Redevelopment Roundup, January 17, 2013

End of Redevelopment Helps Balance Budget

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor has described Governor Brown’s budget proposal as “roughly” balanced. Brown was able to save money from major cut backs- like last year’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies, and voter-approved tax increases, like Prop 30. 

Redevelopment Roundup: Lawsuits Start Rolling In

Now that DOF has decided 240 redevelopment appeals, the next step shouldn't surprise anybody: The lawsuits are beginning to roll in:

Murietta sues over affordable housing, city loan

Murrieta has sued DOF over its decision to invalidate two payments – one a $3 million payment to the city from the RDA and the second a $1.2 million payment to developers on an affordable housing project called Monte Vista

60% of EIR Challenges Involve Infill Projects

Almost 60% of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act challenge environmental review projects in infill locations as opposed to greenfield locations, according to a new analysis of 95 recent cases by two lawyers at Holland & Knight.

The new analysis comes on the heels of three other recent studies concluding that CEQA actions are struck down by courts between 40-60% of the time, compared to virtually zero for NEPA.

L.A. Considers Using Post-Redevelopment Funds for Economic Development

A couple of months ago, we reported on four post-redevelopment models emerging in California, based on a presentation by Paul Silvern of HR&A: Alhambra, Oakland, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Now Silvern and his colleagues at HR&A -- along with ICF and Renata Zimril -- have proposed a whole new post-redevelopment economic development structure for Los Angeles.

Redevelopment Roundup, January 7, 2013

As cities around the state are still stinging from the state's decision to deny many of their 240 redevelopment appeals, redevelopment skirmishes still continue around the state -- often about affordable housing projects that cities claim are nearing completion. Here's a sampling:


Santa Ana sues DOF over affordable housing project


DOF Puts Post-Redevelopment Coal In Cities' Stockings


The holiday season continues to be a cruel time of year for California's redevelopment community. Last year, the state Supreme Court struck a blow on Dec. 29, allowing the state to abolish redevelopment agencies.  And this year, on Dec. 18, the state Department of Finance denied funding to many of the 240 of the 400 successor agencies who had appealed earlier rejections. 

EPA: 33% of California housing is built in infill locations


Approximately one-third of new housing units constructed in California’s metropolitan counties between 2000 and 2009 were built in infill locations, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency

Insight: Enviros Use Power of CEQA To Poke Hole In SANDAG's SB 375 Effort

Love’ em or hate ‘em, those litigators at the Center for Biological Diversity are the best in the business. Seems like they always find a way to win.

Redevelopment Roundup: Dec 12, 2012

There's been a lot of redevelopment news around the state this week:

DOF at your service:

Santa Barbara ordered to sell parking lots and train depot.


Modesto can't use redevelopment funds to pay off bonds for downtown projects.

Judge's Rejection of San Diego SCS EIR Could Spell Trouble Statewide

Exploiting a subtle difference between AB 32 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2005 Executive Order that preceded the bill, environmentalists have successfully persuaded a San Diego Superior Court judge to strike down the environmental impact report for the sustainable communities strategy adopted by the San Diego Association of Governments.

Legal Digest: Two LAFCO Rulings Reveal Importance of Commissions

While perhaps not surprising news to LAFCO wonks like Peter Detwiler, two recent decisions illustrate the special role that local agency formation commissions play in influencing local government and special district activities.

Legal Digest: Fanita Ranch EIR Struck Down, Delaying Project Again

The Fourth District Court of Appeal has struck down the environmental impact report for a large development project in Santee, saying the EIR failed to deal with several water supply issues, including a discrepancy between the EIR and the water supply assessment as to how much water the project would consume.

Legal Digest: Tuolumne CEQA Ruling Sets Stage For Supreme Court Showdown

In case you missed the recent legal tremor, be advised that land-use lawyers are looking closely at a new appellate court ruling from Tuolomne County on the application of the California Environmental Quality Act to citizen initiatives. The new ruling is in direct conflict to a ruling from a different appellate district in 2004, possibly setting the stage for a showdown in front of the California Supreme Court.

Insight: Has The Funding Spigot For Planning Run Dry?

Five years ago, the planning and development world in California was flush with money. With 20% of the nation’s planners and at least that percentage of real estate developers, the state was awash in plans. Big general plans were paid for by flush general funds. Redevelopment agencies had plenty of money to update their redevelopment plans and then subsidize the resulting projects. Ambitious specific plans to accommodate flashy new projects – both infill and greenfield – were paid for by developers itching to build.

Mobile Home Conversions Subject to Coastal, Mello Acts, Cal Supremes Rule

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the conversion of a mobile home park from rental to ownership status is subject to the Coastal Act and also to the Mello Act, which lays down procedures for replacing affordable housing in the coastal zone.