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Sustainable Development Update
November 15, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

California voters approve $6 billion in bonds to fund housing

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - Nov 7 California voters authorized $6 billion in bond funding for affordable housing as the state faces a severe shortage of homes. Proposition 1 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds to house low-income people and veterans. The money will be repaid over time with interest. It joins Proposition 2 that passed by a wider margin and authorizes $2 billion in bond funding to house homeless people struggling with mental health issues. A third measure aimed at the housing crisis by allowing more rent control, Proposition 10, failed by a wide margin.


U.S. military microgrids are using more renewables and batteries

GREENTECH MEDIA - Nov 9 A report released last Friday by the Association of Defense Communities, a membership organization comprising communities connected to military operations, highlights many of the clean energy and microgrid installations supporting military bases across the country. In a 2018 report on climate-related risks to U.S. Department of Defense infrastructure, the department noted that “if extreme weather makes our critical facilities unusable or necessitates costly or manpower-intensive work-arounds, that is an unacceptable impact.” So far, installations have often focused on diesel generators or natural gas turbines — but that is increasingly shifting toward a more diverse supply mix that includes renewables and battery storage. A microgrid project at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, for instance, incorporates natural-gas generators, diesel generators, and landfill-to-gas. It also includes battery storage and 1.2 megawatts of solar PV.

San Diego mayor proposes reforms to city’s parking requirements

KPBS - Nov 9 San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed a set of reforms to the city's parking requirements last Friday, allowing the construction of housing projects without parking spaces as long as they're within a half-mile of a planned or currently-existing transit stop. Currently, housing projects in San Diego require a minimum number of parking spaces attached to each housing unit built. While the minimum varies depending on the size of the project, the mandatory inclusion of parking spaces can raise construction costs between $35,000 and $90,000 per unit, according to the mayor's office. The mayor's office intends to send the proposed plan to the City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee in early 2019.

Dropbox campus in San Francisco scores LEED Platinum

CP EXECUTIVE - Nov 7 The Exchange on Sixteenth, Kilroy Realty Corp.’s four-building, 750,000-square-foot office development located at 1800 Owens St. in San Francisco, has earned LEED Platinum certification under USGBC’s Core & Shell rating system. In addition, GRESC, a benchmark that facilitates communication between portfolio managers and investors, named Kilroy the global leader on sustainability among all publicly traded real estate companies. The office development has extensive green roofs, highly efficient water fixtures that provide 45 percent reduction in water consumption, an efficient mechanical system that reduced energy consumption by 19 percent, onsite bicycle amenities, remediated brownfield, and electric car stations, as well as features that emphasize the health and wellness of its tenants.

Santa Rosa City Council considers requirement for new homes to be independent of natural gas

THE PRESS-DEMOCRAT - Nov 10 Santa Rosa may soon require that new homes be equipped to operate without natural gas, a shift city leaders hope could cut carbon emissions and lend momentum to green-building designs gaining favor after last year’s destructive wildfires. The City Council late last month directed staff members to research and draft an “all-electric-ready” ordinance that would require new construction to be wired so homes could do without natural gas service. Going all-electric would be up to individual property owners. The proposed ordinance would not ban the use of natural gas infrastructure in homes, but new development subject to the rules would be able to do without natural gas from the outset, according to city staff.

Plan to transform much of SoMa adopted after 8 years

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Nov 13 A portion of downtown San Francisco will change dramatically with thousands of housing units, jobs — and even a public swimming pool — under a plan finally approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors after eight years of hearings, amendments, and negotiations. The Central SoMa plan will revamp a part of South of Market that runs from near Market Street south to Townsend Street, and from Second Street to Sixth Street. The approved plan proposes 8,800 housing units and will create a projected 31,000 jobs. Under the final proposal, more than 30 percent of the housing units will be affordable. Future board members could also increase the amount of housing and affordable units in the project.

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