Governor Brown Vetoes Flawed AB 890, Signals Preference for More Comprehensive CEQA Reform

Miller Starr Regalia : lexology – excerpt

Fortunately, Governor Brown was receptive to the bill’s many critics, and struck a blow for local land use control, local initiative rights, CEQA reform and commence sense by vetoing it. His short letter to Assembly members, which can be found here, states in pertinent part that “[i]nstead of the piecemeal approach taken in this bill, I prefer a more comprehensive CEQA review, which takes into account both the urgent need for more housing and thoughtful environmental analysis. Hear, hear!…(more)

RELATED:
The Opposite of CEQA Reform: Legally Flawed AB 890 Would Expand Opportunities For CEQA Litigation Abuse While Abridging Constitutional Local Initiative Rights,”
by Arthur F. Coon and Bryan W. Wenter, AICP, posted September 19, 2017.)

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Mass Transit Experience in LA: If You Build it, They Won’t Come!

By Richard Lee Abrams :  citywatchla – ecerpt

et’s look at some facts about mass transit and see whose brain gets the most pain. In particular, consider INTRA-urban fixed mass rail transit. This includes subways, light rail and trolleys within one urban area (which will cover several cities like LA, Beverly Hills, Inglewood, etc.) A train between San Bernardino and Los Angeles, however, would be INTER-Urban. That is also a subject worthy of discussion, but not for this short article.

There are three main things to examine when thinking about INTRA-Urban fixed rail mass transit: Mathematics, Topography (geography), and Finances. (See 1915 Study of Street Traffic Conditions in City of Los Angeles for extensive study of these factors.)…(more)

We are taking no position, just want to share this author’s thoughts.

 

 

Strategic Combination of FivePoint Holdings Creates Largest Developer of Mixed-Use Communities In Coastal California

prnewswire – excerpt

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Four of the most innovative, master-planned communities and their management company are being combined to form FivePoint Holdings, LLC, which is now the largest developer of mixed-use communities in coastal California.

FivePoint will own interests in and manage (1) The San Francisco Shipyard, (2) Candlestick Point in San Francisco, (3) Newhall Ranch in Los Angeles County and (4) Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine all led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emile Haddad. All four communities, located in major urban areas, are planned to provide critically needed housing adjacent to job centers while maintaining the important balance between growth and the preservation of California’s unique quality of life…

Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, formerly held equity positions in each of the four communities and the management company. Under this strategic combination of communities, Lennar has become the largest investor in FivePoint…

ABOUT FIVEPOINT HOLDINGS:

Spanning the state from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area, FivePoint is now the largest owner and developer of mixed-use, master planned communities in coastal California based on the total number of residential homesites permitted under existing entitled zoning. These four existing communities represent major real estate developments in three of the most dynamic and supply-constrained markets along the California coast—Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Francisco County(more)

 

 

 

Redondo Beach, Legado reach settlement over controversial mixed-use project

Westlands dumps Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels

centralvalleybusinesstimes – excerpt

• Farmers’ rejection puts project in question
• Cite costs of tunnels

The Wedtlands Water District board of directors Tuesday afternoon voted not to participate in Gov. Edmund Gerald Brown’s proposed legacy project– twin water tunnels to drain water out of the Sacramento River before it could flow into the California Delta.

Westlands says the cost is too much. The state has estimated the cost at $17 billion, but an independent economist has put the true cost at as much as $67 billion.

Critics have said the costly project would make irrigation water too costly for farmers to make a profit… (more)

SF halts Mission housing development over ‘bulky’ design

By Michael Barba : sfexaminer – excerpt

The “bulky” design of a mostly market-rate housing development slated to span several lots of Mission Street prevented the project from moving forward at the Planning Commission last week.

The development would take advantage of the state density bonus law allowing developers to build denser and taller than typically permitted in exchange for on-site affordable housing.

It would rise eight stories near Mission and 25th streets and bring 75 units of housing to the neighborhood, including eight units rented at below-market-rate prices. The project is also just a block away from the 24th Street BART Station and has spots for bicycles rather than car parking.

But several commissioners were troubled by the size and design of the proposal, which would replace a laundromat and outdoor parking lot on three lots of Mission Street.

“It’s just basically plopping a foreign object into this area and not thinking about its consequences,” said Commissioner Kathrin Moore.

The commission unanimously voted last Thursday to delay a decision on the project until late November, asking the developer to redraw the plans as multiple buildings rather than one… (more)

 

Don’t bend California’s environmental rules for billionaire sports owners or the Olympics

Editorial by The Times Editorial Board : latimes – excerpt

California lawmakers are — again — considering a last-minute bill that would let deep-pocketed developers and favored projects cut corners on the state’s landmark environmental law.

Last week Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) introduced a bill that was pitched as a way to dramatically speed the construction of transit lines and parking lots needed for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028. Bradford’s big idea? Exempting the projects from all the studies and public input required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The primary beneficiaries of Senate Bill 789, however, would be the proposed Clippers arena and other projects in Inglewood’s sports and entertainment district… (more)

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

By : theguardian – excerpt (includes graph)

Tap-Water

Tap water photo by zrants

Exclusive: Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted

We are living on a plastic planet. What does it mean for our health?

Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates…

How microplastics end up in drinking water is for now a mystery, but the atmosphere is one obvious source, with fibres shed by the everyday wear and tear of clothes and carpets. Tumble dryers are another potential source, with almost 80% of US households having dryers that usually vent to the open air…

Current standard water treatment systems do not filter out all of the microplastics, Mahon said: “There is nowhere really where you can say these are being trapped 100%. In terms of fibres, the diameter is 10 microns across and it would be very unusual to find that level of filtration in our drinking water systems.”…(more)

 

Cadiz Stock Soars 31 Percent After Bill to Stop Water Project Fails

By Howard Fine : capoliticalreview – excerpt

Shares of downtown water company Cadiz Inc. soared 31 percent Tuesday on a double dose of good news: a bill aimed at stopping its desert water project failed to clear a Senate committee late Friday, and a federal agency signaled it may allow the proposal to move forward.

The bill, AB 1000, by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, specifically targeted the Cadiz water pumping and transfer project, requiring an additional state agency approval before the project could go forward. It was viewed as a last-ditch attempt by project opponents to block it.

But the bill failed to clear the Senate Appropriations Committee by Friday’s legislative deadline… (more)

In this case the CEQA case was brought by the state against a private party with access to water on private land who wants the right to manage the water resources under its property, and the court ruled against the state.