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Sustainable Development Update
April 20, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

State lawmakers reject plan linking new housing to public transit

LOS ANGELES TIMES - Apr 17 A robust effort to attack California's housing shortage was rejected Tuesday by a state legislative panel at the Capitol, felled in part by opponents who argued that it treated small cities and large ones like San Francisco the same way. The defeat for Senate Bill 827 (SB 827) came in its first legislative hearing, a surprisingly early end for a bill that had attracted national attention. Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was attempting to tackle two of California's most pressing issues: the rising cost of housing and the need for development that is consistent with the state's ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SB 827 would have allowed for the construction of buildings four to five stories tall within half a mile of rail stops in areas, such as parcels zoned for single-family homes, where they are currently not allowed. Additionally, the bill would have eliminated parking minimums in those locations as well as around bus stops with frequent service throughout the day.


APTA rewards Caltrain and SamTrans sustainability efforts

RAILWAYAGE - Apr 17 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has recognized SamTrans and Caltrain with Silver-Level status in the APTA Sustainability Commitment Program. As part of its sustainability program, Caltrain has the most extensive bicycle access program among passenger railroads in the United States, accommodating approximately 6,000 bicyclists every weekday. Since the summer of 2017, Caltrain’s electricity has been 65 percent renewable and 79 percent greenhouse gas (GHG)-free through participation in local community choice energy programs. When the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project is complete, Caltrain’s GHG emissions and criteria air pollutants will dramatically decrease. SamTrans, which provides bus service throughout San Mateo County and into portions of San Francisco and Palo Alto, recently approved the purchase of 10 battery-powered electric buses, which will replace some of its oldest diesel vehicles.

Putting green buildings on the map

LOS ANGELES DOWNTOWN NEWS - Apr 17 Downtown Los Angeles has one of the densest clusters of environmentally friendly buildings and businesses in the city, according to the ECOMap developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)’s Los Angeles chapter. USGBC, which is behind the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system, created the map to track sustainable projects. Some of the downtown spaces are obvious, such as the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator in the Arts District, but there are also unexpected inclusions, among them the Downtown Women’s Center at 442 S. San Pedro St., and a Starbucks at Sixth and Spring streets.

S.F. Board of Supervisors approves new regulations for dockless electric scooters

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER - Apr 17 San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation Tuesday to regulate the dockless electric scooters that rolled out on to city streets last month, generating hundreds of complaints over safety concerns and obstructed sidewalks. The legislation, introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, prohibits dockless scooter companies from operating without a city permit. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors is expected to vote on a permit program on May 1. Peskin said he introduced the legislation on March 6 to try and “get ahead of the curve” after the scooter companies launched services in other cities, such as Bird in Santa Monica. But as the legislation was awaiting hearing, companies began to launch their services.

San Francisco’s first positive net energy condos create a new sustainability standard

BISNOW - Apr 17 A new condo project in San Francisco’s Mission District is the city's first passive house-certified net positive multifamily building. The solar panels in Sol Lux Alpha create enough energy, which can then be stored in batteries, to power the building indefinitely, Off the Grid Design CEO and principal John Sarter said during a tour of the property. Each 1,800-square-foot condo uses 80 percent to 90 percent less energy than a traditional house. Sol Lux Alpha is one example of how developers are trying to create more sustainable and resilient buildings in San Francisco. One of the biggest examples is Salesforce Tower, which will have the city’s first blackwater recycling system. Moscone Center's renovation transformed it into one of the most sustainable convention centers in the country.

VW's Electrify America to install EV chargers at Walmart stores

REUTERS - Apr 18 Volkswagen AG unit Electrify America will install electric vehicle charging stations at more than 100 Walmart store locations in 34 U.S. states, including California, by mid-2019 as part of Electrify’s plans to bolster charging infrastructure across the country, the two companies said on Wednesday. The Walmart charging stations are part of a broader Electrify America project to install 2,000 chargers at nearly 500 charging stations across the country by June 2019. Wayne Killen, Electrify America’s senior director for infrastructure, said that 80 percent of the Walmart charging stations would be at store locations alongside highways, while the remaining 20 percent would be in metro areas.

How to push buildings to new levels of efficiency

GREENBIZ - Apr 17 A new wave of building efficiency that uses data collection and machine learning to make a building’s appliances use power more efficiently, is being led by San Francisco startups Carbon Lighthouse and Redaptive. Unlike other efficiency providers — also known as energy service companies — that manufacture and sell appliances or sell electricity, the companies don't sell anything except their ability to reduce a building’s energy use and power bills. Redaptive said Monday that it raised $20 million from CBRE and other investors. Carbon Lighthouse announced in March that it raised $27 million from GRC SinoGreen and other investors, including Tesla co-founder and chief technical officer JB Straubel, whose company is also a customer.

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Chine Jeffrey A Jeffrey A. Chine
Partner
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Residential & Multifamily | Shopping Center, Retail & Mixed-Use | Real Estate Transactions
San Diego
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Devine William R William R. Devine
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Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
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Los Angeles
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
San Francisco
(415) 273-8413
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April 24 - 26, 2018
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