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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First District Upholds Categorical Exemption for S.F. Plastic-Bag Ban

In an unpublished opinion, the First District Court of Appeal has rejected an attack on San Francisco’s single-use plastic-bag ban, saying that the city did not violate the California Environmental Quality Act and that local plastic-bag bans are not overridden by the state’s Retail Food Code.

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Can Riverside County Still Sell Its Single-Family Brand?

There’s no question that Riverside County is still the single-family home capital of California. Between 2010 and 2013, more single-family detached homes were built in Riverside than in any other county in the state – a lot more. 

The Morris Files: Announcing the Cal Planning Rol-Arena ®


Dear Colleague:

Something has happened to the American sports venue. Despite their great cost, stadiums and arenas  have become as disposable as the paper wrapper on yesterday’s tater tots.

Environmental Group Can Sue Over San Jose General Plan EIR

In a new opinion, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has unraveled a confusing set of events surrounding the certification of the environmental impact report for San Jose’s new general plan, concluding that an environmental group exhausted all administrative remedies and can sue over the EIR.

The California Clean Energy Committee sued over the certification of the EIR, saying that it should not be penalized because of the confusing way San Jose certified the EIR. The Sixth District agreed.

Napa Not Required To Do New EIR On Housing Element

The First District Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Napa’s decision to rely on its 1998 general plan environmental impact report in adopting its 2009 housing element.

Latinos Unidos De Napa sued the city, claiming a new environmental impact report should have been prepared for the housing element. But the First District disagreed, essentially concluding that the land use changes contained in the housing element were so minor that they did not trigger the need for a new EIR.

Still Waiting for Redevelopment 2.0

Two years ago, when Redevelopment 1.0 ended, it was widely viewed as the end of an era – but maybe not the end of redevelopment. Maybe it would no longer be possible to use tax-increment financing to solve all urban development and infrastructure problems. But surely a new set of techniques would emerge, either as a result of state law (after all, Gov. Jerry Brown promised a replacement) or because local officials and developers would get creative. Redevelopment 2.0 might not be as powerful, but something good would come along.

We’re still waiting.

Fresno Negotiations With Neighbors About How to Grow

Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley, is going to keep growing. The question is, in which direction? 

City leaders who are dealing with issues of leapfrog development, declining neighborhoods and strained city services, would like to keep growth inside city limits as infill projects – as the city’s recently adopted general plan suggests.  

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