The City of Davis has adopted an ordinance that requires housing developers to provide a percentage of new units to people making 120% to 180% of median income. The ordinance also creates a lottery for the new units favoring local workers, and limits the resale prices.
Most inclusionary housing ordinances target low- and moderate-income families — people making up to 120% of median. Davis already has such an ordinance, but city officials want to ensure that people with good jobs in Davis can live in the city, where few homes are available for less than $600,000. The ordinance targets individuals making about $51,000 to $76,000 a year, or families of four bringing in $72,000 to $109,000 annually.
The middle-income housing ordinance adopted in December by the City Council requires developers of projects with 26 to 35 units to provide 10% of units for people making 120% to 180% of median, developers of projects with 36 to 49 units to designate 15% of units, and projects with at least 50 units to include 20% of units for middle-income families. Those requirements are on top of the 20% inclusionary requirement for low- and moderate-income families.
The city will use a lottery to select potential buyers. Local employees can get four tickets, disabled people will get two tickets and anyone may get one ticket. City officials want local workers to get the housing units, but there are legal problems with excluding others, said Principal Planner Bob Wolcott. The weighted lottery is a compromise.
The ordinance also caps annual increases in resale prices at 5% per year to ensure that the units remain affordable to the target population for a long time, Wolcott said.
The lottery and resale price limitations were at least as controversial as the basic concept of a middle-income housing requirement.
“It’s all tied in with the council asking some questions about why we want to grow and how much,” Wolcott said, noting the city has settled on an approximately 1% annual growth rate based on a study of local workers’ housing needs.
SunCal Companies has acquired the 167-acre campus of the former Oak Knoll Naval Medical Center in the Oakland hills for $100.5 million. Although planning is still in the early stages, SunCal is considering a mixed-use project that takes advantage of the site’s bay views and close proximity to transit, SunCal spokesman Steve Greyshock said. “The potential for this property is just enormous,” he commented.
The auction of the hospital, which closed in 1996, is the third major sale of surplus military land in California to developers during the last few years. In early 2005, Lennar purchased 3,700 acres of the former El Toro Marine Corps base in Orange County. Prior to that, three developers bought 235 acres of the former Marine Corps base in Tustin.
Over the strong objection of military officials, the commission looking for a new San Diego airport site has chosen to examine Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, North Island Naval Station and Camp Pendleton.
At a December meeting of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, representatives from all three bases urged the panel not to consider the bases. They said a joint-use airport or a separate civilian airport on one of the bases would jeopardize military operations and base security.
“Absolutely, positively not doable at Camp Pendleton,” community liaison Larry Reynolds told the authority’s board.
However, board members pointed out that the state legislation creating the authority included a provision for the study of both civilian and military sites. The panel is charged with finding a way to handle passenger and cargo growth because Lindbergh Field is highly constrained. Thus far, the panel has narrowed civilian options to three: a site near Campo just north of the Mexico border in eastern San Diego County, a site along Interstate 8 in Imperial County, and expansion of Lindbergh. The panel plans to make a recommendation this spring, with voters scheduled to decide in November 2006.
The City of Los Angeles has made peace with three neighboring cities, Los Angeles County and a citizens advocacy group regarding an overhaul of Los Angeles International Airport. At the behest of new Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city dropped most parts of a controversial modernization plan. In exchange, the county, the cities of El Segundo, Inglewood and Culver City, and a citizens group called Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion agreed to drop lawsuits against Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has spent more than a decade and approximately $150 million planning airport expansion and modernization. Cities near the airport and their residents have fought vigorously, saying the plans would result in too much noise, traffic congestion and air pollution. They have advocated spreading out air traffic to other Southern California airports.
According to the settlement agreement announced in December, Los Angeles will work with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Southern California Association of Governments, air carriers and others to increase flights at Ontario and Palmdale airports, both of which Los Angeles owns.
The settlement also calls for the city to close two airport gates per year for five years once the airport hits 75 million passengers in a year. The closures would result in a total of 153 gates at LAX, which now handles about 62 million passengers a year. The FAA prohibits airports from capping the number of passengers, but closing gates allows the city to limit passenger numbers. Under Mayor Richard Riordan, the city adopted a plan to accommodate up to 89 million passengers a year at LAX.
The settlement permits Los Angeles to proceed with some projects, including moving a southern runway to decrease the chance of airplane collisions, rebuilding the international terminal to accommodate the largest Airbus planes, and installing a new baggage system.
A former Los Angeles County Planning Department employee has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of falsification of public records.
Emmett Taylor was fired in 2000 after investigators alleged that he had collected $500,000 in “consulting fees” in exchange for issuing certificates of compliance — documents that verify the legality of a parcel. The certificates are most often sought by a landowner whose property was the subject of a very old subdivision map.
Taylor was arrested in 2002 and charged with 97 criminal counts. Eventually, the district attorney’s office identified 347 illegal parcels for which Taylor had issued certificates, mostly near Malibu and Agua Dulce.
Taylor, who may be eligible for a work release program, was also ordered to pay $1.53 million in restitution.
Development of the third phase of the giant Mountain House project near Tracy has been approved by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. Phase three, to be built by three developers and San Joaquin Delta College, will include 2,400 housing units, a 150-acre business park, a 100-acre community college campus, and a large community park.
Approval of the third phase nearly got stymied by a demand from Trimark Communities, Mountain House’s master developer, that Delta College pay $15 million that Trimark had fronted for infrastructure. Delta refused to pay, but housing developer Gerry Kamilos agreed to cover the college’s portion of infrastructure costs.
Although Mountain House was originally approved in 1995, buildout of the 14,000-unit project is less than 10% complete.
The Port of San Diego has selected a developer for a project that port officials say could become an iconic gateway to the city. The Port Commission selected Federal Viejas LLC — a partnership of a San Diego County Indian tribe and Federal Development of Washington, D.C. — to develop the Embarcadero Circle project.
On a parking lot at Broadway and Pacific Highway, the Federal Viejas proposes a cruise ship terminal, a 500-room, 27-story Marriott hotel, a 250-room, 16-story Ritz-Carlton, concert facilities, restaurants, shops and a parking structure with 3,000 spaces. The project is expected to cost at least $500 million.
The Port Commission rejected three other proposals, including a larger one from Douglas Manchester. Port officials said they already have approval from the Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission for a project of the scope envisioned by Federal Viejas. Manchester’s larger project would have re-opened the state review process.
Santa Clarita property owners have rejected the proposed creation of an open space and parkland preservation district. In a vote-by-mail election, 53% of 17,257 property owners who returned ballots voted against the district.
The district would have assessed single-family homes $25 a year, with assessments rising based on inflation. City officials estimated the assessments would have raised about $1.5 million annually for purchasing open space, creating wildlife corridors and renovating existing parks. City officials also hinted that the district might provide a method to limit growth in unincorporated areas around the city.
Creation of the open space district failed despite the lack of organized opposition.
Meanwhile, Santa Clarita’s 15-year fight over a proposed sand and gravel quarry just outside of town is moving to the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission. The city has filed an application with LAFCO to annex 1,885 acres in Soledad Canyon, off Highway 14.
The territory includes the site where Cemex, Inc., wants to operate a quarry, a project that the city has fought from every angle because of traffic, air quality and aesthetic concerns. Several years ago, LAFCO denied Santa Clarita’s application to add to the territory to the city’s sphere of influence.
The city lost the latest legal round in late November when a federal district court upheld the Interior Department’s environmental impact statement for the proposed quarry. Even though the city owns some of the land involved, the BLM owns the mineral rights and has leased them to Cemex. Santa Clarita said it would appeal the district court’s decision. State litigation is pending in the Second District Court of Appeal.