SGC meeting begins to shape the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) held a celebratory but serious public meeting July 10 to take stock of its budgetary good fortune under California's cap-and-trade program. [This article was updated July 29, adding links and the newly announced August dates of planned workshops on the program guidelines.]

Coastal Commission July session: Santa Monica Mountains LCP wins its last big approval; Commissioners ask what's fair to preserve affordable beach vacations

The Coastal Commission had plenty to worry about this month but the big-ticket item, the Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Program (LCP), was at last not problematic. After 28 years of difficult stop-and-start negotiations, the final Local Implementation Plan (LIP) approval session sounded like a Thursday morning at the Oscars. [This article was updated July 30.]

CP&DR News Summary, July 8, 2014: Clinch time for the Santa Monica Mountains LCP; SGC to meet on cap-and-trade allocations, and more

The agenda for this month's Coastal Commission session, which starts tomorrow, calls for one big bookend and a lively pile of locally debated items. [Updates added below 7/9/14]

Airport plan can proceed on eighth addendum to its EIR

A planning change to reconfigure San Jose Airport for more corporate jet traffic does not need full environmental review under a state appellate case newly ordered published.

The planning document challenged by Citizens Against Airport Pollution (CAAP) was approved by the City Council in 2010 as the eighth addendum to the EIR for San Jose's Airport Master Plan. It responded to projections for slower growth in the airport's cargo and passenger capacity than previously expected, and changed the planned use of a 44-acre area from air cargo facilities to general aviation "in order to accommodate the forecast that large corporate jets will comprise the majority of general aviation". Further, it called for modifying two taxiways to better accept corporate jets. City staff argued there would be no new significant environmental impacts beyond those addressed in previous planning rounds.

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A longer wait for OPR's transportation impact proposal

California's rethinking process for transportation impact assessments under SB 743 is still waiting for a formal proposal from state officials. The July 1, 2014 deadline for publication of a new draft standard from Governor Brown's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) came and went without the expected new document.

CP&DR News Summary, July 1, 2014: Litigation, settlements, trains, plans, and some housing

LA's Metro agency approved a new 96th Street station on its Crenshaw rail line to serve the LAX airport more directly than the previously planned Century/Aviation station. LA Curbed calls the design "a very fancy stop with all the extras." See http://bit.ly/1rSKRNK. For a clearer view of the logistics see the agency's diagram at http://bit.ly/1lSMxWp.

Cal Supremes to review Property Reserve case

Leave your heart in San Francisco. Leave your car in Daly City. Naw, better make that Pleasanton.

In San Francisco parking news in June, a startup tried to auction public parking spaces, activists sought CEQA review of a proposal to re-authorize free parking on Sundays, new data appeared on variable-rate parking, and drivers peeved at "transit first" policies were collecting signatures for a November ballot measure.

No, really: in late June the City Attorney's office told a startup company, MonkeyParking, to stop auctioning public parking access to the public: http://www.planetizen.com/node/70046.

Legislative review: California land use bills, July 1, 2014

With a budget passed, California's Legislature has turned to policy committee reviews of bills and to negotiations over a water bond facing a July 3 deadline to be finalized for November voters. So this roundup takes a look at June legislative developments other than the budget that are of interest in land use and city planning.

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Prop 13 stood up to three erosion efforts in June

Two bills and a lawsuit that sought to limit Proposition 13's restriction of commercial property taxes were failed or flagging as of late June.

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Can an anti-speculation tax slow down Bay Area gentrification?

A coalition of San Francisco tenants' groups has won the needed four votes from county Supervisors to place an “anti-speculation tax” initiative on the city and county municipal ballot in November. The initiative, which would impose a 24-percent tax on investors who sell rental housing within five years of purchase, is the latest attempt of long-time city residents to beat back the waves of rising rents and housing values in what has become the nation’s most expensive housing market.

CP&DR News Summary, June 25, 2014: WalkUPs, rail hubs, General Plans and more

"Walkable urban places" or "WalkUPs" became an instant buzz word with the release in June of a new report by LOCUS, the real estate development and investor advocacy organization of Smart Growth America. As discussed on the CityLab (formerly Atlantic Cities) site at http://bit.ly/T7maRu, the report said 558 WalkUPs exist in the 30 largest U.S. metro areas.

Ninth Circuit overturns LA city vehicle habitation ordinance

Citing to sweeping, venerable core case law on the civil rights of individuals in public places, the Ninth Circuit on June 19 overturned Los Angeles' Municipal Code Sec. 85.02 statute against use of vehicles for habitation.

AB 1521 would fund services for annexations

    A companion measure to SB 69 is making its way through the State Legislature to help cities that, like Jurupa Valley, were hit by the 2011 budget cuts just when they had agreed to serve new areas, though with respect to annexations rather than incorporations.

Public finance lifeline may be forming for new towns like Jurupa Valley

    California's youngest city, which has fought for survival since its formation, is still in critical condition, but lately there are signs it has moved off life support.

Insight: Will SGC money pay for planning or implementation?

Last Friday in San Diego, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the first cap-and-trade appropriation bill as part of the state budget. This means that the Strategic Growth Council will now have $130 million to dole out next year for smart growth planning and related activities – many times more than ever before – and that number is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead.