Many people in the planning and development community are saying good riddance to 2009. It was a year marked by extreme financial distress for government agencies and private industry. If 2008 was a year to "do more with less," then 2009 was a year to "do less with even less" -- a year simply to hunker down and try to endure.
A state appellate court has thrown out an Inyo County general plan amendment that the county argued was nothing more than a clarification of a longstanding policy.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, concluded that the amendment was more than a mere clarification and that the county should have completed an environmental impact report before approving the amendment.
The environmental impact report for a water transfer from a Kern County irrigation district to an urban water supplier in the Santa Clarita Valley has been upheld by the Second District Court of Appeal.
The unanimous three-judge panel overturned a trial court judge,who had struck down the EIR because it did not adequately address a State Water Project framework and ongoing environmental review. The Second District ruled that the EIR did address the State Water Project issues and said the water transfer is a separate matter anyway.
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research released updates of two reference documents in December – the 2010 edition of "Planning, Zoning and Development Laws," and the 2010 version of the "Planners' Book of Lists."
About 475,000 residents, major sea ports and airports, thousands of miles of roads and rail lines, power plants and wastewater treatment facilities are at risk of flooding due to sea level rise, according to a new report from the State Lands Commission.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has postponed until January a decision on a new town proposal that has drawn significant opposition from hunters, bird watchers and environmentalists because of the 2,800-acre project site's close proximity to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area.
Lewis Group of Companies' proposal is called Villages of Lakeview. It would contain 11,500 housing units, a shopping center, offices, a number of community facilities and 32 miles of bike lanes, trails and paseos. About half of the site would be used for parks or preserved as open space.
The second and final phase of the Playa Vista development near Playa del Rey appears headed toward approval in early 2010, as the Los Angeles Planning Commission recommended approval of the project earlier this month.
The proposed Merriam Mountains housing development in North San Diego County suffered a setback in December when the Board of Supervisors split 2-2 on the project. The tie vote equates to rejection of the project; however, supervisors within 30 days may call for a new hearing, and reconsideration appears likely.
The largest wind energy project ever in California won unanimous approval from the Kern County Board of Supervisors in mid-December.
Alta Windpower Development plans to erect up to 320 wind turbines on a 9,100-acre site between the cities of Tehachapi and Mojave. The extremely tall (more than 200 feet) and efficient machines will generate 1.5 to 3 megawatts of energy apiece for a total of about 800 megawatts – which is more than most gas-fired power plants in California generate.