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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

War! Dublin, Livermore Both Eyeing Large Expansion in Foothills

Sept. 13, 2011 | Coming soon to the Tri-Valley suburbia? More suburbia. The rapidly-growing city of Dublin could nearly double its size if a plan to annex over 3,300 acres of land east of the city, known as the East Dublin Specific Plan, becomes reality.

Not so fast, says Livermore, who according to AroundDublinBlog, may believe it has as much right to the tract of land as the self-proclaimed All-America City of Dublin.

The Livermore City Council unanimously voted Monday night to ask a county land commission to include the area within its "sphere" of influence. While Dublin city leaders may view the large parcel for development, Livermore officials maintain they will seek to keep the rolling hills as open space. Whether or not, annexation is a correct course of action for maintaining open space is another question.

While the land grab by Dublin may not be the stuff war between neighboring municipalities (although, more Hummers likely reside in the two cities than the entire East Bay put together), it is a story that will likely play itself out more frequently in the future as the Tri-Valley continues to expand during the next few decades.

The U.S. Census detailed the historic movement of people from the Bay Area to the more affordable suburbs to the east. Dublin's net increase in population over the last decades at nearly 50 percent greatly outpaced nearly every city in the state. By comparison, the state averaged only a 10 percent increase, while the Bay Area stumbled forward with around 5 percent growth.

As the Tri-Valley takes on more people and expands its significant tax base, it is inevitable growing pains and disputes over annexation in the future will continue.

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