City caves in to feng shui rules

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HAYWARD, Calif. – Developers looking to maximize the marketability of their homes are complaining about the city’s street address rules, which they say can scare off buyers who practice the ancient Chinese art of feng shui. Under a numbering system established by Alameda County in the 1950s, addresses are assigned based on how far the homes are from downtown Oakland, a method that puts five digits on almost every mailbox in Hayward and other cities in the county. The numbers have always been hard to remember, but home builders recently raised concerns that they may decrease property values because the odds are greater that an address will carry a number considered unlucky by feng shui practitioners. Feng shui holds that the way dwellings are designed can affect the fortunes and health of inhabitants. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “Now developers are saying, Why do we have to do it this way?” said Sylvia Ehrenthal, Hayward’s director of economic and community development. “There are some numbers people don’t like to have in their address.” City Council members, five of whom live at addresses with numbers that start in the 20,000 range, voted unanimously last week to allow the builders of an upscale development to use shorter street numbers. In seeking the waiver, the builders cited convenience concerns as well as the potential for violating feng shui precepts, according to Richard Patenaude, Hayward’s principal planner. Real estate agent Lisa Coen, of nearby Pleasanton, who also runs a feng shui consulting firm, said she has advised developers on how to make homes attractive to buyers who would not want to live at the end of a cul-de-sac or where a door opens onto a staircase. “It does matter to some people. It really does matter,” Coen said. “They won’t buy a house … if the number’s not right.”last_img read more