In Manteca — which has been in the news recently because of a huge number of foreclosures and an auction by one major homebuilder — developers will now have two additional years to complete their projects. The Manteca City Council voted 3-2 to give builders five years to complete their projects and pay negotiated development agreement fees.
According to one homebuilding industry representative, foreclosures and slow sales have resulted in more than 1,000 empty houses in the city of 65,000 people. Builders said the time extension on permits and fee deadlines will ensure that builders do not add to the inventory glut.
Another climate change suit has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The environmental organization sued the City of Perris in Riverside County Superior Court, arguing that an environmental impact report for a 520,000-square-foot commercial project anchored by a Wal-Mart supercenter did not address the project's impact on global warming.
Although Attorney General Jerry Brown has settled two California Environmental Quality Act lawsuits over global warming impacts, the CBD has vowed to press forward in the courtroom. The group is also suing over the San Bernardino County general plan and a housing development in Banning.
Lassen County has approved what would be by-far the largest development in the county's history. The Dyer Mountain project is envisioned to contain up to 4,000 housing units, a ski resort, 600,000 square-feet of commercial space and three golf courses on 7,000 acres in the far northern Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the small town of Westwood. County voters cleared the way for the project in 2000 when they approved a general plan amendment and rezoning of the land. The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have sued to halt the project.
The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley has released the first of what it says will be regular annual reports on the state of the valley. The report makes clear that the valley faces a number of economic, education, transportation and public health challenges, but it steers clear of both dire predictions and bold policy pronouncements. Instead, the report discusses the activities of the partnership — which was created by the governor in 2005 (see CP&DR, February 2006) — and the ongoing activities of 10 working groups. Released during a partnership summit in Visalia, the report can be found at http://www.sjvpartnership.org/