The process of planning for affordable housing in California just got, inadvertently, more affordable.
Among the many cuts that Gov. Jerry Brown enacted in his effort to balance the budget is a $1 million hit to the Department of Housing and Community Development Building Equity and Growth in Neighborhoods Fund. That fund supports the department's housing element review activities; with roughly 20 staff members, the housing element review staff will be effectively cut in half.
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research occupies an unusual place in California planning. Even though planning is an intensely local function, part of OPR's mission is to convey Sacramento's planning agenda to the local level. At times when that agenda has been ill-defined, OPR has nearly withered. But now that Gov. Jerry Brown has articulated support for Senate Bill 375 and for a host of smart growth principals, OPR may regain prominence.
Here's one for the irony hall of fame: the new distribution center of one of the world's largest shoe companies is located in one of the most un-walkable places in California.
I mean to rib Skechers USA Inc. and its warehouse in Moreno Valley only lightly. No one expects to walk to an industrial or logistics facility the way they would to an office building or corner grocery store.
After six months of debating and negotiating, Governor Jerry Brown today signed AB 1x 26/27, the pair of bills that would compel redevelopment agencies to make voluntary contributions to the state or else face elimination. Opponents of the budget trailer bill contend that the requested contributions would be so burdensome--totaling $1.7 billion this fiscal year--as to effectively end redevelopment in the state by putting all but the most financially solvent agencies out of business.