Property owners can't "walk away from" coastal development conditions

Ruling for the Coastal Commission against property owners represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, California's Second Appellate District cited the doctrine of collateral estoppel to find that an easement condition on a coastal development permit, once final, cannot be contested in a second permit application.

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The Hollywood earthquake fault: geology as a matter of opinion

In a case that could reset the parameters of reality, the developer of a mixed-use development under construction in Hollywood has asked the state geological service to change the earthquake map of Los Angeles.

HUD's OIG Joins California Redevelopment Wake

HUD's in-house auditor has joined the chorus asking what now becomes of assets funded through California redevelopment agencies. 

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CP&DR News Summary, March 18, 2014: Delta water decisions, Legislative Analyst updates

March 13 was a bad day for big water in California. A state appellate court blocked preliminary studies for the Delta water tunnel on takings grounds, and the federal Ninth Circuit threw its weight against California's existing southbound hydraulics on behalf of the tiny Delta
smelt.

Studies for Delta tunnel project found to be takings in themselves.

Slow Train to Los Angeles: Book Review of 'Railtown'

Had it been written about, say, Shanghai or Dubai, Railtown would have been scarcely longer than a page. Autocracies have a knack for infrastructure development.

ABAG, MTC Settle Plan Bay Area Lawsuit With BIA

The Bay Area’s regional planning agencies have settled a lawsuit with the Building Industry Association over Plan Bay Area – the regional sustainable communities strategy.

In the settlement, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission agreed to focus more on finding residential locations within the Bay Area to accommodate expected future growth, rather than assuming a certain amount of in-commuting from the Central Valley and Monterey County.

Brown Signs Post-Redevelopment Bill

Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 471, a redevelopment cleanup bill that included some of Brown's ideas about using infrastructure financing districts as a future substitute for redevelopment.

Specifically, AB 471 clarifies that an IFD can be created that overlaps with a former redevelopment project area, so long as the IFD debt is subordinate to the old redevelopment debt.

CP&DR News Summary, February 18, 2014: Atkins Returns With Redevelopment Bill, Netflix On The Ballot

Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins has gotten to Governor Brown's desk with a new version of a bill to smooth recurring problems in the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. A statement from Atkins' office said the bill is similar to last year's AB 662 but drops a provision on amendments to project contracts that led Brown to veto it. The revised bill contains continuity provisions that would allow projects begun under redevelopment agencies to be carried forward.

A Black Hole On Wilshire Boulevard

The tar pit–inspired scheme by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to replace the eastern half of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a rare misstep by one of the world’s most gifted architects. Surprisingly for a Pritzker-winning architect famed for his sensitivity to context and site, this ink blotch of a design shows little understanding of its park site, or, for that matter, the context of Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles as a whole, or museums as a building type. It should not be built.

L.A. County Can't Take Coastal Control Unilaterally

The California Second District Court of Appeal has sided with the Coastal Commission against organic farmers accused of damaging habitat on a ridge above Topanga Canyon. In a January 24 ruling, the Second District refused to block cease and desist and restoration orders issued by the Commission to property owners Stefan, Kathryn and Rahel Hagopian.

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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).