California

 

CPD&R News Briefs March 23, 2015: Housing Costs Drag Down State Economy; Caltrans Proposes 710 Freeway Fixes,

A report issued by the Legislative Analyst's Office shows that California's high housing costs are stifling the state's economy and making it difficult to create affordable housing. The report says that the state "probably would have to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually...to seriously mitigate its problems with housing affordability." But housing construction has fallen behind population and job growth, with builders only getting authorization to start 37,000 single-family homes and 49,000 multifamily units statewide last year.

Redevelopment Cleanup Bill Sparks Relief, Outrage Among Cities

For many cities that have endured the painful process of dissolving their redevelopment agencies, the bloodletting has begun anew. 

Bay Area Big Winner as SGC Greenlights 54 Projects for Full Proposals

The Strategic Growth Council has given the green light to 54 potential projects to prepare full applications for funding under the newly created Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program. The 54 projects are seeking $301 million in funding -- about 2 1/2 times as much as the $120 million program has to dole out.

Final applications must be completed by April 20 and SGC plans to select the winners by July. Only the 54 applicants on the finalists' list will be given access to the online application.

Of the 54 applications going forward, 44 (worth $235 million) have affordable housing setasides and 37 (worth $229 million) are located in disadvantaged Census tracts -- the definition of which was the subject of considerable debate last year.The finalists represent a diverse array of communities in 22 counties.

CP&DR News Briefs, March 10, 2015: L.A. Football Stadium Seeks Public Approval; Claremont Seeks Taking of Water Agency; Redlands Rail EIR Approved; and More

Proponents of a stadium that would jointly host the relocated Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers in Carson put together a ballot initiative to seek local approval for the project. The measure would approve the creation of a public authority in Carson, akin to the arrangement the 49ers used to build their new stadium, that would own the stadium and lease it back to the teams.

CP&DR News Briefs, March 2, 2015: Google Presents Plan for New HQ; SF May Outsource Affordable Housing; Fresno Approves Water Plan; and More

Google unveiled a “whimsical" proposal for a massive new headquarters in Mountain View designed by architect Frank Ghery.

CP&DR News Summary, February 24, 2015: Home Values, Rental Rates Rise; Sacramento Streetcar Moves Forward; Shared NFL Stadium; and more

A new report [pdf] released by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that California’s housing market continues to recover from its low at the beginning of 2012. Median home values in the most populous counties have increased by 39 percent since 2012, though they remain 20 percent lower than they were at the market’s peak in 2006-2007. The report also shows that the housing recovery has caused a problem for some less affluent residents, as “increasing prices place housing out of reach for many Californians.” It finds that homeownership rates in California have fallen more sharply than the rest of the nation, with California falling to 53.8 percent as compared with a 64.7 percent nationwide.

 

Another report released by NYU’s Furman Center describes the percentage changes in rental populations in major US cities from 2006 to 2013. Los Angeles and San Francisco rank among nine cities where more than 50% of the population rents, as of 2013. San Francisco scored in the top five increasing rental populations, with 22% more San Franciscans renting since 2006; Los Angeles’ rental population increased by 11%.

 

Is It Time to Bury the Gas Tax?

In recent weeks, we’ve seen a lot of moves that suggest it may be time to change the way California funds transportation, including the following:

  • Board of Equalization Member George Runner has been touting a 21% cut in the gas tax as part of the “fuel tax swap” formula from a few years ago.
  • A committee headed by former San Diego City Councilmember Jim Madaffer is looking at how to implement a mileage tax as an alternative to the gas tax.
  • Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has proposed a $52 annual fee on most drivers as a way to raise almost $2 billion for road repairs.

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CP&DR News Briefs, February 15, 2015: S.D. Fights $271 Million Stadium 'Claw-Back;' Sacramento Arena EIR Questioned; Bill Would Streamline CEQA; S.F. Street Trees; and More

The demise of redevelopment may leave the city of San Diego with a monstrous bill: $271 million to cover the development of its downtown stadium, Petco Park. When the stadium’s financing plan was approved in 1998, general obligation bond funds were to be routed through the Center City Development Corp., one of the city’s redevelopment agencies.

CP&DR News Briefs, February 9, 2015: California's Share of Obama Budget; Transbay Mello-Roos Protests; SLO Quarry; and More

President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget, announced last week, includes several nods to development and transportation in California to the tune of over $1 billion.

Cities Hustle for $120 Million in Funding from SGC

LOS ANGELES--State-level policymakers have engaged in more than their share of debates over the future of smart grown in California this year. They've debated level of service vs. vehicle miles traveled. They've debated the neediness and definition of disadvantaged communities. They've clamored for cap-and-trade funds. They've tried to reform CEQA and get rid of CEQA (well, not quite).