A Case Study: Pleasanton
Pleasanton stands out among all of the cities studied for its rapid employment growth during the 1980s --365 percent, over three times as fast as the growth in any other Bay Area city. Pleasanton has been a major recipient of offices relocated out of downtown San Francisco and Oakland, as well as new start-up companies. A significant share of Pleasanton's growth has taken place in the Hacienda Business Park, a 860-acre, master-planned complex with over 4 million square feet of mixed use (though predominantly office) development and over 12,000 workers. Among all of the Bay Area cities studied, moreover, Pleasanton has made the greatest strides toward balance [between jobs and housing]. As noted, however, most new workers have taken up residence outside the city . . . four times as many people commute in and out of the city each day as within. . . .
Thus, while jobs grew more than enough to match the number of employed residents, most of the new workers did not take up residence in Pleasanton, at least in part because longtime residents already occupied the existing housing stock. . . . The housing units added were too few to accommodate many new workers. While Pleasanton's workforce grew from 7,161 in 1980 to 33,325 in 1990, or 365 percent, housing increased from 11,665 to 19,356 units, or only 66 percent, over that decade.
Most of the blame for the lag in housing production can be placed on growth moratoria rather than market inertia. Since the mid-1970s, Pleasanton has limited the number of residential building permits issued and new sewer hook-ups allowed each year, because of limited infrastructure capacity and a citizen backlash against growth. Such protectionist actions have become common in many fast-growing California cities in the wake of Proposition 13. . . . In the late 1980s, the developers of Hacienda Business Park were actually prohibited from building over 2,000 housing units, including moderately dense apartments, that had been planned for their 860-acre property, because of a NIMBY-style revolt.
There is some anecdotal evidence that the new housing that was built was not within reach of the earnings of many Pleasanton workers. In 1990, 69 percent of Pleasanton's work force had jobs in clerical, data processing, sales, services, labor, and other non-professional/nonmanagerial fields. Many were back-office workers relocated to branch offices during the 1980s.
Source: Cervero, Robert. “Jobs-Housing Balance Revisited.” Journal of the American Planning Association, 01944363, Autumn 96, Vol. 62, Issue 4.
1. Using the information in this passage, list three reasons why the workers in the Hacienda Business Park do NOT live in Pleasanton.
2. According to the chart, which counties have the largest housing deficit? Which counties have a housing surplus? What does this pattern tell you about the region's urban growth?