In this month's roundup of land use news: Stockton agrees to numerous climate change considerations; Merced County approves a 16,000-unit specific plan; the California Planning Roundtable reconsiders jobs-housing balance; downtown L.A. courthouse costs skyrocket.
In combination with the housing market crash, a water shortage has brought construction nearly to a halt in the Antelope Valley. Even if the market were to bounce back in the next year or two, it's unclear that water providers could serve a substantial number of new homes and businesses.
Construction activity may have declined dramatically, but the number of ballot measures seeking to slow or guide growth remains high. Voters across California will face close to 50 growth-related local ballot measures in November.
It's not unusual for the number of slow-growth measures to increase at the end of a real estate boom. Construction often continues and the real estate market dies, and slow-growth measures are often a reaction to construction rather than the market. In other words, slow-growth ballot measures are a lagging economic indicator of the real estate market. This November's total is down from the 78 measures on the November 2006 ballot, partly because California had two primaries this year.
Barack Obama and John McCain are both selling themselves to the American people as reformers. And neither was raised in a conventional American city or suburb. So you'd think that they would have unconventional ideas about how to deal with growth, planning, and development issues.
The state budget signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in late September shifts $350 million from redevelopment agencies to schools, and it provides no funding at all for transit projects contained in the State Transportation Improvement Program. Still, the sentiment among many local government officials was that the budget could have been far worse.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals continued to flesh out its property rights jurisprudence with a decision from Spokane, Washington — this time by siding with property owners seeking to protect their own rights by enforcing historic preservation regulations.
Members of the public may sue to defend the public trust resource of wildlife, but the suit must be filed against public agencies responsible for protecting the wildlife, according to the First District Court of Appeal.
The Environmental Protection Agency has until December 1, 2009, to promulgate standards for runoff from construction sites. The deadline is contained in a 2006 federal district court ruling that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld.
A property owner challenging the constitutionality of an inclusionary housing ordinance may not employ the nexus and rough proportionality tests from the Nollan and Dolan cases, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
Faced with the potential demise of a highly anticipated 430-acre commercial and residential project, the City of Marina has added more than $80 million worth of subsidies and incentives to a deal with developers. In the recently approved deal, the city also reduced the developer's workforce housing obligations and agreed to cover half of water connection fees.