Sierra Club contests Marin Local Coastal Program revisions; EAC doesn't

The Sierra Club's Marin Group of chapters brought a court challenge July 10 seeking to reverse the Coastal Commission's May approval of the Marin County Land Use Plan Update.

CP&DR News Summary, July 22, 2014: Walnut Creek starts on BART-focused specific plan; Fairfax and Mountain View activists have surprisingly different takes on housing;

Walnut Creek officially began preparation last month of a West Downtown Specific Plan focused on links between the city's BART station and downtown, with related attention to nearby major boulevards. The city's initial Notice of Preparation papers are at http://bit.ly/WAz7Wv.

Message to Architect: Do Not Blot Out Wilshire Boulevard!

Since our last discussion of architect Peter Zumthor’s proposed new design of the Los Angeles County Art Museum, aka the Black Hole on Wilshire Boulevard (see http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3442), several important events have taken place:

The Page Museum, which employs paleontologists to excavate bones of ancient mammals from tar pits that lie east of the museum, pointed out that the new museum would overlie several active research sites. Emergency IM to Switzerland: Mr. Z, your tar pit museum has become mired in the honest-to-God tar pits! Back to the drawing board!

Local land use measures pile up on November ballots

November's local ballots aren't quite final; officials are still checking signatures on many petitions. But it's late enough in the season to have a sense of what's headed for a vote. (Especially in San Francisco and Santa Monica.) Here are some highlights of local measures likely to be on November ballots that are related to land use: [This article was revised July 29, mainly to reflect the compromise that is now likely to take two housing measures off San Francisco's local ballot.]

CP&DR News Summary, July 16, 2014: Water Board working on statewide waterway trash rules; Cal Supreme Court grants Newhall Ranch case review; San Diego housing fee compromise; Fresno General Plan draft; SF open space element

The State Water Resources Control Board is circulating a statewide version of proposed amendments to tighten existing statewide trash control rules. The proposals, released June 10, are at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/trash_control/docume.... The proposal applies to all California surface waters except for the Los Angeles rivers and streams that, uniquely in the state, already have trash Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards for trash. Even those would be reconsidered under the statewide rules.

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.