News from around the state includes a ruling against opponents of a new community planned next to the University of California, Merced, campus; a jury's award of $89 million to Southern California developer Rick Caruso; final approval of a multiple-species habitat conservation plan for the Coachella Valley; and redevelopment accounting discrepancies found by the state controller's office.
With about half of the cities and counties in California facing a June 30, 2008, deadline to file updated housing elements, the often-controversial policy of inclusionary zoning is receiving renewed interest. Already, one-third of cities and counties have inclusionary zoning policies, and now other local governments — including Los Angeles, San Jose and Oakland — are considering the idea.
San Diego County's adult business ordinance has mostly survived two federal court challenges. In separate rulings, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the ordinance's zoning provisions pass constitutional muster.
The state Supreme Court and the Third District Court of Appeal appear to be feuding over a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case concerning the water analysis for a 20,000-housing unit project in Rancho Cordova.
Nearing the 20th anniversary of its incorporation, the high desert city of Hesperia is simultaneously confronting its past and future. The city continues to install infrastructure that was never provided in the first place and is working on a plan to create what would be the first real downtown in a city of 86,000 people. At the same time, Hesperia is considering plans from two developers that would open up a whole new part of town for growth and potentially increase the city's population by two-thirds.
Development of a home improvement store and realignment of an adjacent road in Sonora constituted one project, and the combined activities should have been subject to a single environmental analysis, the Fifth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
Environmental groups and land trusts have completed four major land acquisitions in four different parts of the state. To varying degrees, the acquisitions were intended to prevent development and preserve or enhance natural resources. The acquisitions occured in Sonoma, Placer, Tehama and San Diego counties.