Kick The Tires On Your Local Zoning Code

MARCH 21, 2018, BY SARAH KOBOS  One of the great mysteries of my adult life has been trying to understand why nobody builds lovely places anymore. How hard can it be? Our ancestors built amazing cities with little more than horses, hand tools, and human muscle. Who doesn’t love old places? (Photo by Sarah Kobos) But with all our modern knowledge and technology, we’ve built a lot of depressing stuff.  Gargantuan shopping centers. Massive “garden” apartments.  Multi-car garages that people live behind and call homes. It wasn’t until recently that I started to understand how these developments were regulated into existence. Everything … Read more

Oxnard Planners and Economic Development

While I have been discussing the lack of planners in Oxnard…the real issue is Economic Development. Oxnard cannot develop economically without enough qualified planners to carry the workload. Oxnard needs 20 to 25 planners but currently has only 7 or 8 staff planners. How can Oxnard deal with its heavy current workload as well as properly plan for the future with a large planning staff deficit? In September of 2017, I did an informal survey of Ventura County cities. I asked, “How many planners does your city have?” The results showed that Oxnard has 1/3 the number of planners per capita than … Read more

My Transit Density Bill (SB 827): Answering Common Questions and Debunking Misinformation

by Scott Wiener Jan 16, 2018 Our recent announcement of my bill (Senate Bill 827) allowing for more housing near public transportation has drawn a lot of attention, questions, and feedback. Sadly, some have also spread misinformation about the bill. This piece attempts to answer common questions and debunk misinformation. California is in a deep housing crisis — threatening our state’s environment, economy, diversity, and quality of life — and needs an enormous amount of additional housing at all income levels. Mid-rise housing (i.e., not single-family homes and not high rises) near public transportation is an equitable, sustainable, and promising source for new housing. SB 827 … Read more

9 WAYS TO CHANGE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL’S MIND

Land use, zoning, and economic development policy are set by the Oxnard City Council. If we seek to change the way the City does business, land use, planning, zoning, economic development, and more… ~ we must influence the Oxnard City Council, for they are the ultimate policy and decision makers. Influencing the Oxnard City Council is the only way substantive change can and will happen. (by OxnardRenaissance editor) ~~~ 9 WAYS TO CHANGE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL’S MIND JANUARY 25, 2018 ~ BY JOHN REUTER If you’ve been reading Strong Towns for a while, you’ve probably realized the current dominant approach to development and public … Read more