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.

Commission approves West Oakland Specific Plan in angry meeting

Amid a dramatic show of organized public anger, Oakland Planning Commission approved the West Oakland Specific Plan on June 11. City staff, principally planner Ed Manasse, set out the plan's provisions for transit-oriented development, denser use of underused and blighted lots, separation of housing from heavy industry, concessions to second units and home businesses, and more specifically categorized rezoning -- amid shouted objections and boos from a crowd who had marched to the meeting in a protest demonstration.

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CP&DR News Summary, June 17, 2014: Coastal Commission highlights -- Huntington Beach 'Ridge' project withdrawn; Garcia can't be both Commissioner and Mayor of Long Beach; 'the issue of 'substantial issue' ' is an issue

Based on archaeological findings, Native American heritage claims, a "Deny the Ridge" campaign and broad public objections, the Coastal Commission on June 12 discouraged property owner Signal Landmark into withdrawing its "Ridge Project" proposal to build 22 houses on Bolsa Chica Mesa in Huntington Beach. With the Commission leaning toward a "no" vote on the Land Use Plan revision needed for the project, Signal Landmark withdrew its project application, meaning any future construction plan for the site must start again with the local city council.

Budget's cap-and-trade negotiation yields compromise for housing, planning, transit

[Updated 6/17/14 from earlier postings since 6/13/14]

[Corrected 6/18/14, 6/23/14]

The on-time budget bill sent to Governor Brown on Sunday, June 15 contains a deal for use of cap-and-trade proceeds with the high-speed rail funding the Governor wanted and more housing and sustainability money than there might have been.

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San Francisco, San Diego votes shaped waterfronts' futures in June election

    Waterfronts constitute the defining features of the cities of San Francisco and San Diego. With the futures of these crucial landscapes at issue, voters in both cities weighed in on planning-related ballot measures in the June 3 election.

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CP&DR News Summary, June 10, 2014: Waiting for a budget deal; local plans, projects and sports venues; Coastal Commission preview

A budget deal was reportedly nearing as of Monday night, with the Senate's Darrell Steinberg and the Assembly's Toni Atkins talking optimistically but not too specificially. See http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/06/09/budget-deal-nears-at-the-cap.... No clear sign where cap-and-trade proceeds fit into that mix, but the data points include an extended lobbying press conference given June 6 by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and senior legislators, including Steinberg and his expected successor to the State Senate presidency, Kevin De León.