Chapter Advocacy in Action: New parking Zone Requirements

In an effort to improve the ease of doing business in the City and promote sustainable communities, the Sacramento City Council approved changes to its parking zoning requirements on October 30. New zoning rules will take effect on December 30, 2012.

Bruce Monighan, AIA says: “[This is] advocacy in action.  This was a program that as a Chapter we helped shape, lobbied for and testified for.  It passed the City Council unanimously with no notable opposition (much to the surprise and delight of the Council) and now goes into effect December 30th.  This  is a major boom for  development opportunity in the City and is reflective of sustainable design policies that we are all working towards.”

What this means for the City

These ordinance changes, coupled with some of the parking management strategies being considered by the City’s Parking Division, will encourage economic development, help the City maximize the use of existing parking opportunities citywide, reduce impacts to neighborhoods, and promote alternative modes of transportation and sustainable building.

Want more information?

Below is the link to a new webpage that includes:

  • The adopted ordinance
  • Maps of the parking districts by community plan
  • A summary sheet of changes
  • The City Council staff report

Click here to access these documents.


The City of Sacramento Seeks AIACV Input To Help Them Make Changes

By Bruce Monighan, AIA Past President AIA Central Valley

If you, a client or a consultant has hit a roadblock, had a bad experience, or feels that development should go other places than the City of Sacramento get us the reason why and we will help create a change in policy and attitude.

The AIA Central Valley has been approached by a Sacramento City Councilman to identify policies, procedures, ordinances or culture that makes the City of Sacramento “unfriendly” to business.

The Council member is requesting a specific list from us to use as a “working tool” to identify what the City can do to make major changes. He wants to separate myth from reality and feels the best way to do that is have specifics to work on that we the design and development community have identified. The challenge is that we have just 30 days to put together a list.

To get a list together in time we need to do two things:

1. The first is that for all of you that have specific examples you can email them to me, and we will work on including them.

2. The second is that we will convene a meeting of all interested parties including the Chapter’s Public Policy/Urban Design Committee and spend a few hours listing and sorting concerns. This meeting is scheduled for 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1st at the Chapter office, 1400 S Street, Suite 100 in mid-town Sacramento.

 Please participate in this unprecedented opportunity to directly shape our City.


President’s (Closing) Rant for 2011: Be Engaged, Be Creative and Be Optimistic

Bruce Monighan head shot

by Bruce Monighan, AIA
2011 Chapter President

It has without a doubt been a very rough couple of years.  Lots of architects out of work, offices closed and uncertainty everywhere.  But the upside is that it has taught us how to look for new work and new markets, taught us the true value of collaboration, and given value to the AIA by way of insight, shared ideas and resources.

2011 has also been a healthy year for our Chapter in providing help and education to members, design celebration in programs and events, and an increasing role in public policy and it has been a real joy and honor serving as your President this year.  We have outstanding leadership in the office with Kimberly Anderson as Executive Director and Marina Hill helping execute all the programs and daily tasks.  We have had an outstanding Board that have provided  for engaged Board meetings, lively debate and a lot of good humor.  We also bid a fond goodbye to Don Comstock, FAIA who is making his third retirement to spend more time with his family.  As a retired firm principal, a retired Chapter Executive Director and now a retired Chapter Trustee he is moving on to some well deserved and overdue free time.  We as a group will miss his council and wit and I personally will miss his guidance and support.

As an architect I am optimistic.  I think that is a core characteristic of our profession and my optimism says 2012 will be better.  Most economic indicators are showing improvement and while Washington may be stuck running political circles there is movement on the building front.  It will be a slow recovery and will take us to a place we have not seen before.  It will be a “new normal” but as architects we are quick to adapt and see opportunity.  Small firms will leverage their resources and share with other small firms and providers of specialty services.  Large firms will merge and leverage their great knowledge and employee base to provide ever more specialized services.  But at the core of all of this is people and we as a profession are very good at helping people.  So as long as there is growth there will be people with needs and we will be there to serve them.

I wish all of us a happy and more prosperous New Year and we all look forward to new opportunities and the work of the outstanding 2012 Board led by President Maria Ogrydziak, AIA.

Be engaged, be creative and be optimistic.

AIA Central Valley Leadership Extends Beyond the Chapter

AIACV is proud to announce several leadership positions our members and staff will fill in the years ahead.

At the recent AIA California Council Board Meeting, Bruce Monighan, AIA was elected as the state’s 2012 Secretary/Treasurer, serving on the Executive Committee.

Mike Malinowski, AIA was elected to serve as Regional Director, California.  He will be joining Nick Docous, AIA who is currently serving as a Regional Director. Both will attend regular meetings in Washington, D.C.

Executive Director Kim Anderson will serve as California Council’s Vice President for the Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE), serving on the Executive Committee.

Congratulations Central Valley members and staff!

President’s Rant: Creating Value

Bruce Monighan head shot

by Bruce Monighan, AIA ~ 2011 Chapter President

At the beginning of this year in my message to the membership I asked “What do you want?”  As we near the end of a very full and successful year for the AIACV I find myself still without a clear answer to that question from 8 months ago.

The Chapter has provided a variety of programs from those mandated for continuing education credits to esoteric film screenings and dialog.  We have engaged the public in the 4th Wednesday Design Dialog and engaged professional minds in Design Matters.  We have toured buildings, celebrated design at our Design Awards Gala and Capitol Mall Ideas Competition and become a partner with the City of Sacramento in monthly discussion of how to create a better private/public partnership.  We have even engaged in advocacy efforts through our partnership with Region Builders working to create better regional practices and uniformity of public jurisdictions.

As members we must be pretty proud of those offerings and accomplishments…..but I still wonder what do the individual members need, want, expect?  Not everybody wants to volunteer or participate so what is their take-away?  The only way to know is to ask you or for you to tell us.

Next year I am serving AIA California Council as Secretary / Treasurer and one of my missions will be to help structure the organization around the wants and needs of members.  In order to do that I will be talking with a lot of you, especially those of you we don’t see a lot.  I hope you will give me some good ideas on what we might be missing.

Statistically architects are held by the public as one of the highest and most honorable professions.  The public is interested in what we have to say and what our opinions are.  As I mentioned in our partnership with Region Builders and our Public Policy Committee meetings with the City of Sacramento we have moved the Chapter towards a larger role in shaping the policy environment of our region.  This of course comes with some level of discomfort as we move into areas we have not been participants in before.  But as the Board discussed early this year, “if you are not at the table you are not in the discussion” or as I heard a bit later, “if you are not sitting at the table you might be the lunch.” We have chosen to be a voice in those things that affect us: ordinances, fees, policies and procedures.  We have chosen to be visible.

We recently held a forum with the Sacramento City Council candidates for District 4 and will be publishing opinions on what we heard from them and how their position as a Councilperson would help or hinder our profession.  We have worked with Region Builders to identify obstacles in practice, profitability, and development that could be changed with lobbying of public officials.

Now is a unique time to affect change in our communities, to build reputations as problem solvers and advocates of good and sustainable design and be recognized as a “trusted advisor”.  You can be an agent of change by being part of the Chapter’s work, by volunteering in your community forums and Boards, or by seeking election in your local community.

Together we can create value and you can be part of shaping your own opportunity and the future of the region.


What do you want from your AIA?

Bruce Monighan head shot

President’s Message: Bruce Monighan, AIA
2011 AIACV Chapter President

It is that time of year again when people are asking, “Can I afford it?”, and “What I am getting from my dues?”  Yes, it is that membership cost/value equation.

The traditional retort is that you “only get back what you put in.” But frankly not everybody wants to volunteer or participate—and that is ok.  So there should be another way of looking at this.  For those of us on the Board, making decisions on what programs to pursue, what benefits to try and bring forward and how to define a budget (that is not only balanced but valuable to membership) needs to factor in a key ingredient….you and what you want

So I am looking for just a bit of participation here, a one shot deal maybe.  Tell me what you want for your money, or time, or both.

We represent a very divergent group in age, professional status, employment status and geography.  Making it work for everybody is challenging but I believe we can do better.    Our new website was a step in that direction.  With this message you can talk to me, your chapter’s leadership and your colleagues by adding your comments below this post and telling us your thoughts.  The website is now offering pictures of events and will be offering more programs on video.  We have experimented with a few video postings and are moving toward complete programs on line.  It would allow those outside of the immediate area to participate in architectural and educational activities.  Technology will allow us a lot of connectivity and we want to use that in the best manner possible.

I believe it is an important function of a professional membership to help members, especially now.   If you are not employed or underemployed how can we be of help?

If you are you in the licensing process (or deciding not to follow that line) how can we help, and what do you need to succeed professionally?

If you are a downsized office looking for a foothold in the “new normal” what do you need?  Small firm roundtables, employment of legal direction, marketing ideas or techniques?

With your feedback we can tailor the chapter’s activities to your needs and then when you look at that dues invoice you will know that membership is a good idea.  You might even find yourself in a committee or at a program that sparks your professional interest.

Add your comment below and click “post”. Talk back–we are listening.