Tag: 2021-09-nn-norcal

HUD report on housing affordability in high-cost, high-productivity metros

HUD report on housing affordability in high-cost, high-productivity metros

The June 2021 report, “New Housing in High-Productivity Metropolitan Areas: Encouraging Production,” responds “to requests in committee reports accompanying the FY 2019 and FY 2020 annual federal appropriations, that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1) identify metropolitan areas with high housing costs and low [housing] production, and (2) recommend best practices for localities and states to help encourage the production of new housing in high-cost metropolitan areas.”

“HUD was asked to look beyond high-cost jurisdictions to high-productivity jurisdictions — places where a high value of goods and services is produced in relation to the number of jobs. (The term is not used in this report to refer to the creation of housing units.)”

The 31-page report sees the dearth of new affordable housing in high cost, high productivity areas as having “a negative impact on the nation’s economic output.”

It “identifies metropolitan areas with high housing costs … and high productivity. It then identifies strategies that can be used across a wide range of state and local jurisdictions to increase housing production to better enable households of all income levels to access high-productivity areas.”

The report notes, “California, which has the greatest number of high-cost jurisdictions, has enacted scores of legislative actions to address its housing needs, but continues to be unable to produce enough units to satisfy the demand.”

“Exhibit 1 provides a list of the 25 metropolitan areas with the highest price-to-income ratios. Metropolitan areas in California dominate the list.” Those in the region of APA California Northern Section include, ranked according to highest ratio of median home value to median household income, 2015-2019:

  • 1   Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
  • 3  San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  • 4  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • 9  Santa Rosa, CA
  • 10 Salinas, CA
  • 11 Napa, CA

Four of the “10 most expensive metropolitan areas based on housing wage, 2020,” are in Northern Section:

  • 1  San Francisco, CA
  • 2  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • 3  Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
  • 6  Oakland-Fremont, CA

“The different measures of calculating unaffordability tell a consistent story,” the report notes. “Five metropolitan areas show up across the rankings: Honolulu, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz-Watsonville, and Santa Maria-Santa Barbara.”

“Six metropolitan areas are identified consistently as high productivity”— places where a high value of goods and services is produced in relation to the number of jobs: “Austin, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. Nine metropolitan areas appear as both high-productivity and high-cost places: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA; Stamford, CT; Boston, MA; New York-Jersey City; Bend and Grants Pass, OR; and Seattle, WA.”

Section 4 of the report looks at “solutions to explore,” including financing, tax policy, and infrastructure financing.

Download the full report here.

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Planning news from the Redwood Coast region

Planning news from the Redwood Coast region

By Stephen Avis, AICP, Redwood Coast RAC

The far northern region of our Northern Section recently hosted three Zoom workshops as part of a longstanding Brown Bag Lecture Series.

An Economic Recovery Plan for Crescent City was the subject of the first lecture, July 13th. Crescent City (population of 6,676 in the 2020 census, down from 7,643 in 2010) is the only incorporated city in Del Norte County. The city is still suffering from the effects of the tsunami caused by the Good Friday earthquake off Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964 and the subsequent collapse of the fishing and logging industries.

The rebuilding of downtown following the tsunami was accomplished quickly with grant funding. Decades-old buildings on the city’s traditional street grid were replaced by structures typical of a small strip mall. These will be revitalized for the 21st century. Rob Holmlund, AICP, of Planwest Parents was the speaker. You can reach him at robh@planwestpartners.com.

[Ed. note: This issue features a separate article about the City’s economic development plan, “Crescent City’s ‘economic cookbook.’]

On August 10th, a second workshop reviewed Humboldt County’s Climate Action Plan. Populated areas of the County are clustered along Humboldt Bay, the Eel River, the Pacific Ocean, or in inland areas where wildfires are becoming more prevalent. Connor McGuigan, planner at Humboldt County presented. It’s anticipated the plan will come before the County Board of Supervisors for adoption early in 2022. You can reach Connor at cmcguigan1@co.humboldt.ca.us.

Together with AEP San Francisco, we held a webinar on September 14th to address affordable housing in terms of successfully integrating multifamily housing units as infill in single-family neighborhoods. Titled “The Missing Middle,” this approach uses traditional housing designs of the 1920s and 1930s that are low in scale and which can increase density gracefully. Tony Perez of Opticos Design (Berkeley) presented.

Return to Northern News here.

Opportunities to preserve housing, increase production

Opportunities to preserve housing, increase production

By Pamela Blumenthal and Regina Gray, in PD&R Edge, HUD USER, September 7, 2021

[Ed. note: The following is only a small segment of a Sept. 7, 2021, article from HUD USER discussing the impact of regulatory barriers on housing affordability.]

HUD published a report in January 2021 that highlights [in Section 5 the] actions state and local governments are taking to reduce barriers that are limiting housing production and preservation. These activities range from state tax policies and incentives to encourage local action to local zoning changes, process improvements, and community engagement reforms. These efforts are not limited to jurisdictions often in the headlines, such as Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and California; they are appearing in communities nationwide.

  • Utah updated its General Plan requirements for counties and municipalities to include a moderate-income housing plan element to meet the needs of people of various income levels living, working, or desiring to live or work in the community. Among other requirements, the updated plan mandates jurisdictions adopt at least 3 of 23 recommended strategies.
  • California and Washington have preempted local prohibitions on accessory dwelling units. Other jurisdictions are adopting regulations to allow duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes to be built through by-right zoning.
  • Arkansas prohibits counties from regulating residential building design elements, which include the exterior building color; the type or style of exterior cladding material; the style or materials of roof structures, roof pitches, or porches; the minimum square footage of a structure; and other architectural components.
  • Texas and North Carolina require local jurisdictions to review permit applications within specified time periods, or “shot clocks,” to reduce the time for development approvals.
  • In Maricopa County, Arizona, municipalities formed the Regional Plan Review Group, adopting identical building codes and plan review checklists to simplify development in the region.
  • In Dover, New Hampshire, city officials adopted a plan for context sensitive zoning and implemented a streamlined application and review process to reduce procedural delays and complexity.
  • Boulder, Colorado, built a more inclusive, transparent, collaborative, and interactive community engagement strategy to develop its next-generation housing strategy, which will define community priorities for the expansion and preservation of diverse affordable housing choices.
  • Buffalo, New York, eliminated all parking minimums in its Unified Development Ordinance.

Additional state and local activities to increase housing production are highlighted in a June 2021 report to Congress.

Pamela Blumenthal is a Social Science Analyst at HUD. Regina Gray is Director, Affordable Housing Research & Technology, Policy Development & Research, HUD.

Read the full article here.

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Who’s where

Who’s where

 

Assembled by Hazel Choi, associate editor.

Governor Gavin New­som has ap­pointed Samuel Assefa as Director of the Gover­nor’s Of­fice of Plan­ning and Re­search. Assefa has been Director of the Seattle Office of Planning and Com­munity Development since 2016. He was senior urban designer for the Depart­ment of Community Planning and Sustainability for the City of Boulder (2010-2016), director of land use and planning policy for the Depart­ment of Planning and Development and deputy chief of staff for economic and physical development for the Chicago Mayor’s Office (2004-2010), senior urban designer for SmithGroup JJR (2002-2004), director of special projects for the San Francisco Department of Planning and Development (1999-2002), and senior urban designer for SMWM Architecture and Planning (1993-1999). He holds a master of city planning from MIT and a bachelor of architecture from the University of Illinois, Chicago. 

Zachary Dahl, AICP, joined the City of San Mateo as their Deputy Director of Com­munity De­velop­ment this past June. His role in­cludes taking over as the lead on the City’s 2040 General Plan Update and overseeing planning operations. Before joining the city, Dahl was planning and building director for the Town of Los Altos Hills. His prior experience also includes planning manager, City of Los Altos, and land use and environmental consultant in the Monterey Bay Area. Dahl holds a bachelor’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo. He lives in Redwood City with his wife and two sons.  

Richard Davis, AICP Candi­date, is now an Assistant Trans­porta­tion Con­sultant for Steer Group in their Los Angeles office. He was pre­viously a sur­vey re­searcher for UC Berkeley’s Trans­porta­tion Sus­tain­ability Re­search Center and a graduate research assistant at Mineta Transportation Institute. Davis has a master’s degree in urban planning from San Jose State University and a BA in screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University. Since January 2020, he has served Northern Section as an associate editor of APA California Northern News.

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Congrat­u­la­tions to Miroo Desai, AICP, who has been e­lected AICP Com­mis­sioner for Re­gion 6 (Cali­fornia and Nevada) for 2022 and 2023. Ac­cording to APA, “The AICP Commission determines all matters of qualification, experience, and certification for professional planners and for membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners. A key attribute of Commissioners is an understanding of the value of the AICP credential and the work of the Institute.” Desai has been a member of the APA California and Northern Section Boards for more than 10 years, beginning in 2010 (and until 2018) as Northern Section’s Diversity Director. She is APA California’s Vice President for Diversity and Equity (2019- present) and was APA California’s Membership Inclusion Director from 2013-2018. Desai is senior planner for the City of Emeryville, California. You can read her APA election biographical and position statements here. 

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Adam Foster (shown with his daugh­ter) is now For­ward Plan­ner with D. R. Horton. Previous­ly, he was with the City of Orinda, most re­cent­ly as a senior plan­ner, 2019-2021. Before that, Foster was an associate planner with Michael Baker International. He also worked for the City of Lafayette as a code en­force­ment/as­sis­tant plan­ner, 2014-2017. Foster holds a BS in environmental policy analysis and planning from UC Davis. 

 

 

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Eric Luchini was re­cent­ly pro­moted from as­soci­ate plan­ner to Senior Plan­ner at the City of Pleas­anton where he has worked since 2013. He was hous­ing ser­vices project coordinator with the City of Vacaville, 2005-2013. Before that, Luchini worked for the City of Concord as an associate planner for three years. He has a bachelor’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly–Pomona. 

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Julia Kopp­man Norton was re­cent­ly pro­­moted to Dis­trict Super­visor with the North Cen­tral Coast District Of­fice at the Cali­fornia Coastal Com­mission where she has worked as Coastal Program Analyst since 2019. Before joining the Commission, Koppman Norton worked for the City of Lafayette, most recently as an assistant planner, 2015-2017. She has a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Columbia University and a BA in urban studies/affairs from UC Berkeley. 

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Robby Miller has joined Good City Com­pany as an As­sistant Plan­ner for Penin­sula clients. Be­fore join­ing the firm, he was a plan­ner for the City of Stock­ton. Before that, Miller interned with the City of Gilroy’s Planning Division. He holds a master of urban planning and a certificate in environmental planning from San Jose State University. Miller is a Peninsula native but has also lived in Virginia, Oregon, and Colorado. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball, dancing, disc golf, and mountain biking.

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Diego Mora is now an Assistant Planner with the City of Pleas­anton. Pre­viously, he worked for the Town of Los Gatos as an as­sis­tant plan­ner, 2019-2021, and for the City of San Jose, most re­cent­ly as Plan­ner I, 2018-2019. He has a master’s degree in urban planning from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies/public health from Santa Clara University.

 

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Andrea Ouse, AICP, re­cent­ly elected Pres­ident-elect of APA Cali­fornia for 2022-2023, is now Com­munity Develop­ment Di­rector for the City of West Sacra­mento. Ouse had been director of com­munity and economic develop­ment for the City of Concord (2017-2021) and community and economic development director for the City of Vallejo (2012-2017). She holds a masters degree in public administration from California State University–East Bay and a bachelor’s in city and regional planning from Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo. Ouse was APA California–Northern Section Director in 2015 and 2016 and is an emeritus member of the California Planning Roundtable. You can read more about her in Northern News, January/February 2017, page 7, “Meet a local planner, and her August 2020 article in Northern News, Inflection point: What we do when significant change occurs.

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Benjamin (Ben) Ulrey is now an intern with the City of Concord. He pre­vious­ly re­searched eq­ui­ta­ble cli­mate change policies for the San Francisco Bay Con­serva­tion and Develop­ment Com­mission (Bay Adapt) and separately researched the Slow Streets program for Oakland’s Department of Transportation. Ulrey worked for the Alameda County Complete Count Committee as a communications Coordinator on Census 2020 outreach and community engagement. He recently received his master’s in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and holds bachelor’s degrees in international security and conflict resolution and French from San Diego State University. 

Return to Northern News here.

LETTERS

LETTERS

I just want to let you know that I really appreciate this [Planning] news roundup. You and your team do a great job!

Andrew Trippel, AICP, City of Santa Rosa

 

Great newsletter!

Geoff Bradley, AICP, M-Group

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First East Bay RAC in-person event since Covid

First East Bay RAC in-person event since Covid

By Sarah Allen, AICP

It was just a happy-hour gathering at Arthur Mac’s in Oakland on June 24th, but it was clear that planners were not only thirsty for beer but also to socialize once again. A mix of recent grads and mid-level and veteran planners in both the private and public sectors — a total of 17 people — attended over the course of the evening. It was a lovely outdoor event on a covered patio. We plan on hosting another social event in September and October.

Return to Northern News here.

APA/SPUR Series, Oct and Nov, free to APA members

APA/SPUR Series, Oct and Nov, free to APA members

AICP CM credits are approved and available for all six programs.

APA and SPUR are collaborating on a continuing series of free online events. Event registration is at www.spur.org. APA members will have free access to the events by using APAFALL at checkout. For questions and further information, contact publicprograms@spur.org or call (415) 781-8726.

October

By the year 2100, the sea level around the Bay Area is projected to rise by nearly seven feet. New research from the Stanford Natural Capital Project illustrates that traditional methods to keep flooding out of a community, such as sea wall construction, can actually do more harm than good by inundating other parts of the Bay Area, causing ecological destruction and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. As a result, it is increasingly important for communities to work together, rather than individually, in their approaches to this looming threat. What other options are there to protect the Bay Area as a whole? Join the authors and researchers to learn how nontraditional-based approaches to combating sea-level rise, like strategic flooding plans, can divert floods to overflow zones that absorb increased water and avoid damage to communities.

Wildfires have long been a natural part of the California landscape, but “fire season” (a phrase that only recently entered the general lexicon of most Californians) continues to expand, beginning earlier and ending later with each passing year. As of late August, a total of 6,714 fires had been recorded in 2021 alone, burning nearly 1.65 million acres and damaging or destroying more than 2,000 structures. What will it take to restrain this relentless assault on our state’s land and air? Join us for a conversation with Jessica Morse, the California Natural Resources Agency’s Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management, to hear about the State’s plans for addressing this intractable challenge and the difficult choices that California will have to make in the future.

Single-use zoning is the most widespread form of zoning found across the United States. While it might prevent a tannery from opening next door to your home, the odds are good that it also prevents a duplex from doing the same thing. The simple fact is that zoning, at least in its most recognizable form, is an antiquated tool that does more harm than good. Poorly designed zoning and other land use regulations increase home prices, reduce housing availability, promote segregation, lengthen commutes, and restrict transportation choices. With the movement to eliminate single-family-exclusive zoning gaining steam around the country — here in California, two bills that permit multiple homes on single-family-zoned lots were recently ratified into law — the opportunity is ripe to reimagine zoning entirely. Participate in a conversation about the need for widespread zoning reform, what could replace zoning as we know it, and how it could advance real change in our neighborhoods.

November

As the housing crisis worsens throughout the Bay Area, legislators and policymakers from across the region are looking for varying ways to boost housing production to alleviate California’s increasing level of unaffordability. Join us as we discuss how leaders in the Bay Area can develop an ecosystem of missing-middle housing production that has been missing for decades.

In July, SPUR hosted a conversation with the MTC and local developers about the prime opportunities that exist for more successful and equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) throughout the Bay Area — locations that could house thousands of jobs and residents in communities around existing transit. Four months later, the agency has developed new preliminary policy proposals for its updated TOD plan, drawing on rigorous analysis and years of research into best practices. Join us to learn what MTC is proposing, share your questions and concerns, and help push the region towards more achievable transit-oriented development.

  • Tuesday, November 30, 12:30 to 1:30. Can Overlay Zones Help the Bay Area’s Housing Shortage? presented by Terry Taplin (Berkeley City Council), Jesse Kanson-Benanav (Abundant Housing Massachusetts), Darrell Owens (East Bay for Everyone), and Sarah Karlinsky (SPUR). 1 AICP CM credit available.

As the housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area continues unabated, elected leaders across the region are exploring myriad options for their jurisdictions to build the number of homes mandated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). One of the innovative methods for achieving these housing goals being explored is the creation and application of overlay zones, at which Berkeley is serving as a regional model. Come hear how overlay zoning is working there, the success seen in Massachusetts, and why such zoning might be the best tool for addressing the state’s expanding housing crisis.

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Get your Accessory Dwelling Unit calculator, free

Get your Accessory Dwelling Unit calculator, free

By Joshua Abrams, September 21, 2021

Thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, cities and counties now have free access to an Accessory Dwelling Unit calculator originally designed for San Mateo County.

See a version in action here.

See a video with more information here.

Sign up or express interest here.

You can email or contact abrams@bdplanning.com or 510.761.6001 or sign up for one-on-one office hours here.

Joshua Abrams is Principal at Baird and Driskell Community Planning. He holds a master’s in city/urban, community and regional planning from Cornell University and a BA in biology/environmental studies from Carleton College.

Return to Northern News here.

Seeking Northern News editors

Seeking Northern News editors

By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, editor

Northern News needs editors. This publication has been a staple for northern California planners for 60 years. It matured from a printed, mailed newsletter to an online PDF to a digital online magazine. Along the way it grew in content, quality, and readership, and now has more than 3,000 readers per issue.

The editors determine newsletter content, length, and appearance. Our current associate editors are graduating, and after 16 years as editor-in-chief, I’m looking to ease up. Are you up for either of these roles?

As a Northern News editor, you are either learning on the job or giving back to your profession. There are discrete tasks to complete, but if you are organized, have a good command of English grammar, and can spend time on the newsletter 10 times per year, you’re a candidate for an editor.

Please email your interest, your degree of availability, and a brief mention of relevant background or skills to our Section Director-elect, Michael Cass, at directorelect@norcalapa.org, with a copy to me at news@norcalapa.org.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Return to Northern News here.

International planning finds a way

International planning finds a way

By Hing Wong, AICP, and Alex Hinds

Around 20 fully vaccinated and masked local planners celebrated 20 years of Northern Section’s International Program on Saturday, July 31, 2021. The mixer was held at Peña Pachamama Restaurant and Cultural Center in San Francisco’s North Beach. In addition to reconnecting, networking, and enjoying South American-based snacks and beverages, the attendees brainstormed how to adapt international activities during a lingering global pandemic.

Historically, the International Program has consisted of two parts: customized travel learning tours and collaborations. Past tours were to Cuba, China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Initially our collaborations focused primarily on activities in São Paulo and Ouro Preto, Brazil. More recently, an online webinar series, COVID Conversations, covered the intersection of planning with socioeconomic and environmental injustice, racism, social unrest, housing, transportation, density, wildfires, and climate change during the pandemic. COVID Conversations was co-sponsored by the Chilean Planners Network and three APA Chapters: California, New York Metro, and Illinois.

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A new initiative – Connecting the Americas: Collaborative Planning, North and South – is now being launched. We are sharing ideas on getting more students and emerging and mid-career planners involved with international activities that include less expensive, shorter, in-person trips. We hope to continue online activities with the Chilean Planners Network as we move forward on our Connecting the Americas initiative. We are currently working to establish additional contacts in Canada (Vancouver), Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and to provide future in-person activities at those locations when possible.

For more background information, visit our website, and stay tuned for international planning news and articles in the Northern News as we move forward during these still uncertain times.

The authors are the International Planning Co-directors for APA California Northern. Alex Hinds was a university lecturer and a senior consultant for the center for sustainable communities at Sonoma State University from 2009-2019, community development agency director for Marin County, 1999-2008, planning and building director for San Luis Obispo County, 1990-1999, and Lake County planning director, 1984-1990. Hing Wong, AICP, was President of APA California, 2015 and 2016. He retired in 2017 as Senior Regional Planner, Association of Bay Area Governments, where he had worked for 33 years. 

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