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

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What’s inside


Collaborative sensory-based community engagement for a more equitable bike/pedestrian environment

By John Kamp and James Rojas, July 5, 2019.

Resolving conflicts in an underpass built more than 50 years ago that didn’t foresee the current crush of pedestrians and bicyclists.

The students pushing Stanford to build more housing

By Jared Brey, NextCity, June 13, 2019.

Stanford has 16,000 students and employs 13,000 people on faculty and staff. It owns more than 8,000 acres of land in six jurisdictions. And it is seeking approval to build a lot more academic space.

Should we build cities from scratch?

Excerpts from two recent articles in The Guardian Cities

When countries rise up, when markets emerge, people build new cities. Today, though, we are taking it to unheard-of levels.


Photos by Jason Su and Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP


Bay Area Equity Atlas

By Victor Rubin, PolicyLink, June 6, 2019.

The Bay Area economy is experiencing phenomenal growth along with rising inequality and displacement. A new 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.

Who’s where

News about Jonathan Atkinson, AICP; Jim Bergdoll, AICP; Jim Carney; Sharon Grewal, AICP; Shayda Haghgoo; James Hinkamp, AICP; Noah Housh; Catarina Kidd, AICP; Edgar Maravilla; Steve McHarris, AICP; Megan Porter, AICP; Avalon Schultz, AICP; Jason Su; and Kristy Weis.

Director’s note – July 2019

Summer has arrived. For many of us, it’s an opportunity to bask in the longer days or take a little R&R. But your Northern Section board is hard at work on new programs for the second half of 2019.

Thirty from Northern Section pass May 2019 AICP exam

The Northern Section APA members listed below may now use the AICP or AICP Candidate designation. Congratulations to all!


We publish 10 times each year as a forum for the exchange of planning ideas and information. This double issue was written and produced by and for urban planners in northern California.


Huge land deal in Solano County; 50,000 available straddling Alameda and Santa Clara counties

Up to 30,000 acres of agricultural land between Suisun City and Rio Vista has been purchased for purposes unknown. Seventy miles away, a 50,500-acre ranch northeast of San Jose and southeast of Livermore is for sale for $72 million.

‘Deconstruction’ ordinance requires reuse, recycling of construction materials

Demolishing a residence takes a few days and a crew of two to three, at a cost of $8 to $12 per square foot. A greener approach calls for buildings to be disassembled over 10 to 15 days by a crew of four to eight, at a cost of $22 to $34 per square foot.

There’s no end in sight to divisive public hearings

Rowdy public hearings are nothing new in city politics. Cities can redesign community outreach to encourage input from traditionally excluded groups. Unclear is whether more inclusive citizen engagement will lower the temperature of debates over density and growth.

Density mandate passes for all but smallest Oregon cities

The Oregon Senate voted 17-9 on June 30 to effectively eliminate single-family zoning in large Oregon cities. House Bill 2001 now heads to Gov. Kate Brown to be signed into law.

These nine northern California projects scored Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities awards from the California Strategic Growth Council

The AHSC program provides grants and loans for affordable housing development and transportation improvements that encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use that lower VMT. AHSC granted awards to 25 projects in California. The maximum award was $20 million.

Projects in 10 Northern Section communities receive ‘No Place Like Home’ funding awards

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 Prop 2. This is the first funding from the program to go directly to developers.

Who’s coming and who’s going: California in 5 interactive charts and maps

For more than a century the state has been a magnet for migrants from around the world. These five maps and charts show who’s moving in and, lately, moving out.

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay fined $1.6 million; failed to give public beach access

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. The Peninsula Open Space Trust got $600,000 of that to help buy an adjacent 27 acres for beach access.

Former Concord Naval Weapons Station may be site of new CSU campus

State and local leaders have dreamed about how best to develop the now-closed Concord Naval Weapons Station. One of those dreams — to turn the former base into a four-year college — may be a little closer to reality.

Scott Wiener, in enemy territory, makes case for SB 50

“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.’ Even if tech giants build housing, existing zoning would still make approval and construction a slow and difficult process.”

World’s largest co-housing building coming to San Jose

With an 800-unit, 18-story ‘dorm for adults,’ start-up Starcity is working to fill America’s housing-strapped cities with co-housing compounds. The company has seven developments underway in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A national shout-out to Alameda!

Amanda Kolson Hurley, senior editor at CityLab, tweets, “How did I miss a new ranking of ‘The Coolest Suburbs in America’? Discussion of methodology is surprisingly careful and good (but people will still bellyache).”


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