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September 19, 2006 > Business As Usual

Business As Usual

by Steve Warga

With a quick rap of the gavel, Mayor Mike Sweeney called the meeting to order and a new legislative year commenced in Hayward. With very little business to consider and only a few citizens in attendance, it should have been a short meeting. It wasn't.

Local property owner, Hossien Mehrizi, wants to renovate the two properties he owns on Silva Avenue, just off Jackson Street. He cannot proceed without an amendment to the city's General Plan. For about 18 months, Mehrizi has tried to win approval of his project, designed to enhance the surrounding area while further promoting the city's vision of high density housing close to shops, services and mass transit. In testimony to the council on September 12, Mehrizi asserted that he has spent $10,000, to date, on plans, surveys and paperwork necessary to secure the city's approval. The Planning Commission unanimously approved; the city staff approved; the city council said, "Let's think about this some more."

City Associate Planner, Erik Pearson, summarized the background of this proposal, including several photographs of the parcel of land containing Mehrizi's properties. After a discussion session featuring lengthy musings from every one of the councilmembers, Mehrizi pled his case once more. Then, a second round of lengthy musings ensued featuring, this time, extensive consideration of Hayward's lofty visions of ample affordable housing for all, in local communities thriving amongst businesses, transportation and plenty of outdoor recreation. The mayor, in particular, wanted a clearer sense of what might become of the block of eight lots in question. Mehrizi told of his unsuccessful efforts to work with the other owners noting that he can only speak to his plans.

Councilmember Bill Ward offered a compromise, moving that Mehrizi return in 30 days with more plans. There were no objections.

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