CHC held its first policy event of the year on January 13. Partnering with the Silicon Valley Leaders20160113_105044hip Group and sponsored by Blach Construction, Affordable Housing and CEQA: How can we meet both environmental and housing development goals?, brought together members of the development, building, business, and public sectors to explore how environmental and housing development goals do not have to be at cross-purposes.

The event began with a workshop from Ashle Crocker and Chris Butcher of the Thomas Law Group on how developers can use the existing CEQA exemptions. They presented on the many categorical exemptions and streamlining available to developers and provided ways for local government to assist developers in their use of the exemptions.

After a brief break, the event resumed with a panel on how we can protect the goals of CEQA and build affordable 20160113_105050housing. Moderated by Linda Mandolini, President/CEO of Eden Housing, the panelists included Tony Mirenda, Blach Construction, Paul Ring, The Core Companies, Bradley Brownlow, Holland & Knight, and Julie Snyder, Equity Advocates. After a brief presentation by Mr. Brownlow on the Holland & Knight study, In the Name of the Environment: Litigation Abuse Under CEQA, panelists then brainstormed ways to modify existing CEQA streamlining to assist affordable housing development while still protecting CEQA and our region’s natural resources.