Blogs

 

Message to Architect: Do Not Blot Out Wilshire Boulevard!

Since our last discussion of architect Peter Zumthor’s proposed new design of the Los Angeles County Art Museum, aka the Black Hole on Wilshire Boulevard (see http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3442), several important events have taken place:

The Page Museum, which employs paleontologists to excavate bones of ancient mammals from tar pits that lie east of the museum, pointed out that the new museum would overlie several active research sites. Emergency IM to Switzerland: Mr. Z, your tar pit museum has become mired in the honest-to-God tar pits! Back to the drawing board!

Can an anti-speculation tax slow down Bay Area gentrification?

A coalition of San Francisco tenants' groups has won the needed four votes from county Supervisors to place an “anti-speculation tax” initiative on the city and county municipal ballot in November. The initiative, which would impose a 24-percent tax on investors who sell rental housing within five years of purchase, is the latest attempt of long-time city residents to beat back the waves of rising rents and housing values in what has become the nation’s most expensive housing market.

Why to read that Sacramento County court file soonest

If you think browsing court records in public policy lawsuits is a sensible use of time -- and since you're reading this publication, you may -- here's a warning that, if you don't work in California or federal government, the best time to read court documents in Sacramento Superior Court is before July 1. On that date, unless local court officials relent, online case records will become expensively paywalled.

The Hollywood earthquake fault: geology as a matter of opinion

In a case that could reset the parameters of reality, the developer of a mixed-use development under construction in Hollywood has asked the state geological service to change the earthquake map of Los Angeles.

ABAG, MTC Settle Plan Bay Area Lawsuit With BIA

The Bay Area’s regional planning agencies have settled a lawsuit with the Building Industry Association over Plan Bay Area – the regional sustainable communities strategy.

In the settlement, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission agreed to focus more on finding residential locations within the Bay Area to accommodate expected future growth, rather than assuming a certain amount of in-commuting from the Central Valley and Monterey County.

Brown Signs Post-Redevelopment Bill

Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 471, a redevelopment cleanup bill that included some of Brown's ideas about using infrastructure financing districts as a future substitute for redevelopment.

Specifically, AB 471 clarifies that an IFD can be created that overlaps with a former redevelopment project area, so long as the IFD debt is subordinate to the old redevelopment debt.

California Should Take Off the Gloves

Raw fish will not singlehandedly save urban California. But it can still help.

 

Will CEQA Reform Really Reform CEQA?

"If you’re waiting for CEQA reform from the legislature, get a life! If you’re going to reform CEQA, you have to do it at home."

Most California locals are tackling climate change -- and using parking reductions to do it

The vast majority of California jurisdictions are now addressing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly they are using reduced parking requirements to achieve the “smart growth” land use changes that go along with emissions reductions. 

Brown Dips Toe Into Redevelopment Revival -- But With Conditions.

Sending the first signal that he is open to re-establishing some form of redevelopment, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed changes to the Infrastructure Financing District law that would expand the allowable uses for IFDs and lower the voter threshold required to create them. But he would permit the expanded use of IFDs only for cities and counties that have settled out all redevelopment cash payments to other agencies and settled all redevelopment lawsuits against the state – moves that may accelerate the redevelopment wind-down process.

OPR Takes On Level of Service

Are the days of “levels of service” as a performance measure under the California Environmental Quality Act numbered?

The Morris Files: Announcing the Cal Planning Rol-Arena ®

HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL MEMO TO THE EDITOR OF CALIFORNIA PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT REPORT. WARNING: DON’T NOBODY ELSE READ THIS. STRICTLY “ENTRE NOUS.” STAY OUT! 

Dear Colleague:

Something has happened to the American sports venue. Despite their great cost, stadiums and arenas  have become as disposable as the paper wrapper on yesterday’s tater tots.

Still Waiting for Redevelopment 2.0

Two years ago, when Redevelopment 1.0 ended, it was widely viewed as the end of an era – but maybe not the end of redevelopment. Maybe it would no longer be possible to use tax-increment financing to solve all urban development and infrastructure problems. But surely a new set of techniques would emerge, either as a result of state law (after all, Gov. Jerry Brown promised a replacement) or because local officials and developers would get creative. Redevelopment 2.0 might not be as powerful, but something good would come along.

We’re still waiting.

Fresno Negotiations With Neighbors About How to Grow

Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley, is going to keep growing. The question is, in which direction? 

City leaders who are dealing with issues of leapfrog development, declining neighborhoods and strained city services, would like to keep growth inside city limits as infill projects – as the city’s recently adopted general plan suggests.  

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Secure the Terminal, Secure the City

This week the Huffington Post ran a concerning piece about the recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.