Northern News February 2021

Northern News


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

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Northern Section news and announcements

Register now for AICP Exam Prep Trivia Night (Virtual)

This virtual event will help you test your planning knowledge using actual questions from past AICP exams, and responses are timed.

Director’s note: New Year, same you, with an opportunity to grow

By Florentina Craciun, January 19, 2021. Let’s bring our authentic selves to our profession. Let’s help pave the path towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive planning profession and world.

Call for nominations – Get recognized by the APA Calif. Northern Section!

Don’t wait. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 12. To serve as a juror, submit your résumé by Feb. 26.

28 planners added AICP to their names last year

If you recently passed the AICP exam and your name is not on this list but should be, please write us at

Sacramento City Council votes to allow fourplexes in all single-family zones

By Jared Brey, Next City, January 22, 2021. The proposal does not increase existing height restrictions in single-family neighborhoods, and would not affect historic protections for existing houses.

Climate-resilient economic recovery, racial equity, and public health

By Sandra Hamlat, January 25, 2021. The City of San Francisco’s Climate Resilience Team recently prepared a white paper on a Climate-Resilient Economic Recovery.

Who’s where

By Hazel Choi, associate editor. News about Carolyn Fahey, AICP; Arielle Fleisher, Brendan Hurley, Darcy Kremin, AICP; Edgar Maravilla, Brynn McKiernan, AICP; Carolyn Neer, Leslie Trejo, and Ellen Yau.

Planning news roundup

San Francisco office vacancy rate eclipses financial-crisis high

By Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg, January 12, 2021. There are already signs of an early rebound in leases.

Newsom’s proposed budget includes intergovernmental Housing Accountability Unit

Josh Stephens, California Planning & Development Report, January 11, 2021. The unit will act as a housing ‘ombudsman’ and help cities navigate RHNA compliance.

SF, UCSF community benefits package for Parnassus Heights project not enforceable

NBC Bay Area, January 4, 2021, and SF Examiner, January 11, 2021. The hospital modernization and expansion promises investments in housing, transit, and workforce training, but supervisors want legal assurance of UCSF’s commitments.

Caltrain talks regional rail

Curtis Driscoll, Daily Journal Staff, January 8, 2021. A possible partnership with BART would integrate transit schedules and services.

Newsom wants to send $600 to millions of Californians, extend renter protections

Ben Christopher, CalMatters, January 8, 2021. It’s not clear when these proposed measures will be formally introduced and if they actually pass the legislature.

New study suggests Uber and Lyft could increase car ownership

By David Grossman, Inverse, January 7, 2021. Contrary to their expectations, researchers found a slight increase on average across 224 cities.

‘Slow Streets’ disrupted city planning. What comes next?

Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, January 6, 2021. City planners and equity advocates in Oakland and across the country reflect on the potential for trauma-informed planning.

Steep rent declines across the Bay Area in 2020

By Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2021. Seasonal effects on rents mean they are likely to stay low for several more months.

Residential redevelopment of commercially zoned land in California

New analysis finds untapped potential statewide for mixed-use and infill development.

Why don’t we treat housing as infrastructure?

Sarah Karlinsky and Cristian Bevington, City Monitor, December 22, 2020. A new SPUR report showcases international strategies for housing production and affordability.