CP&DR News Summary, February 4, 2013

Lots going on in California planning and development this week ... 

Central Valley’s Growth War Gets the Governor’s Attention

Fresno Bee

CP&DR News Summary, January 28, 2013

Post-redevelopment plans for downtown San Diego

The San Diego Foundation is teaming up with the Downtown San Diego Partnership business group to frame a  new vision for San Diego’s downtown. With the end of redevelopment agencies in the state, San Diego can no longer depend on the $125 million dollars a year to subsidize these types of projects. 

Insight: Infill Projects Sued More Often Under CEQA – But Greenfield Projects Lose More Often

Everybody always loves to complain about the California Environmental Quality Act, but despite all the complaining we don’t now much about how effective it really is and what all the CEQA activity adds up to.

Rip Van Winkle Scalia Wakes Up in Koontz

If the oral argument is any indication, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to rule against a landowner in Florida who filed a takings lawsuit against an Orlando-area water district – turning what appeared to be an easy victory for property rights advocates into a loss. 

Banning Ranch EIR Upheld by Appellate Court

The Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Newport Beach’s environmental impact report for the Banning Ranch development, rejecting a challenge by a local conservancy which asserted piecemeal environmental review and the adequacy of the impacts of a park the city is building adjacent to Banning Ranch. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and denial of the writ.

Validation Lawsuit Doesn’t Always Immunize Plaintiff From Attack

In many situations, the settlement of a lawsuit is a flexible tool to resolve disagreements between parties and allow the participants to move on with their lives. A settlement with a public agency invokes slightly different considerations then a matter resolved exclusively through private parties. As previously noted in Trancas Property Owners Association v.

Infill Projects Survive CEQA Challenge More Often

Two weeks ago, CP&DR reported on a study by the law firm of Holland  & Knight that broke down 95 legal challenges to projects under the California Environmental Quality Act over the past 15 years. The study provided a comprehensive look for the firs ttime – finding, for example, that 60% of the cases challenged “infill” development projects as opposed to “greenfield”, and over 70% of the cases were brought forth by local organizations. 

Is Jerry Saying, You'll Get Your Redevelopment When I Get All My Money?

All last year, local government nerds throughout California -- this one included  -- assumed that Jerry Brown would sign a bill to bring back redevelopment if one landed on his desk. So we were all shocked -- shocked! -- when he vetoed every substantive bill the Legislature gave him. (You can read about my surprise here. And based on the comments of some people at the UCLA land use conference on Friday, some of us are still shocked.

But maybe we shouldn't have been. Maybe it's pretty simple. 

Deal: CEQA Streamlining for Ballona Wetlands?

Here's a deal for you: 

Enviros agree to a variety of reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act -- especially constraints on the ability to sue, including possibly limiting standing and prohibiting lawsuits if the umbrella state or federal environmental law has been complied with.

Big CEQA Year Ahead For Cal Supremes

The California Environmental Quality Act has long been driven more by the courts than by the Legislature. And 2013 is likely to be a big year in court for EQA. Five pending cases before the California Supreme Court -- and a sixth that might be heard -- could significantly affect how both localities and colleges apply the California Environmental Quality Act.

Redevelopment Roundup, January 17, 2013

End of Redevelopment Helps Balance Budget

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor has described Governor Brown’s budget proposal as “roughly” balanced. Brown was able to save money from major cut backs- like last year’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies, and voter-approved tax increases, like Prop 30. 

Redevelopment Roundup: Lawsuits Start Rolling In

Now that DOF has decided 240 redevelopment appeals, the next step shouldn't surprise anybody: The lawsuits are beginning to roll in:

Murietta sues over affordable housing, city loan

Murrieta has sued DOF over its decision to invalidate two payments – one a $3 million payment to the city from the RDA and the second a $1.2 million payment to developers on an affordable housing project called Monte Vista

60% of EIR Challenges Involve Infill Projects

Almost 60% of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act challenge environmental review projects in infill locations as opposed to greenfield locations, according to a new analysis of 95 recent cases by two lawyers at Holland & Knight.

The new analysis comes on the heels of three other recent studies concluding that CEQA actions are struck down by courts between 40-60% of the time, compared to virtually zero for NEPA.

L.A. Considers Using Post-Redevelopment Funds for Economic Development

A couple of months ago, we reported on four post-redevelopment models emerging in California, based on a presentation by Paul Silvern of HR&A: Alhambra, Oakland, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Now Silvern and his colleagues at HR&A -- along with ICF and Renata Zimril -- have proposed a whole new post-redevelopment economic development structure for Los Angeles.