MAR/APR 97 - ISSUE No. 27

Post-Earthquake Housing Charette Team Designs East Bay Temporary Housing
Spring General Assembly - Linking Land Use & Transportation
ABAG Forecasts Strong Regional Economy in 1997-98
San Francisco Estuary Project Update: Dirt Does Hurt: Tackling Bay Area Erosion

Focus On: Napa County
Heads Up
March/April Calendar Items
About Service Matters

Post-Earthquake Housing Charette Team Designs East Bay Temporary Housing


Last April, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) predicted that more than 200,000 Bay Area residents will be displaced from their homes and apartments in a magnitude 7 plus earthquake on the Northern Hayward fault. Experts at the U.S. Geological Survey say that within 30 years there is a 28 percent chance of such an earthquake. While many people have made efforts to prepare for earthquakes by storing water and retrofitting their homes, little thought has been given to what will happen to people who have lost their homes after the shelters close and before rebuilding can begin.

A group of architects and planners gathered in Oakland over the weekend of January 31st to brainstorm and create a plan on how to house these individuals in the aftermath of this disaster. At the end of the three-day charette (as the brainstorming session is referred to by architects), the participants— planners and architects from the American Institute of Architects-East Bay, the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) Earthquake Program and ABAG— came up with recommendations and a draft plan for interim housing within affected communities.

While the Red Cross and other relief agencies will provide temporary shelter immediately following a quake, the concern is what will happen after the Red Cross shelters close and before the permanent housing is rebuilt. "We're trying to flash a red light to people and say that in a disaster, there isn't time to plan,"; said Oakland architect Willie Pettus, one of the organizers of the charette. "But now we have the time to create a step-by-step procedure to follow so that people will have somewhere to go and hopefully can stay in their neighborhoods."

Typically, Red Cross shelters close four-to-six weeks after a disaster, and permanent housing can take up to several years before being rebuilt. In the Northridge earthquake, government agencies and quake victims had to scramble to find temporary housing while their homes were rebuilt even though the vacancy rate was eight-to-ten percent in the impacted area. In the Bay Area, massive infrastructure damage means that streets, water, sewage, garbage, and utilities will not be "normal" for an additional four to six months.

"Seeing the numbers of people displaced in Kobe (Japan) made us understand that we are not ready to deal with this," said OES Earthquake Program Planner Sarah Nathe. "Displacing people from their neighborhoods to outlying areas doesn't work."

The charette focused on a prototypical San Antonio-Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, which according to the April 1996 ABAG report, "Shaken Awake!", would generate a significant proportion of the shelter population in a Northern Hayward quake.

"We came up with staggering figures last year on how many units we'd lose, so now we're trying to follow through with some planning," said ABAG Earthquake Program Manager Jeanne Perkins. "It's something we have to think about. Although ABAG's focus is on mitigation, rather than picking up the pieces later, this type of discussion is essential."

For more information about the ABAG Earthquake Program, call 510/464-7900, or e-mail

Many East Oakland neighborhoods have little open space. In order to maintain the social fabric of these communities, the streets might be the only alternative for interim housing. Above: Blueprint designs of a backyard unit and a typical 4-plex. A neighborhood design created by the charette team. Key to these plans were the use of available open space for interim housing: parks, parking lots, back yards and, if necessary, streets.

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month

Are you ready for the next shakedown? ABAG publications can help you prepare for the next quake!

The San Francisco Bay Area - On Shaky Ground on CD-ROM format includes city maps and earthquake faults, possible future earthquake scenarios, and video clips on how to retrofit homes. Other ABAG publications include:

ABAG members receive a 20 percent discount on the cost of publications. Don't be caught unprepared! Call 510/464-7900 for an ABAG order form or visit our website at

Spring General Assembly: Linking Land Use & Transportation

ABAG is pleased to invite you to join us for our 1997 Spring General Assembly, "Linking Land Use and Transportation in the Bay Area."

As we approach the 21st century, issues such as the management of congested freeways, the creation of housing adjacent to jobs and transit, and the challenges of project funding are of great concern. Future land use and transportation planning and policies need to be more closely coordinated in order to combat gridlock, minimize environmental impacts, and preserve the overall quality of life.

The General Assembly will present a compelling and interactive program, viewing the topic of land use and transportation through a wide range of lenses, including experts from the transportation field, business leaders, environmentalists, developers, and elected officials representing areas that have successfully implemented progressive land use and planning concepts.

Experts will offer valuable insight on the financial and political implications of linking land use and transportation, housing market force realities, and mixed-use development. They will also suggest tools to strengthen central cities, and to create transit-friendly and pedestrian-oriented communities in suburban as well as urban areas.

For info, call Kathi Carkhuff at 510/464-7960.


Spring 1997 General Assembly:

Linking Land Use and Transportation in the Bay Area
Friday, April 18, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Sheraton Palace, San Francisco

New Directions In Bay Area Transportation Solutions
Funding Challenges and Community-Oriented Strategies
Larry Dahms - Exec. Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Jim Spering - Chair, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Mayor of Suisun City

Providing Housing Closer to Jobs and Transit
Challenges and Advocacy Efforts by Bay Area Business Leaders and Environmentalists
Carl Guardino - President, Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group
Jim Sayer - Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance
Lynn Sedway - Principal, Sedway Group

Insights From Successful Infill Developers
Michael Covarrubias - President, The Martin Group
Tom Sargent - Partner, Equity Community Builders

Keynote Presentations
Successful Models of the Land Use Transportation Connection
Mayor Vera Katz - City of Portland (invited)
Gordon Price - City Councillor, City of Vancouver

Registration and lunch: $60 for ABAG members; $85 for non-members.
For more information, call Kathi Carkhuff at 510/464-7960.

ABAG Forecasts Strong Regional Economy in 1997-98

The Bay Area will gain 59,000 new jobs in 1997 and 53,000 in 1998, according to a recent short-term economic forecast by the Association of Bay Area Governments.

The average household income has increased from $66,900 in 1990 to $70,900 in 1996.

"High-tech manufacturing is leading the economic growth for the Bay Area," said Paul Fassinger, ABAG Research Director.

"Although computer software and Internet services are certainly on the rise, almost 25% of the economic growth in this region during 1996 can be attributed to high-tech manufacturing."

Association researchers also predict a 9% increase in retail (taxable) sales for the nine-county region in the coming year. The increase is expected to decline only slightly in 1998, with growth of almost 8%

In 1995, taxable sales grew almost twice as much in the Bay Area as statewide. For 1996, it is estimated that taxable sales grew by about 10% for the region, while the state grew by only 7.7%-- although final numbers are still to be confirmed by the Franchise Tax Board.

"Taxable sales growth in 1995 was significantly above expectations," said Dan Stone, ABAG regional planner. "And numbers for the first quarter of 1996 suggest growth of almost 14%."

Growth in Bay Area sales has exceeded the statewide numbers for the past two years.

According to Ted Gibson, chief economist with the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area economy is fundamentally the strongest in the state, with almost a perfect industry mix for the 21st Century.

While many economists worry that a decline is imminent for the national economy, the outlook for the Bay Area remains optimistic. "All factors indicate a strong economy-- at least in the short term," Fassinger said.


Legislative Reception

The Legislation and Governmental Organization (L&GO) Committee hosted an informational reception for Bay Area legislators on January 16. Joined by members of the Executive Board, committee members discussed priority legislative issues for 1997, including: welfare reform, local government finances, a ban on junk guns, earthquake preparedness, housing element reform, homelessness, electrical restructuring and telecommunications.

Right: Senator Barbara Lee, ABAG President and San Jose City Councilmember Charlotte Powers, ABAG Vice President and Alameda County Supervisor Mary King, and Elsa Ortiz (chief of staff to Senator Bill Lockyer).

Pinole Mayor Betty Boyle, Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, Oakland Councilmember Dick Spees, and Pinole Councilmember Maria Alegria.

El Cerrito City Councilmember and L&GO Committee Chair Jane Bartke,
with (former L&GO Committee member)
Assemblymember Ted Lempert (Palo Alto).

San Francisco Estuary Project

Storm Drain Stenciling

Most stormwater in our region does not go to a wastewater treatment plant, but flows through storm drains into creeks, rivers or the San Francisco Bay.

The runoff impacts fish and wildlife habitats, and in some cases, drinking water.

The San Francisco Estuary Project invites you to help protect our water sources throughout the region by participating in the "Paint the Drain" Campaign on Earth Day, Saturday, April 19, 1997.

Volunteers are needed to stencil storm drains in cities all around the Bay Area. The stenciled message, "No Dumping! Drains to Bay" is a reminder that only rainwater should enter drains-- nothing should ever be poured into drains.

For more information on the stenciling project in your area, call the Estuary Project at 510/286-0460. Youth volunteers must be at least ten years old.


ABAG's Power Purchasing Pool

ABAG is nearing completion of negotiations with electricity suppliers, and plans to present a proposed electricity rate structure in March.

For further information about Power Pool rates and other power pool activities, governmental actions, and related energy issues see ABAG's new bi-monthly publication, Power Matters.

The first issue of Power Matters was distributed as an insert in the January issue of Service Matters. Future issues will arrive separately. If you would like to be on the mailing list, please send your name, title and organization, and your mailing address to Patty Spangler, manager of the power pool. (Mail c/o ABAG, P.O. Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604-2050. Send a fax to 510/464-7970, or you may send an e-mail to

ABAG began supplying natural gas to 31 cities in April 1996, and expects to begin supplying electricity to additional members of the Power Pool in January 1998.

HAZMACON '97 Slated
for April 21-24


Now in its 14th year, the HAZMACON Conference and Exposition has both defined problems and offered practical solutions to hazardous materials management issues. Whether you're looking for instruction in advanced technical topics or information on the newest regulatory updates, you'll find it at HAZMACON `97.

This year the conference will feature 33 unique training seminars and workshops in hazardous materials and waste management, OSHA Training, transportation, inspection and compliance, land use, risk management, online environmental resources, CUPA training, and even a participatory spill response team field simulation course. In addition, there will be the Exhibition Hall filled with informational booths demonstrating the latest in technology, products, and services for managing hazardous materials.

Each year HAZMACON attracts representatives from a diverse group of industries who explore the exhibits, receive expert instruction, and meet the regulators. It continues in 1997 to serve as the most comprehensive resource for the latest hazardous materials regulations, technology and research in the region. Training seminars and workshops at HAZMACON are offered by the ABAG Training Center and fees are discounted 20 percent for employees of ABAG member governments.

For a complete program and registration form for HAZMACON, call ABAG at 510/464-7900, or visit us on the web at For exhibit information, call SHO, Inc. at 415/949-2050.



Conference & Training Seminars: April 21-24
Exhibits: April 22-23

Santa Clara Convention Center
Santa Clara, CA

To register, call the HAZMACON Hotline at 510/464-7900.

Internet Classes Available

#261 - Introduction to HTML March 4 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

#264 - HTML Intermediate I March 6 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

#267 - HTML Intermediate II March 12 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

#280 - Environmental Management Tools on the Internet April 23 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Discounts are available for ABAG members.

For registration information on these and future classes, please call Sharon Kendrick,
ABAG Training Coordinator, at 510/464-7964, or e-mail

Bay Area Directory

The Bay Area Directory 1997 is now available --offering city and county information, including addresses, phone and fax numbers, and names of elected officials and senior staff. Choose from disk (IBM-compatible or Macintosh) or hard copy versions. Now you can order via "abagOnline" at or call ABAG at 510/464-7900 for more information.

Data Center Online

The Data Center now offers online purchasing services for economic and demographic information. You can order ABAG publications, such as the recently released short-term economic forecast reports, via the Net at or e-mail Dan Stone at

Focus On: Napa County

Fertile Future for Napa County

World renowned for its vineyards and underground mineral water springs, Napa County is a popular destination for millions of tourists each year.

Currently the least populated county in the region, Napa is projected to grow 26% by the year 2015, adding more than 31,000 new residents.

American Canyon and the City of Napa will experience the highest growth-- with the most land available for development, close proximity to Bay Area job centers and skyrocketing job growth in the Napa Airport Industrial Area.

Over the next 20 years, the City of Napa is estimated to grow by 15,700 residents and 6,420 households. American Canyon is expected to add 7,600 residents and 2,680 households.

Nearly 30,000 new jobs are expected in Napa County by the year 2015. Most of the new jobs will be in the "services sector," which includes jobs like hotels and health services. Manufacturing and wholesale trade, particularly in food processing and associated businesses, will hold the greatest percentage change in employment, leading all Bay Area counties in this job category.

The City of Napa will add 11,000 new jobs. The Airport Industrial Area will add 7,700 new jobs-- a 1135% increase! This significant increase is the highest percentage in job growth of all nine counties in the region.

Photo courtesy of the Napa Valley Conference & Visitors Center.

Napa County Weathers the Storm

Napa County officials are breathing a sigh of relief after January's deluge of storms. Despite rainfall amounts equal to 300% of normal, storm related damage is still far below that experienced in the floods of 1995. According to Phill Blake of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Napa, this is due in part to a combination of preventative measures and repair efforts that followed the `95 event. In addition to their day-to-day mission of promoting sound watershed management, the NRCS provides technical resources and financial assistance to protect and restore damaged or threatened property during natural disasters.

One NRCS emergency program is the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, which is designed to provide rapid protection for property threatened by natural disaster damage. Unlike FEMA (which assists with restoration of damaged property), the EWP is a tightly focused program that provides rapid protection for damaged lands where significant threat to life or property are imminent.

In addition to EWP, the USDA's Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), provided extensive healing to agricultural lands after dual rainfall disasters in January and March of `95. NRCS also manages local non-emergency programs such as the Napa County Conservation Regulations, which have been highly successful in developing erosion resistant hillside watershed lands in both urban and suburban areas.

For further information, contact Phill Blake, District Conservationist, NRCS, at 707/252-4189.

1995 emergency crews shore up a levee on the Napa River,
with EWP Assistance. Photo courtesy of NRCS.

Subregional Planning for the South County

The South Napa County Joint Cities-County Working Group was formed in November 1995 to create a common planning vision for the City of American Canyon, the City of Napa, and the Napa County Airport Industrial Area.

Each jurisdiction has appointed two elected officials to the working group. Additional participants include the planning directors, the two city managers, and the county administrator.

As a premiere wine grape growing region, Napa County has already enacted strong policies to protect open space and agricultural lands. At the same time, the county is seeking opportunities to diversify its economy and improve the employment base.

With a $40,000 grant from ABAG to develop a Comprehensive Subregional Planning Strategy, the working group is reviewing land use, transportation, natural resources, and economic vitality issues for the south county.

The group has hired a consultant to facilitate the process, and is now in the information-gathering phase. The working group will meet regularly over the next five months in order to complete the South Napa County Subregional Strategy by June.

The final strategy will provide a framework for a cooperative approach to economic development and growth management.

City of Napa to Vote-by-Mail

After reviewing successful examples in the State of Oregon and in Stanislaus County, the City of Napa will soon conduct its own municipal election by an all-mail ballot. The Napa City Council determined that this approach to voting has proven itself to be cost effective, increase voter turnout, and improve efficiency.

With the many voter-approval requirements mandated by Prop. 218 (Nov. 1996) added to already lengthy ballots, the time is right for a more efficient system which will save money. As a charter city, Napa was able to approve the new ballot system by local ordinance. Napa will use the all-mail ballot on March 4, 1997, and evaluate its success for future elections.

Heads Up

NLC New Federalism Booklet

A National League of Cities booklet entitled "Federalism in Transition: Risks and Opportunities for Local Officials," has been released by a special committee established to study the impact of devolution on local governments. The booklet highlights four key conclusions from the study:

  1. the lack of a consistent national strategy for revamping the intergovernmental system;
  2. the end of the era in which federal government played the role of "sugar daddy:"
  3. following federal budget cuts, vital public services will require funding from other sources; and
  4. the 105th Congress will probably continue the trend of examining the delivery and financing of programs on an issue-by-issue basis in 1997.

The booklet encourages local officials across the nation to take action in shaping the direction of a new intergovernmental system. Copies of the booklet will be mailed to all direct member cities early next month.

For a copy of the booklet, contact Jackie Robinson at 202/626-3015.

Caltrans Now Accepting Proposals for Wireless Telecommunication Sites

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has recently begun accepting proposals for wireless telecommunication sites on its property statewide. While this process is still in its infancy, Caltrans has received significant interest.

The primary siting guideline for Caltrans is safety of the traveling public. However, Caltrans also considers aesthetics compatibility. State law prohibits all Caltrans' leases from conflicting with local zoning regulations, and Caltrans will require any lessee or licensee to provide either a permit or waiver from the local planning department.

If you have any questions, call Larry Appiano, Caltrans District Wireless
Coordinator, at 510/286-5317, or Tony Godkin at 510/286-5420.

March/April Hazardous Waste & Environmental Courses

The ABAG Training Center has ongoing Hazardous Waste Operations and Environmental courses. The courses are conveniently located at Oakland and Santa Clara campuses. Courses include:

For more info on dates and registration, please call 510/464-7964.

Calendar 97


March 13.
"Erosion and Sediment Control for Construction Projects" Workshop
Fairfield Community Center

March 17. 9 a.m.
ABAG/CARD Workshop on Housing & Earthquakes
MetroCenter Auditorium

March 18. 3 p.m.
Bay Trail Steering Committee
ABAG Room 106B, MetroCenter

March 20. 3:30 p.m.
Legislation & Governmental Org. Committee
ABAG Room 106B, MetroCenter

March 20. 5 p.m.
Finance & Personnel Committee
ABAG Room 102A, MetroCenter

March 20. 7:30 p.m.
MetroCenter Auditorium

March 26. 11:30 a.m.
Earthquakes & Transportation Review Committee
ABAG Room 106B, MetroCenter


April 2. 1:30 p.m.
Regional Planning Committee
MetroCenter Auditorium

April 9.
"Erosion and Sediment Control for Construction Projects" Workshop
The Bay Model, Sausalito

April 18. 8:30 a.m.
"Linking Land Use and Transportation in the Bay Area"
Sheraton Palace, San Francisco

April 21-25.
HAZMACON '97 Conference & Exposition
Santa Clara County Convention Center

April 30. 11 a.m.
Earthquakes & Transportation Review Committee
ABAG 106B, MetroCenter



As more and more development in the San Francisco Bay Area takes place on steep hillsides, local developers are faced with an increasingly difficult challenge-- erosion control.

Correctly performed erosion control prevents separated soil particles from washing into streams, storm drains, reservoirs and the Bay. Although dirt is rarely considered a pollutant, the problems it creates when washed from its source and into waterways are numerous.

In response, the San Francisco Estuary Project has kicked off a series of workshops on Erosion and Sediment Control for Construction Projects. Agenda items include: How to Prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan; State and Federal Regulations; What Works - What Doesn't; Common Mistakes; How to use the Erosion and Sediment Control Field Manual (included in packet materials); plus technical presentations on installation, contract provisions, and cost comparisons. The next workshops are scheduled on March 13 at the Fairfield Community Center, and April 9 at The Bay Model in Sausalito. Workshop registration fee is $25.00.

Local city and county planning and building inspection departments are encouraged to attend. For registration information, dates of future workshops, or to purchase the Erosion and Sediment Control Field Manual, please contact Marcie Adams, Communications Officer with the San Francisco Estuary Project, at 510/286-0924.

About Service Matters


Bay Trail Project
Subregional Planning update
Focus On: Santa Clara County and much more...

Service Matters is a publication of the Association of Bay Area Governments,
the planning and services agency for the San Francisco Bay Area's 9 counties and 100 cities.

Councilwoman Charlotte Powers

Supervisor Mary King
Vice President

Supervisor Mary Griffin
Immediate Past President

Eugene Y. Leong
Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Director

Michelle Fadelli, Editor
Jeannie Yee Balido, Associate Editor
Margo Yetemwork, Contributing Writer

Association of Bay Area Governments
P.O. Box 2050
Oakland, CA 94604-2050
Phone: 510/464-7900
Fax: 510/464-7970