The U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision backing the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes is creating a backlash in California that could have significant ramifications for redevelopment. A state constitutional amendment to limit the use of eminent domain has been introduced in Sacramento with both Republicans and conservative Democrats as co-authors. Meanwhile, local redevelopment agencies are having to defend their practices from questioning by board members and the public. >>read more
The latest news from around the state includes a new study of California's water future ... the governor's signing of a Bay Bridge funding bill ... a slow-growth initiative in Santa Paula that has been blocked from the ballot ... San Diego corruption ... and more.
Development activity in San Bernardino County's high desert is as hot as a mid-summer afternoon. With miles of wide-open spaces, the Victor Valley has become an affordable housing relief valve for Southern California. The area's four incorporated cities and half a dozen unincorporated communities will see about 7,500 new housing units this year alone. >>read more
A referendum of a $200 million agreement between the City of Rohnert Park and an Indian tribe planning to build a large casino has been blocked from the ballot. The First District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that the Rohnert Park City Council's approval of the agreement was an administrative act not subject to referendum. >>read more
Not often does a case already decided by the state Court of Appeal return to the same court for an interpretation of who won. However, the Fifth District Court of Appeal has issued a second ruling on a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case from Merced County, making it perfectly clear that environmentalists won and the county lost. >>read more
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted 3-2 to appeal a Superior Court judge's decision upholding stormwater regulations adopted by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. >>read more
Four weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an expansive view of eminent domain by a 5-4 vote, President Bush went on national television to nominate D.C. Circuit Court Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor. O'Connor was in the minority on the eminent domain case, but she has been a key swing vote on many property rights cases. If Roberts is confirmed, will he move the court in a more conservative direction? Or will he maintain the moderate course of O'Connor? >>read more
California appears to be headed slowly away from the carbon age. However, the experience at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area - California's oldest and one of the world's largest wind farms - suggests that the move to renewable energy sources could have consequences. >>read more