Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feng Shui alters Bay Area city's rules for addresses

Developers worry residences' digits may clash with ancient beliefs about good and bad luck.

By The Associated Press, Found on democraticunderground.com

HAYWARD, CA -- 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. 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.

City Council members 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, a Hayward city planner.