A's Attempt to Reach Agreement with Alameda County over Oakland Coliseum Site
Questions hang over the future of the Oakland A’s ballpark and mixed-use development proposal at Howard Terminal due to disagreements between the A’s and the city council over commitments to community benefits and affordable housing. The city also argues that insufficient funding from Alameda County will threaten the future of the $12 billion development and necessitates that the A’s agree to a 45-year non-relocation agreement. A’s President Dave Kaval would not commit to any of those requirements. Meanwhile, Kaval has publicly considered moving development to Las Vegas or another city that he believes will welcome and approve their plan.
Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena to be Redeveloped into "Hub of innovation"
The Sacramento Kings, City of Sacramento, and California Northstate University announced their plan to build a hospital and medical complex on the southwest portion of the Kings’ former Sleep Train Arena site in North Natomas. CNU will convert 35 acres of land into a teaching hospital, trauma center, and medical school, with demolition starting as soon as the end of this year. In addition to building 400 hospital rooms in the trauma center, the project could bring 3,000 jobs and housing to the area. Officials believe that the medical center will be a source not only of community care and health but of economic prosperity. CNU originally hoped to build its medical complex near I-5 in Elk Grove, but the proposal failed amid disapproval from the local community and environmental groups. CNU, the Kings, and the city champion project construction in this location, emphasizing that the medical complex will become a “hub of innovation.”
Southern California Agencies Dominate APA National Sustainability Awards
The American Planning Association celebrated multiple projects and agencies in California among its 2021 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability. Los Angeles County received the award for a Municipal, State, or Regional plan for its 2019 OurCounty Sustainability Plan, which prioritizes environmental justice in its approach. The APA honored the community-based program for its comprehensive and multifaceted goals, which include fast-approaching renewable energy and urban forestry deadlines as well as housing, clean water, and waste regulations. Meanwhile, the Southern California Association of Governments received the award for a Policy, Law, or Tool for its four-phase Regional Climate Adaptation Framework that centers public outreach and engagement. The APA honored the LA County Department of Parks and Recreation for its storm water project at Roosevelt Park designed to both enhance water quality and further engage community members in recreation.
USC, PolicyLink Identify U.S. Metros Furthest Behind on Rent
New data from national research institute PolicyLink and the University of Southern California Equity Research Institute shows that, while California does not rank highly among states with the highest shares of households behind on rent, the state does have two metro areas --Riverside-San-Bernadino-Ontario (22 percent) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (16 percent)--with high debt percentages. Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Alaska and Georgie have the highest share of renters with debt, each at 20 percent or more. At the opposite end of the spectrum, only 6 percent of renters and Utah and Maine are behind on rent. Coastal California residents, particularly in Central and Southern California, fared the worst. In Orange, Ventura, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Cruz counties, the average estimated rent debt per household all surpassed $5,000. Households in Santa Clara and Marin counties owned an average of $6,000. San Mateo county residents were hit hardest, with an average of $6,774 in rental debt per household. Data is available via USC's National Equity Atlas.
CP&DR Podcast: Cole to Lead Congress for New Urbanism
Rick Cole served as city manager in Azusa and Ventura (where he collaborated with CP&DR Publisher Bill Fulton), and in the past decade he served in the Los Angeles Mayor's Office and, most recently, as city manager in Santa Monica, from 2015 to 2020. The consummate Californian and longtime proponent of New Urbanist is now taking on a formal, national role, as the leader of the Congress for the New Urbanism itself. Cole official became CNU's executive director in May. CP&DR's Josh Stephens spoke with Cole about New Urbanism's influence on California, California's influence on it, and its prospects here and around the country now that it has gone from a radical upstart theory to a motivating force among many progressive planners, designers, and developers.
Quick Hits & Updates
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and three California residents sued the National Park Service in San Francisco federal court for its construction of a decades-old fence at Point Reyes National Seashore that is responsible for the death of 152 tule elk — over one-third of the their population — who lacked access to food and water. The fence was intended to prevent resource competition with nearby cattle, but, with harsh drought conditions, the activists ask that the National Park Service provide food and water to the native elk species.