Day: February 25, 2019

Northern News March 2019
Main Street, Tiburon. Photo, Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP

Northern News March 2019

Northern News


A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

March 2019

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Norcal APA news

Planning news roundup

Kevin Roche, 96, got his start as architect of the Oakland Museum of California

The New York Times, March 3, 2019, Paul Goldberger • Dublin-born Architect Kevin Roche “ … believed that because each building emerged out of a different situation, each called for something very different. It was a view he took from his mentor, Eero Saarinen, whose thriving architectural practice formed the foundation of Mr. Roche’s own. Mr. Roche was hired by Saarinen in 1950 …”

Families, including Pete Parkinson’s, rebuilding in Sonoma County

Sonoma Index-Tribune, February 23, 2019 Christiane Kallen • “Like most of the rest of Sonoma County, the Bennett Ridge neighborhood is beginning to recover. The October 2017 wildfires incinerated 92 homes on Bennett Ridge, destroying more than two-thirds of the neighborhood of 129 homes. “The Parkinson family— Pete, his wife, Celia, and 10-year-old son Henry

Aggressive push against local housing development restrictions

Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2019 Liam Dillon • “Citing the increasing cost of housing across California, state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced new legislation that would block high-cost regions from imposing new prohibitions on housing construction or decreasing the number of homes allowed on certain pieces of land.” [According to the Legislative Counsel,,

Caltrain projects a go despite HSR confusion

Mountain View Voice, February 16, 2019 Mark Noack • “Caltrain officials said that funding remains secure for a $2 billion project to upgrade the rail line to an electrified system. The state’s high-speed rail project is obligated to provide $713 million toward the cost of the upgrades. “That funding remains intact, and the state recently awarded

Approval process isn’t only obstacle to SF housing goals

San Francisco Examiner, February 9, 2019 Laura Waxmann  • “Close to 45,000 potential homes are currently approved in San Francisco — the highest number tracked by the city’s planning department to date — but many have yet to break ground. “ ‘No more bureaucracy. No more costly appeals. No more not in my neighborhood. It’s simple:

BART begins strengthening Transbay Tube

BART News, February 7, 2019 “In November 2004, voters in Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Alameda counties approved Measure AA, which allowed BART to issue general obligation bonds to fund up to $980 million of the $1.2 billion total cost of earthquake safety improvements. “The highest priority for upgrades has been the Transbay Tube, the

San Diego joins SF and Oakland, in dropping parking requirements

The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 6, 2019 David Garrick • Help in solving “San Diego’s housing crisis by wiping out parking requirements for new [multifamily] complexes near mass transit moved forward on February 6. The City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee voted 3-1 to forward the proposal for council approval on March 4. “Council members

How California voters’ view affordability, climate change, and forest fires

Quinnipiac University, February 6, 2019 “From January 30 – February 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 912 California voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points, including the design effect. “Affording the Golden State “Led by younger voters, 43 percent of California voters feel they can’t afford to live in the Golden State. Among

SB 100 is moving Oakland toward a zero-emissions future

CityLab, February 4, 2019 Teju Adisa-Farrar • “West Oakland residents’ decades-long resistance against poor air quality is starting to pay off as the Port of Oakland plans to reduce air pollution by transitioning to emissions-free solutions. “In June 2018, the Port released the Draft Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan. The Plan aims to improve

Local housing policies across California: Results of a new statewide survey

College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, February 4, 2019 The Terner Center’s “residential land use survey [was conducted] in California from August 2017 to October 2018.” The survey analyzed responses from “252 incorporated places and 19 unincorporated county areas [to] questions on local zoning, approval processes, affordable housing policies, and rental regulations.” Here, from their

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.” One new “building offers 44 senior apartments,

Who’s where, March 2019
San Francisco Bay Area taken by an Italian crew member aboard the International Space Station.  (Samantha Cristoforetti via Twitter and KQED)

Who’s where, March 2019

Aaron Aknin, AICP 

is now the principal and co-owner of Good City Company, a Bay Area-based land use and local government consultant firm based in San Carlos, offering staffing, policy, strategy, and environmental review. For the past five years, Aknin was Redwood City’s community development director and assistant city manager, as well as interim city manager for five months. Prior to Redwood City, he was assistant director of planning and community environment in Palo Alto (two years) and community development director for San Bruno (10 years). Aknin holds a master’s in public policy from California State University–Northridge and a B.A. in urban studies/land use planning from San Francisco State University.

Timothy Rood, AICP, LEED AP

who had been the principal city designer for the city of San Jose since May 2017, has been promoted to division manager. He oversees the urban design and historic preservation teams, the permit center planning team, and a development review team. Rood also continues to serve as the City’s urban design leader, working on the Diridon Integrated Station Concept, Downtown Vision, and Downtown Transportation Study. He holds M.Arch and MCP degrees from UC Berkeley and an AB in architecture from Columbia. He is currently a Piedmont City Councilmember, and serves on the boards of East Bay Community Energy and the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, Energy Council, and Recycling Board, collectively known as

Photos from the Ouro Preto, Brazil, field trip
Ouro Preto. Photo: Rosino – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Photos from the Ouro Preto, Brazil, field trip

Northern Section Board members Alex Hinds and Juan Borrelli, AICP, traveled to Ouro Preto, Brazil — a historic former mining town and a UNESCO World Heritage site — in January 2019 with Rick Kos, AICP, and 10 of Rick’s students from San Jose State University.

One hundred kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto is a town of 70,227 (2010 Census) known for its Portuguese colonial city center dating from the 1700s.

Location in Brazil. Credit: Google maps

The group spent five days in Ouro Preto on a service-learning project, partnering with community leaders in the Veloso neighborhood, cataloguing neighborhood amenities and creating a website in Portuguese and English to help boost eco-tourism and economic development in Veloso.

“We hope the resulting website we’re developing will draw people to this community,” said Kos, “which is overlooked as tourists stick to the city’s colonial-era city core.”

Community leaders reacted very positively to the draft website, and the urban planning students gained invaluable experience in active listening, direct community engagement, and systematically cataloging neighborhood priorities.

For more on the Northern Section-SJSU connection with Ouro Preto, see “Planners and students visit Brazil for collaborative service and learning,” Northern News, March 2018, page 4.

One of Ouro Preto’s typical steep cobblestoned streets, Rua Conde de Bobadella in the center of Ouro Preto, is shown below. Photo: Juan Borrelli, AICP

Below, looking north to Our Lady of Carmo Church from Rua Getúlio Vargas. The street was named for Brazil’s interim president (1930–34), constitutional president (1934–37), and dictator (1937–45). Photo: Juan Borrelli, AICP

Tiradentes Square and the Museum of the Inconfidência, below, is dedicated to those who died in a failed rebellion movement for Brazilian independence from Portugal. Photo: Juan Borrelli, AICP

SJSU students in Ouro Preto, Brazil, below. Back row (l-r): Nels Langbauer (program assistant and translator), Evan Anselmo, Claire Leone, Cade Baldridge, Mike Jacobson (program assistant). Zak Mendez, Alfredo Rivas. Middle row (l-r): Michelle Louie, Geoffrey Henderson. Front row (l-r): Melanie Reis, Aisha Nelson, Rick Kos, AICP (program leader), Juan Borrelli, AICP, Alex Hinds. Photo: João Batista