Author: Naphtali Knox

Libby Tyler, FAICP, is a 2020 Dale Prize Winner

Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning press release, December 10, 2019

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona has announced the winners of the 2020 William R. and June Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning. They are Dr. Petra Doan of Florida State University, who won the Scholar Prize, and Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Tyler, APA California Northern Section’s Ethics Review Director. A member of APA’s Equity Diversity Inclusion Committee and a consulting planner, Libby won the Practitioner Prize. Each prize is $5,000.

Dale Prize events will be held March 4th and 5th, 2020, on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. They include colloquiua and seminars aimed at creating dialogue among scholars and practitioners, and enriching the education of planning students.

Northern Section election result

Northern Section election result

In a Section-wide election held in November, Michael P. Cass was elected to continue as Northern Section’s Treasurer for a two-year term, commencing January 1, 2020. He had been appointed Treasurer in March 2019 to fill the vacancy left after Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, became Director-Elect. Cass was previously an East Bay Regional Activity Co-coordinator (RAC) for Northern Section. A public sector planner for more than 15 years, Cass is currently principal planner for the City of Dublin, California. Separately, he serves as an advisory board member for Sustainable Contra Costa. Cass holds a B.A. in communication from St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, and a certificate in land use and environmental planning from UC Davis Extension.

Databases updated for California’s protected areas

Databases updated for California’s protected areas

By Saba Gebreamlak

GreenInfo Network has released updates to the California Protected Areas Database (CPAD, v. 2019b) and the California Conservation Easement Database (CCED, v. 2019).

CPAD and CCED are California’s authoritative parks and open space databases. They cover more than 15,000 parks and other protected areas, held by 1,000 agencies and nonprofits. The two databases are used for conservation planning, fire impact analysis, park needs assessments, and more. You can download the data and learn more at www.calands.org.

Court: California charter cities must prioritize Affordable Housing on Public Land

By Nicholas Iovino, CourthouseNews.com

“California can force San Jose and 120 other charter cities to give affordable housing developers the first crack at building on surplus city land, a California appeals court ruled December 3.

“The state’s Surplus Land Act requires cities, towns and counties looking to unload public land to give affordable housing developers an opportunity to develop the property first before selling it.

“San Jose had argued the home rule doctrine for charter cities in the California constitution superseded a 2014 state law that makes cities prioritize affordable housing development on surplus public land. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Theodore Zayne agreed with the city’s position in December 2016 and dismissed the core claims of a lawsuit brought by housing advocates.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel from the Sixth District Court of Appeal overruled that decision, finding the ‘well-documented shortage of sites for low- and moderate-income housing and the regional spillover effects of insufficient housing’ justify statewide application of the 2014 law.

“Writing for the panel, Justice Eugene Premo [wrote] … ‘We find that the state can require a charter city to prioritize surplus city-owned land for affordable housing development and subject a charter city to restrictions in the manner of disposal of that land, because the shortage of sites available for affordable housing development is a matter of statewide concern.’ ”

Read the full article here.

Getting downtowns moving with convenient and sustainable access

Getting downtowns moving with convenient and sustainable access

Ozzy Arce reports on an APA Transportation Planning Division Grant Event/Panel

On November 6, 2019, the Emerging Planners Group (EPG) of APA California, Northern Section, partnered with TransForm, a local non-profit transportation advocacy group, and Friends of Caltrain to host a panel as part of an annual series called Connecting Communities. At the event in Menlo Park, all 90 minutes of which you can see here, an array of Bay Area experts focused on transportation demand management (TDM) and transit-proximate housing.

Getting Downtowns Moving Panel
The panel comprised, left to right, Steve Raney, Palo Alto Transportation Management Association; Chris Hammack, City of Redwood City; Karen Camacho, Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo; APA member Ozzy Arce, City of Walnut Creek; and Adina Levin, Friends of Caltrain. Photo: Veronica Flores

More than 30 local residents, stakeholders, and policymakers attended and participated in a spirited discussion around the opportunities for — and constraints around — accessing busy downtowns through more sustainable modes, the role parking management plays in increasing access and mitigating congestion, and the idea that building affordable housing near job centers is a TDM measure.

Thanks to a generous grant from APA National’s Transportation Planning Division, the 90-minute event was live streamed on Facebook and recorded. To view the video, click here.

Getting Downtowns Moving Ozzy
Ozzy Arce speaks to the group. Photo: Evan Kenward

What SF crane watch does and doesn’t tell us

From an article by Sarah Holder, CityLab, September 24, 2019.

“Rider Levett Bucknall, a construction project management company, [conducts] a semi-annual international Crane Count.

“As dots on a map, all cranes may look the same. But their impact isn’t indiscriminate. Are they harbingers of displacement, or agents of much-needed supply?

“Two things can be true: San Francisco’s crane count is almost half that of Seattle, and its affordability crisis is more severe. The average rent for a Golden Gate one-bedroom reached $3,700 this year, while in Seattle that figure is $2,130. [And] 78 percent of Seattle cranes were building mixed-use and residential projects in January, while in San Francisco, only 35 percent were involved in housing.

“RLB doesn’t factor affordability into their analysis, but most of the luxury housing being sold on the San Francisco market is part of existing housing stock, not new apartments, according to a 2017 analysis by the Urban Institute. At least some of this crane-related activity is easing, not exacerbating, the city’s housing crisis.

“The last count found cranes concentrated in South of Market (SOMA) and Portrero Hill, where multifamily projects have been rising. Construction was also active in Parnassus Heights, where UCSF’s Medical Center was growing.

“When the final count was released in July, North America’s overall crane count had jumped yet again, for the fourth consecutive year. But San Francisco’s count had again decreased, one of only three cities to see slumps. The decrease was probably due to the completion of two major projects, the new Chase Arena and the UCSF medical center.

“Counting tower cranes might not be the best way to track the real momentum of a city’s construction scene: Sorely needed missing-middle housing, like duplexes and fourplexes, don’t require the same construction gear. But for now, it’s the best RLB’s got.”

Read the full article here.

THIS ISSUE

THIS ISSUE

FEATURED ARTICLES: Meet a local planner — Leah Greenblat • Can a sports arena be a mixed-use, multiplex, urban park? • Reclaiming Downtown for People • WHERE IN THE WORLD • NORTHERN SECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: Get your AICP | CM credits for Ethics and Law • Nominations for Treasurer, APA California – Northern • State, federal funds awarded to California’s smaller jurisdictions • Emeryville’s Miroo Desai elected to APA California office • Who’s where • Sign up for mentoring • CPF wants YOU • Call for Nominations, East Bay Innovation Awards • About Northern News • PLANNING NEWS ROUNDUP, six articles excerpted and linked.

ABOUT NORTHERN NEWS

ABOUT NORTHERN NEWS

The American Planning Association, California Chapter – Northern, offers membership to city and regional planners and associated professionals primarily living or working in California, from and through Monterey County to the Oregon border, including the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and Lake and San Benito Counties. APA California Northern promotes planning-related continuing education and social functions in order to:

  • Provide a forum for communication and exchange of information about planning related activities;
  • Raise member awareness and involvement in APA affairs;
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of planning;
  • Encourage professionalism in the conduct of its members; and
  • Foster a sense of community among the members.

APA California Northern publishes Northern News 10 times each year for the exchange of planning ideas and information. Current and back issues are available for download here. Entirely the effort of volunteers, the News is written and produced by and for urban planners in northern California. Circulation (downloads per issue): 4,000.

To update your email address or other information, go to planning.org/myapa/ and login.

Northern News welcomes comments. Go here to contact the editors. Letters to the editor require the author’s first and last name, home or work street address and phone number (neither of which will be published), and professional affiliation or title (which will be published only with the author’s permission). All letters are subject to editing. Letters over 250 words are not considered.

Deadlines for submitting materials for inclusion in Northern News range from the 10th to the 23rd of the month prior to publication.

You can download the latest publication schedule here.

You may republish our articles, but please credit “Northern News, APA California – Northern.”

Northern News October 2019
Above photo of the San Francisco skyline, looking south from Tiburon, is by George Osner. "Meet a local planner" returns in this issue.

Northern News October 2019

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Where in the world?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section announcements

Get your AICP | CM credits for Ethics and Law

Get your mandatory “AICP CM” credits on Ethics and Planning Law via Northern Section’s webcast on APA’s “Ethics Case of the Year” Oct. 25, 2019, and a Planning Law webcast Nov. 15 on cannabis, SB 35, and streamlining statutes. BOTH FREE.

Nominations for Treasurer, APA California – Northern Section

The term of Treasurer, an elected APA California – Northern Section Board position, will end on December 31, 2019. A Nominations Committee is soliciting and will review applications. The Treasurer will serve a two-year term commencing January 1, 2020.

State, federal funds awarded to California’s smaller jurisdictions

14 California cities (four in Northern Section) got a total of $3.15 million in SB 2 planning grants, and CDBG funds totaling $21.7 million were awarded to 18 of California’s smaller cities and counties, including five in Northern Section.

Emeryville’s Miroo Desai elected to APA California office

This was the first election in which the new board position of Vice President for Diversity and Equity was on the ballot.

Who’s where

Diana Benitez is the new Planners4Health Coordinator, Northern Section. Izanie Love, Student Representative to the Northern Section Board from San Jose State University. Amy Lyle, new North Bay Regional Activity Coordinator (RAC). See their photos and brief bios.

SIGN UP FOR MENTORING

APA California – Northern is recruiting its 2019-2020 Mentorship Class, a career development initiative that offers one-on-one matching between young planners and experienced professionals who serve as mentors. JOIN BY OCTOBER 18, 2019.

The California Planning Foundation wants YOU

CPF is recruiting APA California members to run for elected CPF Board positions. Here’s the Schedule: Nominations Submittal Deadline, October 21, 2019. Slate Approval and Voting by Email Ballot, November 4 through December 2, 2019.

Call for Nominations, East Bay Innovation Awards

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance, serving Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, awards companies and organizations that contribute to the East Bay’s legacy of innovation. Now nominate for “Built Environment,” a category added for the 2020 awards.

ABOUT NORTHERN NEWS

We publish 10 times each year as a forum for the exchange of planning ideas and information. Entirely the effort of volunteers, Northern News is written and produced by and for urban planners in northern California.

Planning news roundup

What SF crane watch does and doesn’t tell us

By Sarah Holder, CityLab, September 24, 2019. “As dots on a map, all cranes may look the same. But their impact isn’t indiscriminate. Are they harbingers of displacement, or agents of much-needed supply?”

Bay Area employment tops 4.1 million jobs for first time

Excerpts from a Mercury News article by George Avalos, September 21, 2019. The Bay Area’s job market growth has outpaced the state and the nation. For the first time, the Bay Area has more than 4.1 million non-farm payroll jobs, and the newest jobs pay more.

Vancouver may be able to pull off ride-hailing as a complement to public transit

Excerpts from an article in CityLab by Laura Bliss, September 17, 2019. Fifty-three percent of Vancouverites manage to get to work by means other than driving. One thing is conspicuously missing from this urbanist dreamscape: ride-hailing: Uber tried but couldn’t get its way into Vancouver in 2012. But applications to operate a TNC in British Columbia opened on September 3, and B.C. transportation leaders are cautiously optimistic about being a last-adopter.

“Accept the Era of the Ministerial”

“Cities around California are beginning to feel tremendous pressure from the state to accommodate new housing rather than just plan for it. And there’s a growing feeling among planners around California that the cities they work for had better be more proactive on the housing issue so that the state doesn’t step in with even more onerous requirements.” —Bill Fulton, remarking on CP&DR about a panel at the recent APA California conference in Santa Barbara.

Less disruptive passenger pick-ups and drop-offs for ride-hail apps

Univ of Washington press release, Sept 5, 2019. Creating a designated space for passenger loading (PLZ) can discourage double-parking and reduce traffic conflicts, with geofencing used to increase driver compliance.

SB 330 has passed the California Legislature and is on the governor’s desk

The new law will spur development of affordable housing, limit fees on affordable housing, prohibit demolition of affordable and rent-controlled units unless they’re replaced, and give existing tenants first right of return. The bill was enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 pm on September 17th.

Main-Street Modern: How Columbus, Indiana, became a design capital

From an article by Kriston Capps, CityLab, with eight large color photos, Sept. 3, 2019. “Just 45 minutes south of Indianapolis, Columbus is in most respects a quaint Hoosier town brimming with main-street appeal. But in one vital way, it is unlike any other place in the country. It is a mecca for Modernism, a repository of mid-century architecture. As unlikely as it sounds, Columbus, Indiana, is a citadel of design.”

Bay Area employment tops 4.1 million jobs for first time

Excerpts from a Mercury News article by George Avalos, September 21, 2019

“The Bay Area added 5,100 [non-farm payroll] jobs during August. The upswing was led by the region’s three major employment hubs, the South Bay, East Bay, and San Francisco-San Mateo region, the state’s Employment Development Department reported. Mark Vitner, senior economist with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, said ‘The region continues to be on a roll because the tech sector is the fastest growing part of the economy.’

“The Bay Area’s job market growth has outpaced the state and the nation. Over the one-year period that ended in August, job totals grew by 2.5 percent in the Bay Area [even with job losses of 1,900 in Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties. That compares to a 1.4 percent gain nationally and 1.8 percent in California.]

“[This is] the first time, the Bay Area has had more than 4.1 million non-farm payroll jobs. The last time the nine-county region suffered a job loss was in October 2018, EDD statistics show.

“Plus, the types of jobs appearing in the South Bay and San Mateo regions are well-paying tech positions. It appears the tech sector has yet to cool off in the Bay Area, said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. ‘The job growth in these areas is fantastically positive in terms of income gains,’ Levy said. ‘They are information jobs, professional, scientific, and technical positions, tech jobs, categories that are higher-paying and faster-growing.’ ”

Read the full article here.