Day: January 22, 2022

Northern News February 2022

Northern News February 2022

Northern News


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

Making great communities happen

Northern Section news and announcements

Planning news roundup

Save Mount Diablo protects ‘missing mile’ of open space from future housing

By Shomik Mukherjee, East Bay Times, January 17, 2022. The conservationists will continue to monitor the property while in use by a local equestrian society.

Controversial affordable housing project OK’d in rural Cloverdale

By Kathleen Coates, The Press Democrat, January 12, 2022. Community members and commissioners raised concerns about increased traffic and unsafe sidewalks, but state law pushed the project ahead.

Daly City council approves major apartment project, but affordability issue lingers

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2022. The project is intended to bring critical revenues to a school district that has struggled to retain teachers.

Saratoga City Council considers Housing Element proposal in seven-hour meeting

By Hannah Kanik, The Mercury News, January 11, 2022. “In my mind, this is the biggest challenge the city of Saratoga has faced since its incorporation,” Mayor Tina Walia said at the meeting.

San Jose hopes to rebound from losing over 1,700 acres of trees since 2012

By Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, January 10, 2022. That leaves only 13.5 percent of San Jose covered by trees, compared to 28 percent of Seattle.

The strange, fun, and fascinating stories behind Bay Area city names

By Katie Dowd, SFGate, January 9, 2022. Four selections from a tour of Bay Area city names from Alameda to Walnut Creek.

Judge halts mega-resort in California wildfire zone, says residents could die trying to flee

By Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee, January 6, 2022. The CEQA ruling is a major victory for environmentalists opposed to new housing and business projects in areas with extreme wildfire risks.

Santa Clara County housing bond on track despite roadblocks

By Tran Nguyen, San Jose Spotlight, January 4, 2022. A Civil Grand Jury’s December report found many barriers to housing production are beyond the county’s control.

Oakland is a hot spot for lead contamination of children, study finds

By Annie Sciacca, Mercury News, December 25, 2021. Oakland leaders will use funds from a legal settlement with paint companies to proactively remove hazardous lead.

Caltrans officially embraces Complete Streets in all projects

By Melanie Curry, StreetsBlog Cal, December 22, 2021. This is the first clear statement that acknowledges that Caltrans is committing to accommodating all road users in every single project it works on, though implementation remains unclear.

Marin to spend $4M in pandemic aid on climate projects

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, December 20, 2021. The funds are allocated for flood prevention, sea level rise, and electrification-related projects.

Newark residents wonder why the city plans to develop against a rising shoreline

By Ezra David Romero, KQED, December 13, 2021. A major housing proposal could be at risk from sea level rise and encroach on scarce Bay Area wetlands.

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Congratulations to our newest members of AICP

Congratulations to our newest members of AICP

APA California–Northern congratulates 12 APA members, from Santa Cruz to Fort Bragg, who passed the November 2021 AICP exam. The three AICP Candidates will become fully certified after they complete their professional experience requirements. They may use the AICP Candidate designation now.


Maya Amichai, AICP, Vacaville

Rebecca Dalske, AICP, Ukiah

Rucha Dande, AICP, Foster City

Heather Gurewitz, AICP, Fort Bragg

Bei Jia, AICP, San Jose

Drew Levitt, AICP, Oakland

Brian Manford, AICP, San Francisco

Celina Palmer, AICP, Pittsburg

Stephen Terrin, AICP, Sebastopol

AICP Candidate

Sam Hughes, AICP Candidate, Santa Cruz

June Lai, AICP Candidate, Hayward

Drew Taplin, AICP Candidate, Walnut Creek

See the nationwide list of successful candidates here.

Return to Northern News here.

Who’s where

Who’s where

James A. Casta­ñeda, AICP, who joined the North­ern Sect­ion Board in 2011 and was Di­rec­tor of our North­ern Sect­ion in 2019 and 2020 before de­part­ing for Los Angeles, is now a senior assoc­iate at Place­Works’ Los Angeles office. Pre-pandemic, Castañeda was a planner for the County of San Mateo for 14 years as both a program coordinator for the SFO Community Roundtable and a project planner in the Current Planning Section. Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP hired him as senior land-use planner for their Los Angeles office early in 2020. Castañeda holds a BS in city and regional planning from New Mexico State University. He still plays SimCity 4, lives in West Hollywood, and is engaged to a city planner.



Isabel Cas­tel­lano, whose di­verse train­ing in­cludes arch­itect­ure, cons­erva­tion, and arch­aeo­logy, has joined M-­Group as Hist­oric Pres­erva­tion Spec­ial­ist. Prior to M-Group, she contributed to the technical development of a number of architectural and urban planning projects. Most recently, Castellano worked for PPM Consulting Engineers as a consultant to the City of Miami Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Division, overseeing various historic districts and designated structures. She holds a master of arts in conservation studies for historic buildings from the University of York (England) and a B.Arch. from Syracuse University. Her architectural passion is preserving local culture, craft, and design. Castellano enjoys traveling to diverse cities and recording, learning, and deciphering the local architecture, culture, and cuisine.


Mari Hsu has been ap­point­ed Assoc­iate Edit­or for North­ern News, in add­it­ion to their duties as the SJSU Stud­ent Rep­resent­ative to the North­ern Section Board. Hsu is entering their last semester of the master of urban and regional planning program and is writing about community outreach efforts around the San Francisco and Oakland bus rapid transit line implementations. Having grown up in a part of Appalachia that relies solely on personal cars, advocating for public and active transit is near and dear to Hsu’s heart. They are also an advocate on issues of social and racial justice and hope to work at this intersection in the near future. Hsu holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College.


Ashley James, AICP, has been elec­ted Treas­urer of the North­ern Section. Her term of of­fice will run through 2023. Among other duties, the Treas­urer pre­pares our an­nual budget, and receives and disperses funds as authorized. James is an associate planner with the City of Berkeley. Before that, she was an associate planner with the City of Vallejo and an associate at PlaceWorks (Berkeley). James holds a master of urban and regional planning (economic and workforce development) from the University of Minnesota and a BS in environmental economics from the University of New Hampshire.


Mary Mc­Gee is the new UC Berk­eley Stud­ent Rep­resent­ative to the North­ern Section Board. A first year grad­uate student at UC Berkeley pursuing concurrent master’s degrees in city planning and public health, she hails from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and geography from Colgate University. McGee is passionate about creating healthy and equitable cities and communities for all. She is also interested in transportation, commuting behaviors, active transportation, and design/user experience. McGee loves being outdoors (skiing, hiking, biking, etc.) and exploring new places, especially through food and performance arts.


Guido Per­si­cone, AICP, who for the past six years has been plan­ning mana­ger for East Palo Alto and Los Altos, is now with the City of Marina as Com­mun­ity Dev­elop­ment Direc­tor. Persicone has 18-plus years of experience in complex urban infill development, zoning code updates, and affordable and Below Market Rate housing. He holds a master’s in urban and regional planning from SJSU and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Riverside. He and his wife have two children and live in south San Jose. When he has spare time, Persicone runs or hikes the trails and hills around his neighborhood or walks his new puppy, Charlie.

Rachael A. Tanner, who was ap­pointed by the Board of Super­visors to the San Fran­cisco Plan­ning Com­mis­sion in 2020, has been elected by her col­leagues to serve as pres­i­dent of the com­mis­sion. Tanner is the As­sistant Director of Plan­ning and Develo­ment Ser­vices for the City of Palo Alto. Before that, she was a senior planner for the City and County of San Francisco and legislative aide to District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai. She holds a master of city planning from MIT and BA in political science from the University of Michigan.

Return to Northern News here.