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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What development project is being proposed in the Union City Hillside Area?
A. The Masonic Homes of CA is proposing a 10-15 year plan to build on the hillside including a senior long-term care living facility at their Hillside Union City property.

Q2. If I wanted more information on the project application, who to contact?
A. Contact the Union City Planning Department at 510.675.5319. See April 20,2017 Development Application Planning Commission Meeting materials here: http://www.ci.union-city.ca.us/government/city-council-agenda-packets

Q3. What are key issues identified by the Save Our Hills Coalition?
A. Key issues include ensuring the project:
 • Requires fiscal neutrality, meaning it does not create more city service costs than it generates in one time and ongoing revenues
 • Requires a complete environmental review pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements
 • Requires the applicant to pay for an independent project fiscal analysis
 • Provides parkland mitigation by setting aside land for parks adjacent to Dry Creek Regional Park and not accepting a payment/park in-lieu fee to build more parks in the City elsewhere.
 • Meets the policies approved by Union City Voters to secure open space, parks, trails and retain Views per the Hillside Area Plan

Q4. What key city service costs are associated with a senior long-term care facility?
A. There are multiple expensive service costs with some of the greatest impacts being those on the true costs for public safety services especially fire services for the aging population to be served.

Q5. How can the city then use their independent fiscal analysis?
A. They would know the true facility costs and could then ensure the applicant provides funds to pay for city services costs so the project is fiscally neutral.

Q6. Does the project provide tax revenue to support city service costs?
A. Generally NO. The Masonic Homes of CA is exempt from paying property, state and federal income taxes due to the fact they are a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

Q7. Does the project pay any fees?
A. Yes, fees must be paid by the applicant. However, these are one-time building permit fees simply paid to offset city services to process the project staff costs and to pay for impacts to roads from truck and car traffic on city roads. These fees do not pay for ongoing city services costs (e.g. police and fire).

Q8. Did the voters recently pass a public safety tax to pay for such services?
A. Yes the voters approved renewal of an EXISTING public safety tax to pay for existing services. However, it does not pay for new proposed development public safety services.

Q9. Is the city meeting its General Plan park requirements?
A. No. The City is 75-acres short and the city has no real plan in place to solve this shortfall. The park in-lieu fees collected for projects where parks will not be provided. This fee is not enough unless the land to be purchased is valued at affordable open space or agricultural land prices.

Q10. As a resident and/or business owner why should I care about this project one way or another?
A. This project should make you think about If the city approves development projects that do not pay taxes for city services then you are subsidizing projects and paying the developers such as the Masonic Homes of California.

Q11. How can I get involved and what can I do?
A. Contact the Mayor and City Council and insist they:
 • Require an independent project fiscal analysis
 • Require the public review and comment on the draft development agreement
 • Require a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
 • Require the project to provide revenues that at minimum pay for ongoing public agency service costs
 • Require the applicant to mitigate agricultural and parkland as part of their development
 • Require the implementation of the Hillside Area Plan policies such as the establishment of parks and trails with connections to the East Bay Regional Park District Open Space!

Contact: Union City Mayor and Council

Save Our Hills unioncityhills@gmail.com

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