Author: Tom Holub

Northern News March 2021

Northern News March 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, views, and announcements

Planning news roundup

“11 Black urbanists every planner should know”

By Pete Saunders, Planning Magazine, Winter 2021. This roundup selects just four of the eleven described in the article.

What happens when SF’s largest employer goes ‘work from anywhere’

By Laura Bliss and Sarah Holder, Bloomberg CityLab, February 12, 2021. After so much baggage attached to Salesforce’s urban footprint, it now faces a potentially emptier future.

The Californians are coming. So is their housing crisis.

By Conor Dougherty, The New York Times, February 12, 2021. For those tethered to the local economy, the influx of wealthier outsiders pushes housing costs further out of reach.

New proposed bill sets ambitious offshore wind farm target

By Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, February 11, 2021. Humboldt County is one of the most likely locations for the first big wind farms to be phased in under the bill.

Analysis: Strategies to lower cost and speed permanent supportive housing production

From UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, February 9, 2021. Four factors led to cost and time savings on the 833 Bryant Street development compared to similar projects.

YIMBYs sue for even more housing via RHNA

By Benjamin Schneider, SF Weekly, February 4, 2021. Pro-housing activists accuse the state of underestimating the Bay Area’s housing allocation target.

A Sunnyvale Toyota dealership is turning its car lot into apartments

By Nate Berg, Fast Company, February 3, 2021. The proposal converts the lot and the space above the dealership into mixed-use.

How the federal government could help kill highways

By Max Reyes, Bloomberg CityLab, February 1, 2021. A new bill proposes funding for highway removal or alternation.

Berkeley overhauls off-street parking

By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, January 27, 2021. Most new housing projects in Berkeley will no longer have to build off-street parking.

Mill Valley resolution would oppose state housing mandates

By Lorenzo Morotti, Marin Independent Journal, January 27, 2021. The resolution addresses both local control preemption and RHNA targets.

How SB 35 and AB 1763 pushed through a Marin County affordable housing project

By William Fulton, CP&DR, Feb 8, 2021. Using SB 35, the developer could build twice as many units in a building twice as tall as would otherwise be permitted.

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Support the planners of tomorrow

Support the planners of tomorrow

In spite of all the craziness and losses in 2020, I’m so grateful for my family, good friends, and for my job as the City of San Jose’s Small Business Ally, which has allowed me to work from home to continue to serve my community — in particular minority, new immigrant, and vulnerable population small businesses that have been hit so hard by the ongoing pandemic. I’m also grateful to be able to give back to my profession by serving as the California Planning Foundation (CPF) President, whereby with our ongoing fundraising campaign goal of raising $20K in 2020 and with your help, CPF will ensure there are student scholarships next year and beyond, to help diverse planning students with financial need from across the state that, without a doubt in my mind, will truly be California’s next generation of planning leaders!  Please help us reach our 2020 CPF Scholarship Fundraising goal by making a tax-deductible donation securely online.

We also have an anonymous donor that will match dollar-for-dollar all donations received in 2020 up to $20K, so especially now and more than ever during this ongoing season of gratitude and positivity, your donations will make a tremendous difference in the lives of California’s planning students!  To learn more about CPF, please visit www.californiaplanningfoundation.org.

Northern News October 2020

Northern News October 2020

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?

Three from the water; tap for the answer

Northern Section news, views, and announcements

Planning news roundup

The West’s wildfires collide with its housing crisis

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, Sept. 18, 2020. Oregon was short 155,000 homes before fires destroyed thousands more, including one county’s most affordable.

New research: Success for Santa Clara County homeless housing program

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, Sept. 17, 2020. Results of the study are significant because this type of program has rarely been studied using a control group.

State housing mandate doubles Bay Area production target

By Susan Steimle, CBS SF Bay Area, September 10, 2020. The new RHNA numbers are out and they’re higher than ever before.

Orange skies across California as wildfire smoke blankets state

By Lori A. Carter, The Press Democrat, Sept. 9, 2020. The ‘creepy, eerie’ sky colors seen Wednesday were caused by particles in the smoke that scattered blue light.

$1B development would bring 850 housing units to SF waterfront

By Joshua Sabatini, The San Francisco Examiner September 8, 2020. The proposal creatively redevelops the site, using the state’s density bonus to achieve viability.

Google village: Legislative flop impacts downtown San Jose project

By George Avalos, The Mercury News, Sept. 4, 2020. To get streamlined review, the project would need the governor’s certification or a special legislative session.

Housing solutions fizzle in legislature

By Ethan Elkind, September 3, 2020. Housing policy impacts all of our major societal problems: racial injustice, segregation, greenhouse gas emissions, economic inequality.

NACTO: Despite pandemic, micromobility is here to stay

By Chris Teale, SmartCities Dive, September 2, 2020. Shared bikes and e-scooters saw 136 million trips in 2019, up 60% from 2018.

San Jose passes new fees for funding affordable housing

By Maggie Angst, Bay Area News Group, September 2, 2020. New commercial linkage fees give the city another affordable housing funding stream.

Lafayette’s controversial ‘Terraces’ apartments approved

By Sam Richards, Bay City News Foundation, August 25, 2020. The 315-unit project epitomizes the regional debate about where and how housing is developed.

Decades of racist housing policy left neighborhoods sweltering

By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, The New York Times, August 24, 2020. Research shows formerly redlined urban areas experience higher summer temperatures.

Northern Section Holiday Party, November 22

Don’t miss out on the annual Northern Section Holiday Party at the festive La Peña Cultural Center, a Berkeley icon since 1975. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere among your friends and colleagues, with delicious food and drinks from Los Cilantros, and live music from the Wasska Project

For tickets, please register here and join us for a fun evening of laughter and good cheer! 

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Northern Section Holiday Party is a great opportunity to spread cheer and raise money for the California Planning Foundation student scholarship fund. Please help by donating items for the raffle, such as gift baskets, gift certificates, artwork, or anything that planners may enjoy. We have also added more options to make donating even easier!

Sponsorship level

Benefits

Silver ($100+)

  • Recognition in the promotional materials
  • 1 raffle prize created on behalf of your business
  • 1 ticket to the event & 2 raffle tickets

Gold ($200+)

  • Recognition in the promotional materials
  • 2 raffle prizes created on behalf of your business
  • 2 tickets to the event & 4 raffle tickets

Platinum ($300+)

  • Recognition in the promotional materials
  • 3 raffle prizes created on behalf of your business, OR
  • Sponsorship of live music, OR
  • Sponsorship of the hosted bar
  • 2 tickets to the event & 4 raffle tickets

We are happy to accept any contribution large or small. Please commit donations by Friday, November 15 so all sponsors can be recognized on promotional materials. Cash donations (and event ticket purchases) can be made using the event registration page.

Gift donations can be sent to a board member or brought directly to the event. For questions or to volunteer please contact Della Acosta at universityliason@norcalapa.org. For auction details and sponsorship opportunities please contact Libby Tyler at ethics@norcalapa.org.

Thanks to our sponsors!

Platinum level

Gold level

Silver level

APA Northern California – Awards Gala Sponsorship Request

APA Northern California – Awards Gala Sponsorship Request

On June 7th, 2019 the American Planning Association of Northern California will host its annual Awards Gala at the Starline Lounge (2236 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Oakland). Join us to honor innovative plans, projects, and distinguished APA members, and meet and mingle with Northern Section planners. As in the years past we expect over 100 participants.

We want to invite you to participate as one of our sponsors. We have three new revamped sponsorship levels. Choose one and show your support for great planning!

Sponsorship Perks

Gold Level ($1000)

  • 6 tickets to the Gala Awards Ceremony
  • Tabletop near registration for displaying promotional materials
  • Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
  • Special Recognition as a Gold Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website
  • Special Recognition as a Gold Level Sponsor printed on the event program

Silver Level ($750)

  • 4 tickets to the Gala Awards Ceremony
  • Tabletop near registration for displaying promotional materials
  • Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
  • Special Recognition as a Silver Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website
  • Special Recognition as a Silver Level Sponsor printed on the event program

Bronze Level ($500)

  • 2 ticket to the Gala Awards Ceremony
  • Thank You by Section Director at start and close of ceremony
  • Special Recognition as a Sponsor printed on the event program
  • Special Recognition as a Bronze Level Event Sponsor in 1 issue of the Northern News and on the Section’s Website

We are happy to accept any contribution large or small. Please commit donations by Wednesday May 29th, so all sponsors can be recognized on promotional materials. Donate or purchase additional event tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-apa-california-northern-awards-tickets-60341420814

To donate via check please email Florentina.craciun@aecom.com.

If you have any questions about the sponsorship or event, please contact our Awards Co-Director, Florentina Craciun, at Florentina.craciun@aecom.com.

Thank you in advance for your time and generosity. We look forward to hearing from you, and hope to see you at the Starline Lounge on June 7th!

Sincerely,

Florentina Craciun, AICP & Carmela Campbell, AICP Awards Co-Directors

Exploring Oakland by bike
Phoenix discussing Cycles of Change and the Oakland bike plan. The author is in the center (in shorts). Photo: Sarah Iannarone

Exploring Oakland by bike

By Tom Holub, May 3, 2019 

I love how cycling changes my experience of moving through the city, and I love sharing that experience with others, which is why I’ve been organizing and leading urban geography rides for Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland (WOBO). Stories of urban investment and disinvestment, advantage and disadvantage, come to light as you ride through the neighborhoods.

WOBO recently gave me the opportunity to lead a group of officials and planners from Portland, OR, who were in town to meet with local groups to learn about best practices in the Bay Area. Right up my alley. They had requested a mobility tour, so we planned to do one loop on Ford GoBikes, and another on Lime scooters. With help from Kerby Olsen — City of Oakland, Department of Transportation (OakDOT) — and Chris Hwang of WOBO, we obtained discounted passes, and headed into the city.

Oakland really showed up for the day. On the way to the starting point, I saw Fantastic Negrito being filmed in front of the Paramount, and there was an International Worker’s Day protest in Frank Ogawa Plaza (photo below).

May Day ILWU protest on Broadway in OaklandSarah Iannarone (Portland State University), the Portland group’s organizer, also practices urban field geography. She appreciated the itinerary I’d prepared, which focused on the challenges of planning in a deeply unequal city like Oakland.

A number of folks from OakDOT came along, including Lily Brown (head of the bike plan process), Hank Pham, Ahmed Ali Bob, David Pene, and Mikaela Hiatt. We started by talking about the bike plan. Phoenix Mangrum (Cycles of Change) contributed his generally positive impressions of how the bike plan had allowed his organization to provide leadership in their community engagement. Then we headed off along Telegraph and into West Oakland.

Phoenix Mangrum discussing Cycles of Change and the Oakland bike plan. The author is in the center (in shorts). Photo: Sarah Iannarone @sarahforpdx

The idea of an urban geography tour is to help participants gain greater understanding of the city. Planning issues become more visible when observed at human speeds. This tour began by riding on Oakland’s first protected bike lanes through the energetic Uptown district, then into the less affluent West Oakland neighborhoods on the other side of the freeway. Along the way, we observed the Tuff Shed Shelter village at 27th and Northgate, the Paint the Town mural at the California Hotel, the abandoned but still dramatic 16th Street Station, and the Mandela Parkway “linear park” that replaced the former alignment of Interstate 880 and the Cypress Structure which collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

At each stop, we discussed people’s observations of the neighborhoods we had ridden through, and I provided a talk about the location — illustrated by handouts highlighting its history — and current planning issues. For example, the poster below discusses how the California Hotel once sat at an important transportation hub, but became isolated by freeway development. The street mural project there addresses a significant safety issue at what had been a very long crosswalk, with art honoring the site’s history as a venue for Black musicians and travelers.

Poster presenting the history of the California Hotel, and the recent Paint the Town mural project there

When we stopped adjacent to the 980 freeway and some of the West Oakland federal housing projects, I talked about how the neighborhood had been disadvantaged by infrastructure and urban renewal projects. Oakland has floated a proposal to remove 980, but I challenged the planners to consider this: If  980 goes, how can we ensure that its removal will benefit the disadvantaged community?

The author pointing out our location on a map of historical redlining
Pointing out our location on the Oakland redlining map. Photo: Sarah Iannarone @sarahforpdx

We were running late, mostly because “new mobility” services aren’t designed for  large groups. So by the time we got on the scooters, we were down to a handful who had a good time scooting around Lake Merritt, passing both a serious-looking scooter crash on Broadway, and a serious Gig car-share crash on Grand. Then two of our scooters quit and we doubled up for a while. The lake was beautiful, and we returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza without further incident.

As an introduction to new mobility, the tour was real. The logistical and technical issues, and vendors’ tendencies to avoid dealing with those, are a real part of the mobility landscape.

If you are looking for experiential learning about the city, highlighted by real-world locations, illustrated by data and history, and a perspective rooted in social justice, please contact me.