The state Supreme Court has struck down a common method that cities and counties use to select temporary administrative hearing officers for land use controversies and other issues. The court ruled that San Bernardino County's unilateral appointment and payment of an attorney as a temporary hearing officer created the possibility of a conflict of interest for the attorney. The court accepted the argument from a massage clinic owner that the attorney might provide the county a favorable decision
A state appellate court has invalidated a City of Upland redevelopment plan because the city improperly manipulated the base tax year for one parcel, and because the area was neither predominately urbanized nor blighted.
Spurred by a 1999 ballot initiative to find new revenue sources, San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency is examining some of its real estate holdings with an eye toward development opportunities. Muni has a development agreement with a hotel builder for one piece of prime property near the Ferry Building. Other properties could be developed with housing, stores and offices ï¿½ possibly above ground-level transit facilities.
One of the largest housing developments ever proposed for the Central Valley received approval from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in July. After about a decade of planning, environmental reviews and public hearings, supervisors backed the 2,600-acre, 10,000-unit Sunridge Specific Plan — a detailed subset of the 6,000-acre Sunrise-Douglas Community Plan, which supervisors also approved in July.
Movies, music and television have created a global image of California as the land of sunshine and surf. Like many caricatures, the mystique has a nugget of truth at its core: Californians do love their beaches.
In September, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to vote on "City of Villages," the new "strategic framework element" of the city's general plan. Designed to provide a foundation for revising the city's 1970s general plan, City of Villages makes all the usual politically correct statements about promoting smart-growth ideas.
State lawmakers appear to be accepting the longstanding argument that needed construction of condominiums and townhouses is being chilled by construction defect litigation, and legislators might be ready to pass a reform bill this year.