A proposal to expand the authority of the Delta Protection Commission and alter its membership is setting up a classic local-versus-state confrontation. Some state officials say greater oversight of land use decisions is needed to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta's natural resources and farms, while locals say the state is trying to intrude on local control.
A bill concerning development under military airspace continues to evolve in the state Legislature. The bill would require local governments to notify the military of proposed development projects, general plan amendments or plan updates when the property in question lies beneath a low-level flight path or adjacent to a military base. >>read more
As you drive west from Santa Barbara along the Pacific Coast, fighting your way through the commuter congestion of Goleta and the scrum of caffeine-addled students buzzing around the University of California campus, you quickly leave suburbia behind. Almost without warning, Highway 101 deposits you in a corner of California that time seems to have overlooked. >>read more
A state appellate court has gutted a City of Lodi ordinance governing cleanup of hazardous materials. The court ruled that the city ordinance exceeded the authority provided to local governments by the state's Hazardous Substance Account Act (HSAA). >>read more
In its ongoing legal battle over local government fees and assessments, homebuilder Barratt American has lost one round and won one round - and has seen the state Supreme Court accept for review a case where the homebuilder was victorious at the appellate court level.
There is a hole in downtown Livermore where a downtown should be. Knowing this and seeing a rare opportunity to create a new downtown out of whole cloth, the city opted for a pleasant, small-town downtown with nice old buildings intermixed with some new ones, residential neighborhoods within walking distance, some retail, new pocket parks, and professional offices, all under the shady canopy of newly planted street trees. Basically, what Livermore wants is what nearly every California city has opted for. >>read more
According to the state Department of Finance, California had 532,000 more residents at the end of 2003 than it had at the beginning. This has been going on for quite a while in California. What is changing is where and how people live. In some parts of the state, we are seeing a return to old suburban patterns. Yet in other ways, we are seeing a continuing transformation of California into an urban society. >>read more
Two bills that would alter the housing element process are speeding through the Legislature. The bills address the regional housing needs allocation process, land inventories, and by-right development. Neither piece of legislation, however, tackles the sticky issues of enforcement and production. >>read more
Like most cities in western Riverside County, Lake Elsinore is very receptive to growth. The city's population has nearly quadrupled in 20 years to about 35,000, with many of the newcomers drawn by inexpensive homes. However, development of a largely empty part of town - 3,000 acres known as the "back basin" - has been the subject of failed plans, litigation and sensitive politics for 15 years. >>read more
In 1999, the landowners of the Broadview Water District (BWD) in the grasslands of western Fresno County collectively decided that it might be in their best interest to quit farming their land. Five years later, they appear on the verge of closing a deal to sell their land and water supply in an unprecedented deal. >>read more