Three sweeping growth measures in three very different parts of the state - two measures seeking to tightly control development and one growth-friendly plan - all lost during the March 2 primary election. Voters in San Diego and San Benito counties overwhelmingly rejected growth-control general plan amendments. In El Dorado County, voters said no to approving an entire general plan via initiative. Elsewhere, Contra Costa County voters rejected a big-box law. San Marcos voters said no to Wal-Mart.
Three highly anticipated studies regarding the potential impact of Wal-Mart supercenters in California have been released in recent weeks. The studies have some common threads but reach dramatically different conclusions - and the studies drew predictable responses.
Like scores of California suburbs, Pomona suffered the death of its downtown during the 1960s and 1970s. And, as elsewhere, the death was little noticed at the time because there was a great deal of newfangled housing, retail and office development elsewhere in town. But, led by two brothers who grew up in town, downtown now thrives around the Pomona Arts Colony.
In a unanimous opinion, the state Supreme Court has ruled that a community service district's water connection charge and fire suppression charge are exempt from the restrictions of Proposition 218. The ruling was only the state high court's second in a Proposition 218 case, and in both instances, the court ruled for local government.
An appellate court has ruled against homeowners who sought to prevent Santa Monica City Council members from making inquiries of staff members other than the city manager. "An injunction to prevent such communication violates the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects everyone, even politicians," Justice Arthur Gilbert wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel of the Second District, Division Six.
The City of Wasco has been ordered to pay an attorney that represented the city in complicated bond finance dealings during the mid-1990s. The First District Court of Appeal rejected the city's argument that the payments violated the state constitution's ban on incurring general fund debt.
In his definitive book, City Center to Regional Mall, urban historian Richard Longstreth points out that in 1960, Southern California had 14 regional malls, located mostly in the southern L.A. County and northern Orange County suburbs that were emerging at the time. Although similar at the time, those malls have evolved greatly.
Anyone familiar with the operation of state and federal water projects in California recognizes that the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the heart of the state's elaborate plumbing system. A recent federal court decision also places the Delta squarely at the heart of an intensifying debate over one of the nation's bedrock environmental laws, potentially throwing into question the protections afforded a host of threatened and endangered species throughout the water-short West.
The long-running Santa Clarita Valley growth war has entered a new phase. The Newhall County Water District (NCWD), which serves territory inside the Santa Clarita city limits and in unincorporated Los Angeles County, has issued a no-confidence vote for the valley's urban water management plan.