Headline Story

The Man Who Changed the Way We Think About Parking

Back in 2010, when I was Mayor of Ventura, the city installed parking meters downtown for the first time in 40 years. Not for every parking space, of course. The meters covered only 300 or so prime spaces on Main Street and a few popular side streets. Thousands of other downtown spaces – both onstreet and off – remained free.

 The problem we were trying to solve was a pretty typical one: Demand was so high for the prime spaces that people were cruising up and down Main Street, causing a constant traffic jam, in search of a space. The spaces themselves were hogged by merchants and their employees. It was hard to enforce the existing two-hour time limit, and the parkers gamed the system with such familiar tricks as wiping the meter maids’ chalk of their tires. Meanwhile, a half-block away, parking lots and a parking garage sat empty.

Ventura Foothill Neighbors Win Appeal on Already-Built Hospital

The Second District Court of Appeal has affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of Ventura residents who sued Ventura County over a hospital project, contesting an addendum to the environmental impact report issued 11 years after the original EIR. The court held the Ventura Foothill Neighbors' petition was not time-barred under state law and that a supplemental EIR should have been prepared instead of an addendum to the EIR. The project in question has been completed in the meantime.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

CP&DR News Briefs, December 16, 2014: Fresno General Plan Nears Approval; Homeless Vets Win Order In L.A. VA Campus Case; CA S.Ct. To Review Seawall And Railroad Preemption Cases

Fresno's 2035 General Plan proposal has been moving through packed public meetings toward final approval this month. The city's Planning Commission approved the proposal December 8. The City Council took it up in a packed public discussion hearing November 11.

Planners Face Climate Planning Woes In The Upper San Joaquin Valley

California's mandates pressing large urban regions to reduce vehicle travel are tough. They possibly just got tougher with a recent San Diego appellate court ruling.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

The SANDAG Ruling's Disturbing Message About Executive Power

For now, the environmentalists have won their lawsuit challenging the San Diego Association of Governments’ sustainable communities plan (which is part of SANDAG’s regional transportation plan). SANDAG has appealed the ruling to the California Supreme Court.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Los Angeles' Slow Burn

I noticed the da Vinci apartment complex for the first time only a few months ago. How could I not notice it? It looked like a plywood ocean liner beached against the northbound side of the 110 freeway. Rising 4-5 stories at the time, it hovered over the freeway, uncomfortably close to the roadway. I remember hoping that it would have serious soundproofing. And air filtering. 

CP&DR News Briefs, December 9, 2014: San Jose 'Jungle' Camp Evicted; Supreme Court Case Could Limit Rules On Public Signage; Kinkisharyo Deal Salvaged, But At What Cost?

Restrained congratulations were circulating in late November over a deal brokered by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that persuaded the Kinkisharyo company to expand its rail car assembly operation in Palmdale after all. The Japanese rail car manufacturing company had threatened to move the planned expansion of its U.S. branch elsewhere after activists supportive of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11 filed a CEQA appeal with the Palmdale City Council against the expansion. (See prior coverage at http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3601.)

Agencies Seek Review Of Two San Diego Climate Rulings

Two San Diego agencies that lost recent appellate cases on climate planning have decided to seek review by the state Supreme Court.

California Water Experts Face Drought-Driven Changes

With California in one of its worst droughts in recorded history, cuts have fallen swiftly on users of surface water, but the effects on groundwater will percolate more slowly.

Unlike surface water sources, including deltas, rivers, lakes, and basins, groundwater has remained largely unregulated in the state, even though it accounts for about a third of California’s total water supply. That will begin to change soon under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law this past September by Gov. Jerry Brown.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

BART's Four-Station Extension In San Jose Hits a Rocky Patch

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is slowly making its way to San Jose, although the journey there continues to be bumpy. The first trains will arrive to one northeastern San Jose neighborhood in 2017, but whether they’ll ever serve more of the city remains an open question.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Long-Awaited Berkeley Hillside Arguments Test The Meaning Of 'Unusual Circumstances'

The State Supreme Court heard oral arguments December 2 in the major Berkeley Hillside CEQA exemptions case, focusing on the legal significance of the term "unusual circumstances".

While the genesis of the case is a single residence, the ruling may have statewide impact on the application of exceptions to categorical exemptions from CEQA. Thus, the case has attracted interest from environmental advocates, public agencies, preservation activists, and the development community across the state.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

CP&DR News Briefs, December 2, 2014: 4thDist Orders Publication On San Diego County Climate Ruling; CA Supreme Court Nominee; Bird Survey Out of SJ General Plan For Now

[The news briefs have been edited as noted below.]

San Diego Climate Plan Ruling Ordered Published
On November 24, the Fourth Appellate District's Division 1 issued a publication order for its October ruling rejecting San Diego's climate plan. That same day the same division issued its major decision rejecting the EIR for the San Diego Association of Governments' regional transportation plan. The effect was to give value as precedent to two cases that impose stricter greenhouse gas reduction standards on local and regional planners.

Advocates For Vets' Housing Seek Injunction To Stop Amphitheater Construction On VA's West L.A. Campus

Some important institutions got an awkward surprise last August when U.S. District Judge James Otero ruled that the Veterans Administration's sumptuous 387-acre West Los Angeles Campus was reserved for the provision of health care to U.S. military veterans, to the exclusion of several third-party lease agreements. His order sided with a group of chronically homeless veterans living with mental disabilities and/or brain injuries who argued that veterans like themselves had a priority right to receive care on the campus, including through supportive housing.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Fourth District: SANDAG EIR must consider EO S-3-05

With a split decision in a long-awaited case, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) should have analyzed a gubernatorial executive order on greenhouse gas emissions in the environmental impact report on its long-range transportation plan.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

CP&DR News Briefs, November 25, 2014: Review denied on ParkMerced ruling; AVAP EIR approved; SF to bid for 2024 Olympics

In land use news this week:

  • The State Supreme Court denied review of San Francisco Tomorrow v. City and County of San Francisco (ParkMerced Investors Properties), Case No. S221844.

Coastal Commission issues two big rulings on Central Coast water and growth

California American Water won clearance from the Coastal Commission on November 12 to dig its disputed slant well from the Cemex sand mining plant in North Marina on the Monterey Peninsula. The well would allow feasibility studies for a desalination plant fed by sand-filtered water to be drawn from under Monterey Bay. The project had some unbudging opponents but received support from some conservation groups, in part because it called for subsurface rather than open-water intakes.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Are Millenials Truly Different -- Or Just Poor?

So, one of the biggest questions in planning and development today – in California and elsewhere – is what accounts for the Millenials’ preferences for urban living and less driving. Is it generational? Or a lousy economy?

“I think our answer is yes,” says Brian Taylor, an urban planning professor at UCLA and head of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies there.