California

 

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. 

SGC Confirms Recipients of $122 Million in Grants

Following the recommendations of its staff, the Strategic Growth Council formally approved $122 million in grants for 28 projects designed to provide affordable housing and reduce carbon emissions throughout the state.

CP&DR News Briefs June 29, 2015: 710 Tunnel Gains Support; Tribes Sue over Solar; L.A. Pursues Manufacturers; and More

Plans to build a $5 billion, 6.3-mile tunnel to close the "gap" of the 710 freeway are gaining headway as both the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and the California Transportation Commission recommended that project as the best option.

CP&DR News Briefs, June 22, 2015: NEPA Suit Filed over Fracking; Chargers Slipping Away from S.D.; Santa Ana ‘Welness District,’ and More

Two environmental groups have sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Secretary of the Interior for opening up 400,000 acres of public land in Southern California for fracking, which they claim violates the National Environmental Policy Act.

Papacy Comes Down to Earth on Climate Change

It turns out that two of the world's biggest proponents of smart growth are Catholic. One of them is California Governor Jerry Brown, who once studied to be a Jesuit priest and, more recently, has promoted earthly initiatives like high-speed rail, the adoption of vehicle miles traveled metrics, and the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals in the western hemisphere. 

The other is the Pope. 

There Was No Way the Builders Were Going to Win the San Jose Case

Yesterday’s landmark ruling by the California Supreme Court upholding San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance was rightly hailed as a huge victory for affordable housing advocates. But the truth is that the ruling shouldn’t be viewed as a surprise. It was a very difficult case for the building industry to win – at least the way the industry’s lawyers has set the case up. 

And along the way, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye plowed some very powerful ground. She hoisted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on his own petard by quoting his opinion in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825 (1987), to support her conclusion. And she basically invalidated a key portion of Building Industry Assn. of Central California v. City of Patterson (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 886, which struck down Patterson’s inclusionary ordinance

Ruling for a unanimous court, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye concluded that the San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance is not an exaction imposed on housing developers but rather a land-use restriction no different than a zoning ordinance – or, for that matter, rent control. “This condition does not require the developer to dedicate any portion of its property to the public or to pay any money to the public.  Instead, like many other land use regulations, this condition simply places a restriction on the way the developer may use its property by limiting the price for which the developer may offer some of its units for sale,” she wrote. 

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CEQA Bills Stall, GHG Bill Moves Forward

With the year’s legislative session in full gear, attempts to reform – or end-run – the California Environmental Quality Act don’t seem to be doing so well. But Sen. Fran Pavley’s effort to codify an 80% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2050 – which would moot some major legal challenges – appears to be sailing through.

Legislation items are listed, by category and in numerical order, according to bill number, bill name, sponsor, description, and status as of press time. This list will be updated periodically to reflect new developments.

 

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CP&DR News Briefs, June 15, 2015: High Speed Rail Faces Opposition in L.A.; EPA Environmental Risk Database; Sacramento's Push for Housing; and More

California's $68-billion high speed rail is facing setbacks in its construction throughout the proposed route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Local elected officials and homeowners groups in suburban Santa Clarita as well as blue-collar San Fernando, Pacoima, and other communities are demanding the state abandon a proposed route that woul

Let the Sun Set on Ballot Measures

Allow me to laud something about California’s state and local ballot initiative system. No, really. 

Voting schemes for electing human beings to office are inevitably flawed. Whether a jurisdiction uses party primaries, open primaries, ranked choices, multiple votes, pluralities, majorities, voice votes, or anything else, no system can capture the true passions and preferences of all voters as they relate to all candidates. 

Californians Show Their Bravery on Climate Change

This morning, Hector Tobar, a respected Los Angeles-area commentator, personally heaped all the ecological sins of humankind on to the current residents of Los Angeles in an editorial in the New York Times, a publication that has gotten increasingly feisty about its hatred for California of late. Tobar writes: