Hayward envisions the future of the Skywest closed golf course

HAYWARD – Residents are asked what to do with 126 acres of open space with plenty of mature trees just north of the city’s airport – adding it to popular Kennedy Park, or letting it grow, can -be for housing or commercial enterprises?

Other suggestions for the future of Skywest Golf Course include creating a dog park, installing bicycle and walking trails, building a softball field or rehabilitating it as a golf course. golf.

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

Other ideas include creating an open space path and hallway along the north edge of the property.

Some of the ideas were presented at an online forum run by Skywest reuse planning consultants Kimley-Horn, which has offices across the United States, including Pleasanton, and was the first of three public meetings scheduled to discuss the future of the site.

“Right now we’re collecting feedback and ideas,” Kimely-Horn’s Erin Sheelen told those watching the meeting online. “Right now, we are at the solicitation and collection stage. ”

About 90 people attended the meeting.

Sheelen said the golf course just north of the Hayward Executive Airport could be used for multiple purposes at the same time. But she also noted that “at the moment there are no plans to sell the airport property.”

City-owned, Skywest is Hayward’s only 18-hole public golf course. The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District leased the land to operate the course until last September.

The Park District paid approximately $ 140,000 in rent per year for the property located at 1401 Golf Course Road. But incomes have fallen steadily in recent years, which a city report released last August attributed to a decline in recreational golf.

The report says the park district’s net loss from Skywest’s operations has fallen from $ 800,000 to $ 1.2 million over the previous three years.

Skywest was completed in October 1963 and the Park District began operating in January 1975. The Park District also operates 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 Stonebrae Country Club at 202 Country Club Drive in the Hayward Hills.

Skywest is located on the property of the Hayward Executive Airport and all use is subject to Federal Aviation Administration approval, including height restrictions.

Earlier this year, the airport reached an agreement with the park district to maintain the site.

“It has certainly caused problems from time to time,” said airport manager Doug McNeeley of the property’s grounds maintenance. He added that the airport wants to continue overseeing the site.

City council could hear staff proposals on the future of the course later this year or early next year.

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

“This is really just one step in this project,” Sheelen said.

Information on upcoming meetings is available at https://engagekh.com/skywest-reuse/home.


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