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 package of water legislation approved by state lawmakers and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier this month may be the most ambitious attempt yet to address the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. However, the legislation angers and worries many interests in and around the Delta, including local government leaders concerned about their ability to approve development.
State lawmakers say that water and the Bay Delta should be the Legislature's top priorities until it recesses on September 11. Democratic lawmakers have introduced a five-bill package that they insist provides a framework for moving forward with the co-equal goals of Delta ecosystem restoration and increased water supply reliability. Republican lawmakers, however, said the package leans too heavily toward environmental considerations at the expense of water reliability.
Pressure is rising to "solve" the problems plaguing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and there are indications that state officials may start making difficult choices during 2009.
The Governor's Delta Vision Committee issued a report in January that contains an ambitious schedule for setting policy and beginning on-the-ground improvements to the plumbing system and environment. Only a few days after the Delta Vision Committee report came out, The Nature Conservancy became the first large environmental organization to endorse a peripheral canal (or "isolated conveyance facility"), signaling a potential shift in Delta politics. State lawmakers have begun introducing bills that would implement the Delta Vision report, create a Delta Conservancy, and establish a new governance structure.
In a potentially important decision for environmental advocates, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled that environmental groups are eligible for attorney's fees in a Bay-Delta water lawsuit, even though public agencies won similar litigation.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is one of the biggest ecological train wrecks in the nation, the focal point of a tectonic smash-up between human needs and natural dynamics. In consequence, it also has become perhaps the most-studied and squabbled-over body of water in the West. The latest contributions to that voluminous body of work are the final report of a governor-appointed "Blue Ribbon Task Force," and a federal court ruling.
COURTLAND _ In a precedent-setting decision, a state panel has overturned Yolo County's decision to permit development of 162 housing units within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and at the base of a levee of questionable integrity. The vote was closely watched as a measure of state and local commitment to the Delta and flood safety. >>read more
Finally heeding a message of alarm that experts have been sounding for a decade, California voters in November authorized an unprecedented investment in the fragile network of levees that protects homes, farms and critical infrastructure in the Central Valley from catastrophic flooding. Between Proposition 1E, which authorized $4.1 billion for levee improvement, and Proposition 84, a water bond that included $800 million for flood-control projects, the levee system stands to get a $5 billion upgrade. >>read more
Flood control affects development in both the City of Sacramento and San Bernardino County, the City of Lynwood gets an F on their audit by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, and water once again flows through the Lower Owens River. >>read more
A state appellate court has thrown out the environmental study for the Cal-Fed Bay-Delta Program. The Third District Court of Appeal found that the study failed to identify what water would be used to carry out the program, did not consider reduced exports of Delta water, and failed to provide known details of an "environmental water account."