May/June 1996 ~ No.22

Shaken Awake!


When the entire length of the Hayward Fault ruptures, more than 150,000 dwelling units will be uninhabitable, over 300,000 people will be forced from their homes, and more than 100,000 people will require public shelter, according to a report released recently by the Association of Bay Area Governments.

The report, Shaken Awake!, examines eleven earthquake scenarios and their estimated effects on housing and the post-earthquake demand for public shelter.

"Six of those earthquakes are expected to have a greater impact on housing than the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989," said Jeanne Perkins, Manager of the Association's Earthquake Program and principle author of the report. "Three are expected to cause a greater housing crisis than the Northridge quake of 1994."

According to the report, the greatest housing impact would occur if the full length of the Hayward Fault ruptures (as described above). The second greatest impact would occur during a quake on just the northern portion of the Hayward Fault (San Leandro north to San Pablo). In this scenario, 62,000 dwellings are expected to be uninhabitable in Alameda County alone, with a total of nearly 88,000 around the Bay. More than 63,000 people would require public shelter in this situation.

The third highest housing impact would be generated by the southern portion of the Hayward Fault (San Leandro south to Santa Clara County). In this scenario, 52,000 dwellings would be uninhabitable in Alameda County, and 11,600 in San Francisco - for a total of more than 76,000 housing units left uninhabitable in all nine counties combined. Almost 55,000 people would require emergency shelter.

Following the three scenarios for the Hayward Fault, the greatest impact is expected on the peninsula segment of the San Andreas Fault. Close to 46,000 dwelling units would be uninhabitable - 20,000 of them in San Francisco, more than 13,000 in San Mateo County, almost 10,000 in Santa Clara County, and more than 3000 in Alameda County.

The Shaken Awake! report presents residential impacts by county and by housing construction type (wood, non-wood, unreinforced masonry); or mobilehomes; it also presents data based on the number of stories to the building and whether it was built before or after 1940 - all factors in the stability of the structure.

"Our research shows that most uninhabitable housing units will likely be multi-family dwellings rather than single family homes," said Ben Chuaqui, a regional planner with the Association's Earthquake Program. "Particularly vulnerable are those structures with living quarters built on top of ground floor parking structures."

In the combined north-south Hayward Fault situation, almost 85,000 multi-family housing units are predicted to be uninhabitable. Under the same earthquake scenario, over 13,000 unreinforced masonry homes would be rendered uninhabitable, in addition to nearly 11,000 mobilehomes, and 7,500 single family homes.

Shaken Awake! is the culmination of two years of research combining computer modeling of earthquake shaking intensity, a survey of the Bay Area housing stock, and actual data from the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes.

The report uses computer models designed to provide estimates of the number of "uninhabitable" dwelling units following major earthquakes - that is, single family homes that are "red-tagged" as unsafe buildings where entry is prohibited, and multi-family units that are red-tagged or "yellow-tagged" where entry is restricted.

"Uninhabitable buildings are not necessarily destroyed," said Perkins. "In fact, most can be repaired. However, the occupants will be forced to live elsewhere until repairs can be accomplished."

Shaken Awake! may be ordered by requesting an earthquake publications order form, and sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: ABAG Publications, P.O. Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604. (Please, no phone orders.)

Earthquake shaking hazard maps and publications may also be viewed on the Internet through abagOnline at (Click on "Bay Area Projects," then "Earthquake Information."


This CD-ROM is available for $40, including tax and postage. To order, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with a request for an earthquake publications order form to:

ABAG Publications, P.O.Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604.


Sixteen local government projects which received high marks for innovation in government service were honored on Friday, April 19 at the Spring General Assembly held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.

A panel of experts - Angelo Siracusa, President of the Bay Area Council; Stephen Kroes, Research Director of the California Taxpayers Association; Nancy Ianni, Vice-President of the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area; Karel Swanson, Chief of Police of the City of Wanut Creek; and Ted Weinstein, Online Business Development Manager of Miller-Freeman - was convened by ABAG to review over 90 projects submitted by Bay Area local governments as examples of their most creative and successful approaches to addressing the challenges of delivering government services and responding to community needs.

The top sixteen projects range from a grassroots effort to fund needed capital improvements by the small community of El Cerrito to a large collaborative effort of 30 Silicon Valley governments to develop a uniform building code. Overall, the projects represent efforts by a total of 53 governments, either individually or in partnership with neighboring cities, counties, school districts, and solid waste authorities.

The projects were selected by the panel for achieving significant cost savings for their jurisdictions or for streamlining complex and time-consuming processes. For example, the City of Sunnyvale was selected for eliminating over 70 steps in the process of obtaining a building permit.

Angelo Siracusa, Bay Area Council President, said the Sunnyvale project showed, "Bay Area governments are getting the message - creating a thriving business climate depends on the ability of government to move quickly when needed."

In addition, many of the projects selected are excellent demonstrations of how governments have picked up private sector theories and technology and put them to good use. The City of San Mateo, for example, "re-engineered" their Recreation department, saving $50,000 annually, while the City of San Francisco eliminated 15,000 vehicle trips per year between the City and San Bruno by installing videoconferencing technology for probation officers and public defenders.

"We're delighted to see cities and counties making significant progress like this without asking the public for more tax dollars," said Stephen Kroes, Research Director of California Taxpayers Association.

The panel also applauded the governments sponsoring the projects for finding new ways to approach and conquer some of their most persistent problems. The City of Concord, for example, facing citizen complaints about day laborers congregating in front of a convenience store, shunned common disbursement methods in favor of creating a highly successful job placement center, which not only eliminated the congregating problem but also found hundreds of laborers temporary and permanent work.

Nancy Ianni, League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, was impressed with the creative approaches employed by the projects, "Some of these address intractable social problems that locals have struggled with for years," she said. "I am hopeful that these innovations will serve as models for other communities, spurring even more progressive action."




All sixteen projects are featured in a special publication, On the Cutting Edge: New Ideas for Local Government, which is available from ABAG by calling (510) 464-7900. Project descriptions will also be available on the Internet through abagOnline at


A little over a year ago, a diverse group of interests sponsored a report entitled, Beyond Sprawl: New Patterns of Growth to Fit the New California. The sponsors included the California Resources Agency, Greenbelt Alliance, Bank of America, and the Low Income Housing Fund.

Beyond Sprawl concludes that the predominant pattern of urban and suburban development characteristic of the years since WWII, which fostered our economic and population boom in the past, now threatens to inhibit growth and degrade our quality of life.

The report advances four major premises: (1) more certainty is needed in delineating where new development should and should not occur; (2) more efficient use should be made of the land that has already been developed; (3) a legal and procedural framework should be established to create the desired economic certainty for investors; and (4) we must forge alliances and a constituency to build sustainable communities.

Beyond Sprawl states that it "is not a call for limiting growth, but a call for California to be smarter about how it grows...."

A recently released report called The Case for Suburban Development was sponsored by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Northern California and authored by two University of Southern California researchers (Peter Gordon and Harry Richardson).

This new report challenges the conclusions of Beyond Sprawl and also goes to the heart of policies adopted by the Association of Bay Area Governments aimed at fostering compact, city-centered development and directing growth to areas with available infrastructure capacity.

The BIA-sponsored report presents some provocative conclusions including: agricultural land and other natural resources are not in short supply; compact development does not result in either increased transit use or in decreased trips; and in fact, suburban development significantly reduces traffic congestion. It also questions common policy responses to land use issues.

Join the Association's Regional Planning Committee in reviewing these two reports at its next meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 1996 at 1:30 p.m. in the MetroCenter Auditorium, 101 8th Street in Oakland. For more information, call 510/464-7978 or e-mail


In a region known for its highly skilled and educated work force, it might be surprising to learn that, on average, those persons moving into the region tend to be better educated than current residents and those leaving the area.

This was one of the conclusions presented in "Migration Patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area," a paper published recently by the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Information from the 1980 U.S. Census shows that persons with college or post-graduate education accounted for 22.1% of the region's population (ranging from 11.4% in Solano County to 34.3% in Marin County). Those numbers had increased by the 1990 Census to a regional average of 28.2% with college or post-graduate education (ranging from 16.6% in Solano County to 41% in Marin County.)

In comparison, 35.8% of those persons moving into the nine-county region during the years 1985 to 1990 had college or post-graduate degrees. (Incidentally, 43.9% of persons moving into Marin County had college or graduate education.)

Between 1965 and 1970, Caucasian and African American migrants constituted eighty-two percent of the Bay Area's total "net migrants" (the difference between the number of those moving into and out of the area). By the period from 1985 to 1990, they represented only a meager portion of the net migrants.

Asians Americans now account for the vast majority of the region's net migrants. During the 1985-1990 period, nearly 150,000 more Asians moved into the area than moved away. This compares to 12,000 Caucasians, and 236 African Americans as net migrants.

Statewide, Asians make up 30 percent of the net migration flow and less than 10% of the total population. But in the Bay Area, Asians account for 77% of the net migration flow and 15% of the population.

The migration study also showed that persons moving into and out of San Mateo County are the wealthiest in the region; the median personal income among these categories ranks equivalently with the non-moving residents of Marin County. (These rankings coincide with the high cost of housing in these two counties.)

The next highest income levels are found among those persons moving into Contra Costa County, non-moving residents of San Mateo County those moving within the county, and person moving out of San Francisco.

Much more information may be found in this paper authored by Chin Ming Yang, Paul Fassinger, and Julie Woo. Please contact Chin Ming Yang at 510/464-7925 or e-mail


The Association has developed a unique approach to craft consistent conservation and development strategies on a subregional basis. It relies on voluntary cooperation among neighboring jurisdictions, while providing technical assistance and financial support. Initial results and feedback from two pilot projects (one in the Tri-Valley and one in Sonoma) have been quite positive. Thus we are eager to continue the program and are soliciting proposals for two new projects. A total of $125,000 is committed for both the new projects, and follow-up implementation for the initial pilot projects (this sum includes a generous $25,000 contribution from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District).

Requests for proposals have been sent to city managers, county administrators and planning and community development directors throughout the Bay Area. The project scope, along with the geographic extent of a subregion, will be locally defined. However, projects must be comprehensive and address: the location and intensity of urban development (urban form), mobility, housing supply and affordability, natural resources protection and management, and economic vitality.

We await your project submissions. Proposals are due by Friday, June 7. A group of Regional Planning Committee members will review all proposals and make recommendations to the Executive Board; final Board selection is expected in July.


Wireless technology opens a new world of possibilities as a communication tool of today and the future. Join community leaders, decision makers, industry experts and government representatives to discuss the future of wireless communications, share concerns and goals, and what it means for our communities.

Thursday, May 30, 1996 - 9 am to 4 pm
Oakland Marriott City Center

Keynote Address - Dr. Harry Saal, Former CEO & President of Smart Valley, Inc.,
"Information Infrastructure and the Regional Economy"


Mandatory - Deadline is Thursday, May 16, 1996.
Members: $40 ~ Non-Members: $60
For more information, please call Kathi Carkhuff at 510-464-7960, or e-mail


Has a business in your community filed claims demanding refunds of taxes paid prior to the Guardino decision? Upon request by your city, the League of California Cities will send a letter to that business explaining why cities have had to raise taxes over the last few years, and asking that the business reconsider its request in the spirit of private and public shared responsibility.
For more information, contact Debbie Thornton, League Communications Director, at 916/659-8228.

GEARING FOR THE GREYING OF AMERICA Initiating a review of the future of the Social Security system, a White House Advisory Commission has proposed a series of controversial reforms. Debating proposals permitting the investment of Social Security taxes in stocks (as opposed to federal securities or bonds), the commission disagreed over whether individuals could invest in the private market, or whether a board should be responsible for investing a portion of Social Security trust fund revenues.
Nations Cities Weekly. April 1, 1996.

TAX CUTS DISSUADE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT According to a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, cutting state and local taxes is ineffective in spawning economic growth. Reducing taxes, the Economic Policy Institute holds, drives governments to reduce the very services which businesses consider foremost in relocation and investment decisions - such as the cost and availability of labor, and proximity to universities and markets. Ironically, education, training, and infrastructure are the areas generally reduced by local governments as compensation for tax cuts.
Land Use Law Report. April 17, 1996. (301) 587-6300.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a statement instructing consumers upset with cable rates to direct their complaints to cities and towns. According to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, states and local governments are solely responsible for issuing complaints to the FCC. Cable rates for most of the nations 62 million cable subscribers will be deregulated within the next three years.
Nation's Cities Weekly. Published by the National League of Cities. April 15, 1996.

The cost of extending urban services - such as roads, sewers, water, and schools - to new suburbs proves more expensive than the revenue cities gain from expansion, according to a study of the American Farmland Trust. Developers disagree, however, arguing that growth boundaries impose urban living on those who prefer suburban life.
Christian Science Monitor. April 17, 1996.

Embracing the digital revolution, Anaheim has invested $6 million to connect its electrical substations with a 50-mile ring of fiber-optic cable. Three times the infrastructure required to maintain these electric utility needs, the city plans to sell the surplus cable to private telephone, video, and telecommunications service companies.
Governing. April 1996.

In a long-awaited decision, the California Supreme Court strengthened the hand of government regulators, upholding local authority to impose mitigation fees on developers for a change in land use designation. The ruling, Ehrlich v. City of Culver City, maintained the City's right to assess fees for a development on land zoned for commercial recreation. The court emphasized, however, that the high court's rules govern only specific development fees, while freeing most fees in California from meaningful judicial examination.
Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy. April 22, 1996.


May 13 & 14. 8:30 a.m. 2-Day Action Project Management. MetroCenter Auditorium, Oakland.
May 14.3:00 p.m. San Francisco Bay Trail Steering Committee. Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center.
May 14. 5:00 p.m. Bay Trail Wildlife Study Public Meeting. Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center.
May 16. 3:30 p.m. Legislation and Governmental Organization Committee. ABAG Room 106B, MetroCenter, Oakland.
May 16. 5:00 p.m. Finance and Personnel Committee. ABAG Room 102A, MetroCenter, Oakland.
May 16. 7:30 p.m. Executive Board. MetroCenter Auditorium, Oakland.
May 17. 10:00 a.m. Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. Room 171, MetroCenter, Oakland.
May 29 & 30. 8:00 a.m. 16-Hour HazMat Sampling. Room 171, MetroCenter, Oakland.
May 30. 9:00 a.m. Wireless Communications Workshop. Oakland Marriott City Center.
June 5. 1:30 p.m. Regional Planning Committee. MetroCenter Auditorium, Oakland.
June 12. 8:00 a.m. 8-Hour OSHA Annual Refresher for Hazardous Waste Personnel. ABAG Training Center, MetroCenter, Oakland.
June 18-20. 8:00 a.m. 16-Hour HazMat Sampling. ABAG Training Center, MetroCenter, Oakland.


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, President
Supervisor Mary King, Vice President
Supervisor Tom Torlakson, Immediate Past President
Eugene Y. Leong, Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Director.

Michelle Fadelli, Editor.
Jeannie Yee Balido, Associate Editor.
Marcie Adams, Contributing Writer.