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Vol. XXXV No. 3  The HAPA News  May 23, 2013

It's A Barbecue!
Sat. June 1, 2013 at 1pm

RSVP: councilmansalinas@gmail.com

Hosted by Hayward City Council Member Mark Salinas

Location:

Cannery Park, Peach Plaza
125 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541

Mark and the Salinas family will be barbecuing ribs and serving root beer floats.

The barbecue gets everybody together and --reader warning!-- may possibly raise money for his reelection campaign, which needs to reach over 80,000 Hayward voters. Something about a Council election in June 2014.

RSVP: councilmansalinas@gmail.com.

Note: HAPA can provide short announcements for Council races if asked.


Prof. Lee Reports on Sustainability at CSUEB Hayward

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013, Sherman wrote:

Please let me know what is going on with your work on the Advancement of Sustainability project, doing the STARS survey, your posting to the Facebook page, and anything else related.

I'd like to report your work in the HAPA News in about 10 days.(I don't use Facebook because of its tax avoidance strategies as reported by the CTJ and Zuckerberg's support for Gov. Christie and his defunding of Planned Parenthood in New Jersey and similar policies.)

-- Sherman Lewis

Prof. M. Lee replies, email 4/12/2013:

As a fellow faculty member engaged in sustainability on campus, the Provost asked me to give you a report on recent activities in this area. I am one of the members of a committee he convened to help direct sustainability efforts on campus in addition to the efforts to advance sustainability that are funded by his office's PEIL process (the project I am leading as PI that you referred to in your questions).

  1. Efforts are underway to establish a dedicated web presence for sustainability on the university web site (we had a meeting last week and a student assistant will be helping staff develop this, continuing the work she finished for PEIL last quarter).
  2. Efforts are underway to pilot an A2E2-funded student employment project in the area of sustainability - a sub group of the sustainability committee made up of myself, Ric Williams, Randy Saffold and Stan Hebert proposed up to 18 internships that we are in the process of publicizing and contracting for, including 10 to carry out an end of-year campus housing waste diversion and recycling program during exam week.
  3. Ric Williams and myself are scheduled to have a meeting with VP Wells next week to discuss STARS and how we might move forward with that, among other things, in 2013-14.
  4. PEIL student projects are entering their final phase and we should be generating reports from these this quarter in areas associated with the Warren Hall deconstruction, an internship program with the Hayward Historical Society, a survey of Medical Technology sustainability opportunities, a water-wise/native plant garden on campus, a campus transportation survey, and an analysis of university climate change commitment options.
  5. Faculty research associated with PEIL are entering their final phase and several reports will be forthcoming relevant to how we will progress in the coming year(s).
  6. Members of the Provost's sustainability committee have been asked to develop a list of their priorities for 2013-14 as a basis for further discussion by the members in preparation for the coming academic year.

I hope that you find this a useful summary. I think is a pretty good wrap-up of the most important aspects as I understand them.

You mentioned the Facebook page in your questions. This is not an official university page, rather it was set up by ASI President Jerry Chang and he later invited various people, including the ASI Environmental Affairs committee members and myself, to manage it. I'm not much of a Facebook person but I do read it and make occasional postings. It is getting a growing number of friends (there are over 100 likes now) which is great.

A new student development is that a group of students recently got approval to set up a sustainability club called "The Sustainable Earth Club", and I agreed to be their advisor. I went to their first meeting yesterday and they'd like it to become a club for sustainability service on and off campus as well as a means for like-minded individuals to have fun. Your intern, Katie Melara, came to that meeting.

Collegially, Michael
Prof. Michael D. Lee Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Advancement of Sustainability PEIL Project, CSUEB
Geography Advisor, Dept. of Geography and Environmental Studies
Environmental Systems and Resource Management Advisor, Dept. of Earth and Environ. Sciences
California State University East Bay
204 Robinson Hall, 25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94542
Tel: 510-885-3155, Fax: 510-885-2353, Email: michael.lee@csueastbay.edu


Mitigation Progress at Stonebrae

In April 2013, LSA Associates, Inc. reported to a whole bunch of agencies on the Stonebrae Country Club Project's progress on mitigating wetland and riparian damage in 2012. The agencies are the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the City of Hayward. These reports have come out every year since 2004. I picked up the report from Sara Buizer, a Senior Planner with the City of Hayward. The report is 18 pages long and has a lot of technical detail. The mitigation area is about 100 acres up on Walpert Ridge and is surrounded by nine holes of the golf course.

It's hard to know where the mitigation area is from the trail that starts just south of the new Stonebrae School. This trail provides access to a very large and beautiful high, hilly area of Walpert Ridge, including the Honcharenko Historical Monument and Gravesite. I took a hike up there a few weeks ago and was very impressed, as was the dog that was walking me.

The summary reports that 1.64 acres of mitigation pond have been constructed and 0.63 acres have been enhanced, more than meeting the mitigation commitment. 16.97 acres of wetlands have been constructed, and 2.2 acres of stream habitation and 6110 linear feet of stream have been enhanced. Overall, this work has exceeded the mitigation commitment by 17%. LSA biologists monitor the mitigation plus various rock outcrops and "scrub enhancements." There are, in fact, 48 acres of rock outcrops and 588 rock piles.

LSA looks for exotic species to try to protect native species. Rural Pig Management, Inc. maintains box traps, which in 2012 led to 15 pigs being dispatched and delivered to San Jose Tallow. Goats control stubble height to control fires and improve whipsnake habitat. Cattle grazing, which often damages habitat, is being monitored to exclude it from riparian areas.

The major purpose of the mitigation is to improve habitat for California red-legged frogs and Alameda whipsnake.

How are the California red-legged frogs?

For the past nine years, the Stonebrae Project site has been monitored for presence and population growth of the California red-legged frog (CRLF). Existing ponds have been enhanced and new ponds constructed in order to create more habitat area. All the existing enhanced ponds met hydrology requirements, drying out by mid-October, and eight of 13 ponds constructed in 2012 were deemed suitable habitats, conforming to both hydrology and vegetation requirements. Simultaneously, more breeding adult frogs have been observed at both the constructed ponds and the existing enhanced ponds, indicating that habitation rehabilitation is having some success.

Within the site, 20 ponds are designated habitat preserve. From biannual monitoring, biologists observed definite CRLF breeding activity in two of the ponds, and adult frogs in 15 of the ponds. This shows a steady and mostly consistent increase over the years. In the mitigation ponds, 1-2 frogs were observed in 2004-2006; 6 in 2007; 28 in 2008 and 26 in 2009; and then 31, 35, and 31 again in 2010, 2011, and 2012. From 2004-2012, CRLFs have been observed in 16 of the 20 ponds, so 2012 was a good year for frogs. The enhanced existing ponds show a little more variation. In 2004, 7 frogs were observed; in 2005 and 2006, 37; in 2007, 31. 2008 was a high point, with 47 frogs observed, and the population declined precipitously to 20 frogs in 2009; increased to 23 in 2010, dropped to 16 in 2011, and rose again to 27 in 2012. So, for the frogs, things are pretty cool.

How are the Alameda whipsnakes?

The construction of rocky outcrops, stretching over 48 acres and including 588 rock piles, was implemented in 2004, 2006, and 2009. These outcrops are one of the primary habitats of western fence lizards, who are in turn the primary prey of Alameda whipsnakes. These outcrops have been used consistently by the lizards. However, neither LSA biologists nor Stonebrae staff observed any whipsnakes in 2012.

By and large, I was very impressed with the large amount of detail in the report and what seems to me to be a fairly successful mitigation. LSA only hunts for western fence lizards, the primary prey of the whipsnake. I would like to see monitoring using whipsnake trapping instead of just counting lizards.


Bayview?

Caltrans sells vacant lots on Overview and house on Palisade

On May 22, Caltrans sold a house at 1155 Palisade to a young couple that bid $408,000. I bid up to $403,000. My bid limit was $400,000, but I would probably have lost a little money even at that unless I got a high rent or self-managed. I was planning to see if I could become a "developer," but I didn't want to take too big a risk with my money.


1155 Palisade St. - 12,829 sqft lot | 1,616sqft house | 3 bed, 2 bath, double garage, patio, view | built ~1960
           
Bid $400,000 $425,000 $450,000 $400,000 $400,000
           
Rent per month $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,100 $2,100
           
OUTGO      
agent at 10% $2,400 $2,400 $2,400 $2,520 self-manage
hs insurance $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
property tax $4,603 $4,875 $5,147 $4,603 $4,603
mortgage/year $19,173 $39,115.00 $19,173 $19,173 $19,173

outgo, base rent

$27,176 $27,448 $28,918 $27,296 $24,776
Net Income ($3,176) ($3,448) ($4,918) ($2,096) $424
           
rent per month, high rent $2,300 $2,300 $2,300    

outgo, high rent

$27,536 $27,808 $29,278    
Net Income $64, ($208) ($1,678)    
   
INVESTMENT  
Investment - house $80,000 $105,000 $110,000 $80,000 $80,000
Investment - rehab $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
total $90,000 $115,000 $120,000 $90,000 $90,000
   
Return, $2,000 rent -3.5% -3.0% -4.1%  
Return, $2,100 rent -2.3% 0.5%
Return, $2,300 0.1% -0.2% -1.4%  

Quarry Village, LLC

I hope to establish a corporate entity that an investor could use to pursue the Bayview project. The Franchise Tax Board and the Secretary of State will hopefully be approving my request for incorporation of "Quarry Village, LLC." (The name "Quarry Village" is back by popular demand.) This entity could be taken over by some investor, or an investor might give us funds to staff up, get control of the property, and apply to the city for development.

The Quest for Investors: Part 217

So far, no luck finding any investor, even to make a pitch to. They definitely travel in circles a lot higher than mine, which may explain why they don't answer my mail, answer emails, or return telephone calls. What to do? I will try to work with a firm in Oakland called Cutting Edge Capital, which specializes in helping startups and may be able to find investors. I also want to see if I can persuade the Sierra Club to contact upper level climate change activists who have wealth or connections to wealth and might be willing to listen. On a farther out, more speculative effort, I want to make a few videos for YouTube that might help get some attention for neighborhood systems and Bayview.

It has occurred to me that one reason investors are not interested in Bayview is because the neighborhood systems are generally not understood in the climate reform community. Advocates are aware of the benefits of "smart growth" relative to suburbia, but generally have not thought much about bolder, more effective forms of smart growth.

In my eBook, "Creation Care for Neighborhoods and the Quest for Bayview Village", I cover a large number of new concepts:

  • whole economy
  • transportation pricing reforms
  • mode diversity
  • location decision
  • short corridor shuttles
  • land-based shuttle finance
  • neighborhood systems
  • the five major goals of neighborhood systems
  • functional density
  • the grocery store trip

And other typical sustainability topics. Download the book here.


HAPA Board Meeting
WHEN - May 31st, 5:45pm | WHERE - 2787 Hillcrest Ave
Dinner at 6:30 | Meeting at 7:00

We need to expand our membership and to renew our Board of Directors. It's really inconvenient for Brian Stanke to come to our meetings, so we want to let him off the hook––except for this last one.

The Sierra Club Bay Chapter has approved a mailing to their members in the Hayward zip codes, but there have been complications that have delayed execution.

Among other things, we will discuss the possibility of helping Cal State Hayward build a new access road off of Hayward Blvd, as mentioned in previous editions of the HAPA News. It seems possible to me that we could stipulate to remove the road from the litigation over the Master Plan and that the City of Hayward might also agree. Then it would go to the CSU lawyers, and if the CSU agrees, the new access road could proceed. Otherwise, it is being held up indefinitely by the litigation with the resulting serious congestion at Carlos Bee Blvd and the campus access road.


HAPA to CSUEB Hayward: Push!

Our CSU, under the leadership of its new president, Leroy Matsushita, has increased its commitment to sustainability. Part of that is revealed in Professor Lee's report above. Visit CSU's Sustainability web page.

HAPA urges the CSU to make an even stronger commitment. The administration should appoint someone at quarter time or more as a Sustainability Director to move the process along faster. We would like to consult with the administration about defining what the Sustainability Director should do. Among the tasks could be:

  • Add to the web site a score card tracking progress, the shuttle as an aspect of sustainability, and key contacts for those wanting more information.
  • Completing the STARS survey, which is coming along, but slowly. Other CSU campuses have also not completed STARS surveys, but Cal Poly Pomona and Chanel Islands have already achieved silver, and Monterrey Bay has achieved gold. Monterey Bay committed several staff to getting the job done.
  • Improved communications with a scheduled newsletter. There is none now that we know of. Information has been slow and difficult to get.
  • Baseline metering equipment to track university energy and water use.
  • Improvements to the shuttle bus. The Nelson Nygaard report that you have has major deficiencies, which will take time to explain.
  • Closer cooperation with the City of Hayward on the General Plan Update, leading to faster improved access at Parkside Drive and reduced congestion.
  • Support for university-related sustainable development near the campus, where important issues on Bee Blvd. will be pending within a few months.

HAPA does not have capacity to help with all the work that needs to be done, but there are some issues where we think we can help. The administration should commit more staff resources to get more done faster.


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