In the latest decision on a long series of legal challenges by Peninsula cities and environment groups to the California High Speed Rail project, the Third District Court of Appeal has upheld the final programmatic environmental impact report for the portion of the project that calls for a route from the Central Valley over the Pacheco Pass into Bay Area suburbia. >>read more
What happens when you go through years of planning and actually building TODs, only to have the T suddenly vanish?
This is the question on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the South Bay, where Caltrain is proposing radical service reductions and the closure of numerous stations.
It's also a question that other places are likely to confront as public budgets grow more austere and the Republican Party ramps up its attacks on seemingly all transportation that doesn't involve automobiles.
The proposed Saltworks project in Redwood City is, as one of its designers says, a potential "game changer" for the Bay Area. Proposed by landowner Cargill and developer DMB, the project would provide 8,000 to 12,000 high-density, mixed-income housing units in a decidedly suburban town halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, and within close proximity to hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The Bay Area has seen similar projects in recent years, but they have been in San Jose and San Francisco proper. Even those suburbs that have embraced relatively dense, transit-oriented development haven't seen anything on the scale of Saltworks.
These days, the California High-Speed Rail Authority might as well be called the Political Traction Company. After winning voter approval of a $9.9 billion bond in November, the authority seemed to become a favorite of the Obama administration, which is eager to fund high-speed rail construction. In addition, some Central Valley communities ï¿½ such as Fresno and Bakersfield, where stations are set to be built ï¿½ are eager to see the project advance. Nevertheless, cities along the Peninsula of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are asking questions about the project.
A state appellate court has upheld the Coastal Commission's handling of a housing project appeal. The court ruled that although the Commission did not comply precisely with the state open meeting law's requirements, the Commission came close enough and did not portray an intent to avoid the law.
An award of $665,000 in damages and legal expenses to a developer in Pacifica has been thrown out by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The unanimous three-judge panel determined that a questionable condition of project approval that the city eventually repealed did not constitute a violation of the developer's equal protection rights because the condition did not stop the project from moving forward.
An appellate court has reinstated a lawsuit over environmental review of a recreational trail proposed to be built in San Mateo County.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge had thrown out the suit because it was filed after the California Environmental Quality Act's usual 30-day statute of limitations expired. However, the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled there was "reasonable probability" environmentalists could show that a 180-day statute of limitations applied here.
When Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network CEO Russell Hancock talks about transforming El Camino Real into the Northern California version of the Avenues des Champs Elysees, one begins to wonder what color the sky is in his world.
The City of Half Moon Bay has reached a settlement agreement with a developer who won a takings lawsuit against the city. Last December, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker awarded developer Charles Keenan $36.8 million in damages, plus interest and attorney's fees, because an incomplete city drainage project had transformed an approved 24-acre housing project site into an unbuildable wetland (see CP&DR In Brief, January 2008).
A controversial 225-square-mile annexation of territory in San Mateo County by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has been upheld by the First District Court of Appeal. The court rejected annexation opponents' arguments that the San Mateo County Local Agency Formation Commission's approval of the annexation was flawed.