Petaluma Announces Partnership with the Urban Land Institute

Posted on September 16, 2020

Petaluma Announces Partnership with the Urban Land Institute to Identify Housing Opportunities Aligned with City Values

The City of Petaluma is pleased to announce an engagement with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to explore ways to facilitate housing development while maintaining the character and history of the community. ULI’s final report will be presented to the public during a special joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council on Tuesday September 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm via Zoom (

Petaluma, along with much of the Bay Area, is in the midst of a housing and climate crisis. Lifelong city residents are faced with the high cost of housing, while grappling with the devastating impacts of climate-related environmental issues. The City is committed to implementing solutions that will preserve our quality of life in Petaluma.

ULI San Francisco Technical Advisory Panels (TAPs) provide expert, multidisciplinary input and recommendations to public agencies and non-profit organizations facing complex land use and real estate issues in the Bay Area. Petaluma looks forward to welcoming a panel of urban designers, architects, developers, and economists, each leaders in their respective fields, to offer objective and responsible advice on ways to create housing while respecting the commitment to smart growth (sustainable development within city limits). Funding for the ULI TAP has been secured through a grant from Housing and Community Development (HCD). Due to continuing concerns surrounding COVID-19, the September 2020 TAP will be held virtually.

Since 1947, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has harnessed the technical expertise of its members to help communities solve difficult land use, development, and redevelopment challenges. ULI has conducted over 650 Advisory Services Panels in 47 U.S. states, 12 countries, and 4 continents. Since 2006, ULI San Francisco (ULI SF) has adapted this model to provide Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) for use at the local level, assisting over 30 cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is the first step in a larger planning effort designed to shape the City’s General Plan and Housing Element development process. The General Plan is Petaluma’s overarching roadmap for future development. One key part of this roadmap, the Housing Element, determines how and where future housing can be built in Petaluma. Some topics the City would like to focus on include the feasibility of denser housing construction and innovative strategies in areas like ownership, capacity, and funding sources.

“When exploring infill housing opportunities and trying to ensure Petalumans have a diversity of housing options, we have a lot of trade-offs to consider, “ said  City Manager Peggy Flynn. “It’s important we provide our community with affordable housing so that they can continue to live in the place they grew up, work in, or just want to move their families to–but it’s equally important to grow and develop in a way that respects our values, history, and environment.  We look forward to the insights ULI can provide.”

The TAP will begin with a set of questions proposed by the City of Petaluma regarding affordable housing within the urban boundary. Over a period of 4 days, panelists will hold virtual tours, interviews, and intensive working sessions to discuss opportunities in Petaluma. A presentation of recommendations and a final report outlining the process and recommendations will be provided at the end of the work period.

The ULI TAP will deliver a presentation and final analysis of their findings to the City Council, the Planning Commission, and the community at large at the virtual joint Planning Commission Meeting and City Council meeting, on September 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm. This will inform future discussions on the General Plan and other policy documents. ULI will also produce a report that will inform the General Plan RFP, will be provided to General Plan consultants, and will be available to the community. Petaluma encourages the community to join the meeting.

For more information, please contact: Christina Paul, Principal Policy Planner, [email protected]


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