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. >>read 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. >> read 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). >>read more
With a significant increase in cap-and-trade funding for 2016, the Strategic Growth Council announced the expansion of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation program (SALC). SALC provides funds that compensate farmers and ranchers for creating conservation easements. >>read more
The libertarian nonprofit Reason Foundation released a its own speculative mobility plan for the Los Angeles region, seeking to ease congestion through a network of toll roads and varying pricing models on vastly expanded express lanes.
A group calling itself the Coalition to Preserve L.A. announced that it is going to shoot for a ballot measure to block "mega-projects" in Los Angeles. The initiative would effectively freeze all development in the city that does not conform to the current General Plan and community plans. The initiative includes several major provisions: 1) halt amendments to the City's General Plan in small bits and pieces for individual real estate developer projects; 2) require the City Planning Commission to systematically review and update the City's community plans and make all zoning code provisions and projects consistent with the City's General Plan; 3) place city employees directly in charge of preparation of environmental review of major development projects; and 4) impose a construction moratorium for projects approved by the City that increased some types of density until officials can complete review and update of community plans or 24 months, whichever occurs first.
The initiative's main backers, several of whom have actively protested major developments in Hollywood, say the initiative will help preserve the character of Los Angeles neighborhoods. The measure would apply citywide. "This ballot measure is bad for L.A., and bad for the economy," City Council Member Mitch O'Farrell told the Los Angeles Times. "It's bad for transit-oriented neighborhoods. It will also cost thousands of good-paying jobs." The measure requires 61,486 signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
The Mountain View City Council specified the number of houses it is prepared to build in the city's North Bayshore business district, choosing the densest option of building 9,100 units in the area that's home to Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. "It gives us the most flexibility moving forward," Vice Mayor Pat Showalter said at the meeting, according to the San Francisco Business Journal. >>read more
An audit (pdf) by Los Angeles's controller finds that the city is failing to charge developers millions of dollars in development impact fees -- frequently used to increase police and fire protection, traffic mitigation, and improve public facilities -- and has left millions in collected fees unspent.