Bill Fulton's blog

 

SANDAG Case Accepted by California Supreme Court, SD County CAP Case Declined

The California Supreme Court has accepted Cleveland National Forest Association v. SANDAG, the controversial case that raises the question of whether a governor's executive order must be taken into consideration in CEQA analysis.

Split Decision on Oil Measures, Redondo Beach Development Plan Loses

Local voters in California gave oil a split decision on Tuesday. Voters in La Habra Heights shot down an anti-fracking ballot measure, while voters in Hermosa Beach rejected a ballot measure that would have permitted E&B Natural Resources to construct 34 onshore wells in the city. Meanwhile, Redondo Beach voters rejected a development plan that would have included razing the power plant that has long occupied a critical spot near the beach.

SB 743 at CCAPA: Will Roadway Expansion Be Transformed From Mitigation To Impact?

The SB 743 roadshow went to Anaheim over the weekend, where the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research – along with Ron Milam from Fehr & Peers – faced an overflow crowd and probed deeply into OPR’s proposal to dump traffic congestion as a significant impact under the California Environmental Quality Act. And the discussion showed just how much the OPR proposal is turning the CEQA’s traditional assumptions about traffic on their head.

End of Redevelopment: Nobody's A Winner

The end of redevelopment has never turned into a cash cow for the state, as Gov. Jerry Brown hoped back in 2011. And while the 2012 cleanup law – AB 1484 – has clarified the rules, cities are still losing most lawsuits against the state that seek to retain former redevelopment funds.

OPR Indicates VMT Guidance Will Trump General Plan Standards

The proposed CEQA Guidelines prohibiting lead agencies from categorizing traffic congestion as a significant impact will likely trump any significance finding tied to local general plans that contain a level of service standard, state officials said at a forum on the draft guidelines Friday in San Diego.

A note to readers

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.

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.

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.