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Vol. XXXVIX No. 2  The HAPA News  February 8, 2017

Dues Are Due!

You can now use the Paypal link on the Contact/Donate page of our new website (a Paypal account is not necessary, just a credit card):

Or you can go direct to, log in to your account, and send your donation to HAPA-Hayward Area Planning Association.

Our dues are now $25; additional donations are appreciated!

Why donate to HAPA? Here's why: HAPA continues to investigate and advocate on issues that affect the quality of life for Hayward area residents. In 2016, HAPA produced 6 newsletters detailing our activities on several fronts:

  • HAPA v. CSU lawsuit on campus parking structure and attempts to get better transit to campus
  • Downtown Hayward: Reports on the Hayward Loop; Advocacy on the Maple Main and Lincoln Landing projects, which hopefully will result in better, more pedestrian-friendly projects; Report on the historic Green Shutter Hotel and plans for its refurbishment; Discussion about the downtown Library and whether it should be converted to a community center
  • LSA's 10-year report on environmental mitigations at Stonebrae
  • Election reporting: HAPA encouraged a Yes vote on Measure F1, which passed; and provided a condensed report from the "Hayward Area Faith and Community Leaders Coalition" on the School Board candidates; and should the Hayward City elections move to November?

SoHay Project Proposal for Valle Vista and Surrounding Area in SOuth Hayward

From the Staff Report

From the Staff Report: William Lyon Home's proposal consists of residential condominiums and a commercial center off Mission Boulevard which is connected by a park and trail spine from Valle Vista to Industrial Boulevard. The entire project contains 351 residential units in either the cluster townhome or row townhome variety ranging in size from a one- bedroom/one-and-a-half bathroom, 964 sq.ft. cluster townhome, to up to a four- bedroom/three-and-a-half bathroom, 2,105 sq.ft. row townhome. The development reserves 884 parking spaces for the residential component including covered/attached garages.

The retail component includes a total of 21,900 sq.ft. of retail containing two 6,700 sq.ft. units (end units) and two 4,250 sq.ft. units (center units). The development identifies 76 parking spaces for retail, including parking along Mission and in the plaza to the south.

One of the key project amenities is roughly 2.5 acres of parkland surrounding an existing Alameda County Flood Control channel and trail system. The park incorporates several outdoor fitness/PAR courses, along with California native garden and educational elements, a dog park, and other general open spaces and walkways.

The project is within a half mile to 8/10ths of a mile from the South Hayward BART Station.

Economic and Fiscal Impact

The subject property is sizable along the Mission Corridor. It would incorporate multiple properties with different development types including commercial, residential, and recreational amenities for the creation of placemaking elements for South Hayward. As proposed, the development would include significant public infrastructure primarily focused on parks and open space and would provide for commercial and recreational amenities for the development and surrounding neighborhood. It is anticipated that there would be a net positive economic impact given the level and quality of development along with the inclusion of commercial space. In addition, the parks and open space would provide for a larger community asset that was previously identified as a need within the area. If the project moves forward, a more detailed economic and fiscal impact analysis would be completed.

Sustainability Features

As proposed, each residential unit within the development will include solar panels, energy star appliances, and tankless water heaters. The development provides for on-site storm water treatment and harvesting and will be recycled water ready. All landscaping will consist of native, bay friendly, drought tolerant trees and shrubbery.

See the accompanying pdf of Valle Vista-CalTrans properties reference map.

HAPA Comments on the Planning Commission

The staff report refers only to on-site sustainability issues, not access issues, which are more important for climate change. It will be more difficult to apply General Plan Green Mobility to this area compared with downtown, but some policies can work Unbundling would probably have a lower use and overflow parking could be a bigger issue, indicating expansion of the South Hayward BART parking permit program. The current plan, however, seems to deny any choice at all, pushing housing costs up about 15 percent.

The distance to BART from Webster east of East 16th is about 3,200 feet and from Industrial near the RR is about 3,600 feet. My research on the distance for walking from home to BART found that the mean distance was 3,155 feet, 0.6 miles, much further than commonly thought. The mean plus the standard deviation was 4,695 feet, 0.89 miles. The quarter-mile half mile radius is commonly used but not as good as decline with distance.

The Dixon Industrial side has the most potential for walk access because it does not have to cross Mission, and could work well if the connecting property up to Dixon is used for a walkway up from Industrial. A nicely landscaped walkway would be attractive to many riders, as proposed by Lyons.

The plan has car-oriented one-story retail on Mission. You could require structure to support 2 - 3 more stories to eventually get adequate densification to remove the cars, use non-private-auto mobility, and have landscaping and social space instead of pavement, for a higher quality of life. The paseos already gave an idea.

Separately, you should consider some retail on BART parking. It could put the walkway that now veers east away from where people want to go to bend west with retail on either side of a walkway, with units above retail. Project-only planning can't see the bigger picture. The more you can create an attractive pedestrian way and give people reasons to use it, the better it will work.

Mission makes it hard to make PA 4-2 and PS 2-3 to work for walk to BART. PA 4-2 may have enough elevation to put in a pedestrian overpass. PA 4-1 could have an overpass on the south side of Tennyson.

The huge amount parking--2.4 spaces per unit-- indicates people without a car will have to look elsewhere for a sustainable lifestyle or convert parking underneath to living space, as has happened with smart growth downtown. Someday the City may allow garage door conversions to nice walls with windows so people won't have to hide in the dark.

Mission is wide enough for 4 travel lanes and parking. You could reduce parking on site with parking on Mission and it would have a traffic calming effect. The City needs to choose between high speed arterials and less auto dependency with more livability.

Three story is a good building height for many reasons. I assume the facades are a work in progress; they're mediocre in the drawings now.

Mission Village Project

I submitted these comments to the Planning Commission for their meeting in January. This project has been approved, and you should start seeing a commotion of construction activity on that corner.

Comments to the Planning Commission on the Mission Village project

This project is worth supporting in many ways, and is a great improvement over a derelict site the old Holiday Bowl site. My comments should be seen as ways to improve both the proposal and city policy.

The staff report does not discuss several potential green mobility policies of the General Plan.

The Walk Score of 68 ("Some errands can be accomplished on foot") for this parcel is somewhat walkable, primarily because of the small shopping center on the corner of Industrial and Mission. Many green mobility ideas do not apply well here, yet the area is not as bad as most of Hayward, and some ideas should apply.

The biggest problem I see with this development is its lack of sustainable mobility despite its proximity to the BART station and pending development of the Dixon Mission area by Lyon Homes. The Mission Village project is ¾ of a mile from the station entrance, which is about the 80th percentile for home to station walk distance—that is, we could expect about 20% of residents to walk to BART, especially if parking is scarce or costly along the way.

More Project Residents Would go to BART if There Was a Rapid Shuttle

Such a shuttle could have a contribution from Mission Village, similar to that being proposed for the Maple Main project downtown. The major route used to access the BART station is along Dixon, followed by Tennyson and Mission on the north side. If the area around the station is used for housing and retail, and parking close to the station is limited, increasing access to the station using a rapid shuttle from the Fairway Park area makes sense. This project should make a commitment similar to Maple Main, or it will be more difficult to get a commitment from Lyon Homes, and the shift toward more efficient transportation becomes more difficult.

Bike lanes are another mobility issue. Bike parking for Mission Village is well covered, and this is a city problem, not a development problem. A bike lane needs be on Dixon, because the distance is ideal for biking, Dixon is a low traffic street, and BART is a major destination.

Lack of Specific Arrangments for Carshare/Rental, Taxis, and Ehail

The planning for this project does not discuss moving toward more sustainable, more economical mobility in a practical way. As retail improves from more development, a combination of non-auto modes becomes more viable and more affordable than private auto.

The City Should Require Solar Roofs

Three-story construction lends itself to net zero on the grid. Buildings now at one or two stories chould go to three for more efficient use of land. The commercial building in particular could provide living units and home-office units.

With the parking emphasis at street level, much amenity is lost. There is much more area for parking than for parks. Many people will use their inside parking spaces for other things. The ground levels of non accessible units can easily be remodeled into one bedroom units. The City should facilitate the conversion of parking to more valuable uses, for example, by allowing garage doors to become insulated walls with windows.

Three-bedroom units are likely to serve households with more than two cars. Also, people with two or even one car may want to use inside parking for other uses. There will be pressure to park in inappropriate places, so parking on and off site needs to be strictly regulated. The City should consider extending the JPA parking program to this area. The 79 shared on-site parking spaces will need clear rules and enforcement as demand can easily exceed supply. The HOA should be able to charge regular users for space not needed by the usual number of visitors.

Reversed lettering on many floor plans needs to be cleaned up.

Other Suggestions

The site plan is probably locked down, but if it could be tweaked, A St. south of F St. could be realigned to go closer to the golf course and have buildings facing both sides of the street. A St. would then come out on Mission further south. The central park area could be more coherent without the parking intrusions and less pavement around it. Units on the north side of a realigned A St. would look out on the park. The parking on I St. couldthen be less broken up and more transparent to drivers. Eliminating the middle golf view overlook and using the play area or the corresponding triangle to the west as the view overlook would allow more units on A St. to have good views.

Sherman Lewis, President
Hayward Area Planning Association
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2787 Hillcrest Ave. Hayward CA 94542