Tag: 2021-10-nn-norcal

Register now for our 2022 Mentorship Program

Register now for our 2022 Mentorship Program

By Ellen Yau, November 1, 2021 

APA California – Northern is excited to kick off its 2022 Mentorship Program. Registration is open now until the end of November 2021.

This popular and successful career development program offers one-on-one mentorship matching between mentees and mentors. The program aims to build relationships, enhance knowledge, connect planners, and offer the shared experience of being a California planner. Sign up to mentor or to be matched with a mentor for the 2022 membership class.  

Please visit the Mentorship Program webpage for program requirements and more information. 

Find Mentor Registration here. For mentors who participated last year and would like to continue, you do not need to fill out this form. A separate invitation will be sent to your inbox. But if you signed up with an old email or would like to update your profile, you may fill out another registration using the link above. 

If you would like to be mentored, you can find the Mentee Registration here.

Return to Northern News here.

Who’s where

Who’s where

Assembled by Hazel (Haeseo) Choi, associate editor.

Shan­non Al­len, AICP, is now Prin­ci­pal Plan­ner with Good City Com­pa­ny. She has more than 20 years of pro­fes­sion­al land use and en­viron­mental plan­ning ex­peri­ence span­ning the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area. Prior to joining the firm, Allen had been the prin­ci­pal plan­­ner with the City of Berkeley for seven years, 2014-2021. She was also a prin­ci­pal with LSA Associates for 11 years, 2003-2014, and an associate manager at EIP Associates, 2000-2003. Allen holds a master of planning from the University of Minnesota and a BA in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz. You can read more about her in Northern News, November 2018, page 9, http://bit.ly/2NQ23Up. 


Gaspare Annibale has joined the City of Dublin as an As­so­ci­ate Plan­ner. He had been an as­so­ci­ate plan­ner with the City of South San Fran­cis­co and an as­sis­tant plan­ner for the City of Sacra­mento. Before coming to the Bay Area, Annibale worked for the City of Mis­sis­sauga (Ontario, Canada) from 2016-2018 as a plan­ning associate leading develop­ment of the city’s middle-income housing strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. 


Reena Bril­liot has been pro­moted to As­sist­ant Di­rector of Com­munity Develop­ment at the City of Santa Clara where she has worked since 2018 as the plan­ning manager. She previously worked for the City of San Jose in the City Manager’s Office of Economic Development, Environmental Services Department, and Department of Planning, Building & Code En­force­ment. Brilliot holds a master of city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s in inter­national/inter­cultural studies from Pitzer College.


Regina Celestin Williams has been named the next Execu­tive Di­rector of Sili­con Val­ley at Home. Her first day as SV@Home Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor will be November 15. Celestin Williams most recently served as Di­rec­tor of Hous­ing Develop­­ment at First Com­­munity Housing, a San José-based af­ford­able hous­ing developer. She earlier was a mem­ber of the National Develop­ment Council’s East Team, providing housing and economic development consulting services to several East Coast muni­ci­pal­ities and lead­ing NDC’s green initiatives. Celestin Williams serves on the board of the Richmond, California, Local Action in Neighborhood Development community organization and is a Silicon Valley Next Fellow. She holds a master of city planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in urban studies from Stanford University. Celestin Williams has also officiated professional tennis at WTA and ATP tourna­ments and at juniors and collegiate matches on both coasts.


Erin Morris, AICP, is now Com­munity Develop­ment Director for the City of Vaca­ville.  Before joining Vaca­ville, she was man­ager for the Plan­ning and Code En­force­ment Di­vi­sion of the City of Napa since 2017. Morris also worked for the City of Santa Rosa as a se­nior plan­ner for 10 years, and for the City of San Jose for six years. She has more than 20 years of land use per­mit­ting, plan­ning, and public policy ex­per­i­ence with various cities. Morris holds a BA in liberal studies from Sonoma State University and completed master of urban and regional planning coursework at San Jose State University. She lives in Napa with her husband and teenage daughters and is an avid walker. 


Mayank Patel is now an As­so­ci­ate Plan­ner with the City of Dub­lin. He had been an as­so­ci­ate plan­ner with the City of New­ark and a se­nior plan­ner at the City of Orinda be­fore that, where he worked on the Downtown Precise Plan, 2015-2020. Be­fore en­ter­ing muni­cipal planning in 2015, he was an urban designer at PlaceWorks for four years. He holds a master of urban and regional planning from UC Irvine and a BS in landscape architecture from UC Davis. 


Allison Schus­ter is now an As­sis­tant Plan­ner with the City of Dub­lin. She was pre­vious­ly a plan­ner II with the City of San Jose for two years, from 2019-2021, where she was a mem­ber of the City­wide Ur­ban Vil­lage plan­ning team. Prior to working for San Jose, Schuster managed several federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant-funded programs for affordable housing and homelessness as a planner I, and was the program manager for Continuum of Care for the County of San Luis Obispo from 2017-2019. She holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal PolySan Luis Obispo, and a BA in geo­graphy from So­no­ma State University.


Laura Ship­man has joined SPUR as Com­mun­ity Planning Policy Director. She was pre­vious­ly the di­rector of community development and planning with One Treasure Island, where she advocated for community facilities, retail, housing, and transportation options and promoted community building and cohesion among the residents. Before that, Shipman was a planner coordinator and urban designer with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and an urban designer and planner with MIG before that. She holds a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University, and a bachelor of architecture from Cornell University. 


Nick Tow­stopi­at is now As­sis­tant Project Manager at David J. Powers. He had been an as­sis­tant plan­ner with the County of Santa Clara and a plan­ner for Shums Coda Associates, Pleasanton, before that. Towstopiat has a master of urban planning from San Jose State University and a BA in en­viron­mental studies from UC Santa Barbara. 


Stephen Tu, AICP, is now Nor­thern Cali­fornia En­gagement Manager for the Cali­fornia High-Speed Rail Authority. He had been di­rector of trans­por­ta­tion pol­icy with the Sili­con Val­ley Leader­ship Group for two years, 2019-2021, and a plan­ner with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission before that. Tu holds a master’s degree in public policy from The George Washington University and a BS in biological sciences and political science from the University of the Pacific. 


Ju­lie (Haw­kins) Wy­rick, AICP, is now Director of Campus Planning and De­vel­op­ment for CSU Monterey Bay. Pre­vious­ly, she worked for the City of Gilroy, most recently as the customer services manager, 2019-2021. Before that, Wyrick was senior educational facilities planner at UC Santa Cruz and a campus planner at Cal PolySan Luis Obispo. She has a professional certificate in construction management, a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal PolySan Luis Obispo, and a BS in environmental studies from UC Santa Barbara. 

Return to Northern News here.

How to preserve and protect housing from wildfires

How to preserve and protect housing from wildfires


In a four-part series, ABAG is hosting two-hour Zoom workshops on “Wildfires and Housing.” The workshops offer AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credits. Completion of a 3-minute survey is required to take the workshops. The topics and dates for the remaining two sessions are:

  • Session 3: Evacuations – The Law, Practical Approaches & Technology Tools
    Thursday, November 4, 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Session 4: Land Use Planning in the WUI including ADUs
    Thursday, December 2, 3 pm – 5 pm


As the magnitude, destruction, and ferocity of wildfires is increasing, fueled by drought and climate change, neighborhoods and entire communities are threatened by fire. We can’t control wildfires, but we can acts to preserve and protect housing by working collaboratively with public safety and emergency management professionals and our communities.

“Wildfires – How to Preserve and Protect Housing” began with virtual meetings in September and October. The final two sessions will be held in November and December.

In each remaining session, experts will present current information and best practices and share background materials, case studies, reference sites, and other key documents. The sessions aim to help local agencies better understand the evolution and behavior of wildfires, defensible space, home hardening, evacuations (new laws, practical approaches, and new models), and responsive land use planning in the (WUI) Wildfire/Urban Interface.

These sessions are for local planning and housing staff interested in integrating into their planning efforts — including Housing Elements and Safety Elements — holistic, integrated, and realistic approaches to the new reality of wildfires. There is no limit on the number of attendees per agency. All sessions are online and are being recorded for later viewing.

The two sessions already recorded are:

  • Session 1: Wildfires & Housing 101
  • Session 2: Defensible Space & Home Hardening with CAL FIRE Updates

Questions? Contact Cathy Capriola, project consultant, at (916) 257-3287 or capriola.consulting@outlook.com.

Return to Northern News here.

East Bay cities debate ADUs amid increasing wildfire risk

East Bay cities debate ADUs amid increasing wildfire risk

By Roshan Abraham, Next City, October 28, 2021

In 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two laws [in 2019] streamlining the process for building accessory dwelling units, defined as new units or repurposed rooms intended to house more people than a home was originally designed to house. The laws limited the ability of cities to zone ADUs out of existence; they set a minimum size that local ADU regulations must adhere to, and sped up the approval process. Much like a suite of over 30 bills signed by Newsom last month, it was intended to boost the supply of affordable housing across the state. But now that cities in the East Bay are rewriting their local ADU laws to conform with the new state laws, some are arguing that there’s a fire risk inherent to over-developing some neighborhoods.

In Berkeley, Council Member Susan Wengraf, who represents the affluent Berkeley Hills neighborhood, argues that any new ADUs in the area need to be smaller and require other restrictions, risking a potential legal fight with the state according to reporting from Berkeleyside. Wengraf believes that a denser population in the neighborhood would lead to congested roads that could prove fatal should the population face a catastrophic wildfire. Others, including Debra Sanderson of the city’s ADU taskforce, told Berkeleyside these concerns are unwarranted given the slow pace of ADU construction in the area.

In Oakland, a proposal from the city planning commission would set even tighter restrictions than those in Berkeley, banning exterior ADUs in certain fire-prone neighborhoods with narrow roads in the Oakland hills, according to Oakland North. Interior ADUs like basement apartments would still be allowed under the proposal. Some neighbors who remember the October 1991 Oakland Tunnel Fire, in which 25 residents died, believe these restrictions don’t go far enough, and that the state needs to better consider new construction in areas with wildfire risk.

[This article was originally published in Next City’s The Bottom Line as Housing in Brief: In Latest Bay Area Housing Debate, It’s ADUs vs. Wildfire Safety.” Republished with permission.]

Roshan Abraham is Next City’s housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

See the November Northern News for How to preserve and protect housing from wildfires to learn about upcoming and already recorded Zoom workshops hosted by ABAG.

Return to Northern News here.

Envision Burlingame cited by Planetizen

Envision Burlingame cited by Planetizen

“Planetizen has picked Envision Burlingame as one of its ‘Top Websites for Urban Planning – 2021.’

“Burlingame, California, is presenting its newly approved, 300-page General Plan in a way that makes the technical document more accessible to a variety of stakeholders. This easy-to-use, highly informative digital version of the plan also maintains the integrity of the original document.

“As you click through a map of the city, the website highlights each area and details the neighborhood’s planning context, future vision, and specific goals related to land use and development. One notable feature: the website includes pop-up windows that highlight and define terms with meanings that may not be immediately obvious to the non-planner. While the information remains dense by nature, the website delivers a more digestible version that can be browsed by category and topic, along with definitions and visual examples of technical items such as zoning designations, floor area ratio, and bike facilities.

“The digital plan is the result of a years-long planning process that sought to engage the community as the city revised its decades-old general plan. The website details the community process, which could serve as a useful guide for civic leaders who want to enhance public engagement in their own communities. Since the new plan will guide decision-making well into the next decade, the city’s effort to broaden access to the document and increase public awareness and understanding of its goals and strategies for the future is notable.”

Read about all of Planetizen’s top websites here.

Return to Northern News here.

Acknowledging we live, work and play on indigenous lands

Acknowledging we live, work and play on indigenous lands

In a letter of October 19, APA California President Ashley Atkinson, AICP, and Miroo Desai, Chapter Vice President for Diversity and Equity, conveyed the following message to the board members in all eight Sections of the California chapter:

“At its October meeting, APA California’s Board of Directors adopted a land acknowledgment policy by which Native American tribes are recognized as traditional stewards of the land in which our members live and practice our profession. California has the second-highest indigenous population and is home to about 200 tribes.”

“As an organization that fundamentally centers land and the use of land in its practice, APA California encourages planners to think about what it means to be living and working on occupied land. A land acknowledgment recognizes and respects indigenous people as stewards and the enduring relationship that exists between them and their traditional lands. It also provides a learning opportunity for those who may have never heard the names of the tribes that continue to live on the land we all are standing on.”

“Land acknowledgments are not about placing blame but are a first step toward building a more inclusive future so that indigenous peoples’ voices, lives, and histories are not erased. APA California will seek to continuously educate our leadership and membership in a thoughtful and responsible way on how indigenous communities are impacted or ignored in our planning practices.

“As an example, our annual conference will now feature at least one by-right session on issues directly impacting indigenous peoples related to indigenous populations. In doing so, APA California will affirm our responsibility to amplify indigenous voices and promote better understanding and public consciousness of Native sovereignty, history, and land-use struggles in our planning practice.”

The Atkinson-Desai letter attached a “step-by-step guide” on how to implement the policy, which is now in effect for all APA events in California. Events initiated or sponsored by the Chapter or by any of its Sections must now “begin with a statement that acknowledges the stewardship of the tribes where the activities are being held.”

Questions? Please contact Miroo Desai, AICP, at diversity@apacalifornia.org.

Return to Northern News here.

Updated databases for Protected Areas and Conservation Easements

Updated databases for Protected Areas and Conservation Easements

By Saba Gebreamlak, October 1, 2021

GreenInfo Network has released updates to the California Protected Areas Database (v2021a) and the California Conservation Easement Database (v2021a).

CPAD and CCED are California’s authoritative parks and open space databases, covering more than 12,000 easements and over 15,800 parks and other protected areas, held by more than 1,500 agencies and nonprofits. CPAD and CCED are used for conservation planning, fire impact analysis, park needs assessments, and more.

In response to steady requests and in anticipation of the 30×30 Campaign for Nature to conserve 30 percent of California’s land and waters by 2030, we have taken steps to include GAP status codes — measures of management intent to conserve biodiversity — in this release.

We’ve added over 65,000 acres and 300 new units as well as substantial new easement lands totaling more than 60,000 acres.

Download the data and learn more at www.calands.org. You can also sign up for our newsletter and contribute data and corrections through MapCollaborator.

Saba Gebreamlak is Geospatial Analyst with GreenInfo Network, Oakland.

Return to Northern News here.

Wrap-up on key planning-related bills for 2021

Wrap-up on key planning-related bills for 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 new California laws and vetoed 66 as of October 11, 2021.

APA California followed 41 planning-related bills this past session. Lauren De Valencia y Sanchez of Stefan/George Associates has provided a five-page list giving the status of those bills. Of the 41, the governor signed 29, six are two-year bills, three were held in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and three were vetoed by the governor.

The list sorts the bills into six categories. There are 22 bills in “Housing/Coordinated Planning,” two in “Inclusion and Social Justice,” four in “Neighborhood Vitality and Healthy Communities,” three in “Hazards and Hazard Mitigation,” six in “Infrastructure, Services, and Fees,” and four in “CEQA.”

You can view or download the APA California list from the Northern Section website here.

This month’s Northern News carries articles on two of the bills:

Return to Northern News here.

Ethics on-demand webinar, CM credits, now available

Ethics on-demand webinar, CM credits, now available

From APA California

Do you still need to earn your mandatory Ethics CM credit?

Did you miss the Ethics Session at the Chapter Conference? You can now attend the session on-demand for just $15 for APA members, $25 for non-members, and $5 for students.

Join AICP Commissioner for Region VI, Francisco Contreras, AICP; Chapter Vice President for Diversity and Equity, Miroo Desai, AICP; and Northern Section Ethics Director, Libby Tyler, FAICP, for an updated version of the 2020-21 Ethics Cases of the Year.

Included is an introduction to the Code of Ethics and a discussion of timely updates to the Code of Ethics and to the mandatory training program.

This session was presented at the 2021 California Chapter Conference on September 15, and a recording is now available on demand. CM Ethics | 1.50

AICP Ethics Training Webinar – 2021-2022 Ethics cases of the year

Questions? Contact Greg Konar, AICP, Chapter Distance Education Coordinator, at gregok@cox.net.

Return to Northern News here.