Month: January 2019

Director’s note — February 2019

James A. Castañeda, AICP

What made you fall in love with planning?

That was the icebreaker question at APA California’s Chapter Board retreat, which I had my first opportunity to attend a few weeks ago, representing you in my new role as Northern Section Director. At first I felt intimidated, but that question and the many familiar faces assured me I was in the right place.

I had to think for a moment, but then shared the story, only half joking, of how I came to planning as a disengaged engineering student whose grades suffered from spending study time playing SimCity 4. It was around the same time that I discovered the city-planning program in college and learned that it was a profession that seemed to have what I was looking for. Beyond visions of building cities from scratch, I was curious about what made communities what they are, and what challenges they faced in getting there. I also had a strong desire to be a problem solver. All of those together made me fall in love with planning.

That exercise at the retreat also got me thinking about why I volunteer my time with APA: It’s that same love for planning that landed me here in service to the Northern Section. It’s also a desire to validate others who love this profession and further empower them by providing the resources they need to be successful. I feel it’s part of our Northern Section duty to support and nurture that love for planning that drives us to serve our communities. That’s why I’m proud to serve as your Section Director, and I am honored to work alongside all of you in this fantastic body of professionals who share a similar vision.

So what’s new for Northern Section this year?

We’ll be continuing with some of our proven programs even as we take on new challenges in 2019. To name just a few, we’ll continue our successful and recently streamlined awards programs (currently accepting nominations through Feb. 19) and our expanded mentorship program (275 participants this past winter). And we’ll continue to partner with other professional organizations including AARP, AEP, SPUR, ULI, and the Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance, while reaching out to other related professional organizations to expand your opportunities for learning, networking, and advancement. Finally, with the National Planning Conference coming to San Francisco April 13–16, we in the Northern Section will be preparing assiduously to welcome planners from across the country.

Last year, Northern Section introduced two new tracks that the Board hopes will be valuable to and popular with our members. Our Distance Education Coordinator, Shannon Hake, AICP, will create new events and expand on many of our existing ones (most of which will offer CM credits) to make them available online. At the same time, our Mid-Career Planning Group Coordinator, Miroo Desai, AICP, will focus on finding resources and creating new events and workshops specifically for those of us in the middle of our planning careers.

A good start

By the time you read this, your Section board will have held its annual retreat to reflect on last year’s successes and challenges as a way to guide us in what we want to do in 2019. I’ll share in our March issue what we’ve come up with, as well as what we’re doing to implement some of the great ideas we rolled out last year.

Again, I am honored to work on your behalf to bring you additional programming, events, and resources, while validating what made you fall in love with planning. Together, let’s make 2019 a very special year for planning in northern California.

Northern News — February 2019
Looking north to the San Francisco skyline from above the Caltrain tracks. Juan Borrelli, AICP, August 10, 2018.

Northern News — February 2019

You can download this month’s issue as a PDF, read it online as a virtual magazine, or review the contents below and click directly to articles and features.

Below Market Rate in California

Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP. How America’s first inclusionary housing came to be built 46 years ago in Palo Alto — a place consistently ranked as one of the priciest enclaves in America. Page 1

Director’s note

James Castañeda, AICP. What made you fall in love with planning? What’s new for Northern Section APA this year? Page 3

Big Tech’s affordable housing push doesn’t let them off the hook

Gregory Scruggs. Big Tech is increasingly focused on housing policy. That attention is welcome news for local officials overwhelmed by the affordable housing and homelessness crises on their doorstep, for which tech companies are partly to blame. But too bad if Microsoft’s announcement causes us to lessen our call for public investment. Page 4

Zoning ordinance adopted to make zoning consistent with General Plan may be rejected by Referendum

Sunny Tsou. Page 5

New Housing Element Annual Progress Report (APR) form

Page 5

Berkeley approves long-mired SB 35 application

The 142-unit project is a “continuum of housing integrated into the fabric of the downtown community.” Page 6

At long last, SF’s Central SoMa Plan is effective

Page 6

NPC19 offers local planning firms and nonprofits a special low price for exhibit booths

Page 7

Planning news roundup

Urban rooms: where people get to design their city’s future | A’s plan mixed use for old Coliseum site | Bay Area housing shortage intense, so news chain supersizes housing beat | ABAG executive board endorses ambitious CASA housing plan | San Jose, Stockton mayors boost SB 50 | Microsoft’s leap into housing illuminates government’s retreat | Microsoft will lend $475 million for affordable housing in Seattle area | Tech helps cut commute times for Bay Area’s workers | Disability rights group sues San Diego and scooter companies over ‘onslaught.’ Pages 8 and 18–20

Call for nominations, 2019 APA California Northern Section Awards

Deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday, February 19, 2019. Page 9

Congratulations to Northern Section’s new AICP members

Page 10

Where in the world

Photo by Kieulan Pham, AICP. Page 11

Who’s where

Veronica Flores, Laura C. Russell, AICP, Aarti Shrivastava, AICP, and Lola Torney. Page 12

Get your mandatory Ethic and Law CM credits here and now

Libby Taylor, FAICP. Page 13

Smoke-postponed SF Urban Film Festival returns February 1, 2, and 10

Fay Darmawi. Page 14

Chicago buildings combine libraries, mixed-income housing

WTTW Chicago, January 24, 2019

Evan Garcia • Chicago has “two new buildings that combine libraries and affordable housing. A collaboration between the Chicago Public Library, which has 81 locations throughout the city, and the Chicago Housing Authority [aims to provide] housing and educational opportunities under the same roof.”

Screen capture from WTTW video

One new “building offers 44 senior apartments, 30 Chicago Housing Authority units, and 14 affordable units in Irving Park; [the second has] 29 affordable apartments, 37 CHA units, and 7 market-rate units in Little Italy.

“Another mixed-use building [will] open later this year on the city’s North Side.

“The monthly rent for both CHA and affordable apartment units are set at 60 percent of the area’s median income — occupants of CHA units are eligible for further rent assistance through vouchers.

“The buildings were designed by some of Chicago’s top architects chosen from a design competition held by the city.

“ ‘The design of these buildings is beautiful, but also allows for the evolution of the kinds of library services long into the future,’ said Chicago Public Library Commissioner and CEO Brian Bannon.

“The libraries will offer high-tech programming including 3D printing, virtual reality, and robotics.” Read more here.

Hat tip to Fay Darmawi.