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Vol. XXXV No. 2  The HAPA News  April 2, 2013

Thank You To CATS

Thank you many times over to CATS - Citizens for Alternative Transportation Solutions - for their generous donation. CATS dissolved in December 2012. As one of their final actions, the CATS Board voted to donate the funds remaining in their treasury - $13,000 - to HAPA.

Our two groups have worked together over the years on many issues important to the Hayward community. We hope that former CATS members will join HAPA to continue our good work.


HAPA Strikes Out With Investors

From a Forum piece sent to the S.F. Chronicle, not published:

The Hayward Area Planning Association (HAPA) is promoting development of a large, new, green neighborhood near California State University East Bay in the Hayward hills. Bayview Village is feasible and would demonstrate how to solve a major problem generally overlooked by the climate movement: overcoming a vast, auto-dependent suburbia, driven by the under-pricing of cars in the whole economy, that is, the economy of all values, not just the economy of money.

Bayview Village is the only large, strongly sustainable project being proposed in California. Bayview has the mutually reinforcing goals of affordability, sustainability, alternative mobility, good design, health and safety, and community. The market already exists among BART riders, people at the university, home businesses, the retired, environmentalists, families, disabled, and other demographics, to build out in 12 years.

HAPA, a small, non-profit group, has spent over $200,000 researching the idea in great detail. A private investor or developer would control the project and should get a good return on equity. The website, www.bayviewvillage.us, has HAPA contact information, proformas, engineering and market reports, pictures, drawing, descriptions, analyses, and an eBook, "Creation Care for Neighborhoods; the Quest for Bayview Village."

The climate movement seems to have little awareness of how to deal with one of the elephants in the room. Suburbia cannot be changed all at once, or even gradually, because the underlying system itself is too costly and destructive. Neither business nor enviros study neighborhood as systems. Smart growth has support but, while worthwhile, smart growth usually increases and subsidizes parking in the process of redeveloping around transit.

With more awareness, Bayview would have been funded by now. HAPA has been studying neighborhood systems for decades, and making great intellectual progress, but we're not getting anywhere in the climate movement. We've done hundreds of emails, mailings, and telephone calls. We ran a full page ad in the Chronicle. So far we have not received a single contact from any investor.

We don't think the usual investor will respond and that it will take a well-funded person, foundation, or similar entity who cares enough about climate to learn about something new. Our Bay Area has the wealth; we have individuals who have made the fortunes and who have the brains, but we in HAPA don't know how to reach them.

The opportunity is slipping away as Caltrans sells the parcels that are needed for the economies of scale necessary for systemic sustainability.


Bold New Directions For Bayview Village

Town-Green is a design consulting firm that does new urban projects around the world and is based in Oakland. Steve Coyle of Town-Green has done a long critique of Bayview Village, much of which focuses on the lack of parking. He also proposes bringing in two experts in other areas for a brainstorming session of about three hours, to get some new ideas. I'm putting off work on it till May because I need to focus on Phase One.

Buying the house on Palisade? 1155 Palisade is being auctioned by Caltrans April 24 at 11 am along with adjacent vacant lots. I am working on buying it as a business because it is part of Phase One, which is so crucial for the larger project, and is small enough to be more feasible as a first step. This work is profit oriented and can't be part of HAPA.

The work includes revising the site plan and proformas for the small project, rethinking parking and how to start with a single building project with more parking and transition to less to regain land needed for more buildings, setting up an LLC as a corporate entity to manage it all, meeting with an architect and engineer to review costs and concepts, and working with a investment consulting firm to go to small and larger investors.

As for HAPA, our efforts to get funds for the whole project hasn't worked. I'm thinking we could persuade the Sierra Club to give more support, going from the local Group, to the Bay Chapter, to Sierra Club California, to the national board, to have it recognized as a project of national significance for dealing with climate change.


Russell City Energy Center Update

The Eden Area League of Women Voters on March 21 submitted lengthy, detailed comments on Calpine's petition to amend its certification. The RCEC has submitted at least four proposals to amend. City staff have published no analysis on any of the proposals.

In summary, the League asks:

  • Calpine requested to modify on-site and off-site landscaping intended to mitigate the unsightliness of the project.

LWV: The proposal modification to condition VIS-2 and VIS-10 should be promptly denied so that the landscaping may be promptly commenced prior to start-up to better allow the landscaping to grow and achieve some mitigation. Delay in landscaping will result in smaller and unhealthier plant growth burdened by RCEC's significant pollution, defeating the purpose of both VIS-2 and VIS-10.

  • Calpine requested to delete VIS-9, which requires Calpine to work with HARD to develop final designs for shoreline amenities.

LWV: LWVEA and HARD both oppose deletion of VIS-9, and in fact request additional mitigations of the detrimental effects on the shoreline, particularly since Calpine has planted nothing as required by VIS-2, VIS-9, and VIS-10. LWVEA urges CEC Staff to work with HARD and the community, such as the Hayward Area Shoreline Joint Powers Agency's Advisory Committee, as to what additional mitigations are needed to mitigate the adverse impact on HARD's shoreline, which was a substantial asset to our community before the construction of RCEC.

  • Calpine requested "various non-substantive administrative changes to the Air Quality Conditions of Certification...."

LWV: Without the benefit of a staff report from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, LWV disagrees that the changes requested are non-substantive or administrative. The area is already at risk from too much pollution, and RCEC is a major stationary source of pollution. The LWV letter submitted a list of questions that the Staff report needs to explore and discuss.

Lastly, LWVEA requested that Staff issue a report on these important issues, and notify LWVEA of any notices, postings, staff reports or proceedings scheduled. Kudos to Jewell Spalding of the League for continuing to work on this.


HAPA About Town


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Sherman Lewis, President
Hayward Area Planning Association (HAPA)
2787 Hillcrest Ave., Hayward CA 94542
510-538-3692; sherman@csuhayward.us