Published Tuesday, August 23, 2005, in the Hayward Daily Review
Video simulates Hayward's growth plan
City's Web site offers "conceptual scenario" for redevelopment
By Matt O'Brien
In an effort to yield more community input from residents,
city officials have posted an online video simulation of Hayward's
next big redevelopment project.
The six-minute video, posted on the main page of the city's Web site
Monday morning, shows five-story buildings lining Mission Boulevard in
South Hayward, tree-lined medians all along the Mission Boulevard
corridor and transit-oriented homes surrounding the South Hayward BART
"Video is a good way to show people what, conceptually, could happen,"
said David Rizk, a senior city planner. "This doesn't mean this is
what's going to be built. It's a conceptual scenario."
The new feature marks the first time the city has posted a video
simulation on its Web site.
Bay Area developers are increasingly using video simulations as an
alternative to traditional one-dimensional maps and still-life
renderings, which can leave a lay observer -- including elected city
officials -- without a real sense of what a project will look like
City Manager Jesus Armas said the six-minute video was first unveiled
to about 75 to 100 residents who attended a meeting on the Mission
Boulevard redevelopment district earlier this summer.
The redevelopment district comprises 240 acres of vacant or
"underutilized" land surrounding the South Hayward BART station and
along Mission Boulevard between Harder Road and Industrial Parkway.
Approved in 2001, it is the most recently established redevelopment
district in Hayward. The city's redevelopment authority enacted its
first redevelopment district, comprising the downtown area, in 1975.
The second district, comprising the area surrounding the old
Hunt-Wesson Cannery, was approved in 1998.
City Councilman Bill Quirk said the decisions the city must make
regarding the Mission Boulevard redevelopment district couldn't be
The video simulations on the city's Web site show a Mission Boulevard
that appears dramatically different from today's corridor of one-story
Five-story residential complexes line the boulevard, and the city is
looking at anywhere between 700 and nearly 3,000 new homes. A
community center is envisionedon Mission Boulevard near Valle Vista
Avenue. The parcel now containing the soon-to-be-closed Holiday Bowl
is home to large structures that might include a conference center.
The video shows two design plans, one suburban and one urban, although
Rizk said the final plan will be something in between. Quirk said
most people have responded positively to the idea of significant
improvements along Mission Boulevard, but many issues still need
"It's one thing to get pretty good response to a theoretical plan,"
Quirk said. "It's another thing to get response to the details."
The video simulation is available at
The main page of the city's Web site is <http://www.ci.hayward.ca.us
[BATN: The video is oh-so-conveniently playable only by systems
running the insecure, virus-prone, subfunctional and standards
non-compliant Micro$oft Explorer browser, and it made available only
in a Micro$oft-proprietary video format. This all rather defeats the
point of open government information, doesn't it?
"Your current Web browser cannot display this presentation. Microsoft
Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher must be installed to watch this
presentation.<br>Click OK to go to a Web page to download the lastest
version of Microsoft Internet Explorer.<br>Click Cancel to go to a
blank Web page and stop the current presentation."]