Northern News September 2020

Northern News

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

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Northern Section news, views, and announcements

Director’s note

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, August 19, 2020. This has been a year for re-evaluating priorities, values, and future directions. We’re at a point where we can’t ignore our society’s injustices and our collective role in them.

Over 50 sessions and networking events!

We need 65 planning students and Young Planners to volunteer to work the virtual conference. Click below for information and to register (no cost to volunteers). 

Eight from Northern Section pass spring-summer 2020 AICP exam

Circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic led national APA to extend the May 2020 examination through July.

In memoriam, Brian Mattson, 84

The deceased in 1999. Bay Area planners may remember him as the planning director in Novato and the community development director in Vallejo.

San Francisco landlords lose lawsuit

By Jared Brey, Next City, August 7, 2020. Property owners filed suit “to protect their rights” against a permanent ban on evicting tenants for rent payments they miss because of the pandemic.

Northern News recognizes our content providers for 2019

Thanks to the 27 planners who wrote for this publication last year, and to Andrea Mardesich, a former associate editor, who scoured past issues to prepare this list.

Affordable housing in Silicon Valley puts focus on sustainability

From HUD User, PD&R Edge, August 3, 2020. Edwina Benner Plaza, Sunnyvale, provides 66 units of affordable housing, generates half of the project’s electricity needs, and makes up the remaining 50 percent from renewable sources.

Alameda County Heat Vulnerability Map

By the Alameda County Office of Sustainability, August 19, 2020. This interactive map illustrates social and environmental factors that contribute to community heat vulnerability in Alameda County.

Who’s where

News about Mayank Patel and Sarah Yuwiler.

Planning news roundup

The price of saving Paradise

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, August 25, 2020. “The fire was a monumental event and altered people’s way of thinking about things,” including whether the entire community should be surrounded by defensible space.

SF sees historic shift in housing inventory

By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, August 15, 2020. The convergence of coronavirus and the high cost of homeownership in San Francisco may have caused residents to leave for California’s less costly regions.

SF finally approves 1,100 homes at Balboa Reservoir

By Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2020. The new project includes 550 affordable units, of which 150 are reserved for City College teachers and staff.

New research: Advancing environmental justice while rebuilding existing locally unwanted land uses

By Miriam Solis, Planetizen, August 11, 2020. A case study of a San Francisco wastewater plant considers the consequences of redeveloping, rather than siting, a locally unwanted land use.

Portland passes the ‘most pro-housing reform’ to low-density zones in US history

By Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute, August 11, 2020. Portland’s new upzoning reforms allow for a wide range of “middle housing” citywide and removes parking mandates from most residential land.

Report: Single-family zoning dominates Bay Area housing, presenting barrier to integration

By Marc Abizeid, UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute, August 11, 2020. From the first-ever analysis of the proportion of single-family zoning in every Bay Area jurisdiction comes five general policy approaches to help address racial residential segregation.

Minor reparations

By Roxane Gay, Work Friend, The New York Times, August 9, 2020. It is absolutely unacceptable that your agency is asking you to spend your own money to improve the agency’s thinking and efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sales tax to fund Caltrain will go before voters

Bay City News Service, Mountain View Voice, August 8, 2020. The tax would generate the necessary funding to operate the imperiled system if ultimately approved by two-thirds of voters across three affected counties.

Study: Marin to experience worst traffic delays from sea level rise

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, August 7, 2020. A new Stanford study shows the North Bay may receive less flooding compared to other parts of the Bay Area, but the flooding occurs at critical connections where few alternative routes exist.

How do households describe where they live?

By Shawn Bucholtz, The Edge, August 6, 2020. New survey data collected by HUD and the US Census Bureau shows most people view themselves as living in suburbs, even those who live in central cities.

Nonmembers ask APA to support defunding the police

By Brentin Mock, Bloomberg CityLab, August 6, 2020. A letter with hundreds of signatories from across the planning field argues that planning decisions have historically contributed to police violence and harassment of Black people.

Bay Area cities reluctantly approve housing in face of state laws

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. From San Bruno to Castro Valley to Lafayette, major Bay Area housing approvals have been compelled by SB 35 and SB 330.

Sausalito confronts historic inequities, considers affordable housing on its waterfront

J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. After a general plan change, Sausalito residents argue whether to expand light industry or allow some senior or affordable housing.

Opinion: We must plan racial justice in our cities

By Dorothy Walker, Streetsblog USA, August 3, 2020. Dorothy Walker, founding president of APA, says cities’ local land-use decisions are “ripe for transformation” to lower barriers to housing for the “disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and the community at large.”

Revised SB 35 Guidelines near completion

William Fulton, CP&DR, August 2, 2020. The Department of Housing and Community Development has released a draft of updated guidelines for implementing SB 35 locally.

After 250 Years, Tribe regains Big Sur ancestral lands

By Kyle Edwards, Native News Online, July 29, 2020. The Esselen tribe plans to use the land to revitalize, and educate the public about, its culture, traditional ceremonies, and history.

Caltrans’ Low Carbon Transit Operations grants go to three North Coast jurisdictions

By Nazy Javid, KRCR News, July 29, 2020. The grants support free fares to populations that include low-income residents, youth and college students.