The budget crisis in Sacramento has led Gov. Gray Davis to propose a wide-ranging set of spending cuts, tax increases and revenue shifts — including reductions in redevelopment funds and tax revenue allocated to cities and counties — that could have a significant effect on land use planning.
Although the Davis administration does not appear to be making deficit-reduction proposals based on their land use implications, there is no doubt the recommendations would have a major impact on the state's growth
The status of the California Coastal Commission was everything but clear in January, following a December 30 appellate court ruling that the Commission's composition was unconstitutional. The court ruled that the authority of the Assembly speaker and Senate Rules Committee to appoint eight of twelve commissioners and remove them at will violated the separation of powers doctrine.
After decades of fights over annexation and housing development, voters have provided the City of Watsonville with a long-range plan for growth that spells out where and when the coastal city should grow.
Measure U, approved by 60% of voters in November 2002, amends the general plan to dictate what territory the city should annex during the next 25 years.
The method of appointing members to the California Coastal Commission has been declared unconstitutional by the Third District Court of Appeal. The ability of the speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Rules Committee to appoint eight of twelve commissioners and remove them at will violates the separation of powers doctrine, the court held.
The time has come to call rail transit a planner's pipe dream. Californians have poured tax money into rail for more than a decade, apparently on a well-intentioned aspiration that if we build tracks, we will ride the train. But according to a U.S. Census report on trip-to-work travel, Californians have not found the train station.
Apparently emboldened by political success in the mid-term election, the Bush administration has become more aggressive in its efforts to alter strict Clinton-era environmental protection policies. In California, strong state laws — and a political scene still dominated by Democrats — could hold the line on many issues, especially protection of wetlands and endangered species. But on issues in which active federal involvement is crucial, such as water and public lands policy, a major conflict could be aris
Political conflict is common wherever urban development pushes into habitat occupied by imperiled wildlife. Every state and region has its own battlegrounds, but nowhere in the United States is the collision between human population pressures and natural ecosystems more pronounced than on California's rapidly growing south coast.
The conflict is particularly acute in San Diego County, a biological hotspot with a booming human population.
During the next 12 months, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) plans to build a an additional westbound lane on the 91 Freeway for a few miles just west of Riverside County. Such minor highway work might seem unremarkable — except for the fact that the agency spent $207 million simply for the right to pursue the project.
Environmental advocates challenging federal agency interpretations of the Endangered Species Act were victorious in one case at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but lost a second case. The late-2002 decisions both came on 2-1 rulings, and the decisions appeared in one aspect.