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. 

Los Angeles' Moral Failing

Whereas a Berkeley resident can cross from exuberance of Telegraph Avenue into the heart of the Cal campus in a few steps, UCLA is an auto-oriented campus surrounded by a moat of driveways, green space, and city streets. Its neighbors are some of the wealthiest and orneriest an institution could ever have the misfortune to live next to. The university, for all its academic heft, retreats from the city, and the city from it.

UCLA was an ironically illustrative venue for a talk by Michael Storper, lead author of "The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies," that I attended recently. Contrary to its expansive title, Storper’s study concerns only Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given that both are booming Pacific Rim metropolises, it may be hard to figure out which is the “rise” and which is the “fall.”

Rise FallUntil you consider this: In 1970, the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas ranked, respectively, numbers three and one in per capita income in the United States. In 2009, after both areas grew by more than 50 percent in population, they were, respectively, numbers 1 and 25.

JOB AVAILABLE: City of Mountain View, CA

Zoning Administrator

City of Mountain View, CA                                                                         

CP&DR News Briefs, February 1, 2016: L.A. Transit Ridership Declines; SANDAG Sales Tax Measure; TOD ADU's in Oakland; and More

A report by the Los Angeles Times indicates that transit ridership in the Los Angeles area has steadily declined since the Great Recession. Ridership on Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus and rail lines dropped 10 percent from 2006 to 2015, to 453 million boardings.

SGC Announces 2016 AHSC Schedule, Workshops

SGC has announced its timeline for applications for the 2015-16 Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program and has scheduled six statewide workshops.

 The schedule for the AHSC program is as follows: 

CP&DR News Briefs, January 26, 2016: Mission District Moratorium; Coastal Commission May Oust Director; LAFCO Sues Gilroy; and More

The San Francisco Planning Commission approved unanimously a fifteen-month period of controls on new developments in the Mission District. These new controls will require developers to provide information on how the projects will affect the neighborhoods economic diversity. Developers excused from the new regulations are those with 25 or more units or at least one-third of apartments reserved for low-income residents.

CP&DR News Briefs, January 18, 2016: Riverside County General Plan Suit; Football Returning to L.A.; Bay Area Carbon Footprints; and More

Three environmental groups are suing Riverside County over a climate action plan and amendments to its general plan. Plaintiffs claim that, contrary to the plan's stated goals to combat climate chance and protect the environment, the plan actually creates increased traffic, air pollution and threats to wildlife. Plaintiffs include the Center for Biological Diversity, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, and the Sierra Club.

Hyperloop and Hyperbole

On December 21, the Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, deployed a suite of communications satellites, and, in impressive fashion, came back down to Earth. Using its engines to dull the force of gravity, it survived re-entry and hit its football-field sized landing pad like a Tesla backing into a garage.  

The Falcon 9’s return from the heavens was an early Christmas miracle, courtesy of Elon Musk, one of the world's few celebrity engineers. It is a product of SpaceX, Musk’s pioneering private space-travel company based in Hawthorne. He can now add space to the list of fields — from electric cars, to battery power, to credit card payments — that his ventures have conquered. (A similar launch Jan. 17 didn't go quite so well.)

Next, Musk hopes to revolutionize long-distance transit. That one may make rocket science look like child’s play.

CP&DR’s Top Ten Land Use Stories of 2015

With the economy humming along, innovative ideas sprouting up around the state, and, of course, the occasional dispute, 2015 was as lively a year for land use as any other in recent memory. To mark the new year, CP&DR presents its most-read stories of 2015. 

CP&DR News Briefs, January 12, 2016: Legislators Issue Homeless Proposal; Warriors' Arena Draws Suits; Sacramento Considers Greenway; and More

To address the state’s intensifying homelessness crisis, state senators proposed a $2 billion bill to help provide up to 14,000 units of permanent housing for the state’s mentally ill homeless population. California has roughly 116,000 homeless people. The monies, to be raised as bonds, would be repaid over 20 to 30 years with money from the tax for mental health services approved in 2004 (Proposition 63).