Here’s the gist of things that came out of Tuesday night’s meeting, I’m working on a couple of stories for later this week:
BURGLARY UPDATE: Council heard a report about this summer’s uptick in residential burglaries from Lt. Sheryl Boykins and Lt. Reid Lindblom, who are the community resource officers for the southside and northside, respectively. They had some figures, here are the highlights:
June saw the largest increase, from 78 to 118, a 51 percent increase, while May saw a 28 percent increase and July 13 percent. If you look at the totals for the first seven months of the year, there’s only been a 5 percent spike during that period compared with 2009, so it’s pretty clear the rise began with summer. And it’s not a Hayward thing, there have been increases in surrounding communities and most of those arrested have been from out of town. They’ve arrested 44 burglary suspects in the past three months, what Boykins said is “more than we usually arrest in a year.”
The lieutenants said the most affected neighborhoods are Darwin, Leeward, Bell Harbor, Palma Ceia, Fairway Park, and Silver Maple in S. Hayward, while in N. Hayward it’s Prominence, Bailey Ranch, area around Atherton and the area around Pinewood and Farm Hill.
They said they’ve increased presence in those areas but more importantly have worked with the community to let them know what’s going on and what they can do to prevent it, most notably helping watch over the neighborhood.
“We make way more arrests by networking with the community than we do by being in the right place at the right time,” said Lindblom.
EDEN SHORES CONTRACT CHANGE: A plan to allow for residential construction near the Costco site on Hesperian Boulevard was approved, with only the mayor dissenting.
The agreement with Legacy held that once all of the commercial construction was under way, they could build more homes in the area. Legacy said that since they came through with getting the Costco to come in, they would like a proportional amount of homes approved for development. So, since Costco takes up 58 percent of the commercial zone, Legacy requested 58 percent of the residential zone allowed to move forward. That’s about 8 acres, or 75-80 single-family homes.
They say the residents will then attract more neighborhood-serving commercial tenants, something the area lacks. Current tenants of the nearby Crossings currently drive to Union City for basics.
“It all feeds off each other,” said Legacy rep, and they need to pre-lease 50 percent of the space before building is feasible. They have commercial interest, but more interest from home builders such as KB Homes.
While most of the Council went along with the idea that changing economic conditions mean a change in terms may be necessary, Mayor Sweeney said that’s a road they’ve already gone down and this is just taking a step farther in a direction away from the original vision, which he said at one point held that housing would only be west of the freeway, commercial/industrial to the east. He said it’s another compromise with a developer and that “at some point we need to step up and say, ‘If we get retail, we’ll be ready for the houses,” but not until then. It was a pretty good speech, catch it on replay if you are so inclined.
Vote was 6-1, Sweeney against, to allow the change in contract.
And 24 Hour Fitness remains interested in moving there, but its still not definite because of economic conditions. Legacy is working with them, “We have to make compromises,” said rep.