Northern News March 2020

Northern News

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

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Northern Section announcements

Call for Northern Section 2020 Award nominations

Northern Section Award winners will be fêted at a Gala, Friday, June 5. But first, they have to be nominated. (March 13 is the deadline to submit.) Click “Read more” for the awards categories and links to details, rules, and application forms.

Law and Ethics CM credits REGISTRATION is OPEN

By Libby Tyler, FAICP. Learn how California housing legislation is preempting local planning review and signaling the end of exclusive single-family zoning. Then play a popular learning game in a lively and engaging refresher of the Code of Ethics with Darcy Kremin, AICP.

Director’s note

“I challenge everyone — including myself — to find areas where we can expand our knowledge, learn new skills, take on risks, and continue to be leaders who can shape our world so future generations can thrive.” —Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, Section Director.

Who’s where

In this segment, we highlight nine job changes: Jonathan Schuppert, AICP; Emily Carroll; Florentina Craciun, AICP; Andrew Hatt; James Hinkamp, AICP; Brianne Reyes; Atisha Varshney, AICP; Rafael Velázquez; and Kara Vuicich, AICP. Congratulations all!

Northern Section Board Retreat photo

Click the ‘Read more’ button to see the crowd at Northern Section’s annual Board Retreat, held this year at Sonoma State University, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Northern News’ associate editor Richard Davis represented the editorial staff.

Planning news roundup

Marina CA shows cities can retreat from rising seas

By Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2020. Sea walls are forbidden, real estate sales must disclose sea level rise, and the city is working to move infrastructure and resort properties away from the water.

Public meetings are broken. Here’s how to fix them.

By Patrick Sisson, Curbed, February 12, 2020. The traditional public meeting can be exclusionary and does not often result in the kind of participation and experiences for citizens that encourage feedback. But the current public hearing process can be enhanced, and there are alternatives to be considered.

A plan to combine the Bay Area’s dozens of transit networks

By Adam Brinklow, Curbed, February 5, 2020. A new bill would establish a single universal bus fare across the Bay Area, create a combined transit map and departure time reference, and develop a transfer that works across every transit line.

Fighting sea level rise the natural way

In an interview by Lori Pottinger, PPIC, on February 3, 2020, Letitia Grenier speaks of the huge potential to work across jurisdictions and redesign systems to let natural processes solve some of our more complicated flooding problems.

Danville ballot measure sparks debate over open space

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, February 11, 2020. A proposed development for a 400-acre private property in Danville would accommodate 69 new residential units and leave 213 acres of publicly accessible open space. But the Danville Open Space Committee — a citizens group — gathered thousands of signatures to challenge the project on the March 3rd ballot. Stay tuned.

Height limit exemption effort starts in San Mateo

By Zachary Clark, Daily Journal, February 7, 2020. Measure P is a 2004 extension of a measure approved by voters in 1991 and is set to sunset by the end of the year. Now a group of San Mateo residents is pushing to extend Measure P’s existing building height limits while exempting areas around transit from the measure’s height and density restrictions.

Bay Area gets boost to affordable housing from unlikely source

By Emily DeRuy, Mercury News, February 6, 2020. New apartment complexes built on Caltrain land near Caltrain stations must reserve at least 30 percent of their units for low-income residents. But there’s no requirement that such sites be reserved for housing.

San Mateo may be first in state to use AB 1763 for low-income units

By Emily DeRuy, Mercury News, February 16, 2020. Without AB 1763, the density limits of 50 units per acre approved by city voters in 1991 would have limited the number of affordable homes that could be built on the city-owned site.

Best urban designs to reduce road injuries

From Mirage News (Australia), January 28, 2020. ‘If reducing the road toll is your ultimate goal, it is better to invest in safer alternative transport options than continuing to focus on car-based safety interventions,’ said lead researcher Dr. Jason Thompson. The University of Melbourne research highlights the importance of urban design and planning as key to reducing transport-related injuries across the world. Hat tip to The Overhead Wire.

“Three lessons 21st century housing policy could learn from ‘Little Women’ ”

By Jenny Schuetz, Brookings’ The Avenue, February 5, 2020. “It may just be the meticulous recreation of 19th century New England in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ that has the most to say about American homes, even offering some bold yet sensible lessons to improve our own 21st century housing policy.”