North Bay fires

Meetings

Preview of 5/17 ABAG Meetings

the Bay Area Metro Center boardroom
Noah Berger

The ABAG Legislation Committee, the ABAG Finance Committee, the Advancing California Finance Authority Governing Board and the ABAG Executive Board will meet on Thursday, May 17, at the Bay Area Metro Center, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Read on for a preview of major meeting topics and for links to the full meeting agendas. Read More

MTC-ABAG

MTC and ABAG Release First-Ever Joint Annual Report to Congress

Annual Report to Congress

MTC and ABAG have released their first-ever joint annual report to Congress for 2018, urging lawmakers in Washington D.C. to honor long-standing bipartisan commitments to transportation, housing and disaster relief.  The report, Accelerating Progress: Strong Partnerships Move the Bay Area Forward:

  • Provides an overview of the Bay Area’s policy and funding priorities, including priorities for a national infrastructure and a response to the Trump Administration’s budget proposal
  • Discusses the region’s major capital investment grant requests, including Caltrain modernization and the Bay Area’s next generation of transit capacity
  • Provides an update on both agencies’ major ongoing initiatives, including North Bay wildfire recovery efforts, climate change adaptation, bold efforts to solve the region’s housing crisis, the expansion of the Bay Area Express Lanes network, as well as research, planning and funding to maximize the benefits of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies. 

For more detail on these and other issue areas and initiatives, download the report. Read More

Housing

Large Homebuilder Pulls Out of North Bay Rebuild Effort

North Bay fires

We recently discussed how record low unemployment across the Bay Area combined with a severe housing shortage could create unexpected challenges for the region, especially as relates to achieving ambitious policy goals that involve significantly increasing housing-related construction activity. Late last week brought unfortunate confirmation of the broader dynamics involved here, with news that a large homebuilder was pulling out of plans to rebuild homes lost during the North Bay wildfires. 

The reason? Financial feasibility concerns driven by a "general labor shortage in home construction" and – in particular – a lack of local framers. From the Press Democrat:

“Our fear is that this is a bellwether of the way things are going to go,” [said Jeff Okrepkie, chairman of the Coffey Strong neighborhood rebuilding group].

Read More
Environment

Metro Talks Presents: "Learning from the North Bay Wildfires" on Thursday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Metro Talks - February 1, 2018

Come join the Bay Area’s four regional agencies this Thursday, February 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Bay Area Metro Center for the latest installment of the Metro Talks speaker series, Learning From the North Bay Wildfires

On Sunday evening, October 8, 2017, multiple small fires erupted in Sonoma and Napa counties. Fueled by strong winds and extreme fire conditions, these North Bay fires ultimately burned more than 200,000 acres, destroyed 8,900 structures, and killed 43 people.

This Metro Talks panel features Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, who will speak to the devastating experience and aftermath of the fires. Other speakers include staff from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District), who will discuss air quality impacts from the fires, disaster-related public health concerns in the Bay Area, and how this experience can inform our response to future regional disasters – from conducting public messaging during a disaster to the ongoing recovery effort.

The event is free and open to the public; RSVP here. Read More

Land Use

2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas; Resources for Bay Area Cities and Counties

2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas

The 2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas Map displays the geographic extent of the four 2017 North Bay Wildfires, as well as the number of structures damaged or destroyed within the fires’ perimeters. The map gives a good sense of just how large the fires were, and how destructive. In addition to the lives lost, there were nearly 6,000 structures reported as damaged or destroyed within the Tubbs Fire alone (#2), taking out a major chunk of Santa Rosa’s (and the wider region’s) housing stock. In response to this regional emergency, MTC and ABAG have offered technical assistance, staff resources and other key information for local elected officials, city managers and the public.  Read More