Sustainable Development Update - March 2019 #2

Allen Matkins
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San Diego City Council votes to eliminate parking requirements for new housing near public transit

■CBS8 - March 4

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 on Monday to remove minimum parking requirements for new housing developments in an effort to alleviate the city’s dearth of affordable housing and cut down on vehicular carbon emissions. Current city law mandates a minimum of at least one parking space per housing unit or bedroom. That minimum increases concurrently with the number of bedrooms in a unit. The new parking requirements -- if approved on second reading -- will apply to developments in “transit priority areas,” which the San Diego Association of Governments defines as sitting within one half-mile of a current or planned transit stop.

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News

S.F. supervisor reintroduces proposal to limit corporate cafeterias

■San Francisco Chronicle - March 6

Months after the San Francisco Planning Commission shot down a proposed ban on new employee cafeterias, popular among tech companies, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí plans to propose a new, watered-down version of the legislation. Instead of prohibiting new cafeterias altogether, companies would instead have to apply for a conditional use permit, which the Planning Commission would evaluate on criteria such as the size of the new cafeteria; the impact it would have on existing businesses in the immediate neighborhood; and whether the cafeteria would be open to all employees and contractors, like janitors, servers, and security guards. The original legislation, authored by Safaí and co-sponsored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, generated significant backlash when they proposed it last year.

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Oceanside takes step toward water independence with $2.6 million grant

■San Diego Union-Tribune - March 1

Oceanside announced it will receive a $2.6 million federal grant to build two more of the wells that the city has used for more than 20 years to supply a portion of its drinking water. The wells pump brackish water from what’s called the Mission Basin, an area near the airport, the old swap meet property, and the San Luis Rey River. The city filters the water using the same reverse osmosis process used on a much larger scale in Carlsbad to desalinate seawater. Most of Southern California relies primarily on imported water carried by aqueducts from Northern California and the Colorado River. However, the dry climate and increasing population are forcing cities to find new sources.

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Annual energy efficiency spending in North America expected to reach $11 billion by 2028

■Energy Manager Today - March 6

According to a new Navigant Research report, annual energy efficiency spending in North America is expected to reach nearly $11.3 billion in 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.6 percent over the forecast period (2019-2028). The report states that electric energy efficiency in North America is moving to integrate other distributed energy resources to help ensure grid reliability, meet state and provincial efficiency requirements, and help some localities meet their emissions reduction targets or other energy goals.

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Inglewood votes to limit rent hikes and halt evictions spurred by development

■Los Angeles Times - March 6

Inglewood officials adopted an emergency ordinance this Tuesday to limit rent increases and halt evictions temporarily while the city tries to find a permanent solution to address rapidly rising rents spurred in part by construction of a $2.6-billion football stadium and entertainment complex on the former site of the Hollywood Racetrack and Casino. The measure, which received a unanimous 5-0 vote from the Inglewood City Council, will prevent landlords during a 45-day period from raising rents by more than 5 percent and evicting tenants for any reasons other than criminal activity or drug use in the rental property. The ordinance excludes units built after 1995, single-family homes, and condominiums, as well as short-term housing such as hotels. The council has the option to extend the ordinance for up to one year.

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New agency would raise public dollars to build thousands of housing units in the Bay Area

■San Francisco Chronicle - March 7

A new Bay Area agency would raise public funds to build thousands of homes a year, provide emergency rental assistance for tenants, and help cities acquire land parcels for affordable housing, under a bill that state Assemblyman David Chiu will introduce Thursday. The legislation calls for the creation of the Housing Alliance for the Bay Area, spawned from a 10-point document that Bay Area leaders approved in January. Dubbed CASA, the compact brought together developers, tech executives, politicians, and tenant advocates who agreed to a set of principles: produce 35,000 homes a year throughout the nine-county region, protect longtime residents in gentrifying neighborhoods, and tackle the Bay Area's housing shortage.

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Montecito Fire Protection District solar microgrid to be a national model

■Clean Technica - March 5

Last week, the Montecito Fire Protection District Board of Directors unanimously approved moving forward on community microgrid efforts for its headquarters and fire stations. The Montecito Community Microgrid Initiative aims to build multiple community microgrids in the area, ensuring the continuous operation of critical and priority facilities in the event of future wildfires and natural disasters, the initiative says. The project also will provide ongoing energy resilience to the broader Santa Barbara region that is served from Southern California Edison’s Goleta Substation. The project is being developed as a national model for other communities across the country, according to the Clean Coalition and the World Business Academy.

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Projects bring new design approaches to the Bay Area

■Bisnow - March 6

A few new Bay Area development projects have taken innovative approaches to design, including a focus on sustainability. For example, the Moscone Center completed its $551 million expansion in January, adding more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, new meeting rooms, and expanded lobbies. The project, which targeted LEED Platinum certification, makes Moscone Center one of the most sustainable major convention centers in North America. The expansion incorporates solar panels, energy-efficient lights, and on-site wastewater treatment for greywater and storm runoff to residents and the surrounding community.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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