On Thursday, June 17th, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, the California Planning & Development Report, and the California Chapter of the American Planning Association hosted the webinar The -Plex Paradox: Writing the Code to Undo Single-Family Zoning.
Motivated by both principle and practicality, city councils across California have adopted, or are considering, policies to loosen single-family zoning and ease the way for duplexes and other small multi-unit configurations. Elected officials and stakeholders alike have promoted these policies both to increase their respective cities’ housing supply and to undo 20th century zoning policies that have served as tools of racial and economic segregation. But how?
While the principle is clear and appealing for many proponents, the upzoning of potentially millions of single-family lots poses a monumental technical challenge to California’s planners. Zoning changes must account for density, design, parking, infrastructure, fire danger, and topography — among other complicating factors. It’s a challenge that some cities are already willingly taking on and that others will have to take on if Senate Bill 9 or a successor passes.
This webinar looks at how planners in early-adopter cities are approaching this challenge and how planners and urban designers around the state can prepare for what may be one of the major planning trends of the coming years. Recording available above.
- Edward Manasse, Deputy Director of the Planning Bureau, City of Oakland
- Tom Pace, Director of Community Development, City of Sacramento
- Karen Parolek, Principal and CFO, Opticos Design
- Sandra Wood, Principal Planner, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland, Oregon
Moderator: David Garcia, Policy Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation
Image courtesy of the Sightline Institute Missing Middle Homes Photo Library.