As cities around the state are still stinging from the state's decision to deny many of their 240 redevelopment appeals, redevelopment skirmishes still continue around the state -- often about affordable housing projects that cities claim are nearing completion. Here's a sampling:
Approximately one-third of new housing units constructed in California’s metropolitan counties between 2000 and 2009 were built in infill locations, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Exploiting a subtle difference between AB 32 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2005 Executive Order that preceded the bill, environmentalists have successfully persuaded a San Diego Superior Court judge to strike down the environmental impact report for the sustainable communities strategy adopted by the San Diego Association of Governments.
Now that Ray LaHood has finally announced he is stepping down as President Obama's Secretary of Transportation, speculation has immediately focused on whether outgoing L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will succeed him.
Wendell Cox, my favorite anti-anti-sprawl researcher, is at it again. This time, he’s on New Geography, taking on the oft-quoted forecast of Southern California’s future housing market by Professor Arthur C. Nelson of the University of Utah, which found that future demand will be mostly for multifamily housing and small lot (under 5,000 square feet) detached homes.
With the demise of redevelopment in California, one idea put forth -- by me, among others -- is using publicly owned land as equity in a real estate deal as a way of subsidizing it. If you can’t “write down” private land (selling it to a developer for less than your bought it), maybe you should look at real estate assets your city – or some other public agency – already owns.
Here's CP&DR's roundup of recent events around the state regarding the redevelopment wind-down. Just click on the headline to read more -- sometimes from us, sometimes from other sources.
If skepticism about growth is an indication that the economy is on the rebound, then Tuesday's land use elections throughout California might be called good news.
About a dozen land use measures were on the ballot Tuesday and most cases the anti-growth forces won. Most of those that did win were focused on job creation. Several measures focused on downtown development in small cities, with mixed results.
Everybody in Northern California is proud of the World Champion Giants., but apparently the 49ers are a different story. The Department of Finance beancounters in Sacramento have nixed a negotiated agreement between the City of Santa Clara and other taxing agencies that would have allowed the city to keep $30 million in tax-increment funds to help finance the 49ers new $1.2 billion stadium.
Last week, I posted a blog from the American Planning Association, California Chapter, conference suggesting that the new guidelines to implement the streamlining of environmental review for infill projects under SB 226 might be making the whole process even more complicated. Relying on comments by Ron Bass and Terry Rivasplata of ICF International, I titled the blog, “Streamlining CEQA is Really Complicated,” and I concluded that because CEQA is a complicated law, simplifying it really is a complicated matter.
Though painful, the unwinding of redevelopment would seem to be a pretty straightforward process for most cities: Designate yourself as the successor agency, negotiate with your oversight committee to keep as much stuff going as possible, and try to keep the state Department of Finance from vetoing the whole situation.
Ever since the passage of SB 226 -- the law designed to streamline environment review for infill projects -- the state has been working on changes to the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines to implement the law. There's a draft of the guidance out (you can find it here), and CEQA-sters Ron Bass and Terry Rivasplata of ICF International did a good job of laying out what the draft says at a session at the American Planning Association, California Chapter, conference.
Last week, in my Insight column available to CP&DR subscribers, I suggested that there were two possible reasons Gov. Brown vetoed SB 1156 and the other redevelopment bills. First, there's still bad blood between him and the cities. And second, he doesn't want to do anything that would stimulate the revival of a redevelopment lobby in Sacramento.
Barrington, Ill.—What can California learn from a sleepy exurb on the edge of nowhere? Not much, I don’t think. California has scarcely ever pretended to care much for small town America. But something that is at once very modern and very old-fashioned is afoot here on Main Street.
I mean Main Street literally. Barrington has a primary commercial street, and it’s called Main. And in the middle of that street, watching over it calmly and without imposition, stands the Catlow Theater, its neon casting a red glow over the prairie.