Hayward Area Recreation District bought a gift for Castro Valley over the holidays. East Bay Municipal Utilities District’s former 24-acre Redwood Filter Plant property will be the site for a new Castro Valley park.
The site has level areas and sloped areas, perfect for outdoor activities.
“It has so much potential,” says HARD board member Dennis Waespi. “There are views of Castro Valley up there that you’ll never see anywhere else.
The future park is bordered by Sydney Way, Stanton Avenue, Carlton Avenue and Jennifer Drive.
According to Alameda County’s website, the site originally had 20 to 25 single-family homes. It was then purchased and cleared in the 1950s by EBMUD for a Hayward water-treatment plant.
Hayward ended up not using the site, and EBMUD’s board put it up for sale.
In 2006, HARD put “Measure Q” on the ballot to create the Castro Valley Park Zone, according to the Castro Valley Forum. However, the measure didn’t receive the 2/3-approval vote.
In August 2013, EBMUD went back to HARD about the property. After months of negotiations, HARD’s Board of Directors approved the property purchase for $5.6 million — originally priced at $15.5 million.
“We will have to discuss the actual park development with our board. I expect we will have many strategic planning meetings about it,” says HARD general manager, john Gouveia. “But when opportunity knocks to do ‘land banking’ we have to respond, even if it’s not developed yet. You can’t have a park unless you have the land.”