Headline Story

Bill to Delay Implementation of SB 743 Gains Traction

A developers’ group is promoting a new piece of legislation that would postpone implementation of SB 743 – the bill that would change traffic analysis to vehicle miles traveled in environmental review – for a year. The bill has apparently revealed a split among developers who say they focus on infill projects.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Norwalk), who was elected in November, Assembly Bill 779 would postpone implementation of SB 743 until 2017. A lobbying group called the Infill Builders Federation is sponsoring a bill that, depending on its final form, would postpone the implementation of SB 743. Supporters insist that they embrace VMT but say that the two years are needed to help developers prepare for the switch and to work out what they see as kinks in the law. 

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Mendocino County Timber Plan Upheld by Court

The First District Court of Appeal has upheld Calfire’s Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan to permit logging of a 17-acre parcel of land in Mendocino County. The First District also rejected the Center for Biological Diversity’s claim that the California Department of Fish & Wildlife can be sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its role in the approval of the NMTP.

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Appellate Court Upholds Emeryville's Post-Redevelopment Agreements

In an important victory for local governments, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled that the state Department of Finance improperly rejected Emeryville’s action to re-enter into several redevelopment agreements with its successor agency.

The case is perhaps the first big win in the post-redevelopment era for local governments, which have battled DOF daily since the elimination of redevelopment three years ago. 

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CP&DR News Briefs, January 19, 2015: Monterey County Settles Suit; NorCal Light Rail; Irvine (Non-)General Plan

Monterey County has settled a lawsuit over its General Plan filed by the LandWatch advocacy group. The settlement includes a commitment to addressing water supply problems and paying more than $400,000 in LandWatch’s legal bills.

CP&DR News Briefs, January 13, 2015: Natomas Development Area to Reopen; State Budget Reactions; LOCUS legislative goals, and more

Developers are awaiting a federal decision that may allow them to start building again in the Natomas region of Sutter and Sacramento Counties. The region, which sits between the Sacramento and American Rivers, was one of the most active areas of development in the Sacramento metro region in the early and mid-2000s. Based on concerns over levees whose solidity has been likened to that of toothpaste, the Federal Emergency Management Agency imposed a moratorium on the area in December 2008.

Coastal Commission: Land Use Designations Set Off False Alarm on San Diego Waterfront; Two Big Laguna Beach Rulings in a Day

The Coastal Commission approved two possible future industrial land use designations for San Diego after the Commission and city staff reassured industrial waterfront business representatives that the designations were unlikely to affect the shipyard areas around Barrio Logan.

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Proposed Final AHSC Guidelines Would Broaden Possible TOD Funding Sites

A late-added change in proposed final guidelines for California's new cap-and-trade grant program might broaden transit-oriented development sites.

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Battle between Football, Brunch Rages in L.A.

I went to brunch a few Sunday mornings ago at Louie’s, a place that I will unironically describe as a gastropub. My Sunday rituals usually consist of visits to the farmers market and worrying about deadlines.

High-Speed Rail: Coming (Slowly) to a City Near You

There is, perhaps, no place on Earth so supremely well suited for high-speed rail as the leeward side of the island of Formosa. Sheltered from the Pacific winds, all of Taiwan's major cities hug the island's western coastal plain, unbroken by the mountains that characterize the interior. Running in nearly a straight line, the train covers the 214 miles from the Taipei to Zouying in two hours. It now carries 44 million passengers per year.

CP&DR News Briefs, January 6, 2015: Chumash Fee-to-Trust Application Granted, County to Appeal; Brown Opens Fourth Term with Climate Change Goals; Moreno Valley May Create Foreclosure Registry

As anticipated, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the application by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to have its 1400-acre Camp 4 property taken into federal trust. The Tribe has stated intentions to build housing, a community center and related buildings on the property. Local critics have expressed fears about what could happen after trust status takes the property out of state and county jurisdiction and exempts it from local taxation.

South Bay Growing Pains at Issue in El Camino BRT Debate

Look up the El Camino Real BRT project online, and the first impression is one of cheerful support. But that's from transportation advocates such as the TransForm organization, which has given it extensive promotion, and materials posted by the lead sponsoring agency, the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA), which would build the route from Palo Alto to South San Jose along an old arterial south of I-280.

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CP&DR News Briefs, December 30, 2014: 9th Circuit Sides with Federal Regulators; New Laws; Plastic Bag Ban Challenge May Qualify

Defending a federal agency's discretionary authority, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on December 22 upheld a 2009 restriction on water pumping meant to protect chinook salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

CP&DR News Briefs, December 23, 2014: Bakersfield Settles Litigation on High-Speed Rail Route; Marin Wins Landfill Litigation; Barriers to L.A. Demolitions

The city of Bakersfield reached a settlement December 19 with the California High-Speed Rail Authority in which the rail agency agreed to consider a different route than originally proposed. The L.A.

Strategic Growth Council Posts AHSC Program Revisions Informally

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) released a semiformal response on Friday to critiques received in October on its proposed design of the new Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program.

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SANDAG ruling included holdings on project alternatives, impact analysis

Although the question of Executive Order S-3-05 was the main event in the Cleveland National Forest v. SANDAG appellate ruling, Presiding Justice Judith McConnell’s split-decision majority ruling covered a number of other important areas interpreting how the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) should be used in the context of a regional transportation plan.

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Tribe’s Development, Trust Status Efforts Stir Legal and Political Concerns

The Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California brands itself as bucolic wine country, a mix between grape-covered hills and Old West charm. The Chamber of Commerce touts the hospitality and diversity of the valley’s several thousand residents. But one thing that isn’t mentioned in the Chamber's materials is the Chumash Casino Resort, a business run by the government of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians that generated a reported $366 million in revenue in 2008.

Aided by the casino's success, the Tribe has been able to buy additional land near its 146-acre reservation. What it plans to do with that land has been a subject of angry debate.

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CP&DR's Most-Read Stories of 2014

New laws that bring back redevelopment in a limited way. The Office of Planning & Research's effort to do away with the traffic "level of service" standard. And whether you can live in California without a car.

These are just a few of the most-read stories from California Planning & Development Report in 2014. And now you can check them out again. Here's CP&DR's Top 20 List – in order: