A proposal to use eminent domain to ward off foreclosures in two cities in San Bernardino County has been slammed almost unanimously by both Wall Street and federal regulators. The most powerful dissenter was Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, who said on August 7 that he would resist any effort by local governments to “take” homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two agencies under his supervision; those agencies buy the majority of US home loans and repackage them as mortgage-backed securities.
Update: Sen. Michael Rubio and Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg have announced that Senate Bill 317, which would have made major changes to the enforcement of the California Environmental Quality Act, has been killed and will not be heard by the Senate.
In a case pitting a real estate brokerage against a homeowners association, the trial court sustained demurrers to the HOA’s complaint against real estate brokers who acted as dual agents in the developers’ sale of properties in the development to HOA members.
When the upscale cafeteria-style restaurant Forage opened in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood in early 2010, it did so with a new take on the “farm to table’” movement that’s slowly been gaining ground in California, as well as the rest of the country in recent years.
When redevelopment was first introduced in California, it included no provisions for affordable housing and instead focused solely on fighting blight. Introduced in 1976, the affordable housing set-aside – amounting to 20% of an agency’s annual tax increment – was intended to mollify critics who contended that redevelopment amounting to nothing more than a boondoggle for developers. With the governor’s successful dissolution of redevelopment, affordable housing now counts among the most lamented collateral damage.
Robert Venturi has, as of last week, retired from architecture. If that seems like unremarkable news, because you didn’t know Robert Venturi was still practicing, you’re probably not alone.
Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi involves the consolidation of three separate actions revolving around the City of Lodi’s approval of a conditional use permit (CUP) for a shopping center to be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
It is not uncommon in CEQA cases for the opponents and the lead agency to extend the statute of limitations through a tolling agreement. The use of such agreements puts the litigation on hold, and can help facilitate settlement by taking the pressure of litigation off the front burner.
In November 2006, the Imperial Irrigation District, based upon a negative declaration, adopted an Equitable Distribution Plan (EDP). The plan was designed to provide for the equitable apportionment of water to users in the event of a supply/demand imbalance. The governing board approved the plan, which provided for a straight-line method of allocation among agricultural users during shortfall periods. Agricultural users were the largest users in the district, with industrial users making up a small percentage of the remainder.
Anecdotally, the answer is clearly yes. But it’s a little hard to say based on the data that’s available. The Great Inversion is the title a new book by Alan Ehrenhalt, the longtime editor of Governing magazine and author of several insightful books about cities. (Disclosure: Ehrenhalt was my editor at Governing for 20 years.)
It’s not quite the Golden Spike, but the completion of Phase I of the Los Angeles Expo Line light rail marks a momentous occasion in the history of westward rail expansion.
As if on cue, several cities have already filed suit to block the penalty provisions in Assembly Bill 1484, the budget trailer bill passed two weeks ago.
Despite the tumult caused by that the demise of redevelopment, the recent perils of the cities of San Bernardino and Stockton did not stem from redevelopment-related costs. If soaring pensions costs and operational expenses were the immediate cause of the bankruptcies, the underlying cause did not stem from overly ambitious redevelopment schemes but rather from the prolonged housing bust that has choked off revenue to the cities (and, not to mention, financially crippled many of their residents).
A few weeks ago the nation’s public radio listeners let out a collective sigh of lament when the Tappet Brothers announced the discontinuation of Car Talk. Cars are so much of who we are that it’s no wonder that Car Talk was public radio’s highest rated show. It’s also no wonder that there’s no outcry for a “Public Transit Talk” – though two authors are trying to change that.
With funding scarce and plans large and small in abundance, the latest round of Sustainable Communities Grants and Urban Greening Grants awarded by the Strategic Growth Council come as welcome relief to cities, counties, and other agencies. Last month, the SGC announced that it would award $24.6 million in Sustainable Communities Planning Grants and $20.7 million in Urban Greening Grants. Both programs are funded by the clean water bond Prop. 84.