Petaluma Urban Chat – Calendar for this week – participate!

Monday, September 13 – Petaluma City Council – Presentation of a five-year housing plan
Thursday, September 16 – Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee – Meeting #5
Wednesday, September 22 – Know Before You Grow – Forum on transit-oriented development
Thursday, September 23 – Petaluma Urban Chat – Monthly agenda-free gathering
Wednesday, September 29 – Raimi+Associates – General Plan visioning session
Tuesday, October 5 – Petaluma Vehicle Miles Traveled Committee – Continued discussion of mitigation approaches
Wednesday, October 13 – Know Before You Grow –  How the new Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) standard will affect Petaluma development
The upcoming calendar remains well-filled.  Review the calendar items carefully.  Everyone should be able to find a place to get involved.
This week, I want to talk about the upcoming Know Before You Grow forums.  (I’m sure everyone here already knows this, but to make sure, Know Before You Grow (KBYG) is a committee of Urban Chat, founded to increase public conversation on the pillars of the Urban Chat mission statement.)
Wednesday evening, KBYG will host a presentation by Christina Paul and David Garcia of Petaluma Planning titled “Planning 101”.  Paul and Garcia, who lead the Petaluma General Plan update effort, want to increase the public understanding of how the land-use planning process works, from the high-level General Plan to the on-the-ground entitlement processes for proposed land uses.  This is a huge topic which professionals study for years to grasp the nuances, but Paul and Garcia will attempt to impart the basics.  Please join us Wednesday evening and be prepared, very prepared, to ask questions.
Two weeks later, on September 22, KBYG will present a forum on transit-oriented development (TOD).  We have achieved a coup by  securing Doug Farr, nationally-known Chicago urbanist and author of “Sustainable Urbanism” as our principal speaker.  I’ve recently begun reading “Sustainable Urbanism” and am greatly interested in Farr’s comments on TOD.  But the forum chair then went to the next level by booking Monica Meagher, Director of Sustainability for BART, to give a regional context to Farr’s comments.
This is a forum you should not miss.
Also, don’t forget the upcoming pop-ups to gather public input on the General Plan update.  I plan to hang out at both, at least for a while.
Questions or comments?  Let me know. – Dave Alden
P.S. If you wish to be removed from this email list, or have folks to add, please advise.
MORE DETAILS – All events are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to participate on-line (except for the monthly Urban Chat and the General Plan pop-up meetings which will be in person).
Wednesday, September 8 – Know Before You Grow – Petaluma Planning will use KBYG to present a Planning 101 tutorial on how local planning works, from General Plans to zoning codes to public input.  If you have questions on this subject, and everyone likely does, bring them that evening or, even better, email them to me now so they can be considered as Planning and KBYG assemble the content.
The forum will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to attend and to participate is here.
Monday, September 13 – Petaluma City Council – Among other agenda items, the Council will be presented a five-year housing plan assembled by the Petaluma Housing Director.
The meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  The links to the agenda and to attend and participate in this meeting will be provided when published by the City.
Thursday, September 16 – Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee – Following a fully-engaged GPAC meeting last month on the guiding principles for the upcoming General Plan update, the committee will convene for meeting #5.  The meeting topic hasn’t yet been announced.
The meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  Links to the agenda and to observe and participate in the meeting will be provided when published by the City.
Wednesday, September 22 – Know Before You Grow – The forum topic will be transit-oriented development.  The speakers will be Doug Farr, author of “Sustainable Nation”, and Mary Meagher, BART Sustainability Director.  Farr is a nationally-recognized urban planner based in Chicago.  Forum chair Ann Edminster did a great job in securing the participation of both.  Everyone should mark their calendars now.
The forum will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to attend and to participate is here.
Thursday, September 23 – Petaluma Urban Chat – As the pandemic waned, the monthly meetings of Urban Chat returned to their previous location at the Aqus Café, where they will remain unless the pandemic continues its unfortunate rebound.  As is usual, the September meeting won’t have an agenda but will instead be open to the urbanist topics raised by the attendees.  It’s always a fun and free-wheeling conversation, one that offers new ideas and opens windows for expanded personal involvement in local issues.
The meeting will convene at noon at the Aqus Café at Second and H Streets.
Wednesday, September 29 – Raimi+Associates – Raimi+Associates will host a session to explore a vision for the General Plan update.  More than any other General Plan meeting, this is where the tenor of Petaluma land-use over the next twenty years will begin to be established.  More details will be provided as they become known.
The meeting is expected to convene at 6:30 p.m.  Links to further information and to participate in the meeting will be provided when available.
Tuesday, October 5 – Petaluma Vehicle Miles Traveled Subcommittee – The VMT Committee is scheduled to continue the discussion of projects that fall outside the newly adopted VMT thresholds.
The links to the agenda and to attend and participate in the meeting will be provided when available.
Wednesday, October 13 – Know Before You Grow – As directed by state law, Petaluma has adopted rules to use Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as the CEQA standard for measuring traffic impacts of new land-use projects, replacing the previous standard of Level of Service (LOS).  However, VMT is a complex topic.  The VMT Advisory Committee continues to meet to discuss mitigation approaches.
A team led by Petaluma CEQA coordinator Olivia Ervin will introduce the public to VMT and how it will change land-use in Petaluma.
The forum will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to observe and to participate will be provided as the forum date nears.