Monday, January 8, 2018

Hayward seeks to clear way for high-density airport hotels: Commercial buildings taller than 40 feet may be allowed on Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD) properties on Hesperian Boulevard, Skywest Drive

HAYWARD — Two hotels are tentatively proposed on city property near the airport, and to sweeten the deal, Hayward may allow buildings taller than the current 40-foot height limit.

The Hayward Planning Commission has approved a zoning amendment allowing developers to propose commercial projects on Hayward Executive Airport parcels along Hesperian and Skywest that are taller than 40 feet maximum height for buildings in the area.

The proposed zoning changes do not set a specific height limit for buildings on the outer edge of the airport, but allows for exceptions on a case-by-case basis if the Federal Aviation Administration determines that the project “will not constitute a hazard or result in an unsafe condition,” Hayward Planning Manager Sara Buizer said at the commission’s Dec. 14 meeting.

Along with reviewing any project permits and plans, city staff also must find that a building height exception is needed to “achieve a more beneficial site layout or will result in public benefits or amenities that could not be achieved under current zoning standards,” Buizer said.

The Hayward City Council will consider the building height amendment Jan. 16.

Hayward airport and economic development administrators say current zoning regulations for commercial properties on the airport’s outer rim “constrain the type of amenity-rich and architecturally high-quality development that the city is looking for there,” senior city planner Leigha Schmidt said.

“Once you set aside land for parking, the actual development, (traffic) circulation, landscaping and stormwater control areas, then it makes it difficult to fit a number of uses, such as a hotel with a conference center and high-quality restaurant,” Schmidt said at the meeting.

“To fit them onto one pad with the development standards that we have makes it very difficult. In addition, if a developer wanted to have increased ceiling heights or a prominent entrance, having that lower height limit would basically limit the number of stories that you could have there and the number of hotel rooms that you could fit into the development,” she said.

The proposed zoning change paves the way for San Diego developers Ramesta Hospitality and Mahabal Hospitality to submit plans for potential projects on two sites by the Hayward Executive Airport.

In November, the City Council authorized City Manager Kelly McAdoo to negotiate and execute land leases with Ramesta and Mahabal for three airport parcels.

Lease terms are still being developed, although Ramesta and Mahabal would be required “to maintain a standard of quality in the facility and customer service throughout the life of the lease,” Hayward Executive Airport Manager Doug McNeeley wrote in a Nov. 14 memo to the City Council.

Hayward administrators are seeking a 50-year lease for each of the three airport parcels, with two optional 10-year extensions, McNeeley said. Hotel developers and city administrators also agreed to have about 80 percent of their employees be local hires.

One of the proposed hotel developments would be built on a 163,957-square-foot lot at West A Street and Skywest. The other hotel would be built on two adjacent 80,570- and 79,977-square-foot parcels by the corner of Skywest and Hesperian.

Each of the two hotels, under a nationally franchised brand, would include at least 110 rooms, a swimming pool and a small retail store, according to city records. Each hotel property also would house a nearly 6,000-square-foot standalone restaurant and a banquet facility for at least 150 people that could be divided into smaller rooms.

Ramesta Hospitality and Mahabal Hospitality could submit development applications and building plans by this summer if the city’s building height amendments are approved, city economic development manager Micah Hinkle said.

The two potential hotel projects cap off a multi-year effort by city and airport administrators to find commercial developers for airport parcels, particularly those seeking to build hotels, Hinkle said.

Original article can be found here ➤

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