Deep in the heart of John Steinbeck country, city folks, rural folks, farmers, businesses and everyone in between are still waging dubious battle over control of Monterey County land. After an 11-year process, a general plan update was unanimously approved by the county's Board of Supervisors on October 26.
If a new generation of transportation advocates and federal officials has their way, California will soon have miles of brand-new rail lines, strategically sited to enliven cities, increase real estate values, and whisk passengers several whole blocks at speeds ofï¿½ nearly 20 miles per hour.
High-speed rail, it's not. But $40 billion, it's not either.
Local voters in the Nov. 2 California election were not necessarily "pro-growth" or "anti-growth" but rather seem to have embraced smart growth like never before. They expressed subtle but clear preferences for preserving open space while accepting compact development. Urban growth boundaries were a big hit, and several infill plans and projects were approved while anything that would have led to encroachment on greenfields or urban fringes was shot down.
A city ordinance effectively banning tattoo parlors oversteps constitutional limits protecting freedom of expression, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
A unanimous three-judge panel struck down a City of Hermosa Beach zoning code prohibiting tattoo parlors because it violated the First Amendment.
Although it may seem that tattoos are the provenance of modern day subcultures such as rock stars and motorcyclists, tattoos have been part of evolving culture around the globe for thousands of years, the court explained. City of Hermosa Beach, however, perceived tattoos' outlaw air and had adopted a zoning ordinance that precluded the operation of tattoo parlors.
Divine purposes do not give developers a free pass to circumvent local zoning regulations.
The Second District Court of Appeal has ruled that Los Angeles County was entitled to a court order that prohibited a church from operating a school without a required conditional user permit.
The Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Church owns two parcels zoned R-1 (single-family residential) in the San Gabriel Valley. In May 2008, the church filed an application for a conditional use permit to operate an 800-student, K-12 school on the property. Four months later, the county received complaints that the school was operating in advance of the issuance of the conditional use permit and without California Environmental Quality Act review.