Can Overlay Zones Help the Bay Area's Housing Shortage?

Lunchtime Forum


A new apartment complex in Berkeley
Image by Flickr user Peter Alfred Hess

As the housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area continues unabated, elected leaders across the region are exploring myriad options in order to build the number of homes mandated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). One of the innovative methods for achieving these housing goals being explored is the creation and application of overlay zones, at which Berkeley is serving as a regional model. Come hear how overlay zoning is working there, the success that they’ve seen in Massachusetts and why they might be the best tool for which to address the state’s expanding housing crisis.

Co-presented by APA Northern California and SV@Home

+ Diego Aguilar-Canabal / Berkeley City Council
+ Jesse Kanson-Benanav / Abundant Housing Massachusetts
+ Darrell Owens / East Bay for Everyone
+ Sarah Karlinsky / SPUR

1 AICP CM available for APA member attendees.

1 Learning Unit available for AIA member attendees.

AIA Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the nuances of how overlay zones operate and what differentiates them from typical forms of zoning.

  2. Learn about the successes and challenges experienced by local municipalities in their application of the tool.

  3. Understand the strategies that designers and developers need to know to work on projects affected by overlay zoning.

  4. Understand the benefits that overlay zoning provides to solve the state’s housing crisis.


SPUR Digital Discourse
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