Infill development


SGC proposes 40% of cap-and-trade funds for transit-oriented development

The Strategic Growth Council has proposed that 40% of its estimated $130 million in cap-and-trade funds be devoted to transit-oriented development (TOD) projects and that another 30% be devoted to a variety of infrastructure-related programs that may include housing.

The SGC issued draft program guidelines yesterday afternoon. The week before, the Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted guidelines on benefits to disadvantaged communities.

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?