The final offer that Caltrans made to a landowner whose property was the subject of an eminent domain action was unreasonable and, therefore, the landowner is due litigation expenses from the state, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled. The court ruled that Caltrans's offer was unreasonable because it was based on an illegal nonconforming use of the site.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority finds itself living something of a double life these days. The authority has received great interest since the September 11 terrorist attacks, yet the authoirty is going broke and could close down in 2002.
The phenomenon of powerful neighborhood groups holding sway over the planning process makes me question the wisdom of mixing democracy and planning. In principal, democracy should be the preferred route for making decisions about the public realm. But democracy, in large part, is about making deals among competing interests, and not all interest groups — such as people who champion affordable housing, schools, open space and urban design — are sitting at the table when homeowners cut their deals w
In anticipation of another raid on local government revenues by the State of California, local government officials have taken a page from grass-roots planning advocates and filed for two versions of initiatives for the state's November 2002 ballot. The "Local Revenue Accountability Act" is spearheaded by the state's leading city, county, and special district advocacy organizations – whose members are the largest employers of urban planners in California.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the validity of a City of Lodi ordinance intended to force the cleanup of contaminated land and groundwater. Although it struck down a few provisions of Lodi's comprehensive law, the court ruled against insurance companies that contended federal and state "Superfund" laws prevented Lodi from imposing its own cleanup regulations.
An assessment levied by Sacramento County on nonprofit organizations that conduct bingo games did not violate a 1994 initiative barring the imposition of a tax or fee on a nonprofit group's income, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled. However, the appellate panel sent the case back to the trial court to determine whether the fees were closely related enough to county expenses to be legal.
The Proposition 62 requirement that a tax measure receive two-thirds approval by a City Council before going to voters does not apply to charter law cities, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled.