San Lorenzo Express News

San Lorenzo Industrial Area Could Change

NOVEMBER 6, 2001

The county planning commission has recommended that the future of the industrial area west of San Lorenzo Village be studied. The recommendation was adopted unanimously at yesterday's commission meeting at the request of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association.

The commission also recommended a moratorium on any further permits for development in the area until the study is completed. A planned rebar-manufacturing facility would be exempt from the moratorium because the application for a permit for the facility was submitted before yesterday's action by the commission.

In the county's first master plan, approved in 1946, the area was unclassified. After several controversial attempts at fixing land uses for the area, the area was classified "heavy industrial use" in 1955. At the time, the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association favored the category as a way of stopping expansion of the village westward. In later years a number of zoning adjustments were made. In 1975 the City of San Leandro annexed a portion of the industrial area north of Grant Ave.

Residents in the neighborhoods along Grant Avenue have complained frequently of the rapidly increasing traffic on Grant, particularly large trucks, as well as vibration and fumes from vehicles. In addition, the San Lorenzo Unified School District has expressed concern for the safety of students at three schools on Grant because of heavy traffic. In the past, some businesses at lower Grant have been the source of noise complaints by residents. The recent application by one property owner for a permit to make rebar fixtures outdoors was bitterly opposed by neighboring residents on account of potential noise and truck traffic. (The owner subsequently decided to construct a building for indoor manufacture.)

Also, some residents believe that full development of the area as industrial would be incompatible with both the quality of life in the village and the effort to implement the Hayward Regional Shoreline Plan, in which the shoreline would be maintained in a natural state. The Bay Trail presently extends through San Lorenzo's shoreline area.

The land-use study of the industrial area would look at preferred and practical uses of the area in light of present and future needs, as well as compatibility with the residential village. If the area were reclassified to uses other than industrial, present industrial uses would be phased out as businesses closed.

A large part of the area is undeveloped, making the change from industrial to other types of uses feasible in the near term. Many parcels are being used for unprotected storage of vehicles, pallets, or construction materials.

The county planning department expects to present a detailed outline for a land-use study to the planning commission on Jan. 7, 2002, and then to the county board of supervisors for its approval on Feb. 7.