View from the Quarry Site

One step towards affordable, sustainable housing in Hayward, California: College Heights at the former Quarry Site

The City of Hayward has been aiming to develop a former quarry site for 20 years. Within the context of Hayward’s Climate Action Plan and the Housing for All Plan, Hayward Area Planning Association (HAPA) supports a community development (now called College Heights) that is sustainable, affordable, people-centric, walkable, and served by frequent transit. In 2021, a car-oriented development was proposed for the site but was withdrawn in January 2022. 

For decades, HAPA has been advocating for an affordable, walkable, sustainable housing development that bridges Cal State East Bay with downtown Hayward. The proposed project (previously known as Quarry VillageBayview Village, and Modified Rose Hills) is located at a former quarry site and features unbundled parking and a robust suite of electric transportation choices that link to existing transit services.

What are we aiming to build? College Heights Hayward

College Heights is the newest proposal, the first after a developer pulled out from the quarry project last year. This development is a proposed affordable 18.7-acre community of about 750 units from studio to five-bedroom that bridges Cal State East Bay (CSU East Bay) with downtown Hayward. In addition to housing that is affordable, the development would provide many choices for transportation including shared e-bike services and the Village Bus for connections with BART and other nearby community necessities such as grocery stores. Parking rates would only be charged for those who need a consistent parking space. For those who do not consistently need a private vehicle, shared vehicles for rent would be available for use.

The proposed College Heights development is designed to have key community amenities at the Village Center including community rooms, a quiet room, a cafe, and electric vehicle charging stations. Around the area, there would be seven pocket parks with gardens, play areas, tot lots, BBQ grills, and fire terraces. The Foothill Trail with native trees and plants would cross the property and would be wide enough to accommodate a parcourse, picnic area, outdoor games (such as bocce ball and pickle ball), a seat wall, and a viewing deck.

Who are we building for?

There are many groups of people who would be interested in an affordable development with multiple choices for transportation including:

  1. Cal State East Bay Hayward faculty, staff, students, and others
  2. People who work or go downtown, frequent or regularly use BART
  3. People who work in Hayward
  4. Retired people
  5. People who work at home

This new development would provide more affordable costs for housing, energy, and transportation with greater health and safety for Hayward residents.

In the next article, we will be introducing the big picture motivations for College Heights in Why sustainable development now? Unpacking housing affordability, transportation poverty, climate change, and the motivation for College Heights Hayward.

Who is the Hayward Area Planning Association (HAPA)?

In 1978, Sherman Lewis and friends formed the Hayward Area Planning Association in order to save open space, stop a proposed freeway, and advocate for better planning. The current HAPA team behind College Heights includes:

  • Sherman Lewis, President. He is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at CSU East Bay.
  • Elizabeth L. Zapata (EZ), MS Statistics, Senior Researcher, Chief Cook and Bottlewasher. EZ is not actually the chief cook, and only occasionally washes bottles, but she pretty much is the all-around Jane of all trades. She is a California Notary Public, Real Estate Agent, and Assistant to the President (of HAPA).
  • Former Research Assistants:
  • Alex, Research Associate. Alex is an MBA Candidate in real estate at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
  • JQ, Research Associate. JQ MBA MPA is a sustainability and equity-focused transportation professional with a background in business development and government affairs. She is active with organizations such as Action for the Climate Emergency and Seamless Bay Area.

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