M AY 2020 |
The Monthly Magazine of the League of California Cities
Dublin Provides Affordable Housing for Veterans p.12 Encinitas Retools Planning to Increase Housing Options p.11
California Cities Demonstrate Resiliency and Leadership During COVID-19 Crisis p.6
CONTENTS 2 Calendar of League Events President’s Message 3 In an Unprecedented Crisis, Local and State Leaders Step Up
By John F. Dunbar
hen early reports of infection W showed California was among the states with the highest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, local and state leaders stepped up, taking action to slow the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations.
California Cities Demonstrate Resiliency and Leadership During COVID-19 Crisis
ith “safer at home” orders in effect W in an attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, cities were on the front lines maintaining essential services and working to protect residents who were out of work or lost their job because of the crisis.
8 Cities Reframe
Community Conversations About Housing
By Melissa Kuehne
While most people agree that California needs more housing, the conversation often becomes complicated when it turns to how, where, and why in a specific community. Cities are involving their residents and communities in discussions about housing from a new perspective.
11 2019 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
Encinitas Retools Planning to Increase Housing Options The city retooled its existing zoning and standards to make it easier for property owners to add accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats. Encinitas also successfully sponsored state legislation to make the changes possible.
12 2019 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
Dublin Provides Affordable Housing for Veterans An innovative public-private-nonprofit partnership transformed a former car dealership site into housing for veterans, comprising 66 units that are 100 percent affordable.
Job Opportunities 16 Professional Services 19 Directory
over photo: Valor Crossing, an C affordable housing complex for veterans and their families, is located in Dublin.
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President John F. Dunbar Mayor Yountville
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Magazine Staff Editor in Chief Jill Oviatt (916) 658-8228; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Jude Lemons, Citrus 3 Communications (916) 658-8234; email: email@example.com Contributing Editor Kayla Woods (916) 658-8213; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Business and Creative Manager Amanda Cadelago (916) 658-8226; email: email@example.com Advertising Sales Cici Trino Association Outsource Services, Inc. (916) 961-9999; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Administrative Assistant Savannah Cobbs (916) 658-8223; email: email@example.com Contributors Erica Manuel Katie Pebler Jennifer Whiting
Second Vice President Cindy Silva Council Member Walnut Creek
Immediate Past President Jan Arbuckle Council Member Grass Valley
Executive Director Carolyn Coleman
For a complete list of the League board of directors, visit www.cacities.org/board.
leaguevents JUNE 4–5
Policy Committee Meetings, South San Francisco The League’s policy committees review issues of interest to cities statewide and make recommendations to the League board of directors.
Legal Advocacy Committee Meeting, South San Francisco The committee reviews and recommends friend-of-the-court efforts on cases of significant statewide interest to California cities.
Mayors and Council Members Executive Forum, Monterey The forum’s sessions keep elected officials up to date on key issues.
Mayors and Council Members Advanced Leadership Workshops, Monterey The workshops offer elected officials who attended the preceding Executive Forum an opportunity to explore in greater detail topics such as managing municipal finances and resources.
Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker Design Taber Creative Group
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First Vice President Cheryl Viegas Walker Council Member El Centro
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Board of Directors Meeting, Monterey The League board reviews, discusses, and takes action on a variety of issues affecting cities, including legislation, legal advocacy, education and training, and more.
League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo, Long Beach The conference offers dozens of educational sessions, numerous professional development activities, hundreds of exhibits, and a chance to participate in the League’s policymaking activities.
Event and registration information is available at www.cacities.org. For legislative and policy updates and more, follow @CaCities. Follow Western City @WesternCityMag. Join us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/westerncity www.facebook.com/LeagueofCaCities Visit us on LinkedIn at Western City Magazine.
President’s Message by John F. Dunbar
In an Unprecedented Crisis,
Local and State Leaders Step Up In March, our communities began responding in significant ways to the pandemic of COVID-19, a potentially fatal virus spreading invisibly throughout the world with no clear solution in sight. Neighborhood businesses, schools, cities, states — and even countries — have shut down normal, everyday life. It used to be something we expected to find only on the pages of a novel or on a movie screen. Yet here it is, at our doors. In the Town of Yountville, where I serve as mayor, we have dealt with adversity before. We shook during a major earthquake centered in South Napa in August 2014. We watched in October 2017 as the hills surrounding our town burned and the air filled with smoke. We’ve endured floods and years of drought. We felt the pain just two years ago of a mass shooting that rocked our sense of security and safety. In every one of these cases, our community came together. We supported each other with hugs, conversation, and whatever else our friends and neighbors needed. We found strength as individuals and as a community by sharing our feelings, our fears, and our pain. This is different.
Now, we are staying home, isolating and social distancing ourselves, and avoiding physical contact with those same friends and neighbors who provide comfort. We remain connected through phone calls, social media, and the internet. To protect ourselves, our friends, our neighbors, and our local businesses, we have taken extraordinary actions to lower our risk of exposure and the risk of exposing others to the dangerous health impacts of COVID-19.
Cities, Counties, State, and the League Respond When early reports of infection showed California was among the states with the highest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, local and state leaders stepped up, taking action to slow the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations. City officials and staff, as well as the public, are learning new ways to communicate, both officially and personally. Teleconferencing is replacing traditional public council meetings — at least temporarily. Members of the public who are accustomed to attending meetings in person are submitting questions and
comments electronically before and even during public meetings. Many cities, including Culver City, Lynwood, San José, and San Francisco, moved to ban evictions if the tenant’s inability to pay is due to the pandemic’s impact. Fresno and other cities issued moratoriums on shutting off residents’ water and waste collection. City attorneys in Los Angeles and San Diego made it clear that price gouging would not be tolerated. The League launched a COVID-19 resource and response web page, with news, resources, and guidance to help local leaders navigate the current situation. In partnership with the Governor’s Office, the California Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Public Health, and federal agencies, the League continues to provide local leaders the information needed to protect their communities and operations. The League has provided daily updates to city leaders, via electronic communication and phone calls, throughout the crisis. Gov. Gavin Newsom acted swiftly and implemented bold measures statewide to continued Western City, May 2020
In an Unprecedented Crisis, Local and State Leaders Step Up, continued
move homeless individuals off the streets, increase hospital and health-care system capacity, expand mobile testing, and strengthen the state’s ability to help limit the spread of the virus.
Our spirit of community and togetherness keeps us connected and will provide the reassurance and comfort we all need.
Coping With Profound Impacts With schools closed and children suddenly home all day, the challenge became very real for parents trying to care for their kids, continue their educational efforts, and in many cases juggle their own workload from home. Many parents, employed in essential service industries, were suddenly faced with how to care for their children while continuing to work. The State of California responded in March by providing online curriculum materials and educational resources to support families in home-schooling their children. Colleges, universities, schools, and teachers immediately worked on strategies to bridge the gap for students through distance learning and the use of online tools. California will continue to experience not only the social impacts but also the major economic impacts of the pandemic for years. Numerous businesses and organizations, including the League, sent their employees home and took the necessary steps to enable them to continue working from
home. Workers in the non-essential service industries, such as restaurants, bars, brew pubs, hair and nail salons, gyms, and retail stores, have been particularly hard hit by the loss of employment. Through the website covid19.ca.gov and public announcements, Gov. Newsom has encouraged workers to apply for unemployment, disability benefits, and paid family leave. The State of California is working in collaboration with the Small Business Administration to facilitate help for small businesses affected by the pandemic. Many local governments have taken steps to support local small businesses. Cities are encouraging residents to order deliveries from restaurants and retailers, buy gift cards, and generously tip the service workers who continue to provide for our needs. The City of Los Angeles established a Small Business Emergency Microloan Program to provide financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises that have been affected by the COVID-19
outbreak. The City of San Diego created a $4 million economic relief package that reduces fees and offers support to local employers impacted by the pandemic. Oakland’s Finance Department is waiving late payment penalties for small businesses resulting from failure to file taxes on time due to COVID-19. And the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to create a multimillion-dollar fund to help owners and operators of local small businesses survive the growing economic impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, those on the front lines — our first responders, doctors, nurses, health care workers, and those employed by grocery stores, pharmacies, other essential businesses, and government agencies — continue working and serving their communities. I commend their dedication and courage in the face of this pandemic, as together we strive to keep our communities safe and protect the most vulnerable among us.
The Sustaining Spirit of Community One thing is clear — that while we abide by the precautionary measures implemented by federal, state, county, and local authorities, our spirit of community and togetherness keeps us connected and will provide the reassurance and comfort we all need as we adjust to life’s new normal. The League continues to advocate for cities at the state and federal levels, asking questions about issues of concern to local communities and getting answers for cities. During this unprecedented time, the League staff stands ready to assist your city, connecting you to essential resources, information, and the latest news for cities at www.cacities.org. We will get through this together. Please be safe. ■
League of California Cities
Thank you to all of our 2020 League Partners Platinum ($15,000+) 1,2
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1 – Institute for Local Government supporter 2 – CITIPAC supporter Partial list as of 04/07/2020
California Cities Demonstrate Resiliency and Leadership During COVID-19 Crisis Spring marked an incredibly uncertain and frightening time as the COVID-19 pandemic completely altered our way of life and created unprecedented challenges for local government. California’s cities showed indefatigable strength and leadership in their response: swift and decisive action to protect residents and keep them safe from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This moratorium will help people stay stable if they lose income because they get sick, a family member gets sick, or their job is impacted by the economic damage the coronavirus is causing,” said Mayor Breed. “This is all part of our larger plan to provide support and resources to everyone in our city who is suffering under the spread of COVID-19.”
With “safer at home” orders in effect in an attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, cities were on the front lines maintaining essential services and working to protect residents who were out of work or lost their job because of the crisis.
In Lynwood, city leaders also passed an order to protect businesses by restricting landlords from evicting commercial tenants during the local emergency if they were unable to pay rent due to COVID-19-related circumstances.
Swift Actions Support Residents, Businesses, and Communities
Recognizing that our most vulnerable populations — especially seniors and the homeless — faced disproportionate harm, many civic leaders quickly transformed city spaces into shelters and forged key partnerships to rapidly deliver on-the-ground resources.
In Fresno, Mayor Lee Brand told residents the city would provide water and garbage services even if residents were temporarily unable to pay their bills. In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced a moratorium on residential evictions related to financial impacts caused by COVID-19.
League of California Cities
City officials in San José distributed hand-washing stations, portable toilets, and clean water to homeless encampments. The city also provided funding for the nonprofit WeHOPE’s mobile health vehicle to provide virtual doctor appointments for the www.cacities.org
left San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks to the community about the city’s response to the coronavirus. above Culver City boosts services for seniors, transforming its on-site meals to delivery and pickup services; left to right city employees deliver meals, volunteers hand out lunches, and drivers pick up meals. far right The City of El Monte offers a virtual City Hall to provide residents with services in real time.
homeless and a hygiene vehicle to provide shower, laundry, and comprehensive case management services to homeless residents. In San Diego, the city quickly turned the convention center into a temporary shelter for homeless individuals. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said, “The San Diego Convention Center is a centerpiece of San Diego’s economy, and during this pandemic, it will be a centerpiece in our fight against the coronavirus.” As many elderly residents faced increased isolation from support services, city leaders worked tirelessly to ensure these people had ample resources and that essential programs were uninterrupted. In Riverside County, the City of Calimesa knew that many of its senior residents relied on the meals they received through the Senior Nutrition Program at the city’s senior center. Due to health and safety recommendations, the city closed its senior center but continued to provide its senior population with weekly meal packages, consisting of five frozen meals, milk, bread, and fruit. The Culver City Fire Department checked daily on retirement homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and mobile home parks to ensure they had the latest information and to touch base on the status of their residents. When some companies started selling hand sanitizer and other products for outrageous amounts of money, city leaders pledged their commitment to protecting consumers from price gouging. In Los Angeles, City Attorney Mike Feuer said, “We’re fighting to protect an anxious and uncertain public from price gouging, online scams, and misinformation. My office is investigating traditional stores and online retailers, uncovering unsubstantiated advertising claims about alleged coronavirus prevention, treatment, and cures, and investigating safety products — such as protective masks — that may not perform as advertised, as well as products being sold at astronomical prices. And we’re taking action. If you’re a victim, please contact our office.” As residents were bombarded with an overwhelming amount of rapidly evolving information, cities used their own communication channels to deliver a consistent and reliable voice about how residents could stay safe and access critical resources. www.westerncity.com
The City of El Monte launched a virtual City Hall to provide real-time services to residents and to allow them to schedule meetings, access city services, and speak with city staff. And the City of Pismo Beach posted daily video updates from the city council and city staff on social media to help residents stay informed on new ordinances, public health recommendations, and ways to support local small businesses.
City Leaders Show Compassion, Commitment, and Courage During this high-stress time, city leaders also provided a sense of hope and optimism by leveraging resources and forming partnerships to provide additional support for Californians hardest hit by the pandemic. The City of Sacramento joined a broad coalition of public, private, nonprofit, labor, and philanthropic partners to launch a fundraising effort to help those hurt economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign, called Donate4Sacramento, leverages and deepens support for families, small businesses and their employees, unhoused residents, and nonprofits. “Every donation helps, no matter how large or small. With this fund, we can demonstrate our commitment to leave nobody in Sacramento behind. We’re strongest when we stand together,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. City leaders provided much-needed stability to make sure California residents — especially our most vulnerable individuals and families — had the support they needed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. They put into place innovative programs to ensure seamless delivery of crucial services and demonstrated unwavering leadership, strength, and resiliency in this most trying time. “We know that you may feel uneasy or scared, but know that your city government is prepared, and we’re working for you,” said Pismo Beach City Manager Jim Lewis. When California residents needed it most, city leaders showed compassion, commitment, and courage — and infused a sense of hopefulness back into the Golden State. ■ Western City, May 2020
Cities Reframe Community Conversations About Housing by Melissa Kuehne Awareness of California’s affordable housing crisis has increased dramatically in recent years as home prices and rents have skyrocketed. Even middle-income families are finding home ownership beyond their reach. For low-income families, the implications are even more severe; to afford shelter, they may be forced to forgo necessities or live in substandard or overcrowded conditions. The inadequate supply and rising cost of housing are also among the leading causes of homelessness statewide. For most communities, housing is much more than a place for residents to sleep at night. Collections of homes create social networks, and a neighborhood can be an important part of a person’s identity and self-image. For some, housing is also a financial asset. A home is often the largest single investment a family has. While most people agree that California needs more housing, the conversation often becomes complicated when it turns
to how, where, and why in a specific community. Yet these very issues will shape the economy, the environment, and people’s daily lives for decades to come. No single group or community alone can solve the housing problem. The building industry and governments at all levels must work with residents to address the many barriers to residential construction and devise solutions. Numerous factors contribute to the housing shortage in California communities. These factors include the difficulty many city leaders face when planning and approving potential housing developments. Housing proposals often spark an emotionally charged community debate centered more on differing values and a lack of trust than on the factual merits and impacts of the housing project in question. When this occurs, local elected officials and staff leadership face an uphill battle, expending limited resources and often leaving all parties frustrated and divided.
Engaging Peninsula Communities to Close the Jobs-Housing Gap In San Mateo County, 83,000 new jobs were created between 2017 and 2019, yet only 7,100 new housing units were built. This gap has contributed to large increases in housing costs and traffic congestion and has forced many residents into neighboring counties. Currently, 63 percent of those who work in San Mateo County live outside the county. To address this, the county created the Home for All Initiative to “establish a climate in San Mateo County where a diversity of housing is produced and preserved.” To help make housing projects easier to implement, the county initiated a robust community engagement program to involve a broad and diverse audience representative of communities countywide.
Melissa Kuehne is a program manager for the Institute for Local Government and can be reached at email@example.com.
League of California Cities
Redwood City residents examine a map and participate in discussions as part of the San Mateo County Home for All Initiative. Due to the affordable housing shortage, 63 percent of those who work in the county live elsewhere.
affordability. First, city staff held pop-up events and attended existing meetings of community-based organizations, homeowners associations, and service groups to build credibility as “listeners.”
Since 2017, Home for All has worked with 10 cities and towns to include those communities in the housing discussion. In each community, this resulted in a better understanding of the community’s vision, increased awareness of local housing needs, and improved relationships between the city and residents.
Talking About Housing in Burlingame Following a contentious rent control measure in late 2016, the City of Burlingame (pop. 30,317) launched community housing discussions, knowing that many residents were concerned about housing
The formal engagement process started with a community survey that identified high home prices, rising rents, and the resulting displacement of community members as top concerns. Two subsequent community meetings covered projects in development and answered participants’ questions. The first meeting focused on community values, hopes for the future, and shared concerns. Attendees learned more about the situation’s complexities and the shared impacts. The second meeting allowed additional time to talk about community values and potential local solutions. Attendees expressed interest in zoning updates, the development of second units, and continued engagement with the city on these issues. As a result, members of the community began to see the city as a partner. Advocates spoke more positively about the city and the process. Opposition to housing projects decreased. The community developed some shared values for housing, including housing stability and security, diversity (in the community and types of housing), responsible growth, inclusion in
Residents of Half Moon Bay review informational materials and join in lively conversations about local housing options.
the decisionmaking process, and the vitality of businesses and the community. “The meetings were effective because they allowed a diverse range of community members to sit together and share their perspectives about housing,” said Kevin Gardiner, community development director for the City of Burlingame. “This process allowed us to dissipate the tension and listen to each other in a meaningful way. As Burlingame has reviewed new housing proposals, including affordable housing, the process helped create a shared understanding and more informed, constructive conversations.” continued
New Toolkit Helps Cities Engage Communities on Housing Throughout California, cities are wrestling with ambitious state mandates and increasing community frustration about the lack of affordable housing and the potential neighborhood impacts of housing production. Local government leaders are finding it more important than ever to engage residents in meaningful dialogue about housing solutions that are tailored for their individual communities. In response, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) launched a new Housing and Public Engagement Toolkit to help California local governments establish more trust and transparency by engaging and collaborating with residents on housing-related issues. The toolkit offers strategies and techniques to address community concerns related to housing and includes regional case stories, policy considerations, and funding opportunities for cities and counties statewide. ILG developed the toolkit in partnership with the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and PlaceWorks. The interactive resource provides strategies that can be adapted to the unique circumstances of each city, county, or community. The free toolkit is available at www.ILGHousingToolkit.org.
Western City, May 2020
Cities Reframe Community Conversations About Housing, continued
Burlingame reported these key take-aways: • Listen before acting — understanding the community’s vision before moving forward with housing development can streamline the approval and development process. • If possible, uncouple the conversation about the community’s vision from a specific housing project. • Engage community leaders as ambassadors. After strong relationships are in place and trust is built, these leaders can underscore the importance of the process and community participation.
Half Moon Bay Embraces Community Diversity Through Engagement In Half Moon Bay (pop. 12,631), the community engagement process began with listening sessions to identify the community’s greatest concerns. Because nearly 25 percent of the city’s population speaks Spanish, the city also conducted sessions in Spanish. The sessions revealed community concerns about housing availability, particularly for seniors and low-income residents. Half Moon Bay then conducted two “Community Conversations About Housing.” The first focused on community values, hopes for the future, and information on local demographics and regulatory limitations affecting housing development. The second meeting, cohosted by the city’s planning commission, featured more detailed information about local housing options and small group discussions. Participants discussed the housing solutions of greatest importance to them and related housing issues.
Half Moon Bay reported several key take-aways: • Emphasize inclusion. Conduct outreach and facilitate participation in languages other than English. • Hold listening sessions to gain a better understanding of the community’s concerns and vision. • Provide easy-to-understand background information to create a shared starting point. • Conduct personalized outreach. Use local events, community organizations, and community assets, such as the library, to share information about opportunities to participate in discussions. “Cities and developers often wait until it’s too late for meaningful engagement. Engaging diverse audiences before a specific development is proposed allows time to learn together,” said William Cooley, public engagement consultant. “Building shared understanding about the community’s values, needs, hopes, and concerns helps make housing decisions easier and more likely to reflect community input.” California’s housing crisis requires lawmakers, local governments, residents, developers, and funders to think differently about where and how to build homes. Involving your community early in the planning process — whether it’s for a General Plan update, Specific Plan adoption, or an individual housing project
The city accommodated residents’ needs by providing child care and using bilingual facilitators. Overall, nearly 200 residents participated. City council members, planning commissioners, and staff actively listened at both sessions, ensuring a clear understanding of the community’s needs and vision.
Burlingame residents discuss housing projects in development, and the city reaches out to survey community members at local businesses. League of California Cities
More Information Online For additional information on available funding and links to related resources, read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com.
— offers an excellent way to determine a community’s shared vision for its future. Local governments can use this shared vision to help reframe the conversation about housing development so that it focuses on how to build rather than whether to build. Like most major challenges facing California, the housing crisis will not be solved overnight and continues to evolve. Funding sources and economic conditions that affect housing fluctuate, and natural disasters displace growing numbers of California residents each year. As local governments work to address this crisis, the trust built through community engagement will play an integral role in addressing our communities’ housing needs.
Resources to Improve Your City’s Public Engagement Efforts ILG has developed a robust public engagement training framework called TIERS (Think, Initiate, Engage, Review, Shift). This interactive training program can help you maximize your community outreach efforts. It also provides private, hands-on consulting to address your agency’s unique priorities, from planning to climate change, budgeting, and public safety. For more information and to register for upcoming events, visit www.ca-ilg. org/TIERS. ■
An architect’s rendering offers a three-dimensional view of one of the city’s preapproved designs for accessory dwelling units.
Encinitas Retools Planning to Increase Housing Options
ike many communities in California, the City of Encinitas (pop. 63,390) needed more housing for its families and workers, but the coastal city had very little undeveloped land, and new construction wasn’t keeping up with demand. Because the available space was so limited, the city focused on infill housing as a crucial part of its efforts to support a diverse housing supply.
with small urban and suburban lots, the existing ordinances and standards limited opportunities for property owners to add ADUs.
To encourage the creation of infill housing, the city worked to make it easier for property owners to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as granny flats. ADUs give families more flexibility in their living arrangements, as additional family members, caregivers, or others can live on-site, and also provide the opportunity for rental income. The size of ADUs is conducive to multigenerational living and provides options for families to grow and age in place. As rental units, ADUs help diversify housing options in the community, and the rental income helps owners offset their housing costs.
First, many property owners with existing but unpermitted ADUs were unable to get their units permitted because complying with existing development standards typically involved substantial costs and/or extensive reconstruction. To address this issue, the city successfully sponsored SB 1226 (Chapter 1010, Statutes of 2018) with Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel). The legislation provides flexibility in legalizing existing unpermitted dwelling units by allowing jurisdictions to apply the building code that was in effect in the year of construction instead of using the current code.
As city leaders turned their attention to ADUs, they recognized that Encinitas would have to rethink its existing zoning ordinances and development standards. Because much of the city was developed
“Accessory dwelling units can help with our housing shortage right now,” said Sen. Bates. “It would be unfortunate to have property owners lose their granny flats even though the units may be safe.”
Making Changes to Overcome Constraints In its efforts to encourage ADU development, Encinitas faced two major constraints.
“Encinitas is proud to have worked with Sen. Bates to pass this important piece of legislation, which gives the city another tool to permit more of our ADUs,” said Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “We are grateful for the collaboration — and the shared vision — to provide safe and permitted homes for our residents.” The second constraint related to encouraging more ADU development was the high cost of designing and building a unit. For this reason, the city waived its permit fees and developed a series of eight preapproved ADU building plans and a how-to guide to assist property owners with the planning and construction process. Using a preapproved plan to build an ADU eases the burden on property owners — it saves money, reduces uncertainty, streamlines the process, and can reduce the design and processing time by up to six months. The city launched a program called Housing for Generations to help educate the community about the preapproved ADU building plans and offer assistance in navigating the process. A series of informational meetings gave residents opportunities to ask questions and explore options. continued on page 18
The City of Encinitas won the Award for Excellence in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2019 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.helenputnam.org. www.westerncity.com
Western City, May 2020
Dublin Mayor David Haubert, center, cuts the ribbon at the Valor Crossing opening celebration, joined by project partners and residents.
Dublin Provides Housing for Vet The City of Dublin (pop. 64,577) is located in the Tri-Valley region of the east San Francisco Bay Area, at the intersection of the I-680 and I-580 freeways. Itâ€™s home to the Parks Reserve Forces Training Area known as Camp Parks, a military base that helped transform Dublin from a rural crossroads community during World War II into a thriving city. Because of Dublinâ€™s long-standing relationship with the base, city leaders made a commitment to provide affordable quality housing and support services for those who have served our country.
Innovative Partnership Uses a Creative Approach As its population grew, the City of Dublin needed to increase affordable housing opportunities for its residents. In 2012, the city began the process of revitalizing its downtown by transforming a large vacant lot (formerly a car dealership) into a vibrant residential community, and the idea of creating affordable housing for veterans took shape.
Valor Crossing is a 66-unit, 100 percent affordable, family-friendly apartment community.
League of California Cities
The City of Dublin won the League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations of the 2019 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.helenputnam.org. www.cacities.org
Command Sergeant Major Blaine J. Huston joins Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing, and Ron Bowen, a former Eden Housing employee, at the grand opening.
left to right
Affordable erans The city partnered with a private housing developer and Eden Housing, a nonprofit builder and operator of affordable housing with which the City of Dublin had worked on other projects. The three partners each contributed to an affordable housing development that would be called Valor Crossing — a 66-unit project located within walking distance of mass transit, bus lines, and downtown shops and restaurants. Without the partnership, the project would not have been feasible.
Community Development’s Infill Infrastructure Grant Program, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee’s Qualified Residential Rental Project Program, the Housing Authority of Alameda County, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Supportive Housing Program, and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. A private investment firm provided approximately $15 million in tax credit equity and other funding.
Leveraging the Economic Development Tools
Dublin’s Inclusionary Housing Fund and its Community Benefit Program played critical roles in the project’s success. The Community Benefit Program encourages downtown revitalization and provides a funding mechanism for public improvements and infrastructure investments. It requires developers to pay a fee or make an improvement in exchange for allowing a development to exceed its base floor-area ratio or to build residential units downtown. Without this economic development tool, Valor Crossing would not have become a reality. Under the Community Benefit Program, the city accepted the developer’s land contribution in exchange for residential units from the development pool.
The city negotiated with the developer to acquire the 1.37-acre site. The developer and the city reached an agreement whereby the city was able to offer the land, valued at $2.6 million, to the nonprofit builder for $100. To help pay for construction of the complex, the Dublin City Council approved a $6.4 million loan from the city’s affordable housing fund to the nonprofit builder. With the land donation secured, Eden Housing leveraged the city loan to obtain financing for the $33.5 million project from various sources, including the state Department of Housing and
Western City, May 2020
Dublin Provides Affordable Housing for Veterans, continued
“Valor Crossing is a terrific property that serves not just single vets, but also veterans who have families,” said Linda Mandolini, executive director of Eden Housing. Mandolini, who was responsible for overseeing the project, is a passionate advocate for affordable housing solutions. When Valor Crossing opened in 2017, Eden Housing received approximately 1,900 applications for the 66 units available. Almost 20 percent of the 177 new residents were homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. Twenty-five of the new residents lacked a bed or other basic home goods when they moved in, so the Dublin community coordinated donations of beds, linens, basic furniture, appliances, and utensils. A local church donated laundry soap and other cleaning supplies. Prior to moving into Valor Crossing in 2017, veteran Nathan and his wife Davina were living in their car. “It felt good to know
that somebody cared,” Nathan said, remembering the day they received the keys to their apartment. “We’re becoming whole again,” said Davina. “We have a place of peace now, and we wouldn’t have that if we weren’t in a community like this.”
Project Builds Community and Honors Veterans By providing affordable housing for homeless veterans and their families and bringing more residents to the transit-oriented downtown district, the Valor Crossing project marked a significant achievement for the City of Dublin. In addition to housing, Valor Crossing provides much-needed resources, programs, and events such as Kids Connection, Homework Club, Food Donation Days, Family Fun Days, and
Officers from the Dublin Police Department visit residents at Valor Crossing, which also hosts an event on National Night Out.
Dublin Mayor David Haubert greets a family during the grand opening celebration.
League of California Cities
more. A number of residents are now employed because they have stable housing. Valor Crossing remains fully occupied. This development in downtown Dublin exemplifies the potential and spirit of collaboration among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Dublin Mayor David Haubert is proud of the relationships established with the business community and Eden Housing to create Valor Crossing. “As a nation, we honor the service of our veterans to our country,” said Haubert. “As a community, we owe it to our neighbors to provide high-quality homes to our veterans. Valor Crossing will serve individuals and families from the City of Dublin and the Tri-Valley area for years to come.” Contact: Suzanne Iarla, management analyst II; phone: (925) 833-6650; email: Suzanne.Iarla@dublin.ca.gov; or Hazel Wetherford, economic development director; phone: (925) 452-2158; email: Hazel.Wetherford@dublin.ca.gov. ■ Volunteers with Open Heart Kitchen serve free, hot meals each week at Valor Crossing.
Without the partnership, the project would not have been feasible.
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Current & Upcoming Opportunities City of Fairfield, CA – Police Chief Fairfield, the heart of Solano County, is a growing community located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento and close to Napa and Sonoma. It is bordered by farms and vineyards. With 25 parks, numerous bike trails and 2 golf courses, Fairfield is a great family community with 115,000 residents. The City of Fairfield is seeking an experienced leader who is excited about the opportunity to lead a well-equipped, modern police department in a highly engaged and diverse community. Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Criminal Justice, Law, Public Administration, Political Science, or a related field. Seven (7) years of increasingly responsible command experience in municipal police work, including at least four (4) years of supervisory and management responsibility at the level equivalent to that of Lieutenant with the City of Fairfield is required. A POST Management Certificate is highly desirable. The annual salary range for the Police Chief position is $185,604 - $241,284; placement within this range is dependent upon qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Contact: Joel Bryden, (916) 784-9080 – Filing Deadline: May 22, 2020
City of Clearlake, CA – Finance Director The City of Clearlake, with a population of approximately 15,250 is located in Northern California on the shore of Clear Lake. The City of Clearlake is seeking a highly experienced, tech-savvy candidate for this position who has the strength of character and depth of knowledge to inspire and lead the Finance Division talented, dedicated staff. The Finance Director must have the technical and analytical skills to ensure the City’s continuing financial stability and the management ability to ensure the continued effectiveness of Finance staff. Qualified candidates will possess equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in finance, accounting, business administration, public administration or a related field; five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in governmental accounting, financial planning and administration, including two (2) years of administrative and supervisory responsibility. Applicants with a Certified Public Accountant certification are preferred. The salary range for the incoming Finance Director is $91,604.84 $111,346.25, dependent upon qualifications. Contact: Valerie Phillips, (916) 784-9080 – Filing Deadline: May 10, 2020
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Encinitas Retools Planning to Increase Housing Options, continued from page 11
City of Chowchilla, California
Annual Salary: $ 109,518.16 – $140,192.51, DOQ The City of Chowchilla is seeking a Director of Finance. This executive position performs highly responsible and complex professional work. Plans, directs, supervises, and coordinates financial planning, accounting, revenue administration, data processing, purchasing, preparation of payroll, investments telecommunication accounts, billing and collection of utilities and other user charges; provides highly responsible professional and technical staff assistance to the City Administrator, City Council, and departments; and performs other related work as required; Provides general oversight and supervision of Information Technology division and personnel and/or contractors responsible for the Information Technology network, hardware, software implementation and management. The finance director is also designated to be the City Treasurer. The candidate should have at least five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience involving financial managements with a governmental agency. A BA/BS degree in Public Administration, Accounting, Finance or related field is required; CPA preferred. APPLY IMMEDIATELY: This recruitment ends Thursday, May 21, 2020. Email or mail a cover letter, comprehensive resume and five professional references to JMcClendon@CityofChowchilla.org. The recruitment brochure can be found on the City’s website: www.CityofChowchilla.org or through CalOpps.org. EOE.
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Photo/art credits Cover: Courtesy of the City of Dublin Pages 3 & 4: Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control Page 6: Left, courtesy of the City of San Diego; right, courtesy of Culver City Page 7: Photos, courtesy of Culver City; screen images, courtesy of the City of El Monte
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