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PLEASANTON — A debate over water and growth returns Tuesday when the City Council considers suspending planning of some 1,300 homes until the drought ends.

Some council members and a local citizens group said they want the council to put a hold on studying development options for about 1,100 acres of old rock quarry property called the East Side Specific Plan.

Mayor Jerry Thorne said he wants a “time out” at least until the drought ends and Pleasanton residents no longer face fines for failing to cut water use 25 percent.

“The best thing is to hit the pause button,” Thorne said this week. “I think we need to wait at least until the drought is over. There are also concerns about traffic, school crowding and other issues.”

Kelly Cousins, leader of a local citizens group, said the council should give up on building homes at the site. “We would like to see the plan deep sixed,” she said. “We will need to remain vigilant.”

The site is north of Stanley Boulevard and along El Charro Road near the Pleasanton-Livermore border.

The council”s stance on the East Side has bounced around like a political hot potato that officials were reluctant to firmly grab.

In May, the City Council talked of going to voters with an advisory ballot measure on what to do with the property. But on June 2, council members scrapped the ballot measure after learning it would cost about $500,000. “That”s too expensive,” Thorne said.

On Dec. 16, the council voted 3-1 to continue environmental studies on development options. Only Councilwoman Karla Brown voted no at the time. But support to continue the planning waned after some spirited public meetings when development opponents showed up in large numbers.

“I think community sentiment is very strongly opposed to proceeding with planning in this area,” said George Bowen, an unsuccessful City Council candidate in the last election.

The East Side property once was considered as a place to earmark for affordable housing to meet state requirements. But the city later found it could meet its low-income housing needs without the East Side property.

City administrators recommend that the council stop further work on the environmental impact report on East Side development options. An advisory task force would be disbanded. It would be up to the City Council to decide if and when to resume the planning, city staff said.

The council meets 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff

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