Two Legislators Take Aim at Statewide Planning Laws

By Sabrina Eshaghi : reubenlaw – excerpt

In an apparent backlash against recent housing bills, two California state legislators have introduced a constitutional amendment that would essentially revoke the state’s ability to regulate land use. If approved, this amendment would allow cities to avoid compliance with state laws aimed at increasing housing production, making it more difficult to meet the housing needs of the growing California population.

The measure was introduced by Assemblymember Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) on March 16, 2021 and co-authored by Senator Glazer (D-Contra Costa). This comes after an attempt to get a similar citizen-initiated measure on the ballot, which has not reported any required signatures to the state as of this writing. In order to qualify for the ballot, two-thirds of each legislative chamber will need to approve the constitutional amendment. That amounts to a minimum of 54 votes in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate, assuming no vacancies. The governor’s approval is not required.

The constitutional amendment itself is fairly simple. It states that city or county regulations regarding “zoning or the use of land” prevail over conflicting state laws. Limited exceptions include conflicts with state statutes involving (1) the California Coastal Act, (2) the siting of certain power generating facilities, and (3) water or transportation infrastructure projects. Transportation infrastructure projects do not include transit-oriented development projects. This amendment would apply to both charter cities and general law cities. However, in charter cities, courts would determine whether a local ordinance that conflicts with one of the subject areas listed above addresses a matter of statewide concern or a municipal affair…(more)

California Has Millions of Acre-feet of Water Waiting to Be Built

By Evan Harris : capoliticalreview – excerpt

As part of its May Revise rollout, the Newsom administration announced $5.1 billion for water infrastructure and drought response. While the announcement invests on funding better data collection, continuing the implementation of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, and maintaining current water infrastructure, nothing in Newsom’s proposed funding will solve the real problem facing California: lack of sufficient water supply.

Steven Greenhut, author of the PRI book Winning the Water Wars, talked about Newsom’s proposed water spending on Valley Public Radio recently, saying “a lot of it is about information and conservation, and I’m not against any of these things…but my argument in my writing is we need to promote long-term policies of water abundance that put more water into the state’s giant plumbing system.”…

With millions of acre-feet underfunded and waiting to be built, Newsom and his administration should put the construction of these water projects front in center in his water plan. Anything less threatens the stability of Californians and its delicate water infrastructure.

Evan Harris is the media relations and outreach manager for PRI.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute(more)

Enough has been spent on data gathering. It is past time to act. We don’t need the water in 10 years. We need it today. Somehow, Sacramento has slipped into a time warp where everything is future perfect tense. They forgot how to live in the present, as in RIGHT NOW.

Will San Diego’s High-Speed Rail Survive Slow Urban Growth?

By Joshua Emerson Smith : governing – excerpt

The two hundred miles of high-speed railway rely upon dense urban growth around transit stations to achieve long-term success. But as California and San Diego birth rates and population decline, some worry it’s too costly a risk…(more)

With Bundy Involved, This Won’t End Well…

By Cathy M : dailykos – excerpt

The West is in a bad drought, and all signs point to it getting worse. That has set up a confrontation between farmers in the Klamath Basin of S. Oregon, and the native tribe as well as the wildlife sanctuaries. The decision about water allocation is coming very soon, but already there’s been a “movement” that is ominous:

www.oregonlive.com/…

KLAMATH FALLS — Two farmers with ties to anti-government activist Ammon Bundy have purchased land by a shut-off irrigation canal in Oregon that would normally deliver water to a massive federal irrigation project along the California-Oregon border and have set up a protest encampment there, Jefferson Public Radio reports…

www.dailykos.com/…

In Idaho, for instance, armed-standoff-guru-turned-pandemic-denialist Ammon Bundy filed paperwork to run for governor, in a race already featuring another leading state “Patriot” movement figure…

www.klamathfallsnews.org/…

KWUA Urges a stop to unacceptable behaviors

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath Water Users Association today urged that supporters of agriculture stop intimidating and inappropriate behaviors immediately.

Reports say that names and addresses of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation employees have been published on social media, inviting that anger be directed toward those public servants, and there have been other inappropriate communications. “Stop it,” said KWUA President Ben DuVal. “It is completely out of line. It will hurt Klamath Project agriculture.”…

www.opb.org/…

Twenty years after a shut-off of most irrigation water in the parched Klamath Project brought the competing needs of farmers, fishermen and tribes to a head, a new drought — and a fresh federally-ordered water shut-off — is triggering a sense of déjà vu

www.klamathfallsnews.org/…

Rep. Bentz & Rep. LaMalfa issue $57M proposal to address Klamath Water Crisis [VIDEO]

WASHINGTON, DCToday, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) delivered his first speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was joined by Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) in raising awareness of the catastrophic drought in the American West and supporting immediate relief for those affected by the ongoing crisis in the Klamath Basin through a $57 million aid and relief proposal…(more)

Stop misleading housing bills

By Linda Koelling : smdailyjournal – excerpt

Editor,

If you think that Senate bills 9 and 10 are the answer to the affordable housing needs, I invite you to consider the facts. Housing affordability and homelessness are said to be among the most critical issues facing California cities. The Legislature continues to introduce housing bills that remove local zoning control from cities and evade citizen input.

The results of these bills will create significant, environmental impacts. Where will the funds come from for municipalities’ ability to provide and maintain the additional infrastructure, and public services required for water, schools, sewer treatment, roads, police, fire? Can we expect an increase in taxes to meet the requirements for the additional infrastructure needs? If so, then what is the use of having affordable housing when the cost of living in the area will be too high for anyone to handle. It makes no sense!…

SB 9 AND SB 10 FACTS:

SB 9: Ends single-family zoning;

SB 9: Allows 4-6 units of housing on single-family lots;

SB 9: Allows the splitting of every single-family lot in California;

SB 10: Allows up to 10 units per parcel in any residential area (job-rich, transit-rich) ;

SB 10: Allows local councils to remove any land use initiative without the vote of the people;

SB 9 SB 10: Cause mass removal of our trees;

SB 9 SB 10: Eliminate yards and permeable soil protection;

SB 9 SB 10: No affordable units required;

SB 9 SB 10: No infrastructure upgrades required; and

SB 9 SB 10: No CEQA environmental review required.

Who are our leaders really representing? No on SB 9 and SB 10

Linda Koelling, Foster City

The letter writer is the former mayor of Foster City…(more)

SB9 is the brainchild of Senator Atkins and Senator Winer gets credit for comping up with SB10. Together they will spell the death knell of the single family homes and neighborhoods in our state and make the security of home ownership more difficult for anyone who is not lucky enough to own a home yet. SB10 will remove citizen’s ability to enforce ballot initiatives that their local authorities don’t approve of. And this doesn’t event take into account what the Assembly is cooking up for us.

CEQA Urgency Legislation Reenacts Modified Version of Environmental Leadership Actvernor Certification And Streamlining Benefits

By Miller Starr Regalia : lexology – excerpt

Adds Certain Housing Development Projects As Eligible For Governor Certification And Streamlining Benefits

On May 20, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill No. 7, the “Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 20216” (the “Act”), which repealed and added Chapter 6.5 to Division 13 of the Public Resources Code (sections 21178 through 21189.3). The new Act, which was immediately effective as an “urgency” statute, essentially modifies and reenacts former 2011 legislation that was repealed by its own terms on January 1, 2021. Like the former leadership act, the new legislation authorizes the Governor, until January 1, 2024, to certify certain “environmental leadership development projects” (“leadership projects”) that meet specified requirements for streamlining benefits related to CEQA. (Pub. Resources Code, §§ 21180, 21181.) To qualify for CEQA streamlining benefits under the new Act, the Governor must certify a project as a leadership project before January 1, 2024. (§ 21181.)…(more)

What do we need to add to this. The Governor can certify anything he chooses under the bill. Why bother to add to this?

The Straightforward Way to Make California’s Wildfires Less Deadly

By Alissa Walker : curbed – excerpt

…Stern has two bills about this in the legislature right now. SB-63 would fund fire-prevention efforts in existing communities and train local organizations in statewide standards for home improvements known as “hardening.” SB-55, on the other hand, would do something that’s practically sacrilegious in the land of $20-million megamansions built on spec: It would prohibit new development on the state’s most fire-prone lands. Stern — an environmental lawyer and the first millennial elected to the state legislature — openly acknowledges that passing these bills will be politically difficult. But putting them into practice might be even harder, as it will require financial sacrifice and local cooperation from people who, in many cases, have opted for a more, shall we say, isolationist lifestyle. “There’s truth in that frontier mentality that populated these rural peripheries of our reluctant metropolis — they started with people saying, ‘I’m on my own,’” he says. “But if you live in the middle of the fire zone, that has a cost to it, and my big concern — which is not always shared by the people I represent — is that there’s an inequity to allowing that land use to continue.” In other words, when his constituents’ homes burn in Calabasas, the residents of Compton still end up paying for it in the costs of fire suppression and higher insurance rates…(more)

Where can you guarantee the area will not burn?

Beyond roads and bridges: The push to consider nature as essential ‘infrastructure’

By Tom Molanphy : 48hills – excerpt

In a land of drought and pollution, can environmental harmony be built into Build Back Better?

Last week, millions of baby salmon completed their long journey from the Central Valley by being dumped by the truckload into San Francisco Bay. Due to the impact of California’s ongoing drought on the highly modified Sacramento River, the juveniles could no longer swim from their birthplace to open ocean, so the trucks were called in to help them make their way.

The vehicle-assisted release highlights a crisis that some experts are calling infrastructural.

Oxford defines infrastructure as “the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.” But some Bay Area environmentalists and wildlife professionals hope the Biden Administration’s federal infrastructure proposal offers an opportunity to consider the infrastructure that came before the roads and bridges that the term evokes…

For advocates like McManus who want to preserve natural resources, it’s less of a question of the restoration of infrastructure and more of the restoration of a healthier relationship with our natural resources. In short, “Build Back Better” should include giving Mother Nature a seat at the drafting board.…(more)

Save Mount Diablo Sues Seeno Discovery Builders to Protect Major Ridgeline in Pittsburg

By ECT : eastcountytoday – excerpt

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY— Discovery Builders’ Faria project would damage the major ridgeline between east and central Contra Costa County, threaten views from throughout the region, and impact the new regional park on the Concord side of the ridge.

On March 30, 2021, Save Mount Diablo filed a lawsuit challenging the City of Pittsburg’s approval of the Seeno-owned Discovery Builders’ 1,650-unit Faria project, on the ridgeline between Pittsburg and Concord…(more)

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