2017 Press & Letters

December 4, 2017: Read our statement applauding the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research for finalizing guidelines to transition California from an outdated transportation metric privileging automobile traffic to one focused on reducing overall driving miles.

October 18, 2017: With a coalition of Los Angeles nonprofits and academics, we submitted a comment letter today to the City of Los Angeles Department of Planning to encourage greater reform of planned parking requirements in transit-oriented areas under re:code LA.

October 13, 2017: Today we submitted a coalition letter from environmental and real estate nonprofits across California to urge Governor Brown to finalize the long-overdue CEQA guidelines, as required by SB 743 (Sternberg, 2013).  These guidelines will help ease environmental review for infill projects throughout the state.

October 7, 2017: Thank you to Governor Jerry Brown for signing our sponsored bill AB 1568 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, which will provide a badly needed financing tool for transit-oriented infill! Learn more about the Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements Act (NIFTI) with this fact sheet and FAQ.

September 29, 2017: Board member Meea Kang appears on “Gimme Shelter” housing podcast with L.A. Times and CalMatters housing reporters to discuss our NIFTI bill and the legislative session on housing:

September 20, 2017: Our sponsored bill AB 1568 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, which will provide a needed financing tool for transit-oriented infill, passed the California Legislature and is on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. See the AB 1568 fact sheet and FAQ for more information.

June 30, 2017: Congratulations to board member Meea Kang, who joined Related California last month as Senior Vice President. Related California develops affordable multifamily residential and mixed-use properties in California. “I am looking forward to working in tandem with the company’s excellent leadership team,” Kang said, “to achieve increased sustainability and affordability for California’s housing market.”

May 30, 2017: Mott Smith and Ethan Elkind argue for urgent parking policy reform in today’s Los Angeles Times, based on our new Wasted Spaces report.

May 17, 2017: Press coverage of the new Wasted Spaces report and release event on Streetsblog LA and Urbanize LA.

May 5, 2017: Strong coalition support letter for Council of Infill Builders-sponsored AB 1568 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, which will provide important financing tool for transit-oriented infill and workforce housing.

April 19, 2017: Council of Infill Builders submits a support letter for State Senator Nancy Skinner’s SB 167 to strengthen the Housing Accountability Act as a valuable tool to ensure that localities do not reduce housing production at the expense of California’s renters, home buyers, and economic growth.

April 17, 2017: Council of Infill Builders submits a support letter for State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 35, to allow streamlined approval of infill housing developments.

April 7, 2017: Council of Infill Builders submits a support letter for Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, David Chiu and Todd Gloria’s AB 1505, which would restore the authority of local governments to choose to require the inclusion of affordable rental units as one component of their local inclusionary housing policies.


2016 Press & Letters

Council Comments on Caldrons Local Development Program – December 20, 2016

Council of Infill Builders submits letter to Caltrans on the agency’s new Local Development – Intergovernmental Review Program to incorporate state-mandated transition from “level of service” or auto-delay analysis to a regional vehicle miles traveled assessment.

Council Submits Comments on California Air Resources Board Climate Change Scoping Plan – September 30, 2016

Council of Infill Builders submits comments on the California Air Resources Board scoping plan to meet 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets through the transportation and land use sectors.

Council Sponsors Los Angeles Business Council’s Housing and Transportation Summit – September 7, 2016

Register now for the Los Angeles Business Council’s annual housing and transportation summit on October 28th, featuring LA Metro CEO Phil Washington. We are proud to be a cooperating organization for this event.

Mott Smith Op-Ed on LA Planning for Infill – August 1, 2016

Mott Smith co-wrote an op-ed with Mark Vallianatos in the Los Angeles Times on why Los Angeles doesn’t need more zoning and instead should focus on planning for its public spaces.

Patrick Kennedy Profiled on Microhousing for the Homeless – June 29, 2016

Patrick Kennedy sees microhousing as a solution to homelessness in San Francisco, as documented in the San Francisco Chronicle’s extensive coverage on the homeless challenge.

Council Supports Governor Brown’s “By-Right” Housing Proposal – June 9, 2016

Council of Infill Builders submits support letter for Governor Brown’s “by-right” approval proposal for multi-family housing close to transit, provided it does not preclude local governments from granting density bonuses.

US Treasury Secretary Meets with Director Smith on LA Prep Project – May 20, 2016

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Congressman Xavier Becerra meet with Mott Smitth at “L.A. Prep” to discuss federal tax credits for infill projects.

Council Director Mott Smith Interviewed on new LA Prep Project – March 23, 2016

Mott Smith is interviewed by The Planning Report about his “L.A. Prep” commercial kitchen infill project.

Council Director Mott Smith on LA’s Anti-Housing Initiative – February 16, 2016

Mott Smith discusses the negative consequences of a proposed ballot initiative to roll back infill development in the City of Los Angeles on KCRW radio.

Materials on Sustainable Jobs for Fresno – January 25, 2016

Event PowerPoint slides from the “Sustainable Jobs For Fresno” January 21st discussion now available.


2015 Press & Letters

Council’s Comments to the Strategic Growth Council – 10/30/15

The Council of Infill Builders submitted comments on the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities (AHSC) draft revised program guidelines, which will govern the distribution of cap-and-trade auction revenue to meritorious infill projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Council’s Comments on the CEQA Guidelines – 10/29/15

The Council of Infill Builders submitted comments on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines amendments.

Council’s Smith LA Prep Infill Project Featured on New – 07/31/15

Mott Smith’s “LA Prep” infill commercial kitchen project has a ribbon-cutting featured on CBS News Los Angeles.

Council’s Johansen Project Featured on Radio – 07/29/15

Curt Johansen’s Reedley project featured on National Public Radio.

Lofts on 18th Approved – 07/23/15

Eydie Gibson’s downtown Bakersfield “Lofts on 18th” project was supported by the Council of Infill Builders and then approved by the Bakersfield City Council.

Low Income Housing Project Receives State Funding – 07/10/15

Meea Kang of Domus Development receives coveted cap-and-trade funding for affordable housing development in Stockton.

Council Supports Bakersfield Lofts on 18th – 06/01/15

The Council of Infill Builders is pleased to support Viridian’s “Lofts on 18th” housing proposal to revitalize downtown Bakersfield.

High Speed Rail and Infill – 05/25/15

Curt Johansen pens a Sacramento Bee op-ed to discuss the benefits of high speed rail and infill for California.

Challenges of Infill Building in Hollywood – 05/05/15

Mott Smith discusses the challenges of building infill in Hollywood and beyond on KCRW radio in Los Angeles.

Council Letter on AB 779 – 04/24/15

The Council of Infill Builders opposes AB 779 (Garcia) which seeks to roll back badly needed CEQA reform for infill.

Cap and Trade Comment Letter- 01/16/15

The Council of Infill Builders submitted comments on the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities (AHSC) draft program guidelines, which will govern the distribution of $130 million in cap-and-trade auction revenue to meritorious infill projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


2014 Press & Letters

Coalition Letter on SB 743 Implementation – 11/21/14

The Council of Infill Builders also signed on to a coalition letter on SB 743 implementation of environmental and housing advocates.

Council Comments on SB 743 – 11/20/14

The Council of Infill Builders submitted comments on SB 743 (Steinberg) implementation by the Governor’s Office of Planning and research, which promises to streamline CEQA analysis of transportation impacts for infill projects.

“Driving Miles” is Best Measure of New Development – 11/19/14

In this San Francisco Gate op-ed, Council of Infill Builders board president Curt Johansen pens about on SB 743 and CEQA reform with Jeremy Madsen of Greenbelt Alliance.

ViewPoints: Livable Communities at Stake if Fuels Aren’t in Cap and Trade – 08/22/14

In this Sacramento Bee op-ed, Council of Infill Builders board president Curt Johansen argues that California should not delay including transportation fuels in the cap-and-trade program. The revenue will help fund transit and affordable housing and will put California on a path to a sustainable future.

Council Comments on Small Lot Ordinance – 07/30/14

The Coucil stands behind the principle that small lot development will be one of the most important tools cities have to meet changing demand for housing as well as the mandated outcomes of AB 32 and SB 375.

Council Signs On to ARB Letter – 05/19/14

ClimatePlan and its partners commend the Air Resources Board for its great work on the San Joaquin Valley greenhouse gas reductions work. However, concerns remain about transportation plans, modeling and accountability.

Partnership Comments on Kern County Plans – 05/05/14

The Southern Sierra Partnership, including the Council, submitted a letter to the Kern Council of Governments. This letter outlined how the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy did not take advantage of opportunities for economic and environmental resilience.

Council Supports Infill in San Joaquin County – 04/22/14

The Council supports the inclusion of infill development over the traditional suburbs in the County’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, which would align with market trends for walkable communities.

Downtown Fresno is Ripe for Boom – 04/20/14

Fresno Bee – Fresno may be poised for a comeback but will it take the opportunity, asks Council of Infill Builders President Curt Johansen. Consumers want walkable neighborhoods, but land use laws and regulations are holding Fresno back. Leaders are now revamping those development codes to revitalize the region.

Valley Cities Can See Rebirth, Report Says – 04/17/14

Central Valley Business Times – A new report released by the Council of Infill Builders including input from builders, public officials, and financial leaders outlines how to overcome challenges in creating compact development.

Revitalizing City Centers is key to managing growth in San Joaquin Valley – 04/17/14

Press Release – The Council of Infill Builders today released a new report, which identifies key barriers and recommends solutions for investing in the once-vibrant city centers of San Joaquin Valley communities.

Reviving the Valley’s Downtowns – 04/13/14

Bakersfield Californian – The Council’s Curt Johansen outlines how the Valley’s downtown had seen underinvestment and deterioration but they are now thriving and will become California’s fastest growing region.


2013 Press & Letters

Council Supports Infill Scenario in Valley COG RTP – 11/21/13

The Council supports a preferred scenario in the Regional Transportation Plan that advances infill-oriented infrastructure over the coming decades in order to realize its many economic benefits for cities and towns in Fresno County.

ViewPoints: CEQA Reform is No Longer Stuck in Traffic – 09/10/13

Sacramento Bee – The Council’s Curt Johansen provides a much needed Op-Ed relaying the car-centric approach of the California Environmental Quality Act needs to be revised.

Council Supports Amended SB 731 – 08/26/13

The Council supports the goals of Senate Bill 731 to modernize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by preserving CEQA’s longstanding role in protecting the environment and providing the public with a voice in decision-making, while addressing the law’s sometimes unintended effect of disproportionately burdening infill projects.

Study to SJ: Build Smaller Homes – 01/24/13

Recordnet – Key findings in a Council of Infill Builders report shows that the Central Valley will grow by three-quarters, while the state averages a one-quarter growth rate.

Two New Research Reports on Housing and Farmland Inform Valley Policymakers – 01/24/13

Groundswell – The American Farmland Trust and Council of Infill Builders released reports ahead of the California Air Resources Board that advocate a policy redirection.

Report: Demand for Infill Development Rising While Support For Sprawl Wanes in Central Valley – 01/24/13

Stockton City Limits – The Council of Infill Builders report outlines key findings for Central Valley including that residents are more in favor of supporting ag land preservation and there are enough large lot single family homes to support demand through 2050.

NRDC: Demand For Infill Housing to Grow – 01/24/13

Housing Alliance of Fresno – A key finding in a report released by the Council of Infill Builders shows that consumer preference data and housing trends indicate the majority of future housing demand will be for apartments, condominiums and townhomes.

Build Smaller Dwellings in San Joaquin Valley, Study Says – 01/23/13

Modesto Bee – The Council of Infill Builders report says to meet housing needs of empty nesters and growing minorities the San Joaquin Valley should adjust the home types it offers.

New Central Valley Housing Study Shows Increasing Demand For City-Centered, Walkable Neighborhoods Near Jobs – 01/23/13

Press Release – The Council of Infill Builders today released a new study of forecasted housing demand in the Central Valley through 2050.

Study: Growing Numbers of Valley Residents Want Walkable Neighborhoods – 01/23/13

Central Valley Business Times – The Central Valley could look very different if a study released by the Council of Infill Builders pans out.

New Report Details Shifting Housing Demand In California’s Central Valley Communities – 01/22/13

NRDC Blog – The Central Valley is estimated to increase its population by 72% by 2050 and the Council of Infill Builders shows in its recent study the Valley can accomodate the growth with infill development.


2012 Press

Joe Minicozzi: Downtown Offers Economic Opportunity for Stockton – 07/18/12

Stockton Journal – Behind those tall historic buildings of Stockton there is a potential economic boon in Stockton.

Merced Mulls New Vision of Downtown – 07/05/12

Merced County Times – A revitalized downtown offers higher property taxes for the City and County according to research by Urban3.

Expert Takes a Look at the Value of Downtown Turlock – 06/29/12

Turlock City News – There is a real importance in investing in the downtown instead of big box stores–the power of investing in the downtown is huge.

Invest in Downtown, Expert Says – 06/26/12

Turlock Journal – Cities tend to chase big sprawling developments when instead they should focus on dense urban environments because they pay off better.

Build Up Downtown To Boost Tax Revenue, Expert Says – 04/20/12

Modesto Bee – County officials have heard plenty of advice of the years about where to build houses, but Joe Minicozzi said to build in the center of the San Joaquin Valley to build up the area’s downtowns.