plus stores and businesses at the Camp Parks military training base moved a big step forward this week with an agreement by the city and developer on ways to plan and finance the project. The deal points — approved by the City Council on Tuesday — were negotiated with the Irvine-based Suncal company, the master developer for the Dublin Crossings project along Dublin Boulevard and north of the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station.

Suncal is getting some 180 acres of base property in exchange for making millions of dollars of base improvements, including a new main gate already under construction.

“This is an exciting day,” Councilman Dave Haubert of the understanding on “deal points” that will be form the basis of a development agreement. “The applicant came back with everything we asked for.”

Suncal also wrangled some concessions of its own.

The city agreed to Suncal’s request to shift some of the costs for new roads, pipes, utilities and other infrastructure costs onto the backs of future Dublin Crossings homeowners.

Builders typically front these costs and then recover them as part of the new home sales price.

But Dublin Crossings homes would be included in Dublin’s first community facilities district and required to pay an estimated extra tax of $2,200 to $3,700 per year to cover about 39 percent of project infrastructure costs, according to a report by from Dublin city officials.

Councilman Kevin Hart objected to the use of the special extra taxes, and said he was the only council member to do so.

“It will be a big tax burden to homeowners,” Hart said Thursday. “It also creates a two-tier system of taxes in Dublin. I think the developer could find another way to finance infrastructure costs.”

Hart, however, added that he doesn’t consider the special taxes a deal breaker and he supports the overall Dublin Crossings project as good for the city.

Suncal has said it would be forced to consider rewriting the development plan unless it gets assurances homeowners will pay the facilities taxes.

For its part, the city persuaded Suncal to sweeten its contribution toward a new Dublin community park and a new public school.

Suncal agreed to provide 30 acres for the park, less than the developer had proposed.

The company also agreed to pay the city to develop the park.

Dublin wants control over the park design and development to make sure it meets city park standards and local recreation needs, said Linda Smith, Dublin’s economic development director.

Suncal also agreed to provide 12 acres for a new school, one more acre that it previously offered.

Suncal also would contribute some $1 million to cover part of the cost of a planned pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Dublin Boulevard.

Suncal’s total contributions to public amenities or city programs would amount to about $40 million, city officials said.

“It’s a fair deal,” said Dublin City Manager Joni Pattillo.

The city plans to release late Friday a draft environmental impact report on the Dublin Crossings development plan, and post a link to it Monday at Copies also will be available for review at City Hall and the library.

No one from the public spoke about the development plan Tuesday night. City officials speculated the meeting drew no speakers because the development is planned in an unoccupied base area from neighbors.