Berkeley Housing Program Captures Planning Honor

Tuesday July 29, 2003

The city of Berkeley won the 2003 Distinguished Leadership Planning Award from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA), the group announced last week. 

Berkeley won the award for its Infill Housing Implementation Program, which is a city-coordinated effort to increase the amount of infill development to provide creative and affordable housing options. Infill planning is defined as redevelopment within existing developments, a concept that CCAPA coordinator Jon Akana said is important for urban areas. 

“Berkeley has a great model for urban planning,” Akana said. CCAPA awards coordinator Brian Smith cited Berkeley’s “sustainable development policies and examples of successful higher density infill development downtown and along major transit corridors,” as the factors that set the city’s program apart from other city planning projects. 

Winners of the CCAPA competition were selected from organizations across the state which were nominated by a member of the city’s planning group. 

Berkeley’s team included Vivian Kahn, Carol Barrett and Greg Powell from the city’s Planning and Development Department, Tom Lollini, UC Berkeley assistant vice chancellor for physical and environmental planning, Kevin Hufferd, a UC Berkeley capital projects senior planner, and developer Patrick Kennedy, the CEO of infill development company Panoramic Interests. 

“The Berkeley program is the product of very innovative team members,” Akana said. 

The award will be presented to the city of Berkeley at CCAPA’s state conference in Santa Barbara in September. 

The award submission from the city included examples of 22 infill housing projects, all of which are currently under construction or were completed within the last few years and all of which lie along major transit corridors. Such projects included an Affordable Housing Associates completed at 2517 Sacramento St. as well as several Panoramic Interests projects. 

“Panoramic Interests is the most aggressive infill housing developer, so much of their work provides good examples of what we’re promoting with affordable housing options,” said Mark Rhoades, city planning manager.