VOTE YES ON P
On March 3rd voters will be asked to decide on moving forward with the development of the Wine Country hotel at the Bankhead. By voting YES you will be affirming the City Council’s previous decision to enter into a development agreement with Presidio Co. to build a high end hotel in Downtown Livermore. Presidio Co. is a hotel developer that is fully capable of building the Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead, and is the only hotel developer interested in building a hotel in Downtown Livermore.
Why is a downtown hotel important for Livermore?
Supports Downtown Businesses
Many businesses chose Downtown Livermore as the place for their business because they knew that a hotel downtown has been planned to be built. They knew that a Wine Country Hotel would support their business by providing more customers due to hotel guests spending time in Downtown Livermore.
These businesses are owned (and worked) by our friends, family, and members of our community who have taken a great risk starting their own business. If the downtown hotel is not built soon, it is likely that many of Livermore’s beloved downtown businesses will start to close.
Livermore has been a wine growing region for over 150 years, but it has not been known as a wine country destination due to the lack of high end downtown accommodations. A hotel in downtown Livermore would provide those accommodations and make Livermore a wine country destination it deserves to be.
Protects Open Space
By building the Wine Country Hotel next to the Bankhead it utilizes underused space in Livermore’s core in order to preserve Livermore’s open space along our hills and vineyards.
This will add to the success of Livermore’s wineries and allow them to preserve our open space and expand their vineyards throughout the Livermore Valley.
What a “No” vote could mean for Livermore?
If Livermore were to move away from the Approved City Plan, the consequences could be destructive to the City of Livermore in several different ways.
An independent study has shown that the people of Livermore would see a delay of 4 years at the earliest if it were to move away from the city approved plan. You can read the study here:
or you can watch a presentation from city staff on why there would be a minimum of a 4 year delay here:
Loss of Local Control
On January 1, 2020, a new state law took effect: AB1486. This law requires that a city offer any surplus land to other groups, including low income housing, before it offers it to other developers. What this means, is that if a city tries to sell land it must offer that land to low income housing groups before it can offer it to another type of developer. There are a few exemptions, the biggest being that a city can follow through with contracts that were put in place before September 2019. The entire city approved plan has agreements in place with different partners for the entire city approved plan.
If the city moves away from the approved plan, this could lead to low income housing on all available sites. This means that if the city breaks its agreement with Presidio, a low income housing developer could buy the property and build a low income housing project next to the Bankhead, and the city would not have any control over it.
You can watch Livermore’s City Attorney describe the effects of these housing laws on downtown here:
Why are we voting?
Over 20 years ago, the City of Livermore decided that a hotel that supported Livermore’s wineries and local businesses would be a great addition to Livermore’s Downtown. Livermore’s downtown was zoned to allow a hotel next to the Bankhead Theater. A few years later the Great Recession would scare investors away and the planning went unused. It would take years of recovery before a hotel developer would be interested in building a hotel in Downtown Livermore.
When the City of Livermore finished putting together the current downtown plan they decided to begin working with Presidio Co. to develop the Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead. Following that decision, a small well funded group, of mostly out of town donors, began working to stop the development of the Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead.
This group paid petitioners that lied to the people of Livermore with the goal to stop the Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead from being built and to delay the approved downtown plan.