Northern News October 2021

Northern News

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

Making great communities happen

Northern Section news and announcements

Planning news roundup

Assembled by Richard Davis, AICP Candidate, associate editor

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Drought: Marin, Saudi crown prince eyeing same desalination plants

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, September 20, 2021. Desalination is still the district’s secondary option to prevent it from running out of water as soon as July.

SF piloting tiny cabins for homeless people as a cost-effective alternative to tents

By Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, September 20, 2021. 70 tiny homes (cabins), similar to those used in Oakland and other cities, will replace 44 tents in a city-sanctioned ‘safe sleeping village.’

Gov. Newsom abolishes most single-family zoning in California

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, September 17, 2021. SB 9, now law, allows up to four units on single-family lots.

San Mateo loses housing ruling with big statewide implications

By Curtis Driscoll, San Mateo Daily Journal, September 14, 2021. Upholding the Housing Accountability Act could lead to new housing elements with clearer objective standards that expedite housing.

How can the pedestrian malls of the past inform today’s shared streets?

By Stephan Schmidt, Bloomberg CityLab, September 9, 2021. A Cornell study analyzed over 100 past pedestrian malls to see what characteristics could help shared streets thrive.

Over 3,000 acres of East Bay open space to be preserved as state park in $31 million deal

By Joseph Gena, East Bay Times, September 8, 2021. Scientists have described the land as a ‘biologically unique habitat’ and a place long considered a ‘sensitive historical site’ by local Native American groups.

Cupertino again at odds with the state over the SB 35 Vallco project

By Marisa Kendall, Mercury News, September 7, 2021. Department of Housing and Community Development says the project’s special approval under SB 35 should be granted an extension since it was impeded by litigation.

Berkeley seeks objective standards for thorniest aspects of new developments

By Nico Savidge, Berkeleyside, September 5, 2021. Objective standards are becoming an increasingly important way for cities to exercise local control over development.

Chinese ghost cities are finally stirring to life

By James Mayger, Lucille Liu, Yujing Liu, Lin Zhu, and Yinan Zhao, Bloomberg News, September 1, 2021. The government wants the trend of urban migration to continue and for new population centers provide an alternative to Beijing and Shanghai, which restrict new residents.

San Jose approves strategy to spread out multi-unit affordable housing citywide

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, August 31, 2021. The plan divides San Jose into three categories to prioritize where to build affordable housing based on poverty and crime rates.

City of Napa housing division revamps rental housing rehabilitation loan program

By Edward Booth, Napa Valley Register, August 30, 2021. The maximum loan for home repairs has increased by tens of thousands of dollars in most cases.

Bay Area cities and counties falling dramatically short of affordable housing goals

By Kiley Russell, Bay City News Foundation, August 27, 2021. New local financing strategies and the state’s first regional affordable housing financing authority look to bridge funding gaps in the next five years of the current planning cycle.

How arenas like the Oakland Coliseum became emblematic of California’s housing crisis

By Erika Paz, Calmatters, August 24, 2021. California’s Department of Housing and Community Development cited Oakland and two other cities over using public land for arenas without integrating affordable housing.

Judge rules that UC Berkeley must study the impacts of growth before raising enrollment

By Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside, August 24, 2021. Cal must redo the SEIR to address certain issues, including how student enrollment increases have affected noise, housing, and displacement in Berkeley.

Oakland residents fighting a mysterious startup taking over their quiet street

By Georgia Freedman, SFGate, August 23, 2021. Neighbors argue that CloudKitchens, a kitchen-to-delivery startup, gamed the city’s zoning and permitting process to operate in a low-income area.

Tension over new development rises amid water scarcity in Healdsburg

By Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, August 23, 2021. Opponents claim the city’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan considered an “erroneously rosy supply outlook”.

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