State lawmakers wrapped up the first year of their two-year session without taking action on numerous bills regarding land use planning, development and natural resources. But some of the legislation could receive consideration before the end of the month because lawmakers are likely to return for special sessions called by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
The Legislature passed bills that would require fire safety to be a larger factor in land use planning, allow farmworker housing to be built on agricultural land and give local government the authority to limit the conversion of mobile home parks to resident-owned condominiums. Schwarzenegger has until October 11 to sign or veto the bills.
News from around the state: Sonoma County drops plans to take more water from the Russian River, angering cities; CSU Monterey Bay agrees to mitigate some of its off-campus impacts; Lake County may get a fourth Indian casino.
With the election of President Obama and the emergence of a Democratic majority in Congress, it appears that the federal government may soon pass sweeping legislation to address greenhouse gas emissions. Based on a preponderance of research linking greenhouse gas emissions to urban sprawl and reliance on automobiles, a national program may usher in the next great trend in urban planning. If so, California may find itself well ahead of its fellow states.
Jonathan London is the director of the Center for Regional Change and an assistant professor in the University of California, Davis, Department of Human and Community Development. The center's profile has risen substantially while it takes on a number of academic, public policy and civic-oriented projects in the Sacramento region and the San Joaquin Valley. He spoke with CP&DR Editor Paul Shigley about the work of the Center for Regional Change. >>read more
A project that had become a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lightning rod has apparently died. Nestlé Waters North America notified the McCloud Community Services District that it is dropping plans to convert a closed lumber mill in Siskiyou County into a water-bottling plant because it is building the facility in Sacramento instead.
A Kern County voter initiative prohibiting the disposal of sewage sludge on fields in the county has new life. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal District Court judge's ruling that the initiative violated the United States constitution's commerce clause.