United by common complaints against a particularly loud, disruptive neighbor, the residents who live under the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport are a relatively cohesive bunch. The Second District Court of Appeals has ruled, however, that neighborhood cohesion goes only so far.
According to the court's decision in City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (2011), the city's voluntary program by which certain residents who live near the airport can sell their property to the city does not amount to a taking of adjacent properties.
A notable feature of California land use law, when compared to the overall body of civil law, is the relatively short filing period for bringing legal challenges. This constraint came into full view in Haro v. City of Solano Beach, in which the would-be builder of a mixed use development claimed that the city violated the terms of its own housing element.
At the rate things are going, cities in California might not just be broke -- they might become an endangered species. This month, a grand jury recommended that governance of the tiny city of Maricopa be turned over to the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Among the many counterintuitive theories that Jane Jacobs dispensed was that of the evils of parks: if designed and situated poorly, they could turn into vast dead spaces where unsavory characters could congregate and mischief could ensure. She preferred, instead, smaller, more intimate spaces with close connections to their communities.
If Jacobs loved Washington Square Park, then she most likely would have swooned over "parklets."