San Diego plans to streamline housing approvals under airport flight path
The San Diego Union-Tribune – April 24
San Diego officials say they will soon streamline approvals for projects under the Lindbergh Field flight path, which sometimes require the City Council to overrule safety regulations enforced by county airport officials. Community leaders and representatives of the development industry last Thursday praised the city’s new effort, which would place some areas affected by the flight path in a special overlay zone to eliminate the regulatory conflict. The change could help solve San Diego’s housing crisis by giving developers greater certainty about what kinds of projects are allowed under the flight path, especially in neighborhoods zoned for high-density projects like Bankers Hill. Instead of the council deciding to override the county’s Airport Land Use Commission on a case-by-case basis, the council would approve an overlay zone, where limits on the size of projects would already account for the airport rules.
S.F. Planning Commission votes in favor of ordinance restricting new office development in the Mission District
Curbed – April 24
The San Francisco Planning Commission voted unanimously at last Thursday’s online meeting in favor of a rezoning plan put forth by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the Mission District on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. If the plan passes, the Mission District will soon be off limits to almost all new office development. The zoning changes would mean “all office uses are prohibited” in the neighborhood,” except that a “professional service, financial service, or medical service is allowed as a conditional use on the ground floor” in most cases. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors must still give final approval to the plan.
Los Angeles-led, public-private partnership pitches $150B green infrastructure package to Congress
TechCrunch - April 23
Representatives from the government and the utility managing the power of Los Angeles are proposing a sweeping infrastructure package worth roughly $150 billion centered on the broad electrification of transportation and industry. Drafted by the Los Angeles-based public-private Transportation Electrification Partnership, a collaboration between the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Southern California Edison, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, the proposal lays out a number of initiatives based on work that’s already being done in Los Angeles to electrify the city’s infrastructure. The proposal sets out four big initiatives, including zero-emissions vehicle manufacturing, assembly, and adoption; zero-emissions infrastructure investments; commitments to public transit investments; workforce development and job training. Popular programs like Opportunity Zones, New Market Tax Credits, and Community Development Finance Institutions could be used to boost the government’s commitment with private capital, the plan’s authors argue.
San Diego asks for public input on new master parks plan
KUSI – April 24
San Diego is asking the public for input on a draft document outlining the future of the city’s parks and recreation system as it expands its “Play Everywhere” initiative. The draft of the parks master plan is the first since 1956. At the time, the city owned 5,700 acres of parkland and 13 recreation centers across 38 communities. Today, the city owns and maintains more than 42,000 acres of park assets across 52 communities. The parks plan is part of the Complete Communities Initiative, which focuses on housing, mobility choices, infrastructure, and public open spaces such as parks, to attempt to deliver on the city’s vision of quality neighborhoods that are diverse, walkable, connected, safe, and sustainable.
Sonoma County winery becomes the world’s largest living building
Architect – April 22
Opened to the public in 2018, Silver Oak’s 113-acre Alexander Valley winery has been certified as a Living Building by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), making it the largest certified Living Building in the world. Like all projects that achieve Living Building status, Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley winery underwent in a one-year audit to prove that the winery meets the ILFI’s net-zero waste, net-zero energy, and net-zero water requirements.