Category: News

San Leandro Sets Higher-Density Future for Bay Fair BART Station Area
Bay Fair Connections diagram. Credit City of San Leandro/Raimi + Associates

San Leandro Sets Higher-Density Future for Bay Fair BART Station Area

Lars Halle and Tom Liao

Concluding a two-year public planning process with workshops and a 21-person Community Advisory Committee, the San Leandro city council in February adopted the 154-acre Bay Fair Transit-Oriented Development Specific Plan.

The plan is the community’s long-term vision for a vibrant and sustainable, higher density, mixed-use “transit village” in proximity to the Bay Fair BART station. It provides a new future for nearby local shopping centers and the 816,755-square-foot Bayfair regional shopping center. The plan covers allowable land uses, market-rate and affordable housing, anti-displacement measures, and multi-modal street improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and infrastructure, and it includes standards, guidelines, and zoning recommendations for future development.

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SF Teens Bring Home National APA Gold
High-schoolers Charlie Millenbah, Milo Wetherall, and Zelda Zivny are shown receiving an Award of Excellence for StreetAir from APA California–Northern Section, June 2, 2017.

SF Teens Bring Home National APA Gold

Four northern California submittals receive ‘achievement awards’ at national conference

From APA

When three high school students noticed an increase in traffic near a popular San Francisco parklet in 2014, they founded Street Air, a study of the street’s design and air pollution measurements, to determine the busy thoroughfare’s effects on nearby pedestrians. Now in its third year, the project has grown into a broad-scale investigation of street-level pollution, complete with an award-winning five-minute film made by the students — Charlie Millenbah, Milo Wetherall, and Zelda Zivny — and a list of recommendations all cities can implement to protect public spaces near roads from pollution. The students are now collaborating with city planning staff on a redesign of the original subject of their experiment, Columbus Avenue.

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Northern News – June 2018
Photo by Denise Pinkston

Northern News – June 2018

HOUSING

Reverse BANANA: Build all Kinds of Housing Almost Everywhere

Naphtali Knox, FAICP, interviews Denise Pinkston, MCRP. We need that “missing middle,” from ADUs to fourplexes. If a third of the Bay Area’s existing single-family homes each added one unit over the next decade, we would add half-a-million homes with no visible disruption to our communities. Page 1. (For those who haven’t run across it yet, BANANA goes a step beyond NIMBY to “Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.”)

Nonprofit Takes Bay Area Cities to Court

Bill Chapin. The California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA) has been racking up legal victories, forcing Bay Area cities to reverse course and approve new housing. Page 4

The Evolution and Application of a CEQA Exemption

Stephen Velyvis. Any parking and aesthetic impacts of transit-oriented infill projects located within transit priority areas cannot be considered significant environmental impacts and are thus exempt from CEQA. But there’s a history to that. Page 8

The Very Best

Announcing the 2018 Northern Section Award Winners. Page 12

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Meet a Local Planner

Michael Smith, AICP, is senior planner at the City of San Bruno Community Development Department. He volunteers as a member of his neighborhood design review board.

Tell us where you live, work, and attended school.

I live in San Francisco with my family and work for the City of San Bruno. I earned a master of city and regional planning at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a bachelor of arts in English from Chico State.

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Who’s Where – May 2018

Beth Altshuler has been appointed Chair of Northern Section’s committee on Planners4Health. She is a Senior Associate and Public Health Planning Specialist at Raimi + Associates where she has worked since 2010. Before that, she was a project associate at MIG, Inc., and the program designer and director for a pilot youth employment program through the San Francisco Department of Public Works. As committee chair, she will continue the work of last year’s Planners4Health Initiative to support planners in creating healthier and more equitable communities. The new committee will expand this work with programing and resources focused on Health and Environmental Justice Elements, Health in All Policies, and partnerships with community groups and public health professionals. Altshuler holds master’s degrees in both city planning and public health from UC Berkeley and a BA in sociology from Cornell University.

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Enter Now to Compete for a State Planning Award

Submit your outstanding project, program, plan, or person for this year’s APA California Planning Awards. Nominations are due by Noon on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. NOTE: Some nominations require a win at the Section level to be eligible for a Chapter award.

Refer to the APA California Chapter Awards Program Policy for more information or go directly to application form.

For questions, contact the Awards Program Coordinator (North) Chris Pahule.

If you are nominating for a Landmark or Pioneer Award, please contact your Chapter Historian (North), Larry Mintier, FAICP.

Judith McManus Price Scholarship Available for Women and Minorities

From APA

Deadline June 1

Judith McManus Price, a planner for more than 30 years before her death in 2001, was an exceptional woman with extraordinary talents that she freely shared, not only with her family and friends, but also with her community, her colleagues, and her profession. She served the public sector in a variety of planning positions, facing challenges with strength and optimism — her trademark. Her husband, Thomas Price, continues her gift of sharing with a generous endowment to the Judith McManus Price Scholarship to help women and minority students enter the field of planning.

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Demand a Fair and Accurate Census

APA InterACT, April 11, 2018

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently decided to include a new and untested citizenship question in the 2020 Census. Experts on both sides of the aisle have opposed the decision, as have APA and other organizations.

APA President Cynthia Bowen, AICP, recently wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and expressed our belief that adding the citizenship question threatens planners’ ability to help citizens and policy makers in marginalized communities make choices necessary to address their biggest challenges: jobs, education, economic development, affordable housing, and poverty. Her letter urged the Secretary to reverse a decision that potentially undermines a full, fair, and comprehensive count.

“Not fully understanding the realities about where people actually live does not change that reality. It only undermines the ability of local leaders to make thoughtful, informed decisions,” wrote Ms. Bowen.

Please join APA and the Planners’ Advocacy Network in advocating for access to high-quality data.

Urge your representatives to safeguard the 2020 Census so planners and policy makers have the data they need to make well-informed local decisions; complete APA’s online form.

Northern News – May 2018

Northern News – May 2018

APA NATIONAL’S GOLD ACHIEVEMENT AWARD GOES TO SF TEENS. Marin County, San Francisco, and San Jose also received achievement awards at the APA national conference in New Orleans, April 23rd. Page 1

SUCCESSFUL MARCH 29 SUMMIT ON LIVABLE COMMUNITIES FOR ALL AGES. Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP. Northern Section collaborated with AARP to plan and host the Summit on March 29 as part of the annual ASA conference. The three-hour event put urban planners in contact with professionals in health and aging. Of 216 who attended, 50 were urban planners. Page 5

HIGHER-DENSITY FUTURE FOR BAY FAIR BART STATION AREA. Lars Halle and Tom Liao. San Leandro adopted a Specific Plan that will make Bay Fair a prominent local and regional destination with an enhanced pedestrian experience. Page 8

MEET A LOCAL PLANNER. Catarina Kidd, AICP, interviews Michael Smith, AICP. Page 10

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Read as a virtual magazine.