Assistant Community Development Director/City Planner City of Beverly Hills

This recruitment will close at midnight on Sunday, January 4, 2015.

SANDAG ruling included holdings on project alternatives, impact analysis

Although the question of Executive Order S-3-05 was the main event in the Cleveland National Forest v. SANDAG appellate ruling, Presiding Justice Judith McConnell’s split-decision majority ruling covered a number of other important areas interpreting how the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) should be used in the context of a regional transportation plan.

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CP&DR's Most-Read Stories of 2014

New laws that bring back redevelopment in a limited way. The Office of Planning & Research's effort to do away with the traffic "level of service" standard. And whether you can live in California without a car.

These are just a few of the most-read stories from California Planning & Development Report in 2014. And now you can check them out again. Here's CP&DR's Top 20 List – in order:

Ventura Foothill Neighbors Win Appeal on Already-Built Hospital

The Second District Court of Appeal has affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of Ventura residents who sued Ventura County over a hospital project, contesting an addendum to the environmental impact report issued 11 years after the original EIR. The court held the Ventura Foothill Neighbors' petition was not time-barred under state law and that a supplemental EIR should have been prepared instead of an addendum to the EIR. The project in question has been completed in the meantime.

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CP&DR News Briefs, December 16, 2014: Fresno General Plan Nears Approval; Homeless Vets Win Order In L.A. VA Campus Case; CA S.Ct. To Review Seawall And Railroad Preemption Cases

Fresno's 2035 General Plan proposal has been moving through packed public meetings toward final approval this month. The city's Planning Commission approved the proposal December 8. The City Council took it up in a packed public discussion hearing November 11.

Planners Face Climate Planning Woes In The Upper San Joaquin Valley

California's mandates pressing large urban regions to reduce vehicle travel are tough. They possibly just got tougher with a recent San Diego appellate court ruling.

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The SANDAG Ruling's Disturbing Message About Executive Power

For now, the environmentalists have won their lawsuit challenging the San Diego Association of Governments’ sustainable communities plan (which is part of SANDAG’s regional transportation plan). SANDAG has appealed the ruling to the California Supreme Court.

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Los Angeles' Slow Burn

I noticed the da Vinci apartment complex for the first time only a few months ago. How could I not notice it? It looked like a plywood ocean liner beached against the northbound side of the 110 freeway. Rising 4-5 stories at the time, it hovered over the freeway, uncomfortably close to the roadway. I remember hoping that it would have serious soundproofing. And air filtering. 

CP&DR News Briefs, December 9, 2014: San Jose 'Jungle' Camp Evicted; Supreme Court Case Could Limit Rules On Public Signage; Kinkisharyo Deal Salvaged, But At What Cost?

Restrained congratulations were circulating in late November over a deal brokered by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that persuaded the Kinkisharyo company to expand its rail car assembly operation in Palmdale after all. The Japanese rail car manufacturing company had threatened to move the planned expansion of its U.S. branch elsewhere after activists supportive of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11 filed a CEQA appeal with the Palmdale City Council against the expansion. (See prior coverage at http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3601.)

Agencies Seek Review Of Two San Diego Climate Rulings

Two San Diego agencies that lost recent appellate cases on climate planning have decided to seek review by the state Supreme Court.

California Water Experts Face Drought-Driven Changes

With California in one of its worst droughts in recorded history, cuts have fallen swiftly on users of surface water, but the effects on groundwater will percolate more slowly.

Unlike surface water sources, including deltas, rivers, lakes, and basins, groundwater has remained largely unregulated in the state, even though it accounts for about a third of California’s total water supply. That will begin to change soon under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law this past September by Gov. Jerry Brown.

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BART's Four-Station Extension In San Jose Hits a Rocky Patch

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is slowly making its way to San Jose, although the journey there continues to be bumpy. The first trains will arrive to one northeastern San Jose neighborhood in 2017, but whether they’ll ever serve more of the city remains an open question.

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Long-Awaited Berkeley Hillside Arguments Test The Meaning Of 'Unusual Circumstances'

The State Supreme Court heard oral arguments December 2 in the major Berkeley Hillside CEQA exemptions case, focusing on the legal significance of the term "unusual circumstances".

While the genesis of the case is a single residence, the ruling may have statewide impact on the application of exceptions to categorical exemptions from CEQA. Thus, the case has attracted interest from environmental advocates, public agencies, preservation activists, and the development community across the state.

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CP&DR News Briefs, December 2, 2014: 4thDist Orders Publication On San Diego County Climate Ruling; CA Supreme Court Nominee; Bird Survey Out of SJ General Plan For Now

[The news briefs have been edited as noted below.]

San Diego Climate Plan Ruling Ordered Published
On November 24, the Fourth Appellate District's Division 1 issued a publication order for its October ruling rejecting San Diego's climate plan. That same day the same division issued its major decision rejecting the EIR for the San Diego Association of Governments' regional transportation plan. The effect was to give value as precedent to two cases that impose stricter greenhouse gas reduction standards on local and regional planners.

Advocates For Vets' Housing Seek Injunction To Stop Amphitheater Construction On VA's West L.A. Campus

Some important institutions got an awkward surprise last August when U.S. District Judge James Otero ruled that the Veterans Administration's sumptuous 387-acre West Los Angeles Campus was reserved for the provision of health care to U.S. military veterans, to the exclusion of several third-party lease agreements. His order sided with a group of chronically homeless veterans living with mental disabilities and/or brain injuries who argued that veterans like themselves had a priority right to receive care on the campus, including through supportive housing.

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