Hayward to recieve ‘a destination park’


Photo courtesy of City of Hayward

Jesse Castro,

Hayward City Council met at City Hall in January to discuss the latest plans from Gates & Associates, a land-planning firm, for what Development Services Director David Rizk described as a, “true destination park,” in South Hayward.

In 2005, The DeSilva Group, a land developing company and the owner of the La Vista property, received approval for a small park; a potential community center, an extension of Tennyson Road and a new road to connect to Alquire Parkway and 179 single family homes. Previously, Dumbarton Quarry Associates held quarry-mining permits for the land.

Gates & Associates surveyed approximately 20 people who attended the Jan. 12 public outreach meeting as well as the attendees of the public outreach meeting on Jan. 27 at the Matt Jimenez Community Center, and the Hayward Youth Commission meeting on Feb. 1. Gates & Associates and the park design team will use the feedback to generate plans that align with the community’s desires and concerns. In order to create a park with wide appeal, city staff continually collects data through a survey on the La Vista web page, but struggle to receive the desired amount of community input they feel necessary to create a park for everyone.

Since the original proposal, the plan for La Vista Park has changed. The city is in the process of acquiring adjacent land from the state through a formal agreement, which has created more opportunities for a larger park and prompted several new additions. An amphitheater/storm water basin, a yoga lawn and a science play area are a few of the newest amenities added to the park’s design, which altered plans for construction.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#6d012a”]“anticipated for this spring,”[/mks_pullquote]

To create access to the new park, the city required the developer to construct an eastward extension of Tennyson Road. The new road will provide a path from Mission Boulevard through the hills and former quarry that will become La Vista Park and the new single family homes, some of which will line the East side of the park. Rizk, who manages planning, zoning and permit administration for the Hayward City Council, commented that initial construction for La Vista Park is, “anticipated for this spring,” along with the extension of Tennyson Road.

Kelley Lotosky, a consultant from Gates & Associates, stated that the final cost of construction for La Vista Park has, “yet to be determined, since final plans have not been developed.” However, the city required the developer to contribute about $2.1 million in park in-lieu-of fees, which will be collected as new homes are built. The developer was also required to provide $1.5 million toward the cost of a community center, which will be located in the vicinity of the park near Mission Boulevard. Although Rizk noted that the recession delayed construction in previous years, the city council is confident in its ability to find adequate funding to create,[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#6d012a”]“a real gem for Hayward.”[/mks_pullquote]

Council Member Elisa Marquez was adamant during the Jan. 12 city council meeting about holding more meetings in Hayward and South Hayward to allow the community to personally contribute to the park’s construction and design. Marquez wanted to provide more opportunities for the public to bring forth any concerns or comments that they have before plans are finalized. She worried the weekly city council meetings in Hayward City Hall, weren’t convenient enough for citizens of the whole city to attend due to its location and the length, which could last until 10 p.m.

During the city council meeting, Mimi Bauer, a Fairway Park resident, raised concerns about the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) staff and former city council members who were tasked with the development of a park in Fairway Park more than 50 years ago. Bauer worried that La Vista Park would be postponed and delayed until the project ended up altered entirely or abandoned through the same misdealing that she felt deprived her community of a park. She urged the current council to coordinate with HARD board members and ensure that this park becomes successful but, “not successful in eight years, or five years, or three years or two years.” Bauer wants to see progress on La Vista Park before the end of this year.

Rizk anticipates the maintenance of La Vista Park and its various amenities, “will be done by HARD, with funding for maintenance of geological related storm water features to come from a yet-to-be-formed Geologic Hazard Abatement District (GHAD).”