Vol. 25, No. 10, May 18-31, 2010
27th Annual* *Land Use Law & Planning Conference Attendees, contact the Circulation Manager to access your special discount! 805-652-0695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
To supporters, the wisdom of Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that promotes emissions reductions through coordination of transportation and land use, lies in its holistic approach to planning and its kitting together of disparate elements of the urban fabric. But, in light of budget crises at all level of government, one piece that is essential to SB 375’s success is rapidly coming off the rails: money to run buses and trains
By Morris Newman
Dammit, it’s not fair! Residents of affordable housing get all the lucky breaks. Just look at all the money they’re getting from all directions: local government, the local power company, the feds, the green-building lobby. Case in point: the Casa Dominguez development in East Dominguez Hills, an unincorporated area of south Los Angeles County, even has a child care center and a medical clinic, on site.
The San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League are trying to punt themselves out of creaky Candlestick Park and into a shiny new home in Santa Clara. Whether political winds will carry them roughly 35 miles to the south to the City of Santa Clara or whether they'll be blown back to the line of scrimmage now depends on the voters of Santa Clara.
Many long, hard-fought battles have been waged for the control of high ground, and the one surrounding Pleasanton’s Measure D is no exception.
Measure D asks whether a 51-home development known as Oak Grove may be built on a parcel of 562 acres in the southeastern hills above the city, a Bay Area bedroom community which sits in a valley in inland Alameda County. Measure D was placed on the ballot by the City Council following a long saga of denials, approvals, lawsuits, new ordinances, and community outcry. A yes vote allows the development to go forward per the agreement with the city council; a no vote forces would-be developers to start from scratch.
Whether or not the state’s “fleet reduction” plan to sell 11 properties for an estimated $2 billion makes the slightest bit of fiscal sense remains to be seen (see CP&DR Blog April 29, 2010). As the state wallows in a $20 billion deficit, the most palpable impacts of the sale may fall someplace other than Sacramento, including Costa Mesa.
Wary of intensive development of the 150-acre site of the Orange County Fairgrounds, residents of the City of Costa Mesa will vote on whether to amend the city’s general plan requiring voter approval for any future zoning changes or major developments. The intent of the plan is to ensure that any future, post-sale uses will remain consistent with the site’s historical uses.
As residents of one of the nation’s oldest master-planned cities, Mission Viejo voters will be asked, essentially, to decide whether the city’s planners got it right the first time.
Measure D, billed by its backers as the “Right to Vote Amendment,” would update the city’s general plan to require all projects seeking a “major amendment of planning policy documents” to not only go through the city’s existing approvals process but also receive final approval via a popular vote. The measure is intended, say backers, to provide an extra layer of protection against projects that might be inconsistent with or detrimental to the city’s character.
Use of redevelopment funds by a city-formed nonprofit organization to develop school administrative buildings and a housing project with units reserved for low- and very low-income residents was valid and did not require voter approval, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
In reaching its decision, the court had to interpret the various restrictions in redevelopment law as well as Article 34 of the state constitution.
Article 34 as part of the California Constitution, adopted by voters in 1950, had the effect of requiring voter approval of “low rent housing projects.” Over time, the Legislature has codified various interpretations of Article 34, excluding from the voter approval process certain types of affordable projects. On a parallel path, the Legislature has modified redevelopment law to ensure that cities spend a certain amount of their tax increments on affordable housing.