Infill development


Anaheim Reinvents the Train Station

The $188 million Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), which broke ground earlier this month, is the most recent example of a fast-growing list of public facilities with big ambitions: the local transit hub that connects local and regional transit rail lines with bus service, taxies, bicycle locks and sometimes business services for travelers.  The anticipation of high-speed rail also adds some drama to the Anaheim transit center. 

New Light Rail Line Opens Up World of TOD Possibilities

It’s not quite the Golden Spike, but the completion of Phase I of the Los Angeles Expo Line light rail marks a momentous occasion in the history of westward rail expansion.

Resurrected Parking Bill Draws Fire from APA (Updated)

Update: Yesterday the leadership of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association decided to oppose the current draft of Assembly Bill 904, which seeks to lower parking minimums in transit-oriented areas. Here is the APA's letter (.doc) to bill sponsor Nancy Skinner.  

Q&A: Study Gives Hope for California’s Inner Suburbs

As planners have increasingly embraced the principles of smart growth over the past few years, suburban areas have increasingly borne criticism as examples of how not to plan. This criticism often ignores a crucial point: even if suburbs are imperfect—largely because they promote automobile dependency—they are not necessarily hopeless. A recently completed study led by Prof.

Bay Meadows Refines Transit Oriented Development

Loath as I am to make grand pronouncements, I think Bay Meadows, the 83-acre project in San Mateo, is possibly the best plan I’ve seen for a transit oriented development. 

Book Review: "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone"

Chances are the typical high-level urban planner, someone who has been through graduate school, secured a good job, and put in the years to rise to a position of authority, lives what might be considered a conventional lifestyle. He or she is probably married, probably has a house, and probably lives among the same.

Bay Area TOD Hailed as National Model

Smart growthers tout transit-oriented development more often than any other strategy. Yet with the exception of a few few showpiece developments, TOD has yet to catch fire in practice. This year, the American Planning Association recognized one such development in the hopes that, finally, the trend will catch on. 

Factory Seeks to Block Housing in Downtown San Diego (Updated)

San Diego politicians and land-use officials have become polarized over an unusual controversy pitting one of the city’s largest private employers against an apartment developer in the city’s downtown area. At issue is whether the proposed Fat City development in the Little Italy neighborhood threatens the operations of nearby Solar Turbines. 

Real CEQA Reform May Have Arrived, At Least for Infill Development

For a lot of planners, the idea of an “infill exemption” to the California Environmental Quality Act has been a kind of holy grail over the past few years. CEQA is a fact of life in California and unlikely to go away. But having to run though the entire CEQA process for a project a quarter-acre infill site – just as you might for a project on 5,000 acres of raw land – has been more than a little frustrating for developers and planners alike. Sure, an infill project has an impact. But if getting environmental clearance is a hassle, then what’s the point?

Sacramento County Plan Embraces ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Growth Management

Sacramento County may not rank among California’s great wine countries, but it does appreciate the value of aging. Eight years in the making, the land use element of the county’s new general plan update is on the verge of approval by the county Board of Supervisors. In contrast with the contentiousness that has surrounded many other recently updated county general plans, this one—save some concerns about the protection of wild habitats—seems to be pleasing just about everyone.