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DUBLIN, CA-In an open-space movement started by Dublin’s former mayor Guy Houston, residents and community leaders here are fighting to preserve 770 acres of open ranch land beginning at the west edge of town and extending to the first ridgeline between Dublin and Castro Valley.

With Measure M, a growth-control initiative passed in 2000, voters must approve any development in the western ranch land areas. There have been two previous development plans in the area that were never accepted. The first was to build a golf course with about 3,000 houses surrounding it. City voters rejected this plan nearly a decade ago. The second plan was to construct Schaefer Ranch, a residential project. This was postponed indefinitely by federal endangered species regulations.

While many residents want to keep it exactly as it is, an open space plan has been presented to the City Council to build trails through the land, while sustaining an open space environment. The plan comes with two options. One is to buy the land for $3-$7 million and keep it as open space. The second is to allow development on the Neilson Ranch property just west of Dublin residential areas. The city will hold community workshops in December and January to get public opinions from property owners and residents.

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