CP&DR News Summary, February 18, 2014: Atkins Returns With Redevelopment Bill, Netflix On The Ballot

Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins has gotten to Governor Brown's desk with a new version of a bill to smooth recurring problems in the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. A statement from Atkins' office said the bill is similar to last year's AB 662 but drops a provision on amendments to project contracts that led Brown to veto it. The revised bill contains continuity provisions that would allow projects begun under redevelopment agencies to be carried forward.

A Black Hole On Wilshire Boulevard

The tar pit–inspired scheme by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to replace the eastern half of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a rare misstep by one of the world’s most gifted architects. Surprisingly for a Pritzker-winning architect famed for his sensitivity to context and site, this ink blotch of a design shows little understanding of its park site, or, for that matter, the context of Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles as a whole, or museums as a building type. It should not be built.

L.A. County Can't Take Coastal Control Unilaterally

The California Second District Court of Appeal has sided with the Coastal Commission against organic farmers accused of damaging habitat on a ridge above Topanga Canyon. In a January 24 ruling, the Second District refused to block cease and desist and restoration orders issued by the Commission to property owners Stefan, Kathryn and Rahel Hagopian.

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Ceres' West Landing Specific Plan Annexation Gains From Opponents' Procedural Slip

A square mile of Central Valley farmland moved closer to development with the defeat, on procedural grounds, of a CEQA and reorganization challenge to the annexation of 960 acres by the City of Ceres under its West Landing Specific Plan.

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California Should Take Off the Gloves

Raw fish will not singlehandedly save urban California. But it can still help.


Will CEQA Reform Really Reform CEQA?

"If you’re waiting for CEQA reform from the legislature, get a life! If you’re going to reform CEQA, you have to do it at home."

Seeing Forest Rather Than Trees Not Good Enough for CEQA, Appellate Court Rules

In a new case from Humboldt County, the First District Court of Appeals has ruled that Caltrans must see the trees as well as the forest -- at least in the environmental impact report for a controversial road widening.

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Will A New Regional Plan Keep Tahoe Blue?

By the simplest accounts, peace has returned to Lake Tahoe.

California-Nevada cooperation has rescued the Lake Tahoe Regional Compact from years of deadlock and faltering communication over environmental governance by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA).

Cities Play Wait-And-See On Brown's Redevelopment 2.0 Proposal

Redevelopment reform has been gridlocked in the state capital for two years, but Governor Jerry Brown issued new clues on where he's heading in the state budget that was released in January. 

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Overflight Easement Not A Taking, First District Rules

The First District Court of Appeal has argued that Humbolt County did not create a taking of property by requiring the owners of a mobile home underneath an airport flight path to provide an overflight easement in exchange for a permit to build a carport and porch that had been illegally built by the previous owners of the property.

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Spot zoning permissible for archdiocese's assisted living facility

Reversing the decision of an Orange County Superior Court judge, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled that rezoning residential property in Tustin to accommodate an assisted living facility is a legitimate use of spot zoning.

“The creation of the new senior residential housing zoning district and its application to the Project site were in the public interest and were not arbitrary or capricious,” wrote Justice Richard Fybel for a unanimous three-judge panel.

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Most California locals are tackling climate change -- and using parking reductions to do it

The vast majority of California jurisdictions are now addressing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly they are using reduced parking requirements to achieve the “smart growth” land use changes that go along with emissions reductions. 

Brown Dips Toe Into Redevelopment Revival -- But With Conditions.

Sending the first signal that he is open to re-establishing some form of redevelopment, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed changes to the Infrastructure Financing District law that would expand the allowable uses for IFDs and lower the voter threshold required to create them. But he would permit the expanded use of IFDs only for cities and counties that have settled out all redevelopment cash payments to other agencies and settled all redevelopment lawsuits against the state – moves that may accelerate the redevelopment wind-down process.

OPR Takes On Level of Service

Are the days of “levels of service” as a performance measure under the California Environmental Quality Act numbered?

Brand-New City Considers Municipal Suicide

A Riverside County city will take the first steps to disincorporate itself in January, with the blame being pointed at Sacramento and state government decisions about how new cities are financed. Several other cities in the Inland Empire have discussed disincorporation, but no others appear to be close to taking such an action.  

The city, named Jurupa Valley, could be any city in California. But most observers say the disincorporation is due to the fact that it was the last city to incorporate before state laws changed in 2011.

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