Salk Institute gets $35 million for ‘audacious’ plan to fight global warming with carbon-hungry plants
■San Diego Union-Tribune - April 16
The Salk Institute will receive more than $35 million, one of its largest donations ever, to design plants to fight global warming. The grant from the TED Audacious Project goes to the Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative, which seeks to breed and genetically engineer plants to soak up more carbon dioxide from the air. The initiative was announced in November 2017.
ULI Greenprint congratulates five members recognized as Energy Star “Partners of the Year”
■Urban Land - April 14
Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program honors businesses and organizations that have made contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. This year, five ULI Greenprint members were named Energy Star “Partner of the Year.” Those members include: Kilroy Realty Corporation, which launched the “Brokers for Better Buildings” Twitter campaign to celebrate brokers who helped sign green leases in its Energy Star–certified buildings, and Tishman Speyer, which implemented a standardized energy management system in a cloud-based monitoring system for its entire portfolio, which allows for real-time diagnosis of energy use patterns and live Energy Star score updates.
This is how public transportation is transforming California’s housing market
■Housing Wire - April 15
New statistics from Trulia indicate that the percentage of Los Angeles homebuyers searching for homes near public transportation is on the rise. “The share of listings in L.A. including public transit keywords such as ‘metro’ or ‘subway’ has doubled since 2013,” Trulia writes. “These listings are especially common along L.A.’s Metro rail lines, which are the focus of a $120 billion public transit expansion.” Additionally, in all but the most-expensive market segment, homes boasting of nearby transit access are selling for about 4.2 percent more than their counterparts.
L.A. City Council opposes state bill that would lift local zoning rules
■Los Angeles Times - April 16
For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles City Council has come out against a plan by San Francisco-based Senator Scott Wiener to lift restrictions on higher-density housing near rail stations, major bus routes, and areas with high concentrations of jobs. Senate Bill 50 would allow developers to build four- to five-story residential projects near rail stations and major transit stops. In neighborhoods with frequent bus service, and areas designated as “job rich,” cities and counties would be forced to relax their zoning requirements and allow the construction of smaller apartment or townhouse projects. The council voted to oppose a similar housing measure, Senate Bill 827, last year.
S.F. supervisors vote to give nonprofits first crack at multifamily residential buildings
■San Francisco Chronicle - April 17
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed an ordinance that gives nonprofits first dibs on purchasing multifamily residential buildings. It’s a move that officials hope will preserve more affordable housing in the city, but may already face legal challenges. If the ordinance passes a second vote at next week’s meeting and is signed by the mayor, owners would be required to first give qualified nonprofits — such as the Mission Economic Development Agency and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation — the opportunity to purchase a building with three or more residential rental units that currently exists or is under construction, or a vacant lot where such a building could be built.
Marshall College to install solar panels during summer
■The Triton - April 17
UC San Diego Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) will install solar panels on the Marshall College Upper Apartments in summer 2019 as part of the campus’ continued efforts toward sustainability. The thermal solar panels absorb energy from sunlight with the use of preheated water for conversion into usable, sustainable energy. In addition to the solar panels, HDH will install hot water storage tanks to facilitate the absorption of solar energy. The project will contribute to UCSD’s existing sustainability goals, which include initiatives toward carbon neutrality and zero waste.
Borrego Solar canopy project powering California community college
■Solar Power World - April 15
Yuba College, a community college in the Yuba Community College District in Marysville, California, celebrates the completion of a 1-megawatt solar carport installation expected to result in $10 million of avoided utility costs over the life of the system. The district purchased the solar outright. Borrego Solar installed the solar canopy project that, along with another offsite PV system, will be enough to power all of Yuba College’s electricity needs.