Mathematicians often take delight in Cat's Cradle, the age-old game of making string figures on one's fingers. In the most familiar form of this game, one person starts out with a simple rectangle of yarn or string, and then makes a simple figure by looping different parts of the yarn around his or her fingers. This figure is then passed to the fingers of a second player, who introduces another layer of complexity into the figure before passing the increasingly complex string figure to a third player. And so on, until the figure becomes so complex that it becomes impossible to go further, at least with a two-foot length of yarn.
Two recent court decisions have helped clear the way for the largest water transfer ever contemplated in the United States: 300,000 acre-feet of water from the Imperial Irrigation District to San Diego, Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley.
The saga of plan check and building inspection fees in Orange County continues, as an appellate court has ruled that the county must reduce fees by $4.5 million and pay nearly $1.4 million in attorney fees and court costs.
The owner of two parcels that the City of Berkeley wants to merge may not avoid the merger with a paper transfer of title to his wife, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled. However, the court stopped short of canceling the grant deed, ruling only that the city may be entitled to an injunction prohibiting further transfer of the property title.
The ABAG executive board approves the draft regional housing need allocation, meanwhile, San Francisco questions whether to conduct an EIR for its previous housing element update. San Diego's Mayor vetoes an ordinance that would ban big-box stores that sell groceries, while a disputed Wal-Mart supercenter in the City of American Canyon will open this fall. Placer County supervisors have approved a 14,000-unit housing development but litigation is likely, a judge throws out Rancho Cordova's approved town center plan, and the City of Bakersfield responds to a "moratorium on future development within metropolitan Bakersfield."
A bill tying all local transportation projects to a regional "preferred growth scenario" that reduces automobile travel is quickly becoming the most important land use proposal of recent years in Sacramento.
San Francisco's practice of using building permit fees to fund long-range planning has been upheld by the First District Court of Appeal. The court rejected arguments that the fee plan violated Proposition 13 and the city charter. Instead, the court ruled that long-range planning is sufficiently related to the regulation of building construction to justify the spending.