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Northern News November 2020

Northern News November 2020

Northern News

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

Making great communities happen

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Northern Section announcements

Plan Bay Area: What has it accomplished; what needs to be done

By Dan Marks, AICP, October 15, 2020. To meet GHG goals, we need to fund land use planning, designate more land for housing, foster land assembly, and facilitate infill.

Northern Section e-ballots in your inbox SOON

By Florentina Craciun, October 16, 2020. Read here who’s running for leadership positions on the Board. Then watch for your Northern Section e-ballot in early November and vote.

Director’s note: Finding time to be thankful

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, October 14, 2020. None of us will ever forget the negative events of this unusual year. But let’s also remember and be thankful for the many positive things.

“Planning Positivity” for the Holidays

By Della Acosta, AICP, October 14, 2020. Share your #PlanningPositivity photos, memes, videos, news, and stories using the hashtag.

Register now for 2021 Mentorship Program

By Ellen Yau, October 13, 2020. Join us as a mentor or mentee, now through November 30th.

Who’s where

News about Christina Ratcliffe, AICP, and Dina Tasini.

LETTERS

Letters from H. Pike Oliver, Seattle, and Stephen Avis, AICP, Redwood Coast.

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

Norman Foster says Covid-19 won’t change our cities

By Tom Ravenscroft, DeZeen, October 13, 2020. The master architect believes that trends of change were already in motion before the pandemic.

What do Oakland, Vilnius, and Rotterdam have in common?

By Derek Robertson, The Guardian, October 12, 2020. The phenomenon of temporarily reclaiming city streets for pedestrians has swept the world’s cities.

Google presents bold vision for downtown San Jose campus

By Victoria Song, Gizmodo, October 9, 2020. It remains to be seen how the local San José community feels about it.

Executive order directs California to conserve land, coasts

By Alexei Koseff, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2020. The order also includes directives to streamline land restoration and promote biodiversity.

New research: British Columbia shelter system tests homeless stipend

By Bridgette Watson, CBC News, October 7, 2020. Cash given directly to a select group of Vancouver-area homeless residents improved near-term outcomes.

Four Bay Area counties fail equity requirement for reopening

By Fiona Kelliher and Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, October 6, 2020. The metric attempts to address the pandemic’s disparate impact on California’s Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander residents.

Pandemic and wildfires challenge California’s economy

By Conor Dougherty, The New York Times, October 5, 2020. Residents and leaders are rethinking where and how the state will grow.

Floodgates in Venice work in first major test

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, October 3, 2020. A newly operable network of long-planned floodgates mitigates some effects of climate change.

Why Canadian metropolises will thrive despite the pandemic

By Joe Berridge, The Globe and Mail, Oct 2, 2020. Berridge assesses the challenges and possible paths forward during Toronto’s Covid recovery.

Richmond creates affordable homes from abandoned houses

By CBS SF Bay Area (KPIX), October 1, 2020. The City has partnered with the nonprofit Richmond Community Foundation to repair and sell the homes.

New law aims for fairness in foreclosure market

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, September 29, 2020. The bill intends to prevent corporate homebuyers from purchasing bundles of foreclosed homes.

New CEQA law exempts sustainable transit projects

By Carly Graf, San Francisco Examiner, September 28, 2020. Improvements for pedestrian, cyclist, and transit infrastructure need to meet certain criteria to be exempt.

MTC recommends telecommuting requirement

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, September 25, 2020. The remote-work recommendation is one of 35 strategies in Plan Bay Area 2050.

Northern News October 2020

Northern News October 2020

Northern News

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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

Call for nominations: Election of Northern Section leaders

Beginning Nov. 2nd, you will be electing a new Director-Elect and Administrative Director. But first, we need nominations (due by October 16).

Director’s note: Planning in a State of Change

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, September 17, 2020. We continually adapt to environmental, societal, economic, and other changes. But adaptation doesn’t come easily and it doesn’t happen by promoting the status quo.

Share your best 2020 experiences during our annual holiday celebration

Celebrate the best of 2020 with a single hashtag. Submit 2020’s positive, wholesome, amazing, or good planning-related events, experiences, projects, or ideas.

Who’s Where

News about Andy Ross.

Orange Day photos

By Brendan Hurley. The Bay Bridge seen from the Embarcadero on April 14 and September 9, 2020.

AICP | CM: Leading in a crisis with spatial data

SJSU’s 90-minute webinar is on October 2 at 11:30. AICP | CM 1.5 credits pending.

LETTERS

Readers from around the state share kudos for Northern News. 

Northern Section is more than the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas

By Alex Hinds, September 11, 2020. Small town post offices dot our Northern Section. They’re critical, and loved.

SFCTA, looking to congestion pricing, wants input

By Carly Graf, SF Examiner. A study recommendation is to be presented to the SFCTA board by next year. Implementation would take two years.

‘Monster in the Mission’ site slated for affordable housing

By Jared Brey, September 11, 2020. A group has agreed to buy the site and donate the land to the city for affordable housing to fulfill the affordability requirements of a separate project of nearly 1,000 units.

Northern News recognizes our photographers for 2019

Thanks to the 21 people who provided photos for this publication last year. Andrea Mardesich scoured past issues to prepare this list.

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

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 News September 2020
Birthplace of Silicon Valley, 1938

Northern News September 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?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section news, views, and announcements

Director’s note

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, August 19, 2020. This has been a year for re-evaluating priorities, values, and future directions. We’re at a point where we can’t ignore our society’s injustices and our collective role in them.

Over 50 sessions and networking events!

We need 65 planning students and Young Planners to volunteer to work the virtual conference. Click below for information and to register (no cost to volunteers). 

Eight from Northern Section pass spring-summer 2020 AICP exam

Circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic led national APA to extend the May 2020 examination through July.

In memoriam, Brian Mattson, 84

The deceased in 1999. Bay Area planners may remember him as the planning director in Novato and the community development director in Vallejo.

San Francisco landlords lose lawsuit

By Jared Brey, Next City, August 7, 2020. Property owners filed suit “to protect their rights” against a permanent ban on evicting tenants for rent payments they miss because of the pandemic.

Northern News recognizes our content providers for 2019

Thanks to the 27 planners who wrote for this publication last year, and to Andrea Mardesich, a former associate editor, who scoured past issues to prepare this list.

Affordable housing in Silicon Valley puts focus on sustainability

From HUD User, PD&R Edge, August 3, 2020. Edwina Benner Plaza, Sunnyvale, provides 66 units of affordable housing, generates half of the project’s electricity needs, and makes up the remaining 50 percent from renewable sources.

Alameda County Heat Vulnerability Map

By the Alameda County Office of Sustainability, August 19, 2020. This interactive map illustrates social and environmental factors that contribute to community heat vulnerability in Alameda County.

Who’s where

News about Mayank Patel and Sarah Yuwiler.

Planning news roundup

The price of saving Paradise

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, August 25, 2020. “The fire was a monumental event and altered people’s way of thinking about things,” including whether the entire community should be surrounded by defensible space.

SF sees historic shift in housing inventory

By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, August 15, 2020. The convergence of coronavirus and the high cost of homeownership in San Francisco may have caused residents to leave for California’s less costly regions.

SF finally approves 1,100 homes at Balboa Reservoir

By Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2020. The new project includes 550 affordable units, of which 150 are reserved for City College teachers and staff.

New research: Advancing environmental justice while rebuilding existing locally unwanted land uses

By Miriam Solis, Planetizen, August 11, 2020. A case study of a San Francisco wastewater plant considers the consequences of redeveloping, rather than siting, a locally unwanted land use.

Portland passes the ‘most pro-housing reform’ to low-density zones in US history

By Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute, August 11, 2020. Portland’s new upzoning reforms allow for a wide range of “middle housing” citywide and removes parking mandates from most residential land.

Report: Single-family zoning dominates Bay Area housing, presenting barrier to integration

By Marc Abizeid, UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute, August 11, 2020. From the first-ever analysis of the proportion of single-family zoning in every Bay Area jurisdiction comes five general policy approaches to help address racial residential segregation.

Minor reparations

By Roxane Gay, Work Friend, The New York Times, August 9, 2020. It is absolutely unacceptable that your agency is asking you to spend your own money to improve the agency’s thinking and efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sales tax to fund Caltrain will go before voters

Bay City News Service, Mountain View Voice, August 8, 2020. The tax would generate the necessary funding to operate the imperiled system if ultimately approved by two-thirds of voters across three affected counties.

Study: Marin to experience worst traffic delays from sea level rise

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, August 7, 2020. A new Stanford study shows the North Bay may receive less flooding compared to other parts of the Bay Area, but the flooding occurs at critical connections where few alternative routes exist.

How do households describe where they live?

By Shawn Bucholtz, The Edge, August 6, 2020. New survey data collected by HUD and the US Census Bureau shows most people view themselves as living in suburbs, even those who live in central cities.

Nonmembers ask APA to support defunding the police

By Brentin Mock, Bloomberg CityLab, August 6, 2020. A letter with hundreds of signatories from across the planning field argues that planning decisions have historically contributed to police violence and harassment of Black people.

Bay Area cities reluctantly approve housing in face of state laws

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. From San Bruno to Castro Valley to Lafayette, major Bay Area housing approvals have been compelled by SB 35 and SB 330.

Sausalito confronts historic inequities, considers affordable housing on its waterfront

J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. After a general plan change, Sausalito residents argue whether to expand light industry or allow some senior or affordable housing.

Opinion: We must plan racial justice in our cities

By Dorothy Walker, Streetsblog USA, August 3, 2020. Dorothy Walker, founding president of APA, says cities’ local land-use decisions are “ripe for transformation” to lower barriers to housing for the “disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and the community at large.”

Revised SB 35 Guidelines near completion

William Fulton, CP&DR, August 2, 2020. The Department of Housing and Community Development has released a draft of updated guidelines for implementing SB 35 locally.

After 250 Years, Tribe regains Big Sur ancestral lands

By Kyle Edwards, Native News Online, July 29, 2020. The Esselen tribe plans to use the land to revitalize, and educate the public about, its culture, traditional ceremonies, and history.

Caltrans’ Low Carbon Transit Operations grants go to three North Coast jurisdictions

By Nazy Javid, KRCR News, July 29, 2020. The grants support free fares to populations that include low-income residents, youth and college students.

Northern News July-August 2020

Northern News July-August 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?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section news, announcements

Director’s note

“Planning for equity and inclusion,” by Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, July 22, 2020. Take the time to understand our biases. Encourage our employers to offer bias training. There’s no action too small to start on this journey.

Graduating into a pandemic-afflicted world

(Photo: Brooke Cagle, cropped) In a four-minute video, Atisha Varshney, AICP, offers five tips for new graduates navigating the Covid-19 job market, and issues an invitation to join virtual roundtable discussions.

Earn required CM credits by viewing July’s law seminar

By Libby Tyler, FAICP, July 20, 2020. We’ve made it easy for you. View the webinar video and log your mandatory 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance Law credits.

4 International experts on ZOOM: Cal Poly SLO CRP’s Spring 2020 series

Access to these lectures, sponsored by the City and Regional Planning Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has been provided to you by Professor Vicente del Rio, PhD.

AICP | CM: Covid Conversations with APA New York Metro Chapter and PLANRED, Chile

By Alex Hinds and Hing Wong, AICP, July 24, 2020. The first webinar was recorded and posted. You can register for webinar Session 2 on July 30.

General Plan Guideline alert: Environmental Justice

From OPR, June 24, 2020. This resource expands on the preliminary guidance provided in the 2017 General Plan Guidelines regarding environmental justice (EJ).

A woman’s place is in the city

By Marisa Schulz, Next City, July 17, 2020. Listen to women; they are experts on the relationship between everyday life and the city. Unfortunately, women’s needs and viewpoints are underrepresented in cities.

Who’s Where

News about Deland Chan, AICP; Afshan Hamid, AICP; Beth Altshuler Munoz; William (Billy) Riggs, PhD, AICP; Kyle Rose; Matthew Taecker, AICP; and Libby Tyler, PhD, FAICP.

HCD awards millions to Northern Section cities for infill infrastructure

By Alicia Murillo, July 13, 2020. Approximately $279 million was awarded from the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program of 2019-2020, of which Northern Section cities received 44 percent.

Planning news roundup

Caltrain’s future in limbo after Santa Clara County defers tax measure

By Luke Johnson, San Jose Spotlight, July 22, 2020. County lawmakers considered a proposed ballot measure for a one-eighth cent sales tax to prevent Caltrain from potentially shutting down, ultimately deferring a vote on the proposal to a special meeting on August 6.

The pandemic has pushed aside city planning rules, but to whose benefit?

By Emily Badger, The New York Times, July 20, 2020. As bike lanes and cafes sprout on streets, marginalized residents wonder when their priorities will get attention.

Bay Area of 2050 will be more crowded — planners want to make it more equitable, too

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 2020. Only July 10, Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission released a draft of Plan Bay Area 2050 for public comment. It emphasizes 25 “bold strategies” for making the region “affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant for all.”

“After years of debate,” San Jose may charge non-residential developers to support affordable housing

By Sonya Herrera, San Jose Spotlight, July 18, 2020. The commercial linkage fee will go to the City Council on Aug. 25 and become effective on Nov. 14, if adopted.

Riots long ago seeded luxury living today

From The New York Times, July 16, 2020, comes another perceptive article on gentrification and race by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui. High-end development has transformed some Black neighborhoods into high-end development decades after they were scarred by unrest.

The 15-minute city as Covid-19 recovery

By Patrick Sisson, CityLab, July 15, 2020. To improve quality of life for an urbanite and boost the possibilities for municipal and economic recovery, you need to reduce the access radius for six essential functions: Living-dwelling, working, supplying and buying, well-being and caring, learning, and leisure.

The hidden toll of California’s Black exodus

By Lauren Hepler, CalMatters, July 15, 2020. Old regimes of housing and job discrimination have given way to predatory loans, disinvestment, and flare-ups of racism or violence in areas that once promised a level playing field.

‘A mini-urban miracle,’ new Berkeley homeless housing could be model for the state

By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, July 10, 2020. Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved a new supportive housing complex that substantially lowered development costs through modular construction.

One to four: the market potential of fourplexes in California’s single-family neighborhoods

By Paavo Monkkonen, Ian Carlton, and Kate Macfarlane, UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, July 7, 2020. HCD guidelines emphasize realistic assessment of market and site capacity for new housing. Legislative efforts to promote fourplexes led UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies to analyze their feasibility on 6.8 million existing single-family home parcels.

New research: “Eighty-five percent solution: historical look at crowdsourcing speed limits and the question of safety”

By Brian D. Taylor and Yu Hong Hwang, June 30, 2020. The “85th percentile rule” has been used for decades to set speed limits in jurisdictions across the US. New research shows it originated earlier than most thought, and it was intended as a starting point in setting speed limits, not a firm guideline.

Northern News June 2020

Northern News June 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?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section news and views

CalChapter 2020 Conference will be virtual

Julia Lave Johnston, President of APA California, announced that the Chapter’s 2020 conference this Fall will be held online. The conference will nevertheless remain an “opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our organizational values.”

Director’s note: Rethinking our public spaces and health

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, May 13, 2020. Is everything upside down, or is it suddenly right side up?

Are congested streets and highways just around the corner?

By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, editor, May 9, 2020. Post COVID-19, SF could see a huge spike in vehicular congestion “unless transit systems can resume safe, high throughput operations quickly.” Plus 12 photos of the near total absence of vehicles on Bay Area bridges and SF streets during the Friday afternoon getaway March 27.

Who’s Where

News about Alesia Hsiao, AICP; Amy Lyle; and Patrick Streeter, AICP

Planning news roundup

San José General Plan review and Station Area Advisory Group reconvening

Via email from Leslye Corsiglia, SV@Home, June 11, 2020. The SAAG will meet for the first time since January. All are welcome. Take the opportunity to offer feedback on the City’s most recent analyses and proposals related to the Diridon Station Area Plan. The General Plan Four-Year Review Task Force is also restarting, with the first video meeting June 25.

Bay Area billionaires are breaking my heart

By Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, May 13, 2020. Rebuilding a fairer, more livable urban environment will take years of difficult work. It will require sacrifices from the wealthy.

Housing, the environment, the virus, and public transportation

Brief synopses of articles of interest to urban planners in addition to our longer summaries in “Planning news roundup.”

Caltrain faces ‘existential crisis’

By Isabella Jibilian, San Francisco Examiner, May 8, 2020. Unlike BART and Muni, Caltrain is not funded by sales or property taxes. It depends on fares and parking fees to say afloat.

Second SB 35 ruling lets Vallco project proceed

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, May 7, 2020. Ruling ends a years-long battle over massive redevelopment of failed shopping mall in Cupertino. Decisions in two SB 35 cases say cities must apply objective design and planning standards in a very clear way.

Will telecommuting yield the best long-term environmental benefit of COVID-19?

By Ethan Elkind, May 4, 2020. Working from home seems the most likely candidate for a pandemic culture-changer that reduces emissions.

Mobility: Who is moving and why?

By Riordan Frost, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, May 4, 2020. Seven questions and answers about potential changes in residential mobility.

California shrinks; still most populous state

By Associated Press, May 2, 2020. California has been creeping toward 40 million residents without ever quite getting there.

Milan mayor: ‘People are ready’ for green change

By Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation, May 4, 2020. Milan comes out of COVID-19 lockdown with a climate-conscious attitude, encouraging other cities to follow.

The last time VMT dropped this sharply? WWII gas rationing

By Jeff Davis, Eno Center for Transportation, April 8, 2020. Gas rationing wasn’t rolled out to the whole country until December 1, 1942. But the VMT reductions were obvious as soon as rationing started in the East six months earlier.

Density isn’t easy, but it’s necessary

By Bruce Schaller, CityLab, May 4, 2020. Americans have always had difficulty with urban density, but in a crisis, we need what cities can provide. (Schaller is the former deputy commissioner of traffic and planning at the New York City Transportation Dept.)

Can we sustain a world without traffic?

By Adie Tomer and Lara Fishbine, Brookings, May 1, 2020. If leaders encourage telework, alter revenues structures, and retrofit roadways, the nation can emerge from the pandemic with stronger and safer transportation.

Northern News May 2020

Northern News May 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?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section announcements

Director’s note: What will our future look like?

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, April 15, 2020. When and as restrictions on travel and assembly are gradually lifted under State guidance, implementation will largely be local. Planners should continue to lead by example, learn from others, and adapt as needed.

APA names AICP Fellows for 2020

From APA, March 25, 2020. One member from APA Northern Section was inducted with this year’s class of 53.

COVID-19 planning roundup

By Richard L. Davis, associate editor, April 14, 2020. Our editors saw many articles about COVID-19’s effects on urban planning. These 10 summaries are relevant, informative, yet much shorter than those in ‘Planning news roundup.’

Who’s where

Job change write-ups for Shannon Hake, AICP; Michael Hart; Greg Holisko, AICP; Andrea Mardesich; Lisa Porras, AICP; Ralph B. McLaughlin; Destiny Preston; Kevin Riley, and Matt VanHua, AICP, were curated by associate editor Richard L. Davis.

Planning news roundup

VTA drops plan for massive S.J. BART tunnel

By Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, April 19, 2020. Bold plans for deep downtown San Jose stations raised red flags.

Approval process for Balboa Reservoir project gets underway

By Ida Mojadad, San Francisco Examiner, April 9, 2020. After six years of public hearings, the San Francisco Planning Commission has approved the initiation of a General Plan Amendment for an 1,100-unit complex. Half of the units are to be permanently affordable for those with up to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Telecommuting will likely continue long after the pandemic

By Katherine Guyot and Isabel V. Sawhill, Brookings, April 6, 2020. Telecommuting has been the fastest-growing method of commuting over the last several years. The pandemic promises to accelerate this trend dramatically.

Rapid urbanization abroad threatens old buildings, traditional markets

By Rina Chandran, Thomson Reuters Foundation, April 1, 2020. Losing heritage to modernization is not inevitable, but it requires careful choices as to what should go, what should stay, and what should come in place of things that are removed.

First-ever regionwide analysis of sea level rise impacts on Bay Area

Adapting to Rising Tides (ART), a program of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), was made available as a short summary report and main report on March 31.

What now for dense housing near transit?

By Debra Kahn, Politico, March 27, 2020. Opponents of infill and transit-oriented development are blaming population density as a primary factor behind the pandemic’s spread in urban areas.

Coronavirus: Fate of Lafayette’s big housing plan postponed

By Jon Kawamoto, East Bay Times, March 26, 2020. Only four more public hearings can be scheduled before Lafayette’s planning commission must decide on the controversial, 315-unit housing plan.

Boost for BART: Economic deal could send $1.3 billion to Bay Area public transit systems

By Nico Savidge, East Bay Times, March 25, 2020. Federal funds expected to provide some relief for BART as revenue from tickets and parking fees sharply declines.

Bay Area’s largest housing development appears dead

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, March 25, 2020. Over labor issues, Concord’s City Council declined to extend negotiations with a building group hoping to redevelop a 5,000-acre former military base. As costs have soared, the many proposed community benefits no longer appeared financially feasible to the developer.

Coronavirus: Lockdowns slow Bay Area home construction, future projects

By Louis Hansen, The Mercury News, March 23, 2020. Housing developers are concerned that the shift by local governments to virtual planning and inspection could hamper their ability to meet tight construction deadlines.

Could coronavirus collide with wildfire season? California is preparing for it

By J.D. Morris, San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2020. Emergency officials in Sonoma County are already planning for the potential problems of wildfires and COVID-19 occurring at the same time.

Northern News April 2020

Northern News April 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

Tap for the answer

Northern Section announcements

Annual Housing Progress Report to HCD is still due April 1

The April 1 due date is in statute and HCD cannot change it. Cities can submit the APR to HCD before taking it to their council, and submit a revised APR to HCD at any time.

Director’s note

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, March 18, 2020. As I work from home, I’m learning much about my colleagues and their families, enabling me to empathize, better understand their thought processes, and work together more effectively.

Who’s where

In this segment, curated by associate editor Sajuti Rahman, we highlight a change in the APA Northern Section Board and six job changes: Amalia Lorentz Cunningham, AICP; Delo Freitas; Brian Heaton, AICP; James Murphy; Lauren Ninkovich; and Melissa Ruhl. Congratulations all!

Governor suspends Brown and Bagley-Keene Act meeting requirements

A recent Executive Order order authorizes California’s state and local bodies to hold public meetings by teleconference and to make public meetings accessible telephonically or otherwise electronically to all members of the public seeking to attend and to address the local or state agencies.

CPF Scholarship deadline extended to Sunday, May 31

Check here for everything you need to know about applying for the 2020-21 California Planning Foundation Scholarships for outstanding planning students.

Northern Section postpones planning tour to Middle East

Given the severity of and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, our planning tour to the Middle East, originally scheduled for 2020, is postponed until 2021.

Planning news roundup

UBC expert: How coronavirus will impact future cities

By Lou Corpuz-Bosshart, UBC News, March 23, 2020. Regional housing inequality needs to be addressed. It makes no sense to continue a trend where increasingly the rich live in Vancouver and wage earners who provide services to the city are being forced further and further east.

Tackling transportation emissions in California — or ignoring them

By Melanie Curry, StreetsBlog Cal, March 5, 2020. Early in March, two California Senate committees held a joint hearing on reducing GHG emissions from transportation, the state’s highest-emitting sector.

“Grieving for my sick city”

By Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times, March 17, 2020. “When the Corona virus emergency is over, people are likely to emerge into fundamentally changed cities, with economies in crisis, and beloved restaurants, businesses, and cultural institutions gone for good. I wonder if our cultural romance with urban living will recover.”

As residents grapple with smog, Vietnam pushes renewable energy

By Michael Tatarski, New Naratif, March 16, 2020. Vietnam is often portrayed with bountiful economic opportunities for people across classes. But the construction and development that boosts economic growth is affecting health and quality of life, leaving people to deal with the situation according to their means.

Cities fighting climate woes hasten “green gentrification”

By Adam Rogers for Wired.com, February 23, 2020. Scholars say newly constructed flood-fighting infrastructure has promoted gentrification. In 2017, Northern News covered efforts in North Richmond to foster shoreline resilience without displacement.

Antioch, CA, ‘Last bastion of the good commute’ in the Bay Area

By Candace Jackson, The New York Times, February 25, 2020. The Times’ Real Estate section highlighted Antioch for its relatively affordable housing and BART access. We have included a response from Antioch’s Community Development Director at the end of the article.

Transportation Trends for 2020 (and what cities can do about them)

William Riggs, PhD, AICP, LEED AP, a professor of management at USF, reviews emerging trends in mobility and recommends city practices to foster positive aspects of these trends.

San Jose opens first tiny home community for formerly homeless residents

By Maggie Angst, Bay Area News Group, February 27, 2020. Forty tiny homes and supportive services dedicated for the homeless have opened near the San Jose Flea Market, about three miles north of downtown, on a site owned by the Valley Transportation Agency.

San Francisco debates when, where, and how to build affordable housing

By Sasha Perigo, San Francisco Examiner, March 8, 2020. San Francisco voters passed Proposition E, “The Balanced Development Act,” which ties the City’s cap on approved office space construction to its progress on the State’s affordable housing goals.

Report: SF must build taller, expand into western neighborhoods

By Adam Brinklow, Curbed SF, March 9, 2020. San Francisco’s Planning Department released a Housing Affordability Strategy that identifies the current state of the City’s housing, and three core strategies.

Scott Weiner has another bill to build denser housing in California

By Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2020. Senator Wiener’s SB 902 would allow by-right development of multi-unit housing in single-family zones statewide, while scaling the number of allowable units to city size.

San Jose’s Measure E passes; will fund homelessness services and affordable housing

By Richard Davis, associate editor. San Jose voters have likely passed Measure E, a new funding source for affordable housing and homelessness support programs funded by a property sale transaction tax.

Dozens of homeless find housing in downtown San Jose

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, March 6, 2020. Villas on the Park — permanent supportive housing partially funded by the county’s $950 million affordable housing bond — has opened in downtown San Jose.

Northern News March 2020

Northern News March 2020

Northern News

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

Making great communities happen

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Northern Section announcements

Call for Northern Section 2020 Award nominations

Northern Section Award winners will be fêted at a Gala, Friday, June 5. But first, they have to be nominated. (March 13 is the deadline to submit.) Click “Read more” for the awards categories and links to details, rules, and application forms.

Law and Ethics CM credits REGISTRATION is OPEN

By Libby Tyler, FAICP. Learn how California housing legislation is preempting local planning review and signaling the end of exclusive single-family zoning. Then play a popular learning game in a lively and engaging refresher of the Code of Ethics with Darcy Kremin, AICP.

Director’s note

“I challenge everyone — including myself — to find areas where we can expand our knowledge, learn new skills, take on risks, and continue to be leaders who can shape our world so future generations can thrive.” —Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, Section Director.

Who’s where

In this segment, we highlight nine job changes: Jonathan Schuppert, AICP; Emily Carroll; Florentina Craciun, AICP; Andrew Hatt; James Hinkamp, AICP; Brianne Reyes; Atisha Varshney, AICP; Rafael Velázquez; and Kara Vuicich, AICP. Congratulations all!

Northern Section Board Retreat photo

Click the ‘Read more’ button to see the crowd at Northern Section’s annual Board Retreat, held this year at Sonoma State University, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Northern News’ associate editor Richard Davis represented the editorial staff.

Planning news roundup

Marina CA shows cities can retreat from rising seas

By Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2020. Sea walls are forbidden, real estate sales must disclose sea level rise, and the city is working to move infrastructure and resort properties away from the water.

Public meetings are broken. Here’s how to fix them.

By Patrick Sisson, Curbed, February 12, 2020. The traditional public meeting can be exclusionary and does not often result in the kind of participation and experiences for citizens that encourage feedback. But the current public hearing process can be enhanced, and there are alternatives to be considered.

A plan to combine the Bay Area’s dozens of transit networks

By Adam Brinklow, Curbed, February 5, 2020. A new bill would establish a single universal bus fare across the Bay Area, create a combined transit map and departure time reference, and develop a transfer that works across every transit line.

Fighting sea level rise the natural way

In an interview by Lori Pottinger, PPIC, on February 3, 2020, Letitia Grenier speaks of the huge potential to work across jurisdictions and redesign systems to let natural processes solve some of our more complicated flooding problems.

Danville ballot measure sparks debate over open space

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, February 11, 2020. A proposed development for a 400-acre private property in Danville would accommodate 69 new residential units and leave 213 acres of publicly accessible open space. But the Danville Open Space Committee — a citizens group — gathered thousands of signatures to challenge the project on the March 3rd ballot. Stay tuned.

Height limit exemption effort starts in San Mateo

By Zachary Clark, Daily Journal, February 7, 2020. Measure P is a 2004 extension of a measure approved by voters in 1991 and is set to sunset by the end of the year. Now a group of San Mateo residents is pushing to extend Measure P’s existing building height limits while exempting areas around transit from the measure’s height and density restrictions.

Bay Area gets boost to affordable housing from unlikely source

By Emily DeRuy, Mercury News, February 6, 2020. New apartment complexes built on Caltrain land near Caltrain stations must reserve at least 30 percent of their units for low-income residents. But there’s no requirement that such sites be reserved for housing.

San Mateo may be first in state to use AB 1763 for low-income units

By Emily DeRuy, Mercury News, February 16, 2020. Without AB 1763, the density limits of 50 units per acre approved by city voters in 1991 would have limited the number of affordable homes that could be built on the city-owned site.

Best urban designs to reduce road injuries

From Mirage News (Australia), January 28, 2020. ‘If reducing the road toll is your ultimate goal, it is better to invest in safer alternative transport options than continuing to focus on car-based safety interventions,’ said lead researcher Dr. Jason Thompson. The University of Melbourne research highlights the importance of urban design and planning as key to reducing transport-related injuries across the world. Hat tip to The Overhead Wire.

“Three lessons 21st century housing policy could learn from ‘Little Women’ ”

By Jenny Schuetz, Brookings’ The Avenue, February 5, 2020. “It may just be the meticulous recreation of 19th century New England in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ that has the most to say about American homes, even offering some bold yet sensible lessons to improve our own 21st century housing policy.”

Northern News February 2020

Northern News February 2020

Northern News

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

Making great communities happen

Where in the world?

Four cities, small to large

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Northern Section announcements

Director’s note: What’s your Superpower?

By James Castañeda, AICP. Now more than ever, we planners, as agents of change, need to exercise our problem-solving superpowers.

Northern News adds editors

By Naphtali H. Knox, FAICP, editor. The Northern Section Board’s executive committee has appointed three associate editors.

Who’s where

In this segment, we cover eight job changes from around the Bay Area: James Castañeda, AICP; Elizabeth Caraker, AICP; Nisha Chauhan, AICP; Ellen Clark, AICP; Coleman Frick; Evan Kenward; Carolyn Neer, AICP; Matthew Stafford, AICP. Congratulations all!

SFUFF starts Sunday; some events are free

By Fay Darmawi. SF Urban Film Fest aims to leverage the power of storytelling to spark discussion and civic engagement around urban issues. SFUFF focuses on what it means to live together in a city and how to make urban planning more equitable and inclusive.

Planning news roundup

SB 50 is dead – voted down by State Senators representing affluent suburbs, including the Peninsula

Senate Bill 50, in a Senate vote late Wednesday afternoon, fell three votes short of the 21 it needed to advance to the State Assembly. Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, a supporter, said, ‘SB 50 might not be coming forward right now, but the status quo cannot stand.’

How we define “housing density” is a big part of the problem

By Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times, January 28, 2020. “Jane Jacobs wasn’t focused on gentrification, and New York is not Palo Alto is not Barcelona is not Hong Kong: Density is not one size fits all. Urbanism isn’t a mere kit of parts. That said, the implications today are still plain for rezoning legislation like [California’s] SB 50.”

Future of SB 50 up in the LA air

By Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2020. A coalition of groups representing low-income communities now opposes Senate Bill 50. That’s a blow to efforts to advance the bill before the Jan. 31 deadline for it to pass the Senate.

Long term effects of disasters

By Lily Jamali, KQED News, January 22, 2020. Three-quarters of new addresses listed in Paradise, CA, are for P.O. boxes, not homes — indicating these Camp Fire survivors haven’t gone far. But hundreds have left and moved east of the Rockies (map).

Small affordable housing project saved by city loan

By Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Online, January 19, 2020. HCD rejected a grant of $10.5 million for a 59-unit development that will target low-income residents and include units for adults with developmental disabilities. The city stepped in to bridge the gap with a $10.5 million loan made up of impact and “in lieu” fees.

Hundreds of SoCal homeless individuals and low-income families to receive safe, affordable housing

By Joseph Ronson, LifePulseHealth.com, January 16, 2020. A nonprofit affordable housing and service provider in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will utilize $24 million from HCD to build three new projects with 147 homes for low-income families, some of them homeless.

Yes, this study found that new housing drives down nearby rents

By Adam Brinklow, Curbed SF, January 15, 2020. Three years after a building’s completion, the adjusted effects on rents in the surrounding neighborhood hover around zero.

Growing cities up: California’s SB 50 is a model for addressing the urban housing crisis.

By Christopher S. Elmendorf in City-journal.org, January 14, 2020. The revamped SB50 has changed from the original in many ways.

Why affordable housing is facing a perfect storm

By Kelsi Maree Borland, GlobeSt.com, January 13, 2020. Housing costs are being driven up by more than just supply and demand.

Sprawling homeless camps well beyond San Francisco

By Eric Westervelt, NPR, January 13, 2020. Homelessness — a hard-to-fix national problem — is particularly severe in California. The state’s homeless population jumped 16 percent in 2019. A January 2020 HUD report notes that California’s homeless population of more than 150,000 accounts for 53 percent of all unsheltered people in the U.S.

SB 35 invoked to build 91 townhomes in Saratoga

By Janice Bitters, San Jose Spotlight, January 9, 2019. Sand Hill Property Co. previously invoked SB 35 at the Vallco Shopping Mall redevelopment in Cupertino, promising half the residential units to those earning less than the median income. Sand Hill is now pursuing a much smaller SB 35-compliant development with 10 percent of the units for very low-income residents.

The housing crisis is a problem for everyone — even wealthy homeowners

By Ally Schweitzer, WAMU American University Radio, January 9, 2020. High housing costs affect those who can’t afford to buy or rent. They also impact employers, local governments, the neighborhood coffee shop, and even well-to-do homeowners as traffic worsens, employers struggle to find workers, and cost-burdened people buy less.

Northern News December 2019-January 2020

Northern News December 2019-January 2020

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

December 2019-January 2020

An American planner in Canada

“Logistically, crossing the border to the north and working as a planner couldn’t have been easier. The position of urban planner is one of 25 recognized under the NAFTA (and soon USMCA) trade agreements that allow an accelerated and simplified immigration process into Canada. All I needed was a job offer letter, copies of my résumé and planning degree, and a simple application form submitted at the border.”

New state law helps kids and communities thrive, while relieving zoning headaches

SB 234 (Skinner), signed by Governor Newsom on September 5, 2019, makes every licensed large-family child care home a permitted use by right, just like small-family child care homes. Although the new law will go into effect January 1, 2020, some local planning departments are already getting a head start to support their communities. (Article by Julia Frudden and Andrew Mogensen, AICP.)

Meet a local planner – Danielle DeRuiter-Williams

Catarina Kidd, AICP, interviews Danielle DeRuiter-Williams, Co-Founder and Head of Growth and Expansion at The Justice Collective in Oakland, a women-of-color-led social impact consultancy. Ms. DeRuiter-Williams recently spoke at the two-session Chapter President’s panel, “Cultural and Implicit Bias Training for Planners,” at the APA California 2019 conference in Santa Barbara. In this interview, Ms. Kidd asks what The Justice Collective was intended to accomplish, and what challenges Danielle DeRuiter-Williams has faced and is facing.

Getting downtowns moving with convenient and sustainable access

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.

A community engagement project: Toward a Vision for the Alum Rock Community of San Jose

“The goal of this graduate student ‘capstone’ project was to assist San Jose’s Alum Rock community in creating a vision for future development in the area, focusing on and incorporating community engagement. To that end, we interviewed area residents, businesses, and community leaders to help understand the assets and issues they prioritized. Our engagement with local residents included two phases: community assessment (data collection and analysis) and a collaborative community engagement event.” Illustrated.

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Northern Section announcements

Databases updated for California’s protected areas

The California Protected Areas Database and the California Conservation Easement Database have just been updated and are available for free download. 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.

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 a vacancy.

Libby Tyler, FAICP, is a 2020 Dale Prize Winner

The $5,000 prize recognizes excellence in urban and regional planning. Two prizes will be awarded at Cal Poly Pomona March 5 and 6, 2020.

Last chance to register for the May 2020 AICP EXAM

Our spring workshops are an excellent way to start studying for the May 2020 exam. Those who attend receive hundreds of multiple choice practice test questions, with answers and rationales, plus study materials such as a summary of the classic planning texts and our unique “Tips on the AICP Exam.”

Houston is calling: NPC Member-only registration through January 8

If you plan on going to Houston April 25–28, register now. Through January 8, you will have exclusive access to claim tickets for mobile workshops, orientation tours, and other popular activities.

Who’s where

In this segment, we cover three new appointments to the Northern Section Board and four job changes from the Peninsula to the North Bay: Della Acosta, AICP; Curtis Banks, AICP; Leslie Carmichael, AICP; Zachary Dahl, AICP; Veronica Flores; Gillian Hayes; and Edgar Maravilla. Congratulations all!

Northern Section Holiday Party kicks off the Season

Photos by Northern Section Webmaster Tom Holub. Some 100+ attended the Nov. 22 event at La Peña Cultural Center, a longtime Berkeley institution.

Planning news roundup

“City Dreamers,” doc film on women architects who built 20th century cities

Through rare clips, the film pieces together the legacy these four women left — each with her own theory, vision, or approach to urban landscaping and planning.

Improving road safety in Oakland with equity

“When we ride out, we ride down the middle of the-street,” one resident told OakDOT. To center equity within its work, the City of Oakland created a Department of Race and Equity in 2019 to embed racial equity practices throughout city agencies, and developed a data-driven approach to equity that can help the agency hold itself accountable.”

Special Mobile Home zoning OK’d to save affordable housing

“Advocates said they hope to prevent conversions at a time when owners could be tempted to redevelop the properties to capitalize on rising housing and land costs. Such conversions have occurred in high-cost areas elsewhere in California, where mobile home parks are one of the few remaining sources of unsubsidized affordable housing, county officials said.”

San Diego looks to scrap residential density limits, use FAR instead

“San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is opening another salvo in his administration’s efforts to address the city’s housing affordability crisis by proposing the ‘Complete Communities Housing Solutions Initiative,’ a scheme that looks beyond simply building new housing to embrace holistic urban development. The proposal [would] refocus the zoning code to incentivize the development of smaller units and allow housing developers to offer community amenities that are decoupled from auto-oriented uses.”

San Diego city council strengthens inclusionary requirements

The new law requires developers to make 10 percent of the homes they build available to low-income renters — those earning 60 percent of Area Median Income — or pay an in lieu fee of $25 per square foot to opt out of the inclusionary requirement.

Worth a look: SF’s most underrated buildings

Curbed San Francisco readers reveal the local unpraised buildings they love most.

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

“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.’ ”