Bill Fulton's blog
Dear CP&DR Readers,
By now, you may have heard that I have decided to move on from my current job as Planning Director of the City of San Diego to become the Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston. (See http://kinder.rice.edu/content.aspx?id=2147485438&blogid=306.) I’m writing this short missive to reassure you that I remain committed to California Planning & Development Report – and, in fact, I’ll have more motivation and bandwidth to devote to CP&DR than I have had in recent years.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
Are the days of “levels of service” as a performance measure under the California Environmental Quality Act numbered?
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL MEMO TO THE EDITOR OF CALIFORNIA PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT REPORT. WARNING: DON’T NOBODY ELSE READ THIS. STRICTLY “ENTRE NOUS.” STAY OUT!
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.
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, 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.
A couple of weeks ago, the Cupertino City Council approved the long-awaited, 3.2-million-square-foot Apple Campus 2. Approval means that the building, notable for its purely circular footprint, is to arise on an open field north of Interstate 280, with completion expected in about two years. Designed by architectural luminary Sir Norman Foster, the main office building is notable for a purely circular footprint. Both Apple and the architect suggest that the horizontally oriented, four-story building will be gentler on Gaia than a tall building.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that an inclusionary housing requirement is an exaction rather than a land use regulation – a distinction that means inclusionary housing could be judged by the same nexus and proportionality requirements as other exactions.
California’s Office of Planning & Research appears likely to make a major impact this year by revising the General Plan Guidelines and pushing the envelope on the California Environmental Quality Act in a way that hasn’t been seem for a decade or more.
So, what did Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s last-minute switcheroo mean for CEQA reform? More than you might think.
Will CEQA ever give infill development a break?
SB 731 – now pending in the Assembly – is intended to do just that. But in the latest twist in an increasingly long-running tale, the bill has now been amended in a way that could push CEQA significantly in the direction of assessing the socioeconomic impact of infill development.