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Central Coast Section News
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…
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/.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has prepared an Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum as of December 2016. It reflects the 2016 legislation that brought some significant changes to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) law, and provides information on preparing a new ordinance to meet the new Government Code provisions.
Student Perspective | Wet Winter Not Without Costs
Santa Barbara recently felt the repercussions of the easy of California’s lengthy drought, a staggering amount of rain following the New Year has led to significant damage. Despite the added benefits of rain in our time of drought, this short period of rain has caused a significant amount of damage in terms of delayed projects and erosion to the Santa Barbara County.
The total amount in damages for the month of January of this year has amounted to 7 million dollars, with February storms unaccounted for so far. However, the cost is sure to climb.
The rainy season has come to a halt temporarily, allowing residents to ask themselves how the County of Santa Barbara is preparing itself for stronger potential storms in the near future. Are we ready?
Written by Luis Martinez, a student Ambassador for the Central Coast Section of the American Planning Association’s California Chapter
Following the collapse of a balcony on the 66 block of Del Playa, Isla Vista and the displacement of approximately one dozen residents, powerful rainstorms threatened the safety of students living on the oceanside cliff. While recent rainstorms caused fallen trees, fallen highways, and numerous potholes, the nightmare worsened as rental groups and engineers rushed to examine the safety of their properties. Over 20 students were evacuated due to recent findings in inspections, giving them just days to pack up their belongings and find new housing situations.
Written by Janel Ancayan, a UCSB Student Representative of Central Coast Section of the American Planning Association’s California Chapter
Help further the professional practice of planning California! The California Planning Foundation (CPF) provides scholarship support for students preparing for careers in the planning profession and promotes continued professional development of practicing planners in California.
- Participate in regular calls (every 1-2 months) with the CPF Board
- Help coordinate scholarship application distribution/promotion
- Support of the annual CPF fundraisers.
The California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA California) established the California Planning Foundation (CPF) in 1970 as a nonprofit, charitable corporation with the goal of furthering the professional practice of planning in California. The primary focus is providing scholarships and awards to university students in financial need. The scholarship recipients come from many backgrounds and are selected because they are talented and motivated and have demonstrated academic excellence at university planning programs in California.
A secondary, but vitally important function is fostering professional development through the sponsorship of workshops, publications, research studies and other continuing educational and professional programs. CPF promotes the objectives of equal opportunity and social equity in all programs supported by contributions and fund-raising activities.
Do you know of a city, town or community group that is in desperate need of planning assistance but cannot afford to hire professional planners? If so, refer them to APA California. The Chapter has launched a program to provide pro bono planning services to help such communities address a pressing planning issue.
Known as CPAT (Community Planning Assistance Team), the program pairs expert planning professionals from throughout the State with residents and other stakeholders from communities with limited resources to solve a specific local planning problem. It is an intensive one to three day effort. The volunteers receive no compensation, but the community is expected to cover direct costs for transportation, meals and overnight accommodations (if required).
Check out the Chapter website at apacalifornia.org/professional-development/apa-california-cpat-program. There you can learn more about the program and download an application form. The application is pretty simple, but you may want to help the community to complete it.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! APA California is anxious to empower communities with limited resources to solve pressing planning problems and to gain the confidence necessary to develop and achieve a positive vision for their future.
If you have questions or require additional information, please contact Robert Paternoster, FAICP, at email@example.com or (562) 400-3825.
P.S. If you want to volunteer for a Community Planning Assistance Team, you will also find the volunteer form on the website. Here is your chance to give back!
While American Planning Association does not typically post obituary notices on its website, we pass on the notice below to our members in sympathy to the colleagues, friends and family of Dr. David T. Dubbink, PhD, AICP.
David T. Dubbink, PhD, AICP, died on December 2, 2016, of complications from multiple myeloma. Dr. Dubbink was a professor (emeritus) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He was also the director of David Dubbink Associates, an environmental firm specialized noise regulations. He developed the "Interactive Sound Experience" (ISe), a simulation that predicted precise acoustical data at specifically designated sites. His clients in that area included the FAA, NASA, the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy/Marine Corps, National Park Service, the governments of Canada, France and Germany, transit and airport providers and consulting firms in the US, France, Germany and Australia. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Champagne/Urbana in Industrial Design, his Masters was from UC Berkeley in City Planning and his Doctorate was from UCLA was in Urban Planning and Environmental Management. Dr. Dubbink is survived by family, friends and former students.
He was loved and respected and will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Multiple Myeloma cancer research.
Submitted by Susan Swagerty
The California Chapter of the American Planning Association is currently seeking someone to fill the open position of Great Places in California Coordinator. This is an appointed position under the direction of the Vice President of Marketing and Membership.
Great Places in California is an annual award program that begins with nominations in February, winner selection in April, and ends with award acknowledgements at the state Chapter conference in September or October. Responsibilities include:
- Announcement of award nomination period
- Sending acknowledgements to all nominators
- Coordination of award jury deliberations
- Announcement of winners/preparation of certificate awards
- Preparation for awards ceremony at chapter conference
Because the 2017 Great Places in California program is now in progress, first year responsibilities will be shared with the Vice President of Marketing and Membership until the new Great Places Coordinator is ready to take over. If you know of an APA member who would be good candidate and possibly interested in the position please feel to forward this information and have them contact Greg Konar, AICP firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-840-5601.