On June 7th, 2019 the American Planning Association of Northern California will host its annual Awards Gala at the Starline Lounge (2236 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Oakland). Join us to honor innovative plans, projects, and distinguished APA members, and meet and mingle with Northern Section planners. As in the years past we expect over 100 participants.
We want to invite you to participate as one of our sponsors. We have three new revamped sponsorship levels. Choose one and show your support for great planning!
Gold Level ($1000)
6 tickets to the Gala Awards Ceremony
Tabletop near registration for displaying promotional materials
Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
Special Recognition as a Gold Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website
Special Recognition as a Gold Level Sponsor printed on the event program
Silver Level ($750)
4 tickets to the Gala Awards Ceremony
Tabletop near registration for displaying promotional materials
Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
Special Recognition as a Silver Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website
Special Recognition as a Silver Level Sponsor printed on the event program
Bronze Level ($500)
2 ticket to the Gala Awards Ceremony
Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
Special Recognition as a Sponsor printed on the event program
Special Recognition as a Bronze Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website
The Bay Area economy is experiencing phenomenal growth, yet rising inequality and displacement are making it impossible for working-class people and communities of color to stay and thrive — ultimately undermining the region’s future.
This first-of-its-kind tool brings the power of the National Equity Atlas to the local level, providing 21 equity indicators — from income growth to police use of force to voting — for 271 geographies across the region.
The data is nested within a narrative about how and why bolder equity strategies are key to solving the Bay Area’s racialized inequality and housing insecurity. And the numbers, charts, and maps are complemented by policy solutions, examples, and residents’ stories of challenge and progress.
The Atlas was produced by a partnership between the San Francisco Foundation, PolicyLink, and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). It has the potential to bolster grassroots efforts, inform news stories about the region, and elevate equity in the local policy debate.
The Mountain View City Council has approved what may be the largest housing project in the city’s history. The colossal development at 777 W. Middlefield Road is slated to include 711 new apartments, including 144 affordable units for local teachers and city workers.
The development was originally submitted more than four years ago under a different plan by a different owner. But city officials say the project has greatly improved over that time. They showered praise on the project for carving out 120 units for teachers and other employees at the Mountain View Whisman School District. About 20 of the planned units will be reserved for Mountain View city employees, while the rest will go to school staff. Any remaining will be given to displaced tenants from the Village Lake Apartments — which currently occupies the site — or to other government employees.
A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section
Making great communities happen
Exploring Oakland by bike
By Tom Holub, May 3, 2019. I love how cycling changes my experience of moving through the city, and I love sharing that experience with others. The idea of an urban geography tour is to help participants gain greater understanding of the city and its planning issues. This tour began by riding on Oakland’s first protected bike lanes …
The results are in! Come celebrate the best of Northern California planning at our Awards Gala on Friday, June 7, at the Starline Social Club. Our jurors were Martin Alkire; Hanson Hom, AICP; Rebecca Kohlstrand, AICP; and Aaron Welsh. To purchase tickets, visit our Awards webpage.
Diridon to Downtown: Strengthening San Jose through wayfinding
By Andrea Arjona, Richard Boggs, Anthony Nachor, Carolyn Neer, and Mindy Nguyen. The community around Diridon Station shares the aspirations and goals outlined in the City’s Envision 2040 General Plan. By pursuing those goals with the concerns and hopes of the community in mind, the new Diridon Station and surrounding area can bring San Jose one step closer to becoming a world-class destination as an urban center, a major transportation hub, and the cultural heart of Silicon Valley.
Diversity, inclusion, and equity — a focus of NPC 19
By Elizabeth “Libby” Tyler, Ph.D., FAICP. NPC 19 was our first opportunity to roll out the (now formally ratified) Planning for Equity Policy Guide. On the opening Saturday, I participated in a panel on “Everyday Racism: What Planners Can Do.”
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.
Registration is open for APA California’s 2019 Conference
The 2019 APA California Chapter conference will be held in Santa Barbara September 15–18, hosted by Central Coast Section at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. This year’s conference theme is “A Resilient Future.”
BAPDA’s Spring Meeting: The Housing Legislation Frenzy
By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, with photos by Hing Wong, AICP. Those attending the meeting learned about the rapidly changing landscape of housing policy legislation, as well as the changes coming in the Regional Housing Needs Allocation: stricter rules for what can be counted as a developable site, and big increases in the housing unit numbers.
In the middle of your planning career? We want your ideas!
By Miroo Desai, AICP. Northern Section has created a Mid-Career Planners Group towards meeting the needs of planners who are midway in their careers. I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts for the type of activities and events that you, as a mid-career planner, would like to see offered by our Section.
By Victor Rubin, PolicyLink, June 6, 2019. The Bay Area economy is experiencing phenomenal growth, yet rising inequality and displacement are making it impossible for working-class people and communities of color to stay and thrive — ultimately undermining the region’s future. A new equity data resource, “The Bay Area Equity Atlas,” brings the power of the National Equity Atlas to the local level, providing 21 equity indicators for 271 geographies across the region.
By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, as published in Northern News, June 26, 2019. SGC’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program provides grants and loans for programs and capital development projects, including affordable housing development and transportation improvements that encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use and result in fewer passenger vehicle miles traveled. From 47 proposals received, AHSC granted awards to 25 projects in California (nine in our “Northern Section” region, i.e., coastal northern California). The maximum award was $20 million.
On June 20, California HCD awarded $179 million to developers of affordable supportive housing in 37 communities across California from the No Place Like Home Program funded by 2018’s Proposition 2. The awards mark the first funding from the program to go directly to developers.
“Luxury hotel violated coastal laws for years.” By Paul Rogers, Bay Area News Group, June 14, 2019. “The 261-room Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, built in 2001, will pay $1.6 million in penalties to the California Coastal Commission to settle violations of state coastal laws. $600,000 of the settlement will go to the Peninsula Open Space Trust to help purchase an adjacent 27-acres with additional public beach access.”
By Don Ford, CBS SF KPIX 5, June 11, 2019. “For years, state and local leaders have dreamed about how best to develop the now-closed Concord Naval Weapons Station. One of those dreams included turning the former base into a four-year college – a dream that now may be a little closer to reality.”
By Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly, June 7, 2019. “SB 50 is alive and well, said State Senator Scott Wiener. And local control ‘is not biblical. It’s a good thing when it leads to good results, and our system of pure local control on housing has not led to good results.’ Wiener said even if tech giants like Facebook and Google are required to build housing, existing zoning would still make approval and construction a slow and difficult process.”
By Sarah Holder, Citylab, June 7, 2019. “An 800-unit, 18-story ‘dorm for adults’ will help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce. “The co-housing start-up Starcity is working to fill America’s housing-strapped cities with co-housing compounds. Since launching in 2016, the company has broken ground on seven developments in Los Angeles and San Francisco.”
By Mark Noack, Mountain View Voice, May 23, 2019. The Mountain View City Council has approved what may be the largest housing project in the city’s history. The colossal development at 777 W. Middlefield Road is slated to include 711 new apartments, including 144 affordable units for local teachers and city workers. The development was originally
By Matt Levin and Ben Christopher, CALmatters, May 17, 2019. SB 50’s fate dealt an unexpected setback to pro-development forces in the state Capitol and a major victory for defenders of local control over housing decisions. It also throws an obstacle onto Gov. Gavin Newsom’s path as he tries to goad the state into building a lot more housing, and it could jeopardize a broader housing package — including tenant protections. “Short of significantly amending the bill and limiting its applications in large swaths of the state, there was no path to move forward this year,” said Senate leader Toni Atkins.
By Adele Peters, Fast Company, May 14, 2019. MicroLife Institute, the Atlanta-based nonprofit developing the project, promotes small-space living in walkable neighborhoods and worked to help the city change its zoning code to make a tiny home community possible. After passing the ordinance in 2017, the city approved the plans for the development this month. The homes will go up for presale this summer, and the neighborhood should be completed by the end of the year.
By Mark Noack, Mountain View Voice, May 13, 2019. “Mountain View’s proposed ban on large vehicles has provoked a stern warning from civil rights attorneys who say it would discriminate against the city’s homeless. In a nine-page, footnoted letter to the city, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley both urged Mountain View officials not to move forward with plans to prohibit large vehicles over six feet tall from parking on the street. A March staff report noted that a future ordinance would carve out special exemptions for business owners, residents, government officials, and other groups to continue parking their oversized vehicles on the street.”
By Ryan Levi, Bay Curious, KQED, May 9, 2019. “Old Oakland — Washington Street between Eighth and 10th Streets — has brick-lined sidewalks leading into grand Victorians that date to the late 1800s. The area is thriving with trendy stores, hip restaurants and bars, a popular Friday farmers market, and even a Steph Curry pop-up shop. But none of that might exist if a UC Berkeley architecture student hadn’t stumbled upon those forgotten Victorians more than 50 years ago.”
By Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly, May 7, 2019. “The city councils of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park met in a joint session on May 6 for an update on and a discussion of the various housing bills now going through Sacramento. Most of the council members focused on Senate Bill 50. The only thing they agreed on is that each community would benefit from collaborating and coordinating to address the regional housing shortage. East Palo Alto Councilman Larry Moody challenged cities that oppose the bill to offer their own plans to address the humanitarian crisis. East Palo Alto Vice Mayor Regina Wallace-Jones and Councilman Ruben Abrica urged opponents of SB 50 to propose alternative solutions. Rather than fight the state, Abrica said, cities should make suggestions to the Legislature to address the problem.”
By Editorial Desk, Architecture AU, May 6, 2019. “Perth, Western Australia, councillors have voted in support of a 27-storey mixed-use development containing 30 percent social and affordable housing, despite a recommendation that the proposal be rejected due to an excessive plot ratio [and insufficient] community benefits or facilities. The landowner and project developer is the Western Australia government’s Department of Communities, and the Western Australian Planning Commission is the body responsible for the final approval.”
By J. David Goodman, metro reporter, The New York Times, May 1, 2019. “Many venture capitalists like to think of New York as the next Silicon Valley, but the cultures are not the same. You saw that dramatically with Amazon’s flat-footed rollout. The company thought it would be welcomed because it was bringing so many jobs. [But] the Amazon team was surprised by the onslaught of questions from reporters. Many New Yorkers were equally baffled that the company could be so naïve and so unprepared.”
Those of us who attended the National Planning Conference (NPC) in San Francisco in April know what an incredible success it was in terms of attendance, education, networking, and an overall smooth operation. This is a testament to the hard work, know-how, and welcoming attitude of the Host Committee (kudos to Hing Wong, AICP, et al) and the Northern Section as a whole. But NPC 19 was an especially exciting and fulfilling experience for me, as it was the first conference where I felt that APA’s ongoing efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity were truly front and center.
I have been a member of APA’s Diversity Committee for years, starting when it was just a Task Force and not yet a full-fledged committee. I currently serve as Vice Chair of the Committee and work closely with our amazing Chair, Miguel Angel Vazquez, AICP, and our talented committee members. Over the years, the committee has worked hard to promote progress on issues of diversity and inclusion within the organization and on behalf of our members. Each year, our efforts culminated in a Diversity Summit at the NPC, but there was little other visible evidence of the committee’s work at the conference.
That began to change a few years back when an Equity track was added to the conference programming, leading to a much richer choice of educational offerings on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Then, in April 2018, APA’s diversity efforts were further elevated when the Board adopted a Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
NPC 19 was our first opportunity to roll out this new strategy — and did we ever! At the same time, work was completed on the (now formally ratified) Planning for Equity Policy Guide, under the dynamic and able leadership of Lynn Ross, AICP, and Susan Wood, AICP; and the Social Equity Task Force led by Carleton Eley was also completing its work. So, for NPC 19, we had three major and related initiatives come together to form the basis of a powerful conference theme.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to play a role in the diversity, inclusion, and equity focus of the conference and to witness firsthand the enthusiasm of attendees having a forum where they could learn about and share experiences on these important topics.
It all started at the Leadership Plenary prior to the conference, where members of the Board of Directors, Chapter Presidents Council, Divisions Council, and Student Representatives Council heard presentations from the Diversity Committee, Social Equity Policy Guide Committee, and Social Equity Task Force leaders on our work to date. The session was kicked off by strong supportive messages from incoming APA President Kurt E. Christiansen, FAICP, and APA’s new Executive Director, Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE. We then reassembled in roundtable discussion groups where each person — enabled by specially prepared postcards and other materials developed by APAs talented communications and marketing teams — committed to push forward on the Diversity/Inclusion Strategy.
That gratifying experience was repeated over and over again for me once the NPC 19 got started.
On the opening Saturday, I participated in a panel on “Everyday Racism: What Planners Can Do.” It included presentations on the fascinating research being conducted by Stacy Harwood and Ivis Garcia, AICP, from the University of Utah, and by April Jackson from Florida State University. Professor Garcia, along with Andrea Garfinkel-Castro and Deirdre Pfeiffer, recently co-authored a PAS Report on Planning with Diverse Communities — a valuable compendium that should be on every planner’s bookshelf. Professor Jackson led the effort on the recent joint APA/Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Diversity Survey — the most comprehensive survey of its kind, and one that has yielded more than 3,000 responses. But the best part of the session was when participants shared their own experiences in roundtable discussions and as individual report-outs.
Next came the Plan4Equity Forum where we once again presented the Diversity/Inclusion Strategy and the efforts of the Social Equity Policy Guide Committee and Social Equity Task Force, followed by facilitated roundtable discussions. Again, the response from participants was informative and enthusiastic. Immediately following the forum, we celebrated our accomplishments at a joint reception with the Arts and Planning Interest Group at the Minna Gallery, where we heard from local artists and enjoyed an Afro-Cuban band.
In addition, to serving as a presenter at the Leadership Plenary, Everyday Racism Session, and Plan4Equity Forum, I also presented at the annual College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) meeting: I have long been a member of the Women and Planning Division and had recently participated in a webinar sponsored by the Division on “The Road to FAICP,” which focused on the Division’s efforts to increase the numbers and proportion of women who are recognized as AICP Fellows. It was gratifying to hear the enthusiasm and support that those at the meeting had for APAs Diversity/Inclusion Strategy and for promoting greater diversity in our College.
I came away from NPC 19 with a terrific feeling of accomplishment and with renewed hope that APA is embracing a culture that recognizes the diversity of our communities, promotes inclusiveness in our planning practice, and is able to support our members in fulfilling their ethical obligations to promote a more equitable society. For those of you considering volunteering your efforts to help support APA — believe me, your contributions at any level really can make a difference!
Elizabeth “Libby” Tyler, Ph.D., FAICP, is a consulting planner based in Albany, CA. She is the Ethics Review Director for APA California–Northern Section.
Northern Section has created a new board position, Mid-Career Planners Group Director, towards meeting the needs of planners who are midway in their careers. Our mission is to “organize and provide a forum for mid-career planners to develop career-building programs, social events, and mentoring opportunities.” As the first person in this position, I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts for the type of activities and events that you, as a mid-career planner, would like to see offered by our Section. Please email me, Miroo Desai, or call me at (510) 596-3785.
By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, with photos by Hing Wong, AICP
The Bay Area planning directors’ meeting — always open to anyone interested — was well attended on May 17 . Attendees were given a lot to chew on: the rapidly changing landscape of housing policy, but also the changes coming in the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, with much bigger numbers and stricter rules for what can be counted as a developable site. Did I mention the excellent breakfast and lunch? Hing Wong, AICP, took these photos of several of the presenters. I added the captions.
“The search for solutions to California’s housing crisis has reached unprecedented levels of activity in the state legislature and within our own communities. Dozens of new bills are slated for consideration in the coming years and their impact on municipalities throughout the state and region are hotly debated,” read the agenda.
By Matt Levin and Ben Christopher, CALmatters, May 17, 2019
“Very few people can claim to have seen this coming.
“In a procedural vote, Senate Bill 50 failed to advance from the state Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Its fate dealt an unexpected setback to pro-development forces in the state Capitol and a major victory for defenders of local control over housing decisions. It also throws an obstacle into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s path as he tries to goad the state into building a lot more housing.
“Sen. Scott Wiener’s new and broader coalition was instrumental in getting the bill through two earlier committee votes, and gave proponents confidence it could be shepherded through the state Senate without significantly more pushback.
“But supporters didn’t count on Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from the La Cañada Flintridge area and the chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Portantino’s district includes Pasadena, whose city representatives were some of the bill’s most vocal opponents.
“ ‘My preference has always fallen on the side of incentives for local governments to accomplish goals,’ Portantino said in a statement, expressing concerns about the bill’s ‘unintended consequences,’ including gentrification and discouraging public transit expansion.
“The bill was among those Portantino’s committee suffocated as it sifted through its biannual suspense file — a rapid-fire approach to legislation that allows lawmakers to quickly pass favored bills while quietly dispatching others, either by holding them in committee or redesignating them ‘two-year bills,’ effectively killing them for a year. The Senate Appropriations Committee considered 355 bills in its appropriations lightning round that day.
“The bill’s death could jeopardize a broader housing package — including tenant protections.
“With the premature demise of the signature ‘strong production’ bill of the year, the coalition that backed the bill may have a harder time sticking together in support of the tenant protection bills that remain — for example, San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu’s AB 1482, an anti ‘rent gouging’ bill opposed by the state’s landlord lobby.
“Many of the bill’s backers expressed frustration that the governor and Senate leader Toni Atkins didn’t do more to help shepherd SB 50 through the legislative process. California YIMBY asked supporters to call Sen. Atkins and ask her to ‘do everything in her power’ to bring the bill back. ‘She has the ability to go to the Rules Committee, pull the bill out of Appropriations, and send it to the floor. It’s her Senate.’
“But in a statement released the day after the bill was put on pause, Atkins said in a statement, ‘I will not circumvent the decision made by the Appropriations Committee Chair on SB 50. Short of significantly amending the bill and limiting its applications in large swaths of the state, there was no path to move forward this year.’ ”
2018 and 2019 “Brazilian Urbanism: Past Present & Future” international studies abroad classes reunited May 9th at San Pedro Square in downtown San José. L-r, Lecturer and Practitioner-in-Residence Rick Kos, AICP; planning students Michelle Louie, Kally Yeung, Zak Mendez, Laura Mauer, Owen Lin, Tonya Veitch, Jerry Wilburn, Melanie Erickson, and Sneha Parmar; and Northern Section representatives Hing Wong, AICP, and Juan Borrelli, AICP, top right. See the original image here.