History of HAPA and College Heights

In 1978, Sherman Lewis and a few friends formed the Hayward Area Planning Association in order to save open space, stop a proposed freeway, and advocate for better city planning. Elizabeth Zapata joined in 2022 as research associate to help advance College Heights from concept to reality. With our diverse backgrounds, from academia and advocacy to real estate and sustainable transportation, we’ve come together to build College Heights – an alternative to suburbia for sustainability, affordability and walkable neighborhood system living in Hayward, California.

A History, by Sherman Lewis

On June 17, 2001, I completed my study of the property in the right of way of the proposed SR238 Foothill Freeway. I was helping the Alameda County Planning Department prepare a report for Supervisor Nate Miley on the potential for housing development in the freeway corridor. The Planning Dept. report estimated that 607 housing units could be built on the old quarry north of Carlos Bee Blvd. and Overlook Ave., based on adjacent zoning and development patterns. On February 21, 2002, I completed a report on Cal State Hayward and the Foothill Freeway that posed the choice between building a freeway through the quarry or using it for housing which could serve students. This point was made in a number of reports criticizing the proposed freeway, which was eventually stopped by citizen action, the courts, the Hayward City Council, and a vote by the people of Hayward. At a HAPA Steering Committee meeting on March 19, 2002, we discussed “Smart growth ideas, need for market research study on reduced car dependency, integrated urban systems, housing and the Carlos Bee Quarry as possible site…” By 2003, HAPA was engaged in discussions over what would replace the Foothill Freeway. On February 26, 2003, the HAPA News proposed a “Draft Scope of Work: Foothill/Mission Smart Growth Variation” as an alternative to the over-widening of Mission and Foothill: “Smart Growth Redevelopment. Suitable parcels along the two mile distance otherwise to be taken for ROW would be redeveloped based on smart growth principles. (Many existing uses would remain.) Smart growth includes mixed use, e.g., ground floor businesses under residential housing at BRT [bus] stops. Smart growth would not be over five stories and usually three to four. It would include development of student-oriented housing on the quarry site at a density similar to Wimbledon Woods. …” Many of the other elements of what has evolved into College Heights were in the HAPA News and a related report, “Foothill/Mission Planning Issues.” In October 2003, “The HAPA Plan for Foothill and Mission, Hayward” proposed rapid bus from BART to Cal State Hayward and: “The Carlos Bee Quarry. About 30 acres of surplus Caltrans land is up for grabs. It could be used for “car-free” housing, with lower rents, transit passes and taxi credits in monthly rent, and mobility by Rapid Bus. Transit-oriented residential development along Foothill Mission and at the Quarry would provide the ridership to support Rapid Bus, and Rapid Bus would make a car-free lifestyle possible. Such a lifestyle is not only less expensive, but also reduces air pollution and global warming gases, reduces energy consumption and resource use, improves personal health and safety, and is more sustainable in the long run. A survey of 100 Cal State students in 2003 indicated that about 1/4 to 1/3 could live in such housing, would save on rent, and would want to live there.” With the final demise of the SR238 Foothill Freeway in 2004, the Bayview Village – now College Heights – became the major concern of the Hayward Area Planning Association. This website is a major part of that effort, along with outreach and surveying.