Northern News May 2019

Northern News


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

Making great communities happen

May 2019


Nonprofits may get dibs on SF apartment buildings • Meet a local planner • WHERE IN THE WORLD • NORCAL APA NEWS • Sustainable Chinatown wins (Environmental Planning) Gold at NPC19 • Director’s note • New! Northern Section webinar series • 2019 Northern Section Awards Gala June 7 • Pro bono planning assistance for California communities • My short course on Working with Difficult People • SF Urban Film Festival news • Storytelling at People of Color mixer • Street Air on Earth Day • PHOTOS FROM NPC19 • PLANNING NEWS ROUNDUP

Nonprofits may soon get first dibs on SF apartment buildings

By Jared Brey, Next City, April 9, 2019. The Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) was passed unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors April 16th. If the ordinance passes a second vote on April 23rd and is signed by the mayor, nonprofits will have a right of first refusal to buy and preserve existing affordable housing — apartment buildings with more than three units. Landlords who want to sell their buildings would first need to notify qualified nonprofit groups of their intent to sell.

Meet a local planner — Kristi Bascom

An interview by Catarina Kidd, AICP, associate editor. Kristi Bascom’s undergraduate classes in environmental studies were her first exposure to land use planning. After earning a master’s degree in city planning, she worked for several Bay Area cities. She is now Project Manager at Habitat for Humanity, East Bay/Silicon Valley, a position she took just this January.

Where in the world?

Tap for the answer

Norcal APA news

Sustainable Chinatown wins the (Environmental Planning) Gold at NPC19

From APA, April 15, 2019. Sustainable Chinatown began in 2014 as a collaboration between the Chinatown Community Development Center, SF Planning Department, SF Department of the Environment, and Enterprise Community Partners to create more affordable housing, improve access to public space, and provide services to residents and businesses.

Director’s note — May 2019

By James A. Castañeda, AICP. I write this after four stimulating days in the halls of Moscone West, still processing from the hugely successful National Planning Conference held here. The vast undertaking is behind us, but I hope our section can continue the themes, energy, and momentum locally.

New! Northern Section webinar series

Throughout 2019, we will hold a series of quarterly webinars on Northern California’s best practices in planning, and offering CM credits. COMPLETE OUR FORM BY APRIL 30 to let us know what YOU would like to present in the webinars.

2019 Northern Section Awards Gala June 7

By Carmela Campbell, Awards Program Co-director. Meet and mingle with fellow planners on Friday evening, June 7, as we present our Northern Section awards at Starline Social Club, a restaurant / bar at 2236 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Oakland.

Pro bono planning assistance for California communities

By Robert Paternoster, FAICP. Do you know of a municipality or group that needs planning assistance but doesn’t have the resources? Or a new or struggling planning function that could benefit from peer review and support? APA California can help with Community Planning Assistance, free to communities in need.

My short course on Working with Difficult People

By Steve Matarazzo. This is about arrogance in the public sector workplace, what might be behind it, and how it tends to play out. If you are reading this, I am probably not writing about you. I expect, however, that you will relate to this article.

SF Urban Film Festival news

By Fay Darmawi. SFUFF will hold its sixth season from February 2 through 9, 2020. The festival has extended its submissions deadline to APRIL 30, 2019.

“Storytelling” at People of Color mixer in March

Diversity Directors Cindy Ma, AICP, and Cherise Orange kicked off 2019’s first mixer with STORYTELLING — an art and a creative way to connect people through words and to take their imaginations across distant lands.

In memoriam

Northern News is saddened to announce the passing of its PDF on April 14 in San Francisco. Vital until the very end, Northern News PDF left behind a 37-page April 2019 issue with six major articles, 15,500 words, and 54 images.

Highlights from NPC19 in San Francisco

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Planning news roundup

Parking spaces could be better used

“WePark shows that in cities like San Francisco, coworking is unaffordable to many, and the sheer volume of free space allocated to parked cars could be put to much better use.” But not housing — so far.

New York Times on CA housing crisis

By the Editorial Board, The New York Times, April 28, 2019. “Precisely because [SB50] rewrites the rules for so much California land, it is likely to facilitate development at a wide range of price points. … it could serve to reduce development pressures on communities outside the rezoned areas. … But it would be a mistake to preserve some affordable housing by preventing the construction of more affordable housing.”

SB 50/SB 4 compromise summary

By Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times. April 24, 2019. SB 50 will be amended to do all of the below. SB 4 will be held in committee. The flowchart (created by Alfred Twu, Berkeley artist and activist) explains how different places may or may not be affected.

Street Air on Earth Day

By Zelda Zivny, Milo Wetherall, and Charlie Millenbah, April 22, 2019. Our research found that if cities chose to make simple design changes to pedestrian areas (or as we say, to the street-edge), the area’s outdoor eating experience could be notably safer as well as more enjoyable. Our recently completed film, “Airgregates, the Impact of Concrete Mixing Facilities on the Bay View Community,” has been selected as a finalist in the upcoming Clear the Air Film Fest sponsored by Breathe CA and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Bay Area Homelessness Report

Bay Area Council Economic Institute, April 2019, 42 pp. At the end of each year, the Bay Area Council surveys its members to determine which public policy areas are of the greatest concern to the region’s largest employers. In the Council’s 2017 survey, ending chronic homelessness emerged as a top public policy priority.

“A highway runs through it”

By Nathanael Johnson in Grist, April 17, 2019. Oakland’s government has made removal of Interstate 980 a part of its plan for a growing downtown. The teardown could become part of a regional push to relieve traffic congestion by building a second BART tunnel beneath the bay.

CA cities and counties move to comply with State housing law

By Alicia Murillo, California HCD, April 12, 2019. As a result of Gov. Newsom’s efforts to address the state’s housing affordability crisis, the California HCD is seeing significant progress in compliance with state housing law. In February, Governor Newsom met with California mayors from noncomplying cities. Three cities have since complied and 14 others have submitted drafts or committed to compliance.

SF is world’s most expensive city in which to build, study says

By Ted Andersen, Digital Editor, San Francisco Business Times, April 12, 2019. The City by the Bay has dethroned the Big Apple as the world’s priciest place for new construction. This year, San Francisco removes New York from the top spot, having increased by 5 percent in the last year, according to a new report by consulting company Turner & Townsend.

Streetcar spurred development of an SF neighborhood 100 years ago

From an article by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, San Francisco Examiner, April 10, 2019. San Francisco’s Sunset District and Parkside neighborhoods are home to roughly 70,000 people. The seed of that development is the L Line, one little streetcar route established 100 years ago that soon connected downtown to the dunes.