Sunset Office Plaza to Remain zoned to office

Sunset Office Plaza will remain commercial, thanks to the wisdom on the Livermore City Council.  Though the decision has been made, we would like to highlight a couple of recurring themes that we think should have been better addressed in the hope that such mistakes could be avoided in the future.

The traffic analysis was good, but its interpretation went off course.  Staff focused on total car trips without regard to true impact if homes replaced the businesses.  Most crucially, zoning change would have altered the direction and timing of traffic.  An office is a traffic destination in the morning (cars exit Holmes street) and a house is a source (cars enter Holmes).  The reverse happens in the evening.  During the day, the traffic activity is spread out with no effect on the commute. Thus, any conversion from office to housing would worsen Holmes commuter traffic. This should have been explained in more detail.

Another strange component was the report on comparable offices.  Though the author looks to have made a good effort they ended up comparing inferior properties that are hard to rent and wrongfully concluded that Livermore has a surplus of Class B offices.  Pleasanton has three times as many, but they are well maintained with better occupancy.  Sunset would have respectable occupancy if the landlord hadn’t stopped issuing leases.

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