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Land Use Studies and Zoning Highlights


Concord Development Code (2012)

The City of Concord hired Barry as an “in-house” consulting project manager for a six month period in 2012. His assignment was to wrap up a 10-year staff-led effort to update the Concord Development Code, including the zoning regulations. Concord’s zoning regulations were drafted in 1953 and had not been comprehensively updated in almost 60 years. Barry worked with staff to bring the project to completion, and drafted missing sections of the Code covering such topics as standards for small lot subdivisions and inclusionary housing. Working as a liaison between the City and local housing advocates, Barry drafted an innovative affordable housing incentive program which allows for reduced parking and modified development standards for affordable units. Barry also supervised completion of the project’s environmental impact report, and development of zoning maps. He also shepherded the project through the Planning Commission and City Council hearings, ultimately resulting in a unanimous adoption vote in July 2012.

Review Concord's Development Code (Title 18 of the Municipal Codee)
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Housing inventory in Concord, CA

Concord Housing Site Inventory and Constraints Analysis (2014)

BAE Urban Economics retained Barry as a subcontractor to complete key tasks for the Concord 2015-2023 Housing Element Update. Barry’s work included a comprehensive inventory of housing opportunity sites in the City, a report on housing capacity, and an analysis of constraints to housing production. Barry also participated in the Housing Element outreach and adoption processes.


Review the Housing Element Update
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Sample Housing Inventory Map

Fremont Commercial Zoning (2012-2013)

Following adoption of their new General Plan, the City of Fremont retained Barry to prepare new commercial zoning regulations. Barry drafted building and site standards, use tables, and other zoning provisions for seven new zoning districts, including a new “Town Center” district and a mixed use district. Barry developed a new use classification system based on NAICS codes, along with diagrams indicating siting and design requirements that implemented General Plan policies.


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commercialland use in Fremont, CA

Oakland Zoning Ordinance and Map Update (2007-2011)

In 2007, the City of Oakland hired Barry to update the city’s zoning maps and provide peer review on the new Zoning Ordinance. His specific task was to apply new zoning designations to more than 100,000 parcels in the 61-square mile city, bringing zoning into conformance with Oakland’s General Plan for the first time. Thousands of properties were upzoned, downzoned, and rezoned to permit different uses. Barry’s responsibilities included all field work and map preparation, including development of a map legend which easily communicated zoning changes to the public. His work also included many staff reports, public presentations, and mediation with community groups and property owners. More than 50 community meetings were held and innovative tools such as YouTube videos were used to convey zoning proposals.

   Award winner:  APA - Northern California Section

Visit the Zoning Update Web Portal
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excerpt from Oakland Zoning Map

New Orleans, Louisiana Master Plan Peer Review (2009)

Barry and his longtime colleague Paul Sedway were retained by the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), a New Orleans based non-profit, to prepare a detailed evaluation of the City’s Working Draft Comprehensive Plan prior to its adoption by the City Council. The 700-page Comprehensive Plan was intended to guide development and reconstruction of the city in the post-Katrina era. Miller and Sedway issued a position paper on the Working Draft, along with recommendations on how it could be made stronger and more effective. This was presented in testimony before the Planning Commission and City Council on BGR’s behalf, and resulted in positive changes to the document prior to its adoption.



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Street corner in New Orleans' Garden District

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Expert Witness Testimony (2007-08)

Price Postel and Parma (PPP) retained Barry as an expert witness on land use planning matters in an eminent domain lawsuit and trial. PPP served as legal counsel to the EBRPD, which was assembling land to create a new regional park on the North Richmond shoreline. Barry’s work included an analysis of land use, environmental, and planning issues associated with the acquisition of a 236-acre site which had previously been proposed for development. In addition to written analysis, Barry was deposed and later testified before a jury when the case went to trial.



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Proposed development site along Richmond, CA shoreline

Oakland Open Space Zoning District (1997-1998)

The creation of a separate zoning district for parks and open space was a priority recommendation of Oakland’s General Plan. Barry prepared the text of the new open space zoning ordinance, including use restrictions, development standards, and approval procedures. He also drafted the maps indicating the properties to be rezoned, ultimately safeguarding more than 2,800 acres of parkland within the city limits. Barry also facilitated public review and adoption of the ordinance by the Parks Commission, the Planning Commission, and the City Council.



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Photo of a path running along side Lake Merritt, Oakland's largest city park

Reedy Creek Improvement District Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) (1996-1998)

As a subcontractor to Sedway Consulting, Barry served as the project manager and principal planner for the State-mandated EAR for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district coterminous with Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The report included an update of all baseline planning data, an evaluation of the District’s progress towards meeting its previous Comprehensive Plan objectives, and recommendations for Plan amendments and revisions.



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Map showing location of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (a.k.a. Walt Disney World)

Milpitas Housing Sites Analysis (2001-2002)

Barry was a subcontractor to Bay Area Economics on this project in the South Bay city of Milpitas. His role was to identify adequate sites to meet the city’s regional housing needs assignment (RHNA), and to analyze regulatory and policy constraints to housing development.




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Industrial Land Use Compatibility Study (1998-1999)

Barry was retained by Sedway Consulting to evaluate land use compatibility issues around concrete batch plants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The study results were used as part of the environmental clearance process for the Pacific Shores Center (PSC) Office Park in Redwood City. The 106-acre PSC site adjoined heavy industrial uses, and proprietors were concerned about the effects of office uses on their operations. The study included field surveys, interviews, and archival research. The findings were used to develop specific conditions of approval to mitigate potential impacts and ensure both uses could co-exist.



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Aerial photo showing one of the industrial sites

Colusa County Transmission Line Element (1990-91)

Colusa County received a grant from the California Energy Commission to develop a General Plan chapter focused entirely on electric transmission lines. The grant was awarded in response to local concerns about the effects of power lines on farming, ranching, public health, the environment, property values, and scenic resources. Barry was the project manager and primary author of the Transmission Line Element, which included new policies and siting guidelines based on research, fieldwork, interviews, and community input.


   Award winner:  APA - Sacramento Valley Section

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Barry J. Miller, FAICP ◊ 817 Alvarado Road, Oakland, CA 94705 ◊ 2512 Ninth Street, Suite 8 ◊ Berkeley, CA 94710 ◊ (510)647-9270 ◊ Send Barry an e-mail

Copyright © 2016 Barry J. Miller. All Rights Reserved.