NIMBY or genuine concern?

At the outset, a disclaimer: Land use and urban planning are incredibly complex topics that cannot be covered in a single book, let alone a single post. These issues are deeply interrelated and tangled up with each other and I will be making some simplifications or overly broad statements here for the sake of sticking […]

Whose backyard, then?

Naomi Oreskes recently wrote a passionate defense of the NIMBY in which she missed two key components of an important discussion. She confused entirely reasonable environmental concerns that extend to larger social issues with selfish individuals obsessed with preventing the ‘despoliation’ of their personal fantasylands, and she failed to discuss the larger class and race implications of […]

This Too Too Twee Pastiche

I’ve been watching Fort Bragg’s downtown sinker deeper and deeper into decline over recent years, something that is in part, obviously, the fault of the economy. And also of changing habits and patterns in the way we live. And also, in part, because of the way the City handles planning and related decisions, because downtown […]

In Historical Preservation, Accessibility Doesn’t Have to Mean Inaccuracy

The conservation of historic buildings is an important component of development in many communities, with a growing number specifically turning to adaptive reuse, where they conserve buildings by repurposing to make them useful in a changing world. Adapative reuse retains the character and personality of the structure, while making the inside a usable space; converting […]

Who Needs Trees When You Can Have Grapes? Timber to Vineyard Conversions

Northern California’s wine industry is growing, as California wineries stretch up from Napa, through Sonoma, and into Mendocino and other Northern California counties. Wine is big business, and every time I go to the City, it seems like I see a new vineyard underway. Other forms of commercial agriculture here are not terribly viable, a […]