Aknin, AICP, is a Principal and Co-Owner of Good City Company. He has nearly two decades of Bay Area municipal experience, including serving in an executive capacity for several different Peninsula cities. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the American Planning Association. Aaron has frequently spoken at regional events, as well as served on panels at national conferences on topics related to development, downtown planning, transportation, parking, affordable housing, and related issues.
Most recently, Aaron was the Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director with the City of Redwood City. In this capacity, he oversaw a 70+ member department, which included the Planning, Housing, Engineering, Transportation, Front Counter Services, and Code Enforcement divisions. As the Assistant City Manager, he led key Citywide initiatives and also served as Interim City Manager in 2015.
Aaron was in Redwood City during a time of unprecedented growth and community involvement (2014-2019). During his half-decade with the City, the City reviewed and processed over 4,000 new housing units, as well as several million square feet of office space. In addition, Aaron oversaw the implementation of the Redwood City Downtown Precise Plan, including several key amendments to the plan. Aaron helped shape a first of its kind community benefits program (“Partnership Redwood City”), adoption of several key affordable housing initiatives including an inclusionary housing ordinance, an Airbnb affordable housing tax and renter protections, and the adoption the Citywide Transportation Plan.
Aaron was also deeply involved in economic development issues and served on the Redwood City Community Improvement Association (RCIA) Board. Aaron continues to serve on the RCIA Board and was recently appointed to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Finally, one of Aaron’s key focuses in Redwood City was improving the process, both for residents participating in policy making, as well as applicants, business owners and developers who chose to invest in the City.
Prior to coming to Redwood City, Aaron was with the City of Palo Alto in 2012-2014. He served as both the Assistant and Interim Director of Planning and Community Environment. In this capacity, he led the Planning and Transportation Divisions within the City. Key projects included the formation of the first Downtown Residential Permit Program (RPP), leading the downtown development cap process, providing direction related to the Comprehensive Plan (General Plan), being the Planning Commission liaison, and overseeing several Stanford related developments.
During his time in Palo Alto, Aaron focused much of his efforts on transparency by increasing the amount of available (and understandable) public information and building a connection within the community.
Aaron “grew up” as a local government professional within the City of San Bruno. He began his career in San Bruno in 2002 as an Assistant Planner, and left in 2012, after spending the last 5 years as the Community Development Director. As Community Development Director, he was in charge of the Planning, Building, and the Code Enforcement divisions in the City. He also staffed the Planning Commission and managed their agendas.
During his time in San Bruno, the Shops at Tanforan mall was renovated for the first time in generations, and over 1,500 residential units were constructed citywide. This included over 1,000 units at “The Crossing” (former Navy Base) which included 315 affordable units. During Aaron’s tenure as Director, the first General Plan in 25 years was adopted, and the draft Transit Corridor Plan was released. Most importantly, Aaron served as the Plan Section Chief during the PG&E Pipeline Explosion and worked closely with property owners during the immediate aftermath and in the months and years following the disaster.
Aaron grew up in the Peninsula, spent much of his adult life in San Francisco, and moved back to San Carlos in 2012. He lives there with his wife Cindy, and two kids.