Northern News March 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

New study: Ample possibilities to turn excess school land into teacher housing

By Louis Hansen, Mercury News, February 16, 2022. School districts in every Bay Area county have shown a willingness to develop housing for educators, according to researchers.

Court orders UC Berkeley enrollment freeze over CEQA suit

By Madison Hirneisen, The Center Square, February 15, 2022. A neighborhood group argued in August 2021 that the university exacerbated the city’s housing crisis through excessive enrollment.

New report: Coastal sea levels in U.S. to rise a foot by 2050

By Henry Fountain, New York Times, February 15, 2022. The report provides detailed sea level projections for states and territories by decade as an aid to local officials, planners, and engineers.

San Jose OK’d $45 million in fee waivers for downtown developers — with little housing to show for it

By Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, February 10, 2022. Within the next year, the city council is expected to again weigh whether to extend the program to encourage high-rise developers to move those projects past the goal line.

With bike buses, kid cyclists feel safer together on the road

By Maxwell Adler, Bloomberg CityLab, February 10, 2022. The phenomenon isn’t new. But as cycling took off during the pandemic, new bike bus initiatives have emerged in SF and elsewhere.

New research: a startling safety gap for crosswalks in some San Francisco neighborhoods

By Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, February 9, 2022. Many cold spots exist in lower-income neighborhoods such as the Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, and Bayview-Hunters Point.

Woodside decides it’s not a mountain lion habitat, allows housing under SB 9

By Angela Swartz, The Almanac, February 7, 2022. The council’s initial decision garnered national, and even international, attention.

Judge throws out environmental lawsuit against controversial Richmond development

By Katie Lauer, The Mercury News, February 4, 2022. The site has been the focus of a decade-old debate and recently led to the city attorney’s resignation, the city manager’s departure, and a council vote to censure the mayor.

Court upholds density bonus law that exempts certain housing projects from local restrictions

By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 2022. The ruling, now published precedent, has potential statewide impact as tensions over local control and the state’s housing crisis continue to escalate.

10 percent of San Francisco’s housing stock sitting vacant and empty

By Joe Kukura, SFist, February 1, 2022. SF exceeds its goals for market-rate housing, it’s the affordable housing that’s lacking.

Alameda’s waterfront sets high standard for future Bay Area development

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, February 2, 2022. A ferry terminal that connects directly to San Francisco, and a 3-acre waterfront plaza emphasizing pedestrian connectivity, exemplify contemporary placemaking.

The pandemic scramble to legalize home-based businesses

By M. Nolan Gray, Bloomberg CityLab, January 31, 2022. Beyond the economic activity they generate, home-based businesses call into question the conventional zoning system.

Santa Cruz gets $29M for affordable housing, transit hub

By Michael Wittner, Santa Cruz Patch, January 28, 2022. The award comes from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program.

A Mendocino County redwood forest has been returned to a group of Native tribes

By Rachel Treisman, NPR-KQED, January 26, 2022. The land donation can be contextualized as part of the broader ‘land back’ movement, an intersectional effort to return Indigenous lands — and autonomy — to Indigenous communities.

Even in Monterey County, affordable housing does not come cheap

By Pam Marino, Monterey County Weekly, January 24, 2022. The cost of materials is one big reason for the enormous jump, as are financial requirements due to growing fire hazards.

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