Highligthed Recent Projects
21 Elements brings together all of the jurisdictions in San Mateo County to learn from each other and to collaborate on housing policy and planning. Baird + Driskell helped found the award-winning initiative ten years ago and has staffed it since then. 21 Elements helps cities create tailored housing policies and programs to meet their housing element requirements and local housing needs. Jurisdictions work alongside their neighbors in a supportive, collaborative environment. Respecting local control, 21 Elements also provides resources that help cities learn about issues and adopt their Housing Elements. While 21 Elements primarily serves San Mateo County, our most popular reports have been downloaded thousands of times from jurisdictions across the country.
When residents, stakeholders and the city were at odds in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, they called on Baird + Driskell Community Planning to facilitate a constructive dialogue among the participants. Everyone agreed they wanted to preserve the local character of their diverse neighborhood, but they disagreed on how to do it. Prior efforts had resulted in tempers flaring and not much trust in the room. Using dispute resolution and skilled meeting facilitation, we systematically worked through the challenging issues and emotions. With the process going smoothly, the San Francisco City Planning Department was able to take over the facilitation of the process and cites it as a model for other neighborhoods.
INCLUSIONARY ZONING ORDINANCES AND GUIDELINES
Baird + Driskell has written inclusionary zoning ordinances and guidelines for numerous cities, including recently in Detroit, Redwood City and Salinas. We have assisted many local governments as they craft policies that promote affordable housing without unduly constraining development. In some cases our role was to develop affordability requirements that work compatibly with the local market. In other cities, we either wrote the ordinance or the guidelines themselves.
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUs)
Baird + Driskell has been leading San Mateo County’s extensive ADU work effort since 2016, resulting in a doubling of ADU construction. Building on our original market and best practices research conducted for the project, the products are groundbreaking and innovative. For example, we produced an online calculator that allows homeowners to estimate the costs to build an ADU, the rent, payback periods, etc. Used hundreds of times each month, the calculator is being duplicated in surrounding counties. We also produced a full-color, interactive, 90-page workbook that takes homeowners through the step-by-step process of developing an ADU. There is nothing else like it available today and regions as far away as Minneapolis/St. Paul are using it as a template for their own work.
Sampling of Clients
STATE AND REGIONAL AGENCIES
Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)
Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)
City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG)
California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
21 Elements (San Mateo County)
Home for All (San Mateo County)
Marin County Planning Directors
Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo County
MEDIUM-LARGER CITIES AND COUNTIES
San Mateo City
San Mateo County
East Palo Alto
South San Francisco
Yellow Spring, OH
FOR-PROFIT, NON-PROFIT AND EDUCATION GROUPS
American Planning Association
Cook-Inlet Region, Alaska
Cornell Historic Preservation Alumni Association
Enterprise Community Partners
Grounded Solutions Network (formerly Cornerstone Partnership)
Housing Endowment and Regional Trust (HEART) of San Mateo County
League of California Cities
Louis-Berger , Inc.
NeighborWorks America, Washington, D.C. (formerly Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation)
San Francisco Foundation
SEEDS Community Resolution Center
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
The Alliance for Language Learners Integration, Education and Success (ALLIES),
University of California at Davis Extension