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Anit-SLAPP Motion Denied In Carson NFL Case

An appellate court has denied an anti-SLAPP motion to strike in a long-running dispute between rival developers and the City of Carson.

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San Diego Not Quite Off The Hook In Brown Act Case

The City Council has changed its non-agenda public comment ordinance, but they're not off the hook yet.

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SCOTUS Wetlands Ruling May Affect California Vernal Pools

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling gives property owners the ability to challenge the Army Corps' "jurisdictional determination" of wetlands before seeking a permit.

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Local Voters to Decide on Marijuana Cultivation, Bay Area Mega-Initiative, and More

The fifteen or so land-use measures on city and county ballots June 6 represent a cross-section of issues that California localities are facing. They include referenda on perennial questions like proposed developments (Pleasanton Measure K),  affordable housing (San Francisco Proposition C) funding for parks and infrastructure (San Francisco Proposition B). and, yet again, State of Jefferson secession (Lassen County).

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Insight: California Needs More Housing -- But It's Not As Simple As Supply and Demand

Amid all the alarming news about housing in California, here’s the one piece of information that really stands out for me: 

The average home price in the United States is about $180,000. The average home price in California is about $440,000. Not just in San Francisco, or Oakland, or Los Angeles, or Orange County, or San Diego. The entire state.

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Simplicity Triumphs in Pershing Square Design Competition

Rarely does anything with a lawn, a photovoltaic canopy, a “great lawn," no fewer than 13 design collaborators, and an estimated $50 million budget, qualify as simple. But, relative to its competitors, that’s exactly what the winning design in the Pershing Square Renew competition is

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Renters vs. Tenants: A Distinction with a Difference

Like 45 percent of other Californians and 52 percent of other Angelenos, I live in a home owned by a stranger. It’s not quite the American dream. Nationwide, 65 percent of households own the units they occupy. But it suits me fine.

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Elimination of Minimum Housing Densities Not Exempt From CEQA

Overturning the decision of a trial judge, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled that the City of Palm Springs’s decision to eliminate minimum residential densities from its general plan is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.

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Ballot Measure Results: Many Marijuana Measures Fail; Voters Reject Growth

Localities weighed in on marijuana, fracking, development, and more on June 6.

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General Plan Language Matters

In Wal-Mart case, Victorville gets caught between GP, EIR, and parcel map findings.

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Google Boss Sees Housing Crisis Through 3-D Glasses

BEVERLY HILLS, May 2, 2016 - As the saying goes, when you're holding a hammer, the world looks like a nail. What if you have a 3-D printer instead of a hammer?

If you're Eric Schmidt, you build houses.

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Insight: Will Medical Marijuana Cases Drive Land Use Law From Now On?

Medical marijuana in California may be a pretty intense battleground, but at the same time, to mix metaphors, it usually looks like a policy cul-de-sac. Advocates of access to medical marijuana are generally single-issue folks who don't care much about any other local issue. And advocates of strict regulation - who include a vast number of local elected officials throughout the state - don't break down along traditional ideological grounds.

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Thomas, Kennedy Seek to Revisit San Remo Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on April 25 to take a case from Connecticut that would have overturned the 1985 case Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U. S. 172, a pre-First English case in which the court ruled that property owners seeking to a regulatory taking case in federal court have to first ensure that all administrative remedies at the local or state level are exhausted and then seek compensation through whatever mechanism is provided by the state.

However, Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy dissented from the denial of certiorari in Arrigoni Enterprises v. Town of Durham, saying they wanted to use the case to revisit the questions about Williamson County raised in the dissent in the 2005 Supreme Court case, San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco, 545 U.S. 323. That case involving a dispute going back decades over payment of an in-lieu fee or provision of replacement units when a hotel is converted from residential to tourist use.

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Justice Thomas Wants To Go After Nollan/Dolan

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday not take the appeal in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, the case in which the California Supreme Court upheld San Jose's inclusionary housing requirement. But the court was not completely silent. 

In concurring with the decision to pass on the case - a decision that not accompanied by a written opinion by the court -- Justice Clarence Thomas said he believes that the question of whether disproportionate exactions can be imposed on developers in legislative actions - as opposed to quasi-judicial action - is not settled.

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Social Justice, Regional Economics at Odds in Downtown Oakland Plan

Uber has finally arrived in Oakland. Not the ride service - that's been around for a while - but rather the company itself, which recently moved its headquarters from San Francisco to a former Sears department store. What would be a triumph of economic development for many cities is making many Oaklanders nervous. They fear that what Uber has done to the taxi industry, wealthy residents and boutique businesses might do to Oakland's working-class heritage.

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California Needs 'Minimum Housing' to Go Along with Minimum Wage

Sexy-sporty clothing brand American Apparel has long been one of the Los Angeles' most beloved, and most controversial, corporate citizens. It is known for paying decent wages and treating its workers well.
 
When it easily could have outsourced jobs to Asia, it has also resolutely kept its main factory in Los Angeles, occupying a muscular, seven-story industrial building on the southeast edge of downtown since 2000. American Apparel has proudly championed social-justice causes, including immigration reform and gay rights, and assured consumers that they are buying "sweatshop-free" garments made by well treated workers.
 
They're just the sort of workers who might  might benefit from the forthcoming increase in California's minimum wage. If only they - and every other low-wage worker in Los Angeles - had decent roofs over their heads.

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Intellectual Tourism, Near and Far: Review of 'The Geography of Genius'

Steve Jobs. 

That's the only reference to Apple's ubiquitous founder that this review will include. In Geography of Genius, journalist Eric Weiner does the world a favor by reminding us that there are, and have been, other greats who deserve the mantle of genius.

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Fetishizing Families: Review of 'The Human City'

I would like to buy Joel Kotkin a beer. I vote we try a gastropub downtown. Or maybe a rooftop lounge. I'll take the subway, and he can take a taxi. That way, neither of us has to drive.

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County Can't Undermine Dispensary Referendum, Court Rules

In repealing a medical marijuana ordinance that a referendum sought to overturn, the Kern County Board of Supervisors erred in also repealing the underlying ordinance that the referendum's backers were seeking to reinstate, the Fifth District Court of Appeal has ruled. It's the third appellate ruling in a medical marijuana zoning case to be issued in the last month.

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California Cities Join Global Urban Resilience Movement

Coastal California has long been known for harrowing natural hazards: wildfires, drought, floods, the occasional tsunami, and, of course, earthquakes. It has also developed some serious human-made hazards too: chronic poverty, sea level rise, crime, pollution, riots, fragile energy grids, stratospheric housing costs, among others. 

The state is, as urban theorist Mike Davis put it, steeped in "the ecology of fear." Armed with new data and strategies, cities are trying to ease their anxieties. 

"Resilience" refers to cities' ability to weather and recover from discrete "shocks," such as earthquakes, and chronic "stresses," such as poverty and the predicted effects of climate change. California has become Ground Zero in the resilience movement.
 
Four California cities - Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco - have appointed "chief resilience officers" as part of a worldwide experiment in hazard mitigation and bureaucratic reform sponsored by New York-based nonprofit 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), project of the Rockefeller Foundation.

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