With fewer than five months remaining in the 2003-04 session of the state Legislature, it appears that state lawmakers will approve few, if any, major land use bills. Still, there are scores of land use bills alive that nibble or even take big bites on the edges.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released three reports of interest to planners in March. The reports address housing supply, the link between water and planning, and planned developments. The housing supply study surprised many people because it reported a statewide shortage as of 2000 of only 138,000 units, when interest groups and other analysts have pegged the shortage at 500,000 to 1 million units.
A framework intended to guide all local general plans in San Diego County could be adopted as soon as June by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Advocates of the framework say it has the potential to be one of the most effective regional plans ever devised in California.
The City of Morgan Hill's decision not to rezone the site of a closed hospital to allow for development of a private, Christian college has been upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the city did not run afoul of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), as San Jose Christian College had alleged.
A homebuilder's lawsuit over the City of Encinitas's fee scheme, which allowed the city building official to implement automatic fee changes, has been allowed to proceed. The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that even though the fees took effect years before the homebuilder paid them, the normal statute of limitations did not apply because the city made no provision for public review. >>read more
The search for sustainable building cannot be anything other than noble. A pair of master planned communities - one Tucson and one in Orange County - illustrate distinctions in the way developers have responded to the desire to build green.
There's no denying it anymore: California has entered the infill age. Suburban development still continues apace, especially in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire. But most of the state is engaged in the process of adding more residents to existing neighborhoods and existing urban areas - and trying to find good ways to add more houses and shops to those neighborhoods as well. What all this means is that design and context are important.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Forest Service officially deemed the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment unworkable and unveiled a new version. Critics say the amended management plan is a barely disguised gift to the timber industry.
California voters approved $20 billion worth of bonds for school construction and rehabilitation in March. In addition to the $12.3 billion for schools contained in Proposition 55, voters in 52 school districts approved $7.9 billion worth of local school bonds. Since 1998, state voters have approved three school bonds worth a combined $34 billion for everything from kindergarten classrooms to university research facilities.