Tuesday, September 28, 2021

What is the best use of a now closed golf course?

HAYWARD – Residents are being asked what to do with 126 acres of open space with many mature trees north of the city airport – add it to the popular Kennedy Park, or let it grow, possibly housing or commercial businesses For?

Other suggestions for the future of SkyWest Golf Course include building a dog park, setting up bicycle and walking paths, building a softball field or reviving it as a golf course.

Ideas came from residents who sent ideas on the future of the site ahead of an online meeting and others who messaged comments during the session. A facilitator read some of them aloud and a counselor made comments.

Other ideas include having a walkway and an open space corridor along the northern edge of the property.

Some of the ideas were outlined on an online forum run by SkyWest’s reuse planning consultants Kimley-Horn, which has offices throughout the United States, including Pleasanton, and three planned public meetings to discuss the site’s future. was the first of them.

“Right now, we’re collecting feedback and ideas,” Kimelli-Horn’s Erin Sheelan told those watching the meeting online. “Right now, we are in the solicitation and gathering phase.”

About 90 people attended the meeting.

Sheelan said the golf course just north of Hayward Executive Airport can be used for more than one purpose at the same time. But she also said that “there are no plans to sell the airport property at this time.”

SkyWest, owned by the city, is Hayward’s only 18-hole public golf course. The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District leased the land to run the course until last September.

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The Park District paid approximately $140,000 in rent annually for the property at 1401 Golf Course Road. But incomes have declined steadily over the years, which a city report released last August played down the decline in recreational golfing.

The Park District’s net loss from SkyWest’s operations has increased from $800,000 to $1.2 million over the past three years, the report said.

SkyWest was completed in October 1963, and the Park District began operations in January 1975. The Park District also manages the nine-hole Mission Hills of Hayward Golf Course in South Hayward, which opened in 1999.

There is also a private 18-hole course at Stonebray Country Club at 202 Country Club Drive in Hayward Hills.

SkyWest is on Hayward Executive Airport property and any use is subject to Federal Aviation Administration approval, including altitude restrictions.

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Earlier this year, the airport entered into an agreement with the Park District to maintain the site.

“It certainly presents problems from time to time,” airport manager Doug McNealy said of maintaining the grounds of the property. He said the airport wants to continue to maintain the site.

The city council could hear employees’ proposals about the future of the curriculum later this year or early next year.

The next online meetings on the future of golf courses are planned for August 10 and 12. During the meetings, a consultant will present some possible scenarios on the future of the site.

“It’s really just one phase of this project,” Sheelan said.

Information about upcoming meetings can be found here https://engagekh.com/skywest-reuse/home.

What is the best use of a now closed golf course?
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