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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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.