CP&DR News Summary, June 17, 2014: Coastal Commission highlights -- Huntington Beach 'Ridge' project withdrawn; Garcia can't be both Commissioner and Mayor of Long Beach; 'the issue of 'substantial issue' ' is an issue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

Court accepts proponent's economic evidence to approve full-scale landfill expansion

The California First District has issued a publication order for its April opinion allowing a 167-acre Potrero Hills Landfill expansion to go forward on the grounds that a reduced alternative was not "economically feasible." In SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission, the appeals court overruled a Solano County judge to find local agencies properly approved the full-scale project.

Cal Supreme Court considers how soon the initiative process shuts out CEQA

California's Supreme Court heard oral arguments May 28 in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, preparing to resolve a split between state appellate courts on when a developer's use of the ballot initiative petition process has demonstrated sufficient voter suport to substitute for CEQA review.

The case most directly concerns a proposed Wal-Mart expansion in the Tuolumne County town of Sonora. The outcome could have statewide effects on a tactic allegedly used by Wal-Mart in several towns: qualifying a ballot measure for a costly special election as a way to pressure local officials into approving projects.

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CP&DR News Summary, June 4, 2014: Clearlake General Plan revision; a GHG quandary, "Landbridge" woes, romancing Tesla, and more

Clearlake posts General Plan revision for review

The draft EIR to update Clearlake's 1983 General Plan is up for review. Prepared by a team at Cal Poly, the draft runs to almost 500 pages. A local news report at http://bit.ly/1kkSbRP describes the plan as preparing for population growth from the present through 2040. The plan also seeks to "Protect the City's rural character and maintain the small town atmosphere."

Another CEQA ruling slaps down hand-waving in mitigation promises

The Fifth District Court of Appeal last week rejected an EIR on air quality grounds for a senior-oriented housing complex near Friant Dam.

The methodical, linguistically attentive opinion by Justice Donald R. Franson, Jr. toured three realms of environmental review: land, water and air. It turned down objections from environmental and community groups based in the law of land zoning and water impacts, leaning hard on some word definitions to do so. But when it examined the project's mitigation measures in the air, it found the EIR had failed to put foundations under them.

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Legislative summary, June 3

It's easier at this point in the legislative season to say which bills are dead than which ones have a chance. This is a quick rundown of bills we've been following, plus a few more. For descriptive notes on many of the bills' provisions see our prior discussion at http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3498 and as linked from there.

June 3, 2014 election: results on land-use ballot measures

Below are a dozen picked results from June 3 local ballot measures affecting land use. Links are included here to more detailed county results pages. [Update 6/22/14: adding Measure AA on open space in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties and clarifying that the Lake County measure did not receive its required 2/3 vote.]

CP&DR News Summary, May 28, 2014: SGC grants, a new conservation bank, Costa Mesa claws back a clawback, and more

On May 23 the Strategic Growth Council announced recommendations for the $16 million in its third and last round of planning grants under Proposition 84. The 33 recommended awards go before the Council for approval June 3. See http://bit.ly/1lOYfO3.

Santa Barbara creates a land conservation bank

Insight: Having no car and plenty of cars

Ever since I moved to San Diego last year without owning a car, people have felt sorry for me. They offer me rides. They wonder where I buy groceries. They ask me how I feel about being nature-deprived. They ask me how I can stand to ride the bus.

I usually smile and nod and acknowledge what they are saying and tell them it really isn’t so bad. I rarely tell them that they are making a fundamental mistake: They are equating owning a car with using a car.

CP&DR legislative update: suspense file hearing results and more

With the June 15 Constitutional budget deadline approaching, it's getting easier if not easy to pick state bills that have a chance this season. A few measures affecting land use and planning didn't survive the suspense file or were otherwise pulled. But a lot is still up in the air.

Court looks to residents' wishes in pre-2014 mobile park conversions

When a mobile home park's owner proposes to convert it from space rentals to resident ownership, a local agency must "consider" the results of a survey of resident support. Residents have never had the definite right to prevent conversion by a vote -- not even under the new SB 510, which allows (but does not require) local agencies to disapprove conversions based on lack of majority tenant support. But resident surveys do carry some weight. How much?

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Guadalupe River Park: kids' programs and salmon vs. encampments

(This is a companion article to our report on San Jose's stormwater and encampment challenges at http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3495.)

Leslee Hamilton, executive director of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, says "The biggest challenge to me being successful in my job is the presence of homeless people."

Hamilton speaks glowingly of the Conservancy's programs in science and nature education, which reach about 4600 children a year. She says the program has a chance to inspire kids who have few other chances to study natural habitats. "Kids get off the bus here and their eyes get wide."