The Los Angeles Planning Commission advised the City Council to adopt the city's proposed Mobility Plan 2035 (pdf), update the land use element of 35 community plans, and adopt an ordinance to implement new street standards and complete street principles. >>read more
The 2035 Fresno General Plan adopted by the City Council on December 18 puts the city's foot down on sprawl. Supporters see the approval as a major victory for Smart Growth principles, though it had critics on left and right.
A strong center/left coalition joined Mayor Ashley Swearengin in backing the plan, However, environmental justice and equity activists asked how strongly the plan would limit suburban expansion and who would benefit from infill development. They sought policies for affordable housing and against displacement, and attention to industrial polluters such as the notorious Darling International rendering plant southwest of downtown.
Meanwhile, local developers and small-government advocates questioned whether the plan would curtail property rights or lifestyle choices, and asked if people accustomed to suburban densities and private auto use would remain in Fresno if it meant accepting denser housing, especially in the stigmatized downtown area. Tea Party-oriented opponents recoiled at federal funding for projects such as bus rapid transit (BRT).
The past few years have been great for not building things. The Great Recession has particularly devastated developers building on the urban fringe, who found themselves saddled with entitlements for homes that no one would ever buy.
But for a distinct group of non-developers, the so-called Great Recession has been great for business.
News from around the state: Already a very poor region, the Central Valley's problems have become worse because of the recession; two Sacramento planning department have been put on leave because of a building permit scandal; the California Redevelopment Association has sued the state for taking $2 billion of tax increment; federal agencies agree to speed the review of new electricity transmission corridors.