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Central Coast Section News

City of Agoura Hills Releases RFP for City Planner
May 19, 2017 to June 2, 2017

The City of Agoura Hills is seeking a qualified professional city planner to augment development review services of the Planning Department. Below/attached is a Request for Proposal for a City Planning Consultant. We hope you will consider responding to this proposal.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Allison Cook, Assistant Planning Director, at (818) 597-7310 or at acook@ci.agoura-hills.ca.us. Proposals are due no later than June 2nd, 2017.

PDF icon RFP - City Planning Consultant (2017) (5-12-17).pdf
Student Perspective | Venoco Bankruptcy
May 5, 2017

Submission by Sydney Bartone, Student Representative for the Central Coast Section of APA California

The sensitive Gaviota Coastline is in need of protection from urban development. However this is not the only threat it faces, oil production off the coast and its frequent spills has also had detrimental effects. One of the companies most responsible for oil production off the coast of Santa Barbara also happens to be one of the largest oil producing companies in California, a company called Venoco LLC.  To many people’s surprise it was recently released that Venoco has filed for bankruptcy. This means that the portion of the oil-rich Santa Barbara Channel that has long been a source of revenue for the state and county will see production stop now that the California State Lands Commission is taking over Venoco LLC's interest in the South Ellwood Field leases (located near UCSB).  The bankruptcy is said to be caused by a persistent slump in crude markets as well as a significant spill at Refugio Beach State Park in 2015 due to a pipeline rupture. Venoco is known for its ability to successfully drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Santa Barbara Coast. However, the company filed for bankruptcy listing with as much as 1 billion dollars in debt. Noteworthy is the fact that Venoco is not alone. Over 50 oil and gas producers have gone bankrupt in the last two years owing a total of more than 17 billion dollars. Though a sad situation for the Venoco company, environmentalists may view this as a feat as oil production off the Santa Barbara coast will at least temporarily decrease. 

Student Update | Gaviota Coast Movie Screenings in Santa Barbara
May 5, 2017 to June 30, 2017

Gaviota Coast Movies

Submission by Sydney Bartone, Student Representative for the Central Coast Section of APA California

Last month an environmental nonprofit group, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, hosted a wonderful event after the showing of two films in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival titled, “Gaviota the End of Southern California” by Shaw Leonard and “Losing Ground” by UCSB student Trevor Lestak. The films completely sold out the Lobero Theater with over a hundred people still waiting in line. These movies provided a glimpse of the incredible Gaviota Coast and helped to spread awareness about the need to protect it. The Gaviota Coast, located just north of UCSB and stretches for 76 miles, constitutes about 15% of Southern California’s coast yet contains 50% of its remaining rural coastline. This is a concerning statistic! Currently, there are five large ranches on the eastern Gaviota Coast that are proposing large residential developments which would bring malls, hotels and numerous housing developments to the sensitive Gaviota bluffs. The Gaviota Coast represents the only coastal Mediterranean ecosystem in North America and is a home for many threatened and endangered species as well as five state and county parks. The Gaviota Coast Conservancy as well as Santa Barbara County planners and staff are working with local land owners and citizens to limit development and extend the California Coastal Trail to improve public access. Just last year the Gaviota Coast Plan was passed which amends the County’s Comprehensive Plan and will again be reviewed this year. The Gaviota Coast Plan’s goal is to offer relief for small scale, sustainable agricultural endeavors while still protecting the coastline’s natural resources. UCSB will be hosting these films later this month so keep your eyes peeled and come learn more about this unique landscape located in our backyard!

NEXT SCREENING

APA California Seeking Position Letters on Legislation
April 30, 2017

The APA’s California Chapter is monitoring legislation moving through committee hearings in Sacramento. Letters in support of APA’s positions on the bills are welcome. Please visit the Cal APA legislation page to review the most important bills and APA’s position letters at  apacalifornia.org/legislation/legislative-review-teams/position-letters

Changes to Student Membership Begin July 2017
April 9, 2017

APA is making entry into the association easier and more affordable for students and new planners. Starting in July 2017, APA student membership will be free for any individual who is enrolled as a full- or part-time degree-seeking student in any college or university program. Membership will be free for the duration of an individual's studies. "Free" includes national, chapter, and AICP membership, as well as membership in up to five APA divisions. Student members will be eligible for two years of reduced dues after ending their studies. The current membership structure and dues will be in effect through June 2017. We will communicate with individuals who currently are in the Early Career Membership Program (i.e., who joined as a student member within the last five years) to ensure a smooth transition into the new framework. We will share more information about these membership changes in Spring 2017. Stay tuned! Contact APA staff at customerservice@planning.org or call 312-431-9100 if you have questions.

City of Santa Barbara Releases Request for Proposals
April 9, 2017

The City’s Community Development Department, Planning Division, is requesting proposals from a qualified public outreach consultant (individual or firm) to prepare a Public Outreach Program, and conduct meeting facilitation and other outreach activities as needed, for three separate but related California Coastal Commission (CCC) grant-funded work programs to update the City’s Local Coastal Program (LCP). The first work program is a comprehensive update to the City’s Coastal Land Use Plan (LUP), a draft of which is set for public release this summer (2017). This effort will be followed by the preparation of a Sea Level Rise (SLR) Adaptation Plan and preservation of lower cost visitor serving accommodations (LCVSA) work program, both of which will extend into Spring 2019. Click on PDF below to view the City's request for proposals.

PDF icon Request for Proposals | City of Santa Barbara, Local Coastal Program Public Outreach
CPF Scholarship Program Deadline on May 1st 2017!
April 9, 2017 to May 2, 2017

May 1st is the final date to apply for the scholarships available annually in the CPF scholarship program. All students in our Central Coast section are encouraged to review the various scholarship award criteria, closely assess the eligible schools and degree programs to ensure there is fit, and complete the online application process and providing letters of recommendation. You can find the scholarship program here on the CPF website, click here to visit the CPF website.If you have questions or need some guidance, please contact Dave Ward, Section CPF Liaison at dward@cityofventura.net or by phone (805) 889-9944.

State Fire Marshal Releases Bulletin Related to Accessory Dwelling Units
March 28, 2017

View the State Fire Marshal Bulletin (17-001) at osfm.fire.ca.gov

Image icon State Fire Marshal Bulletin 17-001
Housing a priority in the new state legislative session
March 26, 2017 to July 1, 2017

AGAIN, HOUSING A PRIORITY IN THE NEW STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Written by Allison Cook, AICP, APA Central Coast Section Legislative Officer

On January 19, 2017, a diverse stakeholder group (strange bedfellows) signed a letter to encourage the Governor, President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, Members of the Legislature, and the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development to make housing a priority in the 2017 legislative session. The stakeholder group is comprised of such organizations as the California State Association of Counties, Planning and Conservation League, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Council of Infill Builders, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, State Building and Construction Trades Council, California League of Conservation Voters, and, of course, California APA, among others.

The group stated its willingness to work together on housing supply and affordability, and increase housing production in California. The letter proposes a “Housing Concept” with eight key principles:

  • A $100 million fund to update local general plans and specific plans, bringing them into alignment with the region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, an element of SB 374 (Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008)
  • Consistency with implementation of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006)
  • Link of transportation funds with affordable and workforce housing production
  • Legislation to create a permanent funding source on par with the redevelopment affordable housing set aside from 2010
  • Better enforcement of existing housing laws, and incentives for cities and counties that make significant progress toward providing their fair share of affordable housing
  • Streamlined permitting for projects that meet certain requirements, including paying prevailing wages, location within an infill area, and sites that have already undergone environmental and public review

Stay tuned for more about California APA’s specific position on housing production strategies…

Legislative Update | APACA Hot Bills
March 26, 2017 to July 31, 2017

HOT BILLS IN THE STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION – APA’S POSITION

Written by Allison Cook, AICP, APA Central Coast Section Legislative Officer

 Just introduced last month, California APA has identified “hot bills” to watch in the 2017 state legislation session. Here are a few:

AB 1/SB 1: Transportation funding (Frazier/Beall): Supported by Cal APA and environmental groups, this bill would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program in the State Transportation Fund to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. Funds would be derived from a $0.012 per gallon increase in the gas tax; an increase of $38 in the annual vehicle registration fee; and a new $165 annual vehicle registration fee applicable to zero-emission motor vehicles. 

AB 30: Planning and zoning: specific plan: housing (Cabellero): This bill would authorize a city or county to identify an area of “underperforming infill” and prepare a specific plan to provide for immediate development in that area. The specific plan would need to make certain findings relating to the need for affordable housing and designate the specific plan area as an overlay zone where development is permitted by right. Cal APA opposes this bill unless amended to include incentives to prepare the specific plan. Cal APA also notes that the bill provides nothing new, as cities and counties already can prepare specific plans, and urges the bill’s author to make clear the goals. The bill should also define what is meant by an “underperforming infill” area. 

AB 72: Attorney General; enforcement; housing laws (Santiago): Cal APA supports this bill in concept, but is seeking more clarity. The bill would appropriate money from the General Fund for the Attorney General to enforce housing laws. Cal APA believe the bill needs to identify from where the money would come and on what specific items it would be spent, as well as setting a limit on the amount. Cal APA is also seeking to pinpoint the scope of authority of the Attorney General.

AB 352: State Housing Law: efficiency units (Santiago): Under this legislation, a city and county could not establish a higher square footage requirement for efficiency units than that required in the International Building Code, and could not limit the number of efficiency units below an unspecified number in certain locations near public transit or university campuses. The bill is supported by Cal APA if the requirement for proximity to transit is reconsidered.

AB 565: Building standards: alternative building regulations: artists’ housing (Bloom): Existing law authorizes a city or county to adopt alternative building regulations for the conversion of commercial or industrial buildings to joint living and work quarters. This bill would actually require a city or county to adopt alternative building regulations and would specify that these regulations include provisions for housing artists, artisans, and other similar individuals. Cal APA believes that the building provisions should apply to anyone living in these quarters, not just artists and artisans. The bill does not address how artists and artisans require special regulations. Cal APA cautions the authors to consider the Fair Housing Act. Cal APA also recommends that, rather than this bill, the appropriate entity to consider such building regulations in terms of safety issues is the California Building Standards Commission, especially to reduce liability for local agencies.

AB 663: Coastal resources: housing (Bloom): This bill would require housing opportunities for persons of low- and moderate-income to be protected, encouraged, and, where feasible, provided in the Coastal Zone. Cal APA is “watching” this bill, as the provisions are not clear.

 

Other bills of interest:

AB 64: Cannabis: medical and nonmedical: regulation and advertising (Bonta)

AB 151: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: market-based compliance (Burke)

AB 59: Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program (Thurmond)

AB 71: Taxes: credits: low-income housing: allocation increase (Chiu)

AB 18: California Clean Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Garcia, Eduardo)

AB 74: Housing (Chiu)

AB 190: Local government: development permits: design review (Steinorth)

AB 202: Planning and zoning: density bonuses (Steinorth)

AB 239: California Environmental Quality Act: urbanized areas (Ridley-Thomas)

AB 256: Land use: housing (Steinorth)

AB 278: California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: existing transportation infrastructure (Steinorth)

AB 346: Redevelopment: housing successor: Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund (Daly)

AB 494: Land use: accessory dwelling units (Bloom)

SB 2: Building Homes and Jobs Act (Atkins)

SB 3: Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 (Beall)

To read the full text of these bills, and others, as well as to follow the course of these bills, please visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/.

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