This is a message to all California cities: Take your hats off to Chula Vista. This city of 210,000 people between San Diego and the Mexican border has adopted a plan for an all-new downtown in the Otay Ranch district that makes most other downtown plans seem tentative and incomplete. Perhaps another California community has the political will to approve something equally forward-looking; for the time being, the Otay Ranch Eastern Urban Center is among the plans that are raising the proverbial bar in city planning.
The distance between California's growing budget problems and California's ambitious environmental protection agenda continues to increase.
The consequences of the state's chronic budget deficit – currently $20 billion per year or more with no end in sight – continue to chew up everything and everybody in its path: local governments, transit agencies, the prison system, welfare recipients, school districts.
California voters could overhaul the state and local tax system, as well as the state budgeting process, in November. Ballot initiatives that would constrict state and local government funding, and, conversely, dramatically increase state and local government revenues are in circulation for signatures.
City of Alameda voters have overwhelmingly rejected a plan to redevelop Alameda Naval Air Station. In a February 2 special election, 85.4% of voters said "no" to Measure B, which would have permitted developer SunCal Companies to move forward with a housing and industrial project on about 1,000 acres of Navy real estate.
Characterized as "the last piece in the puzzle" for Chula Vista bayfront redevelopment, a land swap between the San Diego Unified Port District and developer Pacifica Holdings has been approved by the district and the City of Chula Vista.
A coalition of plastic bag producers avoided, at least for the moment, a major blow to business by using the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to delay implementation of an ordinance banning the distribution of plastic bags in the City of Manhattan Beach.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob has asked the state Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its approval of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission corridor because of its potential to make the unincorporated community of Alpine into "a ghost town" due to years of construction.
A $400 million economic stimulus grant from the federal government for the proposed Transbay Terminal in San Francisco will provide the final piece of financing for construction of the first, $1.2 billion phase of the terminal project. However, federal transportation officials appear to have stepped into the middle of a dispute between local officials and the California High Speed Rail Authority over the precise terminus for high-speed rail in San Francisco by siding with the locals. In addition, one rail authority board member, former judge and state Sen.
Local road and street maintenance needs an additional $71 billion investment over the next 10 years, according to a study prepared by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities. The study identified $99.7 billion worth of maintenance needed to roads, streets and their essential components, such as storm drains, sidewalks and signals. However, only $28.3 billion is expected to be available.