Northern News

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

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BAPDA’s Spring Meeting: The Housing Legislation Frenzy

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.

Al Savay, AICP, Community & Economic Development Director, City of San Carlos, and Chair, Bay Area Planning Directors Association, welcomed us to BAPDA’s half-day program in Nile Hall at Oakland’s Preservation Park.

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Ken Kirkey, Director of the ABAG/MTC Regional Planning Program, described how the The Housing Legislation Working Group came out of the CASA Compact to address the production and preservation of housing at all levels of affordability, while protecting vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

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State Senator Mike McGuire (on the right) drafted SB 4 to address concerns about Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50 taking a one-size-fits-all approach to providing housing. SB 4 was merged with SB 50, which in turn was shelved, presumably until January 2020. Senator McGuire noted there is a lot to do over the summer. At the left is Rosalyn Hughey, San Jose’s Planning Director, who took questions from the floor for the senator. They seem to like this one!

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Annie Fryman, Policy Aide and SB 50 lead for Sen. Scott Wiener, spoke about moving forward important housing legislation.