A state appellate court has cleared the way for a property owner to challenge an extension of a Morgan Hill growth control ordinance. The court ruled that the 10-year extension of an ordinance that was scheduled to sunset in 2010 could be contested even if the ordinance was unchanged from the original.
Pressure is rising to "solve" the problems plaguing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and there are indications that state officials may start making difficult choices during 2009.
The Governor's Delta Vision Committee issued a report in January that contains an ambitious schedule for setting policy and beginning on-the-ground improvements to the plumbing system and environment. Only a few days after the Delta Vision Committee report came out, The Nature Conservancy became the first large environmental organization to endorse a peripheral canal (or "isolated conveyance facility"), signaling a potential shift in Delta politics. State lawmakers have begun introducing bills that would implement the Delta Vision report, create a Delta Conservancy, and establish a new governance structure.
Initially, the Uptown Oakland plan may not seem that exciting. But look closely, and you'll see heavy use of pleasant courtyard housing, the promise of better street life and close proximity to two BART stations.
The City of Bell's plan to purchase property from the federal government and lease it to a railroad for use as a truck yard has been stalled and possibly killed by an environmental justice organization's successful California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit. The litigation has also raised questions about $35 million in bonds that the city issued in 2007 to fund property acquisition and improvements.
The City of Concord has chosen a preferred alternative plan for reuse of the shuttered Concord Naval Weapon Station that emphasizes transit-oriented development and job growth while designating 65% of the 5,000-acre site for open space and parks.
In this month's roundup of land use news: Another LNG terminal development has been scrapped; About 60 City of Industry voters have approved $500 million in bonds for infrastructure; A proposed private university and housing development is the subject of two CEQA suits; the lead developer of a controversial San Pedro infill project has been replaced; Former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra has a new economic development position in the Schwarzenegger administration; Madera County has gotten slammed with lawsuits over proposed large-scale housing developments.
A decision by the Coastal Commission not to intervene in a dispute between Malibu property owners was upheld by the Second District Court of Appeal. The court affirmed the Commission's refusal to conduct a hearing on a proposed beachfront house that was approved by the City of Malibu but opposed by the next door neighbors. The court also found that a State Lands Commission failure to investigate the project's potential impact on public tidelands was not enough to disturb the city's approval.
The Coastal Commission has no jurisdiction over a fence at the base of a coastal bluff in Torrance because a 1988 boundary agreement among state entities and landowners authorized the fence, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled.
In the latest installment in a feud between neighboring Big Sur property owners, the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled that the Coastal Commission did not make the proper findings for approving a house in an environmentally sensitive area.
After 76 years afloat, the RMS Queen Mary surely still draws stares from the cargo ship crews that call at the Port of Long Beach, where the Queen remains one of Southern California's more incongruous tourist attractions. Having sailed the North Atlantic under the Cunard flag, the ship has, since 1968, served simultaneously as a hotel, museum, event venue, and elegant icon for an otherwise working-class Southern California port city.