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Central Coast Section News

Planners Awarded with Success in San Luis Obispo
April 29, 2018

With just over forty people in attendance, the Central Coast Section of the American Planning Association convened another successful Planning Awards event in San Luis Obispo on April 29, 2018 to honor and recognize the outstanding planning efforts throughout the Central Coast area and to enjoy catching up with colleagues.

The event coincided the 50th anniversary of Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning (CRP) Program. CRP faculty member Ray Hashimoto was the event’s opening speaker and called attention to the change and growth that the program has undergone in its fifty years of “Learning by Doing” and the many successful alumni that have gone on to make changes in the world as a result of the program. One of the year’s recipients was even a group of students from Cal Poly’s CRP Program, emphasizing the success of up and coming students from Cal Poly.

Nominations were evaluated for the award category in which they were submitted. Awards of Excellence are eligible to participate in the State APACA Awards Competition. This year’s judges provided the following awards to the following projects and organizations from throughout the Central Coast:


Economic Planning and Development Award: “Harbor Terrace Pre-Development Services” awarded to Port San Luis Harbor District and Lisa Wise Consulting, Inc.

Transportation Planning Award: “Ventura County Regional Bicycle Wayfinding Project” awarded to the Ventura County Transportation Commission and Alta Planning + Design

Academic Award: “Old Town Urban Design Concept Plan for City of Newark” awarded to the Department of City and Regional Planning, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dr. Hemalata C. Dandekar and the City of Newark Community Development Department


Comprehensive Plan Implementation – Small Jurisdiction: “Shell Beach Design Standards Guidelines” awarded to the City of Pismo Beach and RRM Design Group





















APA California State Conference - Stay Informed
May 4, 2018 to October 10, 2018

The 2018 APA California state conference will be in San Diego on October 7 - 10, 2018. You can stay up to speed with conference announcements in a variety of online locations:

Did you know? Balboa Park represents one San Diego’s historic gems. Balboa Park housed both the 1915 Panama-California and 1935-1936 California Pacific International Expositions. Today, the Park is home to many museums exhibiting artwork, local cultural heritage, scientific discovery and the World-Famous San Diego Zoo. The Park demonstrates the San Diego’s walkability, as well as biking and hiking trails.

NPC19 | Call for Reviewers and Sessions
May 4, 2018 to June 25, 2018

APA National Conference 2019

NPC19 | San Francisco | April 13-16, 2019

Be an important part of the conference by peer-reviewing proposed education sessions. APA will select only the highest-rated proposals for the NPC19 education program. As a session reviewer, you can earn up to six volunteer CM hours. Hurry! The deadline to apply to be a reviewer is this Friday, May 4th Learn more.


Looking to submit a NPC19 session? Start preparing your content now — The submission window is June 1 – June 25, 2018.

Recommended Reading | Where Population Declines but the Economy Grows
March 23, 2018

Where Population Declines but the Economy Grows

While the scale of Detroit's population loss is well known, the lesser known that the city's economy has grown steadily in recent decades. It's not alone.

March 17, 2018, 11am PDT | James Brasuell, published at StatChat


The presumption that population decline indicates a larger problem than it does is relevant in many parts of the country—like most of Virginia and cities like Buffalo and Pittsburgh. "Over the past ten years, both the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Metro areas experienced population decline while their per capita income levels rose more than some metro areas with the fastest growing populations in the country, including Orlando and Phoenix," explains Hamilton.


After digging deeper into the statistics of population decline end economic growth in counties around Virginia, Hamilton also suggests why it's important for communities with declining population to make a more honest assessment of their economy.

full article: http://statchatva.org/2018/03/13/is-population-decline-bad/

Leg News | Important Ballot Initiatives Regarding Local Government Revenue
March 23, 2018

Important Ballot Initiatives Regarding Local Government Revenue

There are currently two statewide ballot initiatives proposed by business organizations that may be of major interest to APA California members. The initiatives would make it even more difficult to enact new fees and taxes at the local level – both are in the signature gathering process. Below are the summaries, including the link to the initiative language. APA will be watching these closely if/when they qualify for the ballot. Signature collection must be completed and sent to the Secretary of State’s office by May 11th, 2018 to qualify. The League of California Cities is assembling a coalition of organizations to likely oppose the initiatives and the APA California Board will be considering whether to sign onto that coalition should the initiative qualify. Please contact Lauren De Valencia y Sanchez at lauren@stefangeorge.com if you have any questions or comments.

Expands Requirement for Supermajority Approval to Enact New Revenue Measures.

  • Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

  • Summary Date: 01/26/18

  • Circulation Deadline: 07/25/18

  • Signatures Required: 585,407

  • Proponents: Robert Lapsley c/o Kurt Oneto (916) 446-6752

  • For new revenue measures, broadens definition of state taxes that would require approval by two-thirds supermajority vote of Legislature. For local governments, requires two-thirds approval of electorate to raise new taxes or governing body to raise new fees. Requires that state and local laws enacting new taxes specify how revenues can be spent. Heightens legal threshold for state and local governments to prove that fees passed without two-thirds approval are not taxes. Invalidates local taxes imposed in 2018, unless taxes meet criteria adopted by this measure. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Likely minor decrease in annual state revenues and potentially substantial decrease in annual local revenues, depending upon future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, voters, and the courts. Link to language: 17-0050.


Expands Requirement for Supermajority Approval to Enact New Local Government Revenue Measures

  • Initiative Constitutional Amendment

  • Summary Date: 01/26/18

  • Circulation Deadline: 07/25/18

  • Signatures Required: 585,407

  • Proponents: Robert Lapsley c/o Kurt Oneto (916) 446-6752

For local governments, requires two-thirds approval of electorate to raise new taxes or governing body to raise new fees. Requires that local laws enacting new taxes specify how revenues can be spent. Heightens legal threshold for local governments to prove that fees passed without two-thirds voter approval are not taxes. Invalidates local taxes imposed in 2018, unless taxes meet criteria adopted by this measure. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potentially substantial decrease in annual local revenues, depending upon future actions of local governing bodies, voters, and the courts. Link to language 17-0051.

2018 California Planning Foundation Scholarship Application Available!
March 23, 2018
2018 California Planning Foundation Scholarship Application is now available!  This year, over $60,000 in scholarships will be distributed to outstanding planning students in California.
Please share this announcement widely through your contacts and planning networks, and be sure to highlight that the deadline for students to apply is 11:59 PM on April 30, 2018! More information is available at https://californiaplanningfoundation.org/scholarships/
Los Angeles Section CPF Liaison Cheryl Croshere will be hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, April 3rd at 5:30 PM for students to discuss the CPF scholarship application process and to answer questions. Registration to attend the webinar is required at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4236848600079014657
Cal Poly SLO's City and Regional Planning Department Marks its 50th Anniversary
February 24, 2018 to April 29, 2018

Written by Ray Hashimoto, AICP

The Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo was established in the fall of 1968. The first home for the CRP Department classes and labs was Engineering West-Second floor, prime real estate on the Cal Poly campus nestled in among the School of Architecture, Business School and Engineering School buildings. This location is telling as it reflects how city planners must bridge the gap between many disciplines not only in the design world but also the business world outside academia. After a series of relocations on campus over the 50 years, CRP now resides back in Engineering West as it was in the beginning and is still fostering the relationships between the built environment and business. 

The first graduating class was comprised of 20 students, 19 men and 2 women; six faculty members supported the first CRP students. In comparison, there are now 39 undergrad students in this year's graduating class as well as 22 masters candidates. 29 female students and 32 male students which seem to mirror the rise of women in the profession of city and regional planning. Currently, the Department's staff and faculty has grown to 15. The City and Regional Planning Department has over 1,500 alumni that are practicing land use planning in the public and private sectors throughout California and the rest of the country.

Of course, the Cal Poly mantra "Learn by Doing" is very prevalent in the CRP curriculum. Urban design studio work, preparation of Master/Specific Plans, General Plans, Transportation and Sustainability and CEQA studies have always been front and center piece with this program. The City and Regional Program consistently ranks near the top of planning programs nationally ever year.

As a member of the Advisory Council for the CRP Department and a proud member of the class of 1981, I would like to invite all alums of our program to take part in the 50th Anniversary Celebration that will be held at the San Luis Obispo/Cal Poly Campus on April 27th and 28th 2018. Please visit the CRP Department websit at planning.calpoly.edu for further information on scheduled events, sponsorships and networking opportunities.

Cal Poly 50th 

PDF icon Cal Poly 50th Anniversary
Call for Nominations for 2018 APA Central Coast Awards
January 13, 2018 to February 23, 2018

The Central Coast Section of APACA is requesting planning award nominations for the 2018 Central Coast Planning Awards!  The deadline for nominations is close of business day on February 23, 2018. Submit a planning award nomination by reviewing and following the instruction on the Planning Awards 2018 Nomination Form.  

Categories and policies may be obtained at the APACA website at apacalifornia.org/events/awards-program where you will find more information on types of categories and projects the APACA and the Central Coast Section are looking for.  Projects should be located within the tri-county section and/or the firm or agency should be located within the tri-county area.  Projects receiving Excellence recognition are eligible to compete in the APACA State Awards program. 

Contact Hollee L. King, AICP, at holle@sitespacificplanning.com or 805-901-2261 for more information on the Central Coast Section’s Awards Program or to submit your nomination.

 Awards Nomination and Submission Details:

  • Nominations will be evaluated for the award category in which they were submitted. However, the Central Coast Section Award Jury may, upon majority vote, move a nomination to a different category, if appropriate.
  • Nominations are eligible to receive an Award of Excellence or an Award of Merit. Only one winner for each type of award per category. An Award of Excellence award is eligible to participate in the State APACA Awards Competition.
  • Award Winners will be notified. The level of award will not be announced until the Awards Program. Anyone not receiving an award will be notified as well.

Final Deadline For Submissions: February 23, 2018 

California Legislative Update - December 2017
January 1, 2018

2018 Legislative Predictions

The Legislative Session will resume on January 3rd, 2018. While 2017 was a very active year for housing and many other planning-related bills, we expect 2018 to be another busy year for APA California.  APA California is aware of various proposals that will be of interest to members – potential legislation is already being discussed on the following issues: impact fee reductions, clean up legislation for the housing package bills that were signed into law this year, further restrictions on accessory dwelling unit requirements, further limitations on parking minimums for housing developments, and a possible return of the small cell permitting bill. There are also a number of two-year bills (listed below) that will likely be moving again next year. 

Housing Package Implementation Webinar

APA California recently hosted a webinar to assist members in implementing the bills included in the Governor’s Housing Package. The PowerPoint slides are available online at the APA California website and the video recording is available at: https://www.gotostage.com/channel/075a5c61776c4057a6cd60732adf6db0/recording/beb9bd0bf5b24f64a3506c06eb883de1/watch

OPR Guidelines on CEQA

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) recently released updated CEQA Guidelines (sent to APA members by a previous e-blast).  Among other things, the updated Guidelines include proposed amendments related to analyzing transportation impacts pursuant to SB 743 -- moving to vehicle miles traveled from level of service -- and proposed updates to the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. Under the SB 743 changes in the Guidelines, the focus of transportation analysis will shift from driver delay to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, creation of multimodal networks and promotion of a mix of land uses.


The following guidance documents related to the Guidelines are also now available:

  • A “Thematic Responses to Comments” document explaining some of the major themes in the comments that OPR received on this package and the thematic responses to those concerns, and all of the public comments received during the public review process.
  • A “Frequently Asked Questions” document answering some specific questions that OPR commonly received during the public review process.
  • A technical advisory on evaluating transportation impacts.
  • The technical research supporting the proposal. 

All of these documents and additional information are available on OPR’s website at http://opr.ca.gov/ceqa/updates/guidelines/.  Specific information about SB 743 is available at http://opr.ca.gov/ceqa/updates/sb-743/.

According to OPR, the next steps will be the start of the formal administrative rulemaking process by the Natural Resources agency under the Administrative Procedure Act. That rulemaking process will entail additional public review, and may lead to further revisions. After completing the rulemaking process, the Secretary for the Natural Resources Agency may adopt the changes. Changes would only go into effect after the Office of Administrative Law reviews and approves the changes.

Notice of future activity on the CEQA Guidelines will be posted on OPR’s website and distributed through the CEQA Guidelines List Serve. The Natural Resources Agency will also post updated information about the rulemaking process on its website.


How You Can Get Involved in Shaping APA California’s Legislative Positions

Next year, as bills are making their way through hearings and floor votes, APA California will be lobbying and sending letters to the authors and other members in support of or opposition to their measures.  We encourage you to participate in APA California’s Legislative Review Teams, whose members advise APA on legislative positions, potential amendments and key planning policies. Information on the Review Teams and sign up information are located on the APA California website legislation page. As always, we would also appreciate letters to legislators and the Governor from APA California members or their employers that are consistent with those positions. To review the letters, and for an alert on APA’s positions on all of the major planning-related bills, please go to the legislative tab on APA’s website at www.apacalifornia.com. All position letters will be posted on the APA California website “Legislation” page, which can be found here:  https://www.apacalifornia.org/legislation/legislative-review-teams/position-letters/. Position letters will continue to be posted here as they are written and updated – APA encourages you to use these as templates for your own jurisdiction/company letters. 



AB 565 – Alternative building standards for artists

Position: Watch


AB 686 – California “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” law

Position: Support if amended


AB 865 – Amnesty for non-compliant live/work buildings

Position: Oppose


AB 1250 – County services contract restrictions

Position: Oppose


AB 1404 – CEQA infill exemption for counties

Position: Support


SB 431 – Accessory dwelling code compliance for permitting 

Position: Concerns 


SB 697 – Development impact fee reporting and restrictions

Position: Opposed


All Hot Bills

To view the full list of hot planning bills, copies of the measures, up-to-the minute status and APA California letters and positions, please continue to visit the legislative page on APA California’s website at www.apacalifornia.org.

"Young Planners Group" Changes Name to "Emerging Professional Planners"
November 5, 2017

Extra, Extra, Read All About It…. The Young Planners Group has a New Name!

The Central Coast Section of the American Planning Association recently changed the name of their Young Planners Group (YPG) to the Emerging Planning Professionals (EPP) Group!  The EPP experience is aimed at fostering professional development through an exchange of professional ideas, networking, and guidance between experienced planners and young planning professionals. Planning professionals who are new to the field, whether you have just finished your education or have made a career change, are welcome! The EPP includes Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. Interested in joining the EPP? Contact your local EPP Coordinator!


Kristina Roodsari Boero



Sara Kopp Tistaert, AICP



Rachel Raynor


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