Land Use and Community Character Element

With the exception of Downtown Hayward and a few residential neighborhoods, the majority of Hayward neighborhoods and districts were developed during the post-World War II housing boom of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.  As a result, the city’s land use patterns and urban design features are generally characterized by single-use neighborhoods and centers, low-density housing tracts, strip commercial centers, and auto-oriented street networks.  In the 1990s and 2000s, the City of Hayward began a new era of land use planning and urban design based on the principles of “smart growth.”  The preservation of open space, infill development and revitalization, compact and mixed-use neighborhoods, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets, and transit-oriented developments are key principles of smart growth that the City of Hayward embraced and applied to planning and revitalization efforts for the Downtown, the Cannery Neighborhood, the South Hayward BART Station Neighborhood, and the Mission Boulevard Corridor.  To accommodate future population and employment growth and enhance Hayward’s overall quality of life, the City will continue to implement the principles of smart growth and sustainability, and seek opportunities to improve and revitalize the Downtown, established neighborhoods, corridors, and shopping centers.  To diversify and expand Hayward’s economic base, the City will strive to further develop the Industrial Technology and Innovation Corridor with uses that create a healthy balance between a manufacturing-based economy and an information- and technology-based economy.

The Land Use and Community Character Element establishes goals and policies to strategically accommodate future growth and change while preserving and enhancing the qualities and characteristics that make Hayward a desirable place to live, work, learn, and play.  The goals and policies are designed to enhance Hayward’s neighborhoods and districts with an attractive mix of uses and amenities that expand the local economy, enhance social interaction, protect environmental resources, and improve the overall quality of life of residents.  A variety of topics are discussed within the Element, including growth and sustainable development, the development of the city’s Priority Development Areas, the revitalization of corridors and centers, the development of complete neighborhoods, the enhancement of the Industrial Technology and Innovation Corridor, the design of hillside developments, the preservation of historic resources and districts, and the design of compatible public and quasi-public land uses.

The goals and policies of the Land Use and Community Character Element are closely related to several other elements of the General Plan, including the Mobility Element, Economic Development Element, and Community Health and Quality of Life Element.

The Land Use and Community Character Element is divided into two sections. The first section provides an overview of the General Plan Land Use Diagram and a description of the city’s land use designations.  The Land Use Diagram establishes the overall pattern of planned land uses within the City and is closely aligned with the Transportation Diagrams provided in the Mobility Element.  The second section of the Element presents the land use and community character goals and policies.