A controversial water project gets approved in Sacramento County while in the city of Sacramento, a property tax increase is approved to improve flood safety. The LA City Council has approved a master plan for revitalizing the Los Angeles River, Fresno Co
Local governments in the Central Valley are starting to adopt policies that require developers to mitigate the conversion of farmland to urban uses, primarily by acquiring agricultural easements or paying in-lieu fees. San Joaquin County has become a hotbed for the new policies, and farmland advocates are hoping to export those policies to other places.
A few weeks ago, I attended an Urban Land Institute event dedicated to hyping Los Angeles’s newfound urbanity. It was a panel discussion on the windy roof of an old office building at 3801 Wilshire Boulevard, just across Western Avenue from the historic Wiltern Theater and catty-corner to the Red Line stop at Wilshire and Western.
It is no secret that affordable housing is in short-supply in Santa Clara County. Recently, the Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Charities Housing Development Corporation, and the Institute for Metropolitan Studies at San Jose State University released a report, “Housing Silicon Valley: A 20 Year Plan to End the Affordable Housing Crisis,” to quantify the problem and suggest solutions. The study is available at the LISC website: www.bayarealisc.org.
The report led to the creation of a “blue ribbon commission” of housing experts and civic leaders that is scheduled to release an action plan in October. Greg Chin, program coordinator for LISC, helped write the report and is providing staff assistance to the commission. He spoke with CP&DR Editor Paul Shigley in May.
California’s business community is accustomed to having its plans second-guessed by regulators seeking to determine whether a project or activity will harm birds, bugs, fish and plants. But a recent decision by the Coastal Commission appears to signal a dramatic shift in the state’s regulatory environment, adding a global dimension to the list of potential impacts to be assessed.
The California Research Bureau (CRB) has suggested increasing public oversight of redevelopment activities by broadening the use, membership and roles of project area committees.
The CEQA questions, both procedural and substantive, were thick and juicy during a hearing Tuesday, May 15, on the Yuba Highlands project east of Marysville. Located on about 2,900 acres of unincorporated Yuba County between Beale Air Force Base and Spenceville State Wildlife Area, Yuba Highlands is proposed to have about 5,100 housing units and 85 acres of commercial development.
Among the questions that arose were these:
If you look at the Automobile Club of Southern California’s 1937 freeway plan for Los Angeles, you’ll see that the relationship between the freeways and the city evolved a bit differently from the way the people who wrote that plan envisioned.
When fiscal experts start talking about land use, planners often get nervous. Economists and planners don’t necessarily have the same definition of “good” land use.
For the first time, residents in a Ventura County city have voted to substantially expand their urban growth boundaries in order to accommodate a residential development.
Some 61% of Santa Paula residents voted on Tuesday, May 8, to expand the urban growth boundary by 4,800 acres to bring the Adams Canyon area inside the city’s growth boundary. Measure A7 also directed the city to amend its general plan to permit about 500 houses, a resort hotel and golf course, and require at least 200 acres of passive open space.