Even as commuters have grown weary of the long drive from the western edge of the Central Valley to the employment centers of the Bay Area, a group of landowners in Brentwood see robust development opportunities. The formerly diminutive Contra Costa County city, now of 51,000, is hotly debating what its next round of expansion will look like.
At issue is the fate of a 740-acre tract of largely undeveloped land, which lies to the west of the county urban limit line that governs Brentwood but is nonetheless already addressed in its general plan. That plan calls for up to 579 homes to be built on the property, which is owned by only five landowners, in the event that the land was annexed by the city. Measure F, however, would expand the urban limit line and in so doing authorize a 20-year development agreement for up to 1,300 homes and 30 acres of commercial development.
Riverside County has gained the dubious distinction of being one of the foreclosure capitals of California, if not the country.
One bright spot, however, has been the unincorporated community of Eastvale, which has grown from an exurb of scattered homesteads a decade ago to a major unincorporated bedroom community of roughly 40,000 residents.
"Eastvale is really leading Riverside County in its ascendance from the recession," said Jeff DeGrandpre, president of the Eastvale Incorporation Committee.
On June 8 Eastvale residents will consider Measure A, a multi-part ballot measure to decide whether the community, located in the northwest corner of the county adjacent to the City of Norco, will become the county's 27th city.
With state and local government revenues shrinking throughout California, planners are increasingly looking to the federal government – and especially transportation funds – to pay for local planning efforts, especially if they involve infill and transit-oriented development efforts. But the two major possible sources of funding – the transportation reauthorization bill and the climate bill – are both stalled with little hope of passage anytime soon.
The climate bill has been caught, at least for the moment, in the crossfire of the immigration debate. So let's get back to that later and focus instead on the bill that ought to have no trouble passing: the transportation reauthorization bill.
In the first-ever appellate court decision regarding the California Environmental Quality Act and climate change, the First District Court of Appeal has held that the future development of a plan for greenhouse gas mitigation constituted improperly deferred mitigation. For that reason and others, the court ruled the environmental impact report for an oil refinery project was invalid.
California's redevelopment agencies are pondering their next step after a court ruling that forced them to give $2.05 billion to the state in early May. The state's redevelopment association plans to appeal the ruling by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ï¿½ but most of them had to write big checks back to their county treasurer on May 10 to comply with the ruling.
The Third District Court of Appeals ruled against the California Redevelopment Association's request for a temporary stay on making a potentially devastating transfer of would-be redevelopment intended to ease the state's $20.7 billion budget deficit. California's redevelopment agencies were forced to hand over a collective $1.7 billion on May 10, with another payment of just over $300 million slated for next year.