CP&DR News Summary, February 4, 2013
Lots going on in California planning and development this week ...
Governor Brown intervenes to help resolve debates over how the central valley should grow. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is currently overseeing the meetings between the city of Fresno and its neighboring counties to help reach a mutual understanding for how to sustainably grow and develop the region. With recent state projections showing that the valley is growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in CA, the policies that regulate its growth and development will significantly impact where its growing population will be able to live and the extent to which the region will physically grow.
In response to MAP-21, a bill passed by Congress last year that cut federal funding for biking and walking programs, advocates like the League of American Bicyclists and the California Bike Coalition are urging the Brown administration to prioritize walking and biking in the state budget.
Gov. Brown’s budget proposal combines funding for pedestrian and bicycle programs into one category, cutting “active transportation” funds 10% from last year. Additionally, CalBike wants CEQA reforms to include a streamlined process for projects that improve bicycle infrastructure and better-connect bicycle networks.
SFMTA proposes three strategies to effectively improve bike mobility in the city. Despite the city’s historic record of underfunding bicycle projects, officials are on board with advocates for an increase in bicycle funding.
Los Angeles Times
Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan seeks to revitalize neighborhoods and industrial areas by proposing new urban zones. The plan was approved on Tuesday by the City Council planning commission and needs to go through the City Attorney’s office before the full council can approve the plan.
L.A. Downtown News
Two parks in Skid Row, Gladys Park and San Julian Park, were at risk of closing last week. With the end of Redevelopment in CA, the nonprofit, SRO Housing Corp, who has long maintained both parks with annual CRA payments have been looking for support elsewhere. When the funds to operate the park ran out in June, Councilwoman Jan Perry helped secure funds from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority that would keep the park operating for another six months. Those six months have passed and redistricting has handed this issue over to Councilman José Huizar. With the risk of the parks closing on February 1st, Huizar allocated $50,000 of discretionary funds to aid SRO with San Julian Park’s maintenance and operation costs and the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks will now maintain Gladys Park. City officials are currently working on a long-term solution that will hopefully prevent the risk of closure in the future.
The Downtown Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan was unanimously approved by Berkeley’s City Council on Tuesday night. The plan follows Berkeley’s Downtown Area Plan that was approved last year. The provisions aim to create a more pedestrian-oriented downtown and better design for its streetscapes, plazas and parks.