Ever since Hacienda Business Park developers, The Prudential Insurance Company of America and Callahan-Pentz, completed flood control improvements in North Pleasanton, the serious flooding that had plagued the area for years has become a thing of the past.
Ernest Oxsen, a resident of Pleasanton for over 50 years, remembers how it used to be. His father once owned 135 acres on the site where Hacienda Business Park is now located. "We sold the property specifically because of the water problem. Sometimes the entire area would be under water. We could go from one end to the other in a boat. We often had four to five feet of flood water, and it would last a month."
The flooding, Oxsen said made farming difficult even after the water had subsided. "We had cattle and raised tomatoes, cucumbers and beets. We could move the animals to higher ground, but it took months to clean up the flood debris before we could till in the spring. We couldn't make the land pay because of the water situation."
Before the developers began the improvements, Chabot Canal was a small ditch running parallel to Hopyard Road. Heavy rains would cause flooding onto Hopyard Road and to the businesses adjacent to the road. Chabot Canal was moved away from Hopyard Road and into the park, and combined there with the Hewlett Canal. The new Chabot Canal, as well as storm drains installed when Hopyard Road was widened, have eliminated the flooding from the roadway and the businesses and residences adjacent to the park.
Tassajara Creek, a small creek located on the park site, was inadequate and was the cause of flooding on Old Santa Rita Road, the properties north of W. Las Positas Boulevard, and on the park site itself. It was widened and deepened and has, as a result, eliminated flooding in those areas.
Outside of the park, improvements were made to the Arroyo de la Laguna between Bernal Avenue and Highway 680. Before these improvements were made, heavy rains caused water to back up into Arroyo Mocho and Alamo Canal which caused flooding in the residential areas between Highway 680 and Hopyard Road in North Pleasanton, as well as other properties adjacent to Highway 680.
Because of over $3.8 million in flood control improvements completed and paid for by the developers, the flood plain has been lowered by as much as 3 feet in the existing developed area of Pleasanton. This is good news for over 700 homeowners, who as a result of these flood control improvements, will have their homes removed from a designated federal flood hazard area. This should eliminate a mortgage clause requiring the homeowners to pay for flood insurance, at an average cost of $233 per year. That money can now be put to other uses and literally saved from "going down the drain."
To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: January 1, 1984 Pathways.