The History of Caltrans Tenants on Route 238 
as told by the Press
June 17, 1981
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South County    The Daily Review, Wednesday, June 17, 1981        Page 17

Rent hikes may doom home hopes

By Jayne Garrison
Staff writer

HAYWARD - A new state rental policy could force some South County tenants out of their homes just months before they might have the option of buying them at cut-rate prices.

The California Department of Transportation is raising rents on more than 500 Hayward and Castro Valley homes purchased in the last two decades for the right-of-way of the proposed state Route 238 expansion. Statewide, the policy will affect more than 3,000 Caltrans-owned houses. Rent hikes are scheduled for December.

Although Caltrans officials insist the policy was "specifically designed to accommodate lower-income families," several South County tenants say they may end up losing the one chance they have to buy a house at affordable prices.

Here's how the policy works:
• Families earning $28,100 or less a year and living in a house valued below $585 in monthly rent will only have to pay 25 percent of their gross income for rent.
• Families earning more than $28,100 will receive a 25 percent rent increase each year until rents reach fair market value. Caltrans officials said they are simply trying to get a fair return on their property.
• The catch is in the third clause. Families earning less than $28,100 - but living in a house that could be rented for more than $585 a month - may be relocated to other "affordable" housing in the area, according to Caltrans spokesman Bob Halligan.

This would eliminate their option to buy the Caltrans home if development of Route 238 is rescinded by the state Transportation Commission in April 1982.

The commission last year placed a two-year moratorium on Route 238, but insiders give at least 50 percent odds that the route will be rescinded.

If construction plans are dropped, Caltrans would sell its houses along the right-of-way route and low-income tenants would have the option to buy their rented home at a price within their income range.

That option is mandated by Senate Bill 86, adopted in 1979. Under the bill, local housing authorities have first option to the houses, original tenants have second rights and current tenants have third rights.

Robert Swanson Jr., a Caltrans tenant on Gary Drive in Castro Valley, maintains the state is trying to get rid of its low-income tenants to avoid selling houses at cut-rate prices.

The independent dairyman pays $395 a month for his three-bedroom house today. Although the fair market rent for his area has not yet been established by Caltrans, a right-of-way agent last week told him the rate might exceed $585.

"When I moved in (in 1977) it was almost uninhabitable," said Swanson. "Then last year Caltrans comes in and dumps $13,000 into our house fixing it up."

He maintained that renovation is the only reason the house may be rented for more than $585.

"They're just trying to get us out so they won't have to sell to us under SB86," charged Swanson, who, with his neighbors Carol and Jerry Perkins, is calling lawmakers and urging a review of the policy. The Perkins are also fighting eviction July 23 for allegedly allowing their yard to become overgrown.

The couple, who just put in a sod lawn, will appeal their case before Caltrans officials Friday.

Another Caltrans tenant who rents a Victorian home on C Street said the agency spent $14,000 on her house this past winter.

"We asked if this was going to raise the rents and they said no," stated the woman, who did not want to be identified.

Caltrans denied the charges.

Harry Kagan, chief of the agency's Right-of-Way Division, said renovation was carried out as part of Gov. Brown's urban strategy program.

He noted that Caltrans has raised rents no more than 10 percent a year in the past and specifically wrote its new policy to help out lower-income tenants.

Speaking from his Sacramento office, Kagan said he doubted many, if any, tenants will be relocated because the state-owned houses in this area aren't worth more than $585 a month in rent.

But his opinion was contradicted by local Caltrans officials.

With the Bay Area's rental shortage, spokesman Halligan said he has been told many houses could be rented for more than $585. However, he cautioned that the appraisals are not complete and the relocation policy would apply only to tenants earning $28,100 or less a year.

Halligan said he does not know how many tenants would fall into the relocation clause.

Swanson contends the number is high.

Many low-income families, including his own, waited months to get into a Caltrans home specifically because of the lower rents, he said.

May 17, 1982
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Daily Review                                                                                                                       May 17, 1982
Bypass project at critical juncture

By Rich Riggs
Staff writer

HAYWARD - Two events crucial to the fate of a Highway 238 downtown bypass planned for the last 23 years will occur in the coming two weeks.

The first will be a vote planned for Thursday in the state Senate, which will determine whether a plan to finance a scaled-down version of the freeway can go forward this year.

The second event is a hearing next week in San Francisco before the California Transportation Commission, in which the city hopes to convince the commission to endorse its novel financing plan, which involves using proceeds from the sale of freeway right-of-way and from redevelopment along the freeway corridor to build the bypass, which city officials are now calling the "Foothill Parkway.”

The commission hearing may occur on either May 26, 27, or 28, according to Martin Storm of the city planning department. The exact date and time, will be fixed later this week.

If the commission rejects Hayward's plan, it will mean that the freeway route will be officially abandoned by the state, the right-of-way sold, and the money spent on highway projects throughout the state.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday will reconsider Sen. John W. Holmdahl's SB 1711, which failed to get a needed two-thirds majority to pass an urgency measure last Thursday.

Holmdahl said he plans to bring the measure back for another vote Thursday, and he is confident that it will win. He may, however, decide not to tag it as an urgency measure this time.

The bill would allow $30 million from the sale of right-of-way purchased for the Foothill Freeway to go toward financing the downscoped "Foothill Parkway," four lane, divided, landscaped arterial.

The street would run from Interstate 580 south through the Hayward hills to connect with Industrial Parkway.

The bill would have needed 27 votes to pass out of the Senate as an urgency measure last week. It only got 23. There were six votes against the measure.

Holmdahl said 20 senators actually supported the bill last Thursday. Another three joined in the voting even though they will oppose the measure - as a legislative courtesy so that Holmdahl would have a chance to ask for reconsideration.

''Thirteen members were not on the floor," Holmdahl said, "I should be able to get seven of those 13 to vote for the bill as an urgency measure."

It takes 27 votes -- a two-thirds majority of the 40 member Senate pass anything as an urgency measures. Urgency measures become law as soon as they are signed by the governor.

But it would only take a simple majority - 21 votes to pass the bill as a non-urgency measure. Holmdahl said there is no question at all that the bill will have the backing of a simple majority. If passed as a non-urgency bill, the measure would become effective Jan. 1, 1983.

Holmdahl said he is considering bringing the bill back Thursday as a non-urgency measure. "That would be the safer way and the only difference is the date of effectiveness," Holmdahl said.

Even, if the Senate passed the bill as an urgency measure, the governor -- if the Assembly also passed the bill - would not get it until June or early July.

If Holmdahl tries to pass the bill as an urgency measure and it fails in either the Senate or Assembly, it can't be brought back for another vote until next year.

Holmdahl said the bill could run into troubles in the Assembly, but the sheer numbers appear to be on the bill's side.

"The problem is, there are six counties that could benefit from the bill (six counties that have freeway rights-of-way that could be sold and which could retain the money for their own projects under the measure) but there are 52 which would not benefit from It," Holmdahl said.

However, the six counties that would benefit Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside ;represent a majority of seats in the Legislature.

Twenty-six of the 40 senators have constituents in those six counties and 47 of the 80 assemblymen also have constituents in the benefiting counties.

Holmdahl said that does not guarantee that they will all vote for his, measure but added, ''There are significant counties on our side that will potentially benefit.”

But he cautioned that, even though passage seems assured in the Senate, that's not often an indication of what the lower house will do: "You can't mechanically assume that what happens in one house will happen in the other," he said.

City plans for the parkway cannot be financed without Holmdahl's bill. But that bill could be revived next year even if it is defeated this session.

The city next week must convince the commission that its plan - which involves combining the money from right-of-way sale with some $10 million revenue from the development of 1,500 to 2,000 housing units along unused freeway right-of-way to finance the entire project – is practical.

If the commission decides otherwise, it is expected to recommend that all the right-of-way be sold and the money put into a central kitty for road projects throughout the state - a move that would forever kill the chances for the bypass.

September 23, 1982
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County  The Daily Review, Thursday, September 23, 1982     Page 13

State renters rally for homes

By Rich Riggs
Staff writer

HAYWARD - Fearful of losing their homes to a Hayward expressway project, people who are renting homes from the California Department of Transportation on freeway right-of-way are forming a tenants' organization.

One of the organizers, Spence Kerrigan, who lives in a Caltrans house on Second Street, said the tenants are concerned about the loss of an opportunity they once banked on: the ability to purchase at affordable prices the homes they are renting.

Kerrigan also said tenants are concerned with other issues, including shoddy workmanship in connection with a $2.2 million rehabilitation job completed on 200 of the 350 Hayward homes, which sit on right-of-way for the long-planned Foothill Freeway.

The freeway, planned for 20 years, ,'would have run through the East Bay hills from Interstate 580 north of Hayward to Interstate 680 in Fremont.

But, due to lack of funds, the state was about to abandon plans for the freeway when Hayward came up with a scheme to fund a smaller project, a four-lane parkway or expressway that would run from Interstate 580 south to Industrial Parkway in Hayward.

The governor has signed a bill, SB 1711 by Sen. John Holmdahl, D-San Leandro, which will allow proceeds from the sale of unneeded freeway land to partially fund the expressway, to the tune of $30 million.

Only about 100 homes will be razed for the expressway, but the remainder of the property will be sold to developers who will build 1,500 to 2,000 housing units probably condominiums and apartments.

The problem with this, Kerrigan said, is that Holmdahl's bill cancels an earlier measure that would have let tenants buy, the homes they live in at below-market prices.

That bill, SB 86 by Sen. David Roberti, D-Los Angeles, allowed low- and moderate-income families - those making less than $28,000 for a family of four to purchase homes not needed for freeways at a price somewhere between current market rates and the prices Caltrans paid for the land more than 10 years ago.

Holmdahl's bill says all the land must be sold at current fair market rates, as determined by an appraisal. .
"We are concerned with the tenants' loss of rights to purchase their units under the Roberti bill," Kerrigan explained.

"And we also just want to help tenants in any areas where they express an interest or a need for help," Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan said the tenants' organization is being launched by himself; Scott Hickman, who lives in a Caltrans house on C Street; Bob Swanson, tenant of a Caltrans home on Gary Drive in Castro Valley; and Howard Kerrigan, Spence Kerrigan's uncle, who lives next door on Second Street.

Howard Kerrigan complained about another problem: poor workmanship by Caltrans contractors.

In a $2.2 million program to bring the homes up to code, Caltrans hired private contractors on a competitive bid basis to renovate 200 Hayward homes, according to Ron Foote, manager of the rehabilitation program.

A visual inspection of Howard Kerrigan's home showed paint flaking off a ceiling, a rickety outdoor stair railing, misfitted kitchen fixtures and other problems.

Foote acknowledged that the workmanship was poor. "We released the contractor from that job and are denying him a $1,100 payment," Foote said.

Foote explained that since the bidding is competitive, Caltrans can't be picky about who does the work.

"We've had some good contractors and we've had some bad ones," he said. "We have penalized contractors and we have had all sorts of grief. But we have done some major improvements, and we have taken homes that were ready to be demolished and made them habitable," Foote said.

As to loss of Roberti bill rights to purchase units at bargain prices, Hayward city officials say that everybody who is displaced will get some help from the city.

Low-income families will get rent subsidies to help them pay for units comparable to the ones they are forced out of, according to Martin Storm of the city Planning Department.

And everybody - rich or poor - will be given moving expenses and relocation advice, Storm said.

He said that is a better deal than many tenants would have gotten under the Roberti bill. The Roberti bill only governed units on land not needed for a highway. Those in the path of a freeway - in homes that would have to be razed to accommodate the road - would have gotten no assistance at all, Storm said.

"All, they would have gotten was a notice saying they'd have to leave in 30 days," he said. "We feel that the program under the Holmdahl bill is far more equitable and will work much less of a hardship on tenants than the Roberti bill program, since we will take care of all the people and not just those living on surplus properties."

Spence Kerrigan said the tenants' group, the "Caltrans Tenants Organization," is now circulating questionnaires polling Caltrans renters about the loss of the Roberti bill rights to purchase, the service provided by Caltrans and the quality of workmanship on rehabilitation jobs.

Caltrans tenants interested in the organization can contact Spence Kerrigan at 538-5318.

September 30, 1982
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The Daily Review, Thursday, September 30, 1982

State poor landlord, tenants tell council

By Rich Riggs
Staff writer
HAYWARD - People who live in houses owned by Caltrans in a freeway right-of-way say they'll be back before the City Council Tuesday with more "horror stories" about shoddy repair work and rude property managers.

Angry representatives of the tenants appeared before the City Council Tuesday to also complain about the loss of the right to purchase rented homes at bargain rates, which ended under terms of legislation aimed at funding a Hayward expressway project.

Mayor Alex Giuliani promised to set up a meeting between the tenants and Assemblyman Gib Marguth, R-Livermore, to discuss the problems. Bob Swanson, one of the tenants' representatives, agreed to such a meeting.

Councilman Michael Sweeney added, "The bottom line is that the state owns the property, but we will do what we can to bring Caltrans into line."

The tenants said they would be back next week to give the council the results of a survey of 150 Caltrans tenants said to be unhappy with the state's management of their rented units.

"Most tenants feel Caltrans is the worst possible landlord," said Spence Kerrigan of the Caltrans Tenants Organization. "Their rental agents are unprofessional, unbusinesslike and abusive. . . Tenants who had their homes repaired under Caltrans rehabilitation program are unanimous about the poor quality of materials and workmanship received for the $2.2 million Caltrans people claim to have spent."

Kerrigan was referring to the renovation of 200 Hayward homes accomplished during the last year by private contractors hired by the California Department of Transportation to bring the structures up to code.

A Caltrans official, Ron Foote, manager of the rehabilitation program, has blamed the faulty work on incompetent contractors. However, he maintains many of the properties were repaired correctly.

Swanson, who rents a Caltrans house on Gary Drive in Castro Valley, charged that he has received the runaround from Caltrans officials.

He said he has yet to recover a $50 deposit he put down on a Caltrans house five years ago. The house was rented to another family before he could move into it.

Eventually, he said, Caltrans rented him the house on Gary Drive, but Swanson said it was poorly maintained. "It was a dump and it smelled like vomit," he said.

He said Caltrans hired someone to restore the house for $12,000. "They spent $12,000 and basically all they did was paint it and fix my shower," he said.

Swanson said he has put a good bit of money into maintaining and repairing the house himself, and that he would now like to buy it.

He said, however, that he probably won't be able to afford it, because of the provisions of SB 1711 by Sen. John Holmdahl, D-San Leandro.

That bill, passed by the Legislature this summer, will enable proceeds from the sale of Hayward freeway right-of-way to go toward construction of a Hayward downtown bypass, the "Foothill Parkway."
The parkway is to run from Interstate 580 through the Hayward hills to Mission Boulevard and Industrial Parkway.

Under the Holmdahl bill, the land must be sold at "fair market value."

Holmdahl's bill effectively cancels an earlier measure, SB 86 by Sen. David Roberti, D-Los Angeles.

That measure, approved earlier by the Legislature, would have allowed poor and middle-income tenants to buy their surplus Caltrans homes at prices below fair market value.

Swanson said he went to a legislative committee meeting where the Holmdahl bill was up for consideration and waited nine hours, but was not given a chance to speak.

He said he was appalled by the conduct of lawmakers, who he said largely ignored people trying to present testimony. "They were throwing paper airplanes and candy wrappers," he said. "Caltrans tenants have never been heard on this (cancellation of the Roberti bill's rights to purchase)."

"I would like to see SB 86 rights restored. The loss of funds will be negligible," Swanson said.

January 30, 1983
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South County
The Daily Review, Sunday, January 30, 1983                                Page 13

Angry Caltrans tenants air gripes

By Patricia Yollin
Staff writer
HAYWARD - Tales of abusive rental agents, incompetent contractors and unkept promises tumbled out Saturday as more than 300 Caltrans tenants packed City Council chambers to tell state Sen. Bill Lockyer their problems with a landlord who, in this case, happens to be the state.

Lockyer, D-San Leandro, called the meeting so aggrieved tenants could air their complaints about the state Department of Transportation. And air they did, grousing for almost four hours about everything from leaky roofs and lack of building inspections to the pain of living in "constant fear of eviction."

Anticipating a deluge of problems, Lockyer opened the afternoon meeting by reeling off a string of sore points: loss of tenants' purchase rights under a new state Senate bill, housing relocation, rehabilitation, rent calculation and allegations of Caltrans' insensitivity to tenant problems.

"Is that a pretty good list of what the issues are?" he asked.

"It's a start," someone shouted.

As it turned out, it was only a start.  Many people wanted to discuss an issue Mayor Alex Giuliani had already deemed "not discussible" - whether the $30 million "Foothill Parkway," proposed for 300 acres of freeway right-of-way occupied by 350 Caltrans tenants - should even be built.

"We have to start with a sense of what's 'doable' and what isn't," Lockyer told the tenants before they even brought the subject up. "Thinking of making it go away is in the category of impossible."

Not so, argued Harold Van Buren of Hayward. "From your viewpoint, you're saying it's cut and dried, and it isn't."

Lockyer, who had said earlier the 24-year-old project "had been decided for years and years," conceded it still needed state approval. Giuliani said it would take the city a year to decide if the expressway is even feasible.

"It should go to a vote of the people of Hayward to decide," said tenant Jim Davis of Hayward to rousing applause. "It shouldn't go to the mayor and the City Council."

"I campaigned on a promise to revive the expressway," Giuliani said.

"Well, I'm one of the people who backed you and I think you're wrong," Davis retorted.

Bob Swanson, an activist with the Caltrans Tenants Organization, argued that the project would aggravate rather than allay traffic congestion and said its real purpose was to provide road access to aid Walpert Ridge development.

"Caltrans wants taxpayers to pay for a land developers' road," he said. "It's not to benefit the city of Hayward. Do you think Fairway Park wants traffic dumped down there from high-density condominiums?"

Lockyer eventually succeeded in steering conversation away from the freeway itself to other issues, which were not in short supply.

"I've been living in my house for 11 years," said Nancy Gallagher of Hayward. "After nine years, they tacked a public auction notice on the house - without even a phone call, asking if I'd like to bid on it. The notice was May 1 and the auction was May 11."

Mrs. Gallagher sued Caltrans and is still involved in litigation.

"We have put out $10,000 for the right to buy our house," she said.

An elderly woman reported that she called Caltrans early last year to fix some leaks in her home. "They said they'd be right out, and that party has never gotten there yet. And I live right across the street from the Hayward office," she said as other tenants let out knowing laughs.

"There's water seepage in my downstairs bedroom," said Yolanda Flores of Hayward. "The rental agent said it would take seven months. Do I have to wait that long?"

December 1984
June 17, 81 | May 17, 82 | Sept. 23, 82 | Sept.30, 82Jan.30, 83 | Dec. 84 | May 7, 86 | May 29, 86 | June 25, 90
California Lawyer    December 1984

Highways and low rents

The state Department of Transportation has sold 467 units in the last four years-real estate that became "surplus" when highway projects were canceled. The property was worth $21 million, but Cal Trans sold it for $7 million.

Citing these lost revenues, the California Transportation Commission this year convinced the Legislature to limit future application of the Roberti Act, which requires Cal Trans to sell surplus property at an "affordable price" to benefit low income tenants or homeowners. Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by the' Pacific Legal Foundation says the act (Govt. C §54235 et seq) was never constitutional to being with, and tenants' groups say its prospective repeal by SB 1702 (John F. Foran, D-Daly City) is "a rip-off" that benefits wealthy developers.

Responding to the criticism that highway projects were destroying homes while there was an urgent need for low-income housing, Senator David A. Roberti (D-Holly--
Continued on page 97


Keeping Ahead
Continued from page 17
wood) in 1979 proposed that the state turn its surplus property into low-income housing stock. Confronted with article 19 of the state constitution, which says that the gas tax funds Cal Trans uses to buy property may be used only for research, planning or maintenance of road projects or mitigating their environmental effects, the Roberti Act simply declared the loss of low-income housing to be a significant environmental effect.

This bit of legislative footwork did not impress attorney Robin D. Rivett of the Pacific Legal Founda-tion in Sacramento, who says you cannot circumvent the constitution by redefining words. Article 19 was approved by the voters specifically to keep gas tax money from being used for anything but building roads, says Rivett, who has brought two lawsuits asking that the Roberti Act be declared unconstitutional. After losing the first of those cases in Los Angeles in 1982 (Stone v State (LA Super Ct, No. C294212)), Rivett brought another action in Sacramento (Heberer v State (Sac Super Ct, No. 302181)). Rivett says he thinks the Third District Court of Appeal will provide a more favorable forum for his argument than the second district would have if he had appealed the Stone case.

Whatever the outcome of Heberer, it is unlikely the Roberti Act formula will be used for selling much more surplus property in California. Senate Bill 1702 repeals the act with respect to any highway projects canceled after January 1. 1984. Roberti went along with the change, says his consultant Christine Minnehan, because the bill creates an exception for Route 7 in Long Beach-the only current Cal Trans project that might be cancelled-and provides extensive relocation assistance for displaced residents. "There is also more protection coming from other sectors now," Minnehan adds. "Local communities have developed a greater sophistication in terms of protecting their housing stock."

The people who live in what is now Cal Trans property disagree saying the Roberti Act remains a necessary protection for them.  "This agency destroys housing and displaces people” says William D Powers of Western States Legal Foundation in Sacramento.  "The state has said low and moderate is a priority, but Cal Trans doesn't feel they have any responsibility to that priority.

The department still has a responsibility to provide relocation assistance to the people displaced notes Howard Posner, a legislative representative for Cal Trans. More importantly, he says, the people covered by the Roberti Act are not the original homeowners but tenants who came along later and had no reason to expect to stay long. "They move in with the express knowledge that we are building a freeway," Posner says. "When that doesn't happen, why should they benefit?"

Robert E. Swanson of Castro Valley, one of the founders of the Cal Trans Tenants' Organization, says the people who will benefit when a future project is canceled are real estate developers. The state never gets full market value for property sold at public auction, Swanson says. Consequently, although they will pay more than the Roberti Act's "affordable price," developers will be getting state-owned land at a discount. "It's a matter of who's going to get it cheap: a rich land developer or a low- or moderate-income individual," Swanson says.

Paul E. Smith of Oakland, who used to be attorney for the Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity in Hayward, says the Transportation Commission's attempt to save money ironically may cost the taxpayer more. "They didn't lose $14 million," Smith says. "They spent it to provide low-income housing in a very cost-effective way." Rivett does not agree with Smith's point, but adds that what is cost-effective is not always constitutional. "You can't take funds intended for one purpose and use them for another." he says.

-Clyde Leland
December 1984


May 7, 1986
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The Tribune                      Wednesday, May 7, 1986                                                                                       *SC Section B.


1,000 could lose homes to foothill freeway

By Michael Collier
TM Tribune
HAYWARD - An unusual environmental concern was debated in closed session last night by city council members discussing revived plans for an expressway traversing Hayward's foothills.

The concern: People, About 1,000 of them.

That's how many residents would be displaced by the six-lane expressway, which council members hope will be under construction in 1990 and eventually provide major relief from traffic congestion throughout the city.

But according to terms of a 1971 federal court injunction granted against the city when the route was first proposed, it can't be approved unless residents are relocated and fully compensated for moving costs.

The council last night agreed to continue negotiating terms of the relocation plan with an attorney from the Alameda County Legal Aid Society who represents the foothill residents.

And a public meeting will be held sometime later this month to inform Foothill residents of a tentative relocation plan.  A final date for the plan's approval has not been determined.

City Attorney Alice Graff called the negotiations "extremely friendly."

And City Manager Don Blubaugh said the city has already set aside $4.6 million - or about $13,000 per family - for the relocation.

Blubaugh declined to disclose details of the tentative relocation plan.

Hayward city officials got into hot water back in 1971 because the relocation of people forced to move because of the proposed Route 238 connecting Interstate 580 with I-680 in Fremont was never considered.

A group of Union City residents, calling themselves La Raza Unida, sued the city and the federal transportation secretary on those grounds and won an injunction from a federal judge.

By the time the injunction was granted, state funding for the eight-lane freeway had all but dried up, and the project was dropped.

Hayward council members revived the foothill freeway idea a couple years ago as a means of alleviating near gridlock in town.

The current plan calls for a 5.4-mile road from 1-580 south to Industrial Parkway in South Hayward. The project's cost is estimated at about $64 million.

Alternative housing for residents to be displaced by the road would likely need to be built using city funds.

The city's rental housing market remains tight, with a vacancy rate near 1 percent.

Without a relocation plan, the 1,000 people to be displaced by the road could become "a whole tribe of street people," said Bob Swanson, representing a group called the Caltrans Tenants.

May 29, 1986
June 17, 81 | May 17, 82 | Sept. 23, 82 | Sept.30, 82Jan.30, 83 | Dec. 84 | May 7, 86 | May 29, 86 | June 25, 90
16                            The Daily Review Thursday, May 29, 1986

Caltrans, city OK deal for tenants

By Karen Holzmeister
Staff writer
HAYWARD - State Department of Transportation tenants, whose homes would be eliminated by the proposed State Route 238 Parkway, would receive relocation and moving expenses of $4,500 per unit under a tentative settlement unveiled Wednesday.

About 160 people, mostly Caltrans renters, crowded into a Centennial Hall meeting room to learn about the settlement, which would cost the city at least $4.6 million. Most greeted the news with a mixture of muted curiosity and a request for information that city and state representatives couldn't provide.

The 348 units, including single-family homes, apartments and commercial properties, are on 340 acres along rights of way for the proposed alignment of the parkway. The parkway would run from Interstate 580 south along the Hayward hills to Mission Boulevard just north of Industrial Parkway.

No final official decision has been made on whether the parkway will be built, pending completion of an environmental impact report, probably at the end of 1987.

Caltrans could begin disbursing relocation grants immediately to tenants in 20 units who were occupants of their homes or businesses before Caltrans bought the property.

While there are provisions for the city to bank the $4.6 million within the next month, and to begin helping all tenants find new homes, the formal settlement probably won't be in effect for a couple of years, pending completion of the environmental report and approval by a federal court, state agencies and the City Council.

See Parkway, back of section


Continued from page 1
"The plan is kind of new to all of us and we are going to have to digest it," said Bob Swanson, a founder of the Caltrans Tenants Organization.

"We have concerns that Caltrans will have a real outreach program to the tenants who couldn't come tonight, the elderly and handicapped. They will need to be handled carefully."

Pending a survey of all Caltrans property, not all of the 348 units

The plan is kind of new to all of us.

may be removed for the parkway. Units to be retained will be sold, with the first purchase rights going to the occupants, then other Caltrans tenants and, finally, to the general public. The $4,500 could be applied to the down payment on a home. No unit survey has been done yet to determine which units will be exempted from demolition.

The proposed assistance includes a flat payment of $500 for moving expenses and $4,000 in lieu of a rent differential payment of down payment contribution.

Under the plan, commercial occupants would receive a payment of up to $10,000 for loss of business, if experienced, costs to find a new location and actual moving expenses.

June 25. 1990
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THE DAILY REVIEW                                        Monday, June 25, 1990
Caltrans criticized as a poor landlord

By Dennis J. Oliver

HAYWARD - For rent: Two-story, three-bedroom home in quiet neighborhood with little traffic. Reasonable rate. Vacant since January. Crawling With weeds, debris, garbage and rodents.

The home, at the top of Douglas Street in the Hayward hills, also sits In the path of the proposed Foothill Freeway. Once construction begins, it will be leveled by a wrecking crew.

It Is one of 350 houses in the city owned by the state Department of Transportation that transit officials have said they would rent to low-income families and keep in decent shape until the time comes to put a roadway through.

But homeowners who live in parts of Hayward
See Caltrans, back of section

Caltrans: Officials say they try to find qualified renters

Continued from section front
where state-owned property remains complain that Some houses remain vacant for unreasonable periods of time and many are unkempt.

"The Caltrans people are slumlords," said Joan Culver, who lives next door to the vacant Douglas Street home. "I'm from Chicago and I know what a slumlord is. That is exactly what they are doing."

Caltrans officials say only 15 of the 350 homes are vacant and that they are actively looking for qualified tenants. A handful of the houses are not renttable because they have been damaged by fires or earthquakes.

"We will rent those (undamaged houses), "said Caltrans spokeswoman Lisa Murphy.  "We just need to Interview prospective tenants."

Caltrans officials deny that maintenance on the buildings and yards has been lax and that some houses that could be rented have remained vacant for long periods of time.

But Bob Swanson, head of the Caltrans Tenants Organization, said he knew of a number of houses that had remained vacant for months between tenants. He also has heard complaints of state property being neglected.

CTO is a coalition of Caltrans tenants who have banded together to help ensure that they will be given relocation assistance once the time comes to demolish the state-owned property where they live.

At the Douglas Street house, garbage is piled near a side door, not far from a collection of weeds that stand 8 feet high. The front yard is a jungle of tall grass strewn with debris. Rodents scurry through empty rooms.

Another house on Broadway Street a block away has remained vacant for 18 months, according to neighbors. It, too, is in need of a weed-pulling, lawn mowing overhaul.

"Caltrans was supposed to keep these houses in good repair and rent to people, particularly people who are low-income." said Swanson. "The houses seem to stay empty for a while."

"When these places remain empty, it opens things up to all kinds of possibilities," said Swanson.

One Caltrans tenant said he has been trying to get the state to conduct general maintenance on his home for two years without success. He attributed the delay to a staff shortage.

Caltrans spokesman Greg Bayol said the state's property management department, which oversees maintenance and occupancy of the houses, does not have staffing shortages but that normal problems occasionally do arise.

"I think anybody who rents would have problems with their landlord from time to time," said Bayol. "I suppose there always is the possibility of poor response.”

Excerpts From Route 238 Final Environmental Impact Statement
Route 238 Foothill Parkway Final Environmental Impact Statement

"Social and Economic - The major socio-economic impacts of the Preferred Alternative would include the direct displacement of 219 single-family residences 17 duplexes, 5 condominiums and 22 multi-family residences. The majority of the requisite properties were acquired between 1965 and 1971 during the early development of the project. An estimated 112 units are still in private ownership. The project would require the displacement of 17 businesses, two of which are non-profit organizations. There are an additional 142 housing units and six business units, currently owned by the State, in areas that are no longer needed for the project and will be declared excess. This extensive displacement constitutes a major socio-economic impact. However, the State and the City of Hayward relocation assistance and replenishment housing programs will mitigate this impact. All tenants displaced by the Preferred Alternative will receive relocation assistance. Relocation assistance will be provided to pre-acquisition occupants (original occupants before State acquisition of the right-of-way) pursuant to Federal and State Uniform Relocation Assistance Acts and to post-acquisition tenants (tenants who rented after State acquisition of the right-of-way) under the Consent Decree Relocation Plan and special legislation for the Local Alternative Transportation Improvement Program (LATIP) who would not otherwise be eligible for relocation benefits." (Final Environmental Impact Statement)


The City and the State are to comply with the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Properties Acquisitions Policies Act of 1970 and any other applicable federal or State laws.

1. The City is responsible for implementing the Relocation Plan for tenants who moved into property within the corridor after it was acquired by the State or the City or who did not know the property was owned by the State at the time they moved into the property ("post-acquisition occupants") Residential occupants residing in the property at the time of the Notice of Entitlement to Relocation Benefits are entitled to either a moving expense payment of $500 and a rental differential payment of $5,250, or a down payment contribution of $5,750. Commercial occupants are eligible to receive a moving expense payment of $500 and a business relocation payment of $5,250. Hardship relocation may also be provided on a case-by-case basis.

2. The State is responsible for providing relocation assistance, including relocation benefits to residential occupants whose property was acquired by the State at the time of their occupancy or ownership, who presently occupy or own parcels in the corridor that have not yet been acquired by the State or the city, who moved into the corridor after acquisition by the State and who did not have knowledge of the State acquisition, or who otherwise have eligibility for relocation benefits under the State's rules and regulations (hereinafter referred to as "pre-acquisition occupants").

3. The State shall provide pre-acquisition commercial occupants with actual, reasonable and necessary moving costs, certain related expenses, search costs not to exceed $1,000 in finding a new business location for certain eligible tenants and in-lieu payments for those unable to stay in business for certain eligible tenants of up to $10,000.

4. The City is responsible for implementing the Replenishment Housing Program and ensuring the initial availability of 247 affordable replenishment housing units for low income households, at least 111 of which shall be affordable for very low income households, 101 affordable replenishment housing units for moderate income households, and 101 additional replenishment housing units (48 of which shall be affordable by low income households and 53 affordable by moderate income households) if the freeway alternative is adopted as the Approved Transportation Program and subject to the City's acquisition from State of certain properties listed in Exhibit "E" to the Consent Decree (Revised). The above listed replenishment unit obligation will be credited for existing housing units that are within the right-of-way corridor which are not needed for construction and whose use is restricted to housing for low and moderate income households for 15 years.

5. The City shall also maintain the Housing and Relocation Fund. The Fund shall be maintained so as to reserve the amount estimated to be necessary for payment of relocation benefits and moving expenses to post-acquisition occupants and certain pre-acquisition occupants as referred to above." (Final Environmental Impact Statement)

Settlement Agreement Has Been Reached
There have been ongoing negotiations on the Route 238 Bypass lawsuit involving the City of Hayward, CalTrans and the tenants in the CalTrans properties. A draft Settlement Agreement was presented to a meeting of the CalTrans tenants on September 28th (with Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and Senator Ellen Corbett in attendance) and was approved by the Hayward City Council on October 6th. Documents below:
September 28, 2009 - Material from City of Hayward and CalTrans Community Meeting of 238 Corridor Residential Tenants

December 14, 2009 - Alameda County Staff Report, Update on 238 Corridor presented to the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council

Map of Route 238 Bypass Land Use Study Area