Since SB9 and SB10 passed and were signed into law by Governor Newsom, the only chance we have to save these urban forests and the most important canopies in our cities that cool the planet is to get the enough signatures to put the State Ballot Initiative for a State Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot to revers the state bills overriding local control of land use and zoning. See the details here: https://ourneighborhoodvoices.com/
By Andrea S. Warren, Kathleen A. Hill : Alston and Bird : alston – excerpt
(Includes a downloadable pdf)
Los Angeles Department of City Planning – New City Planning Application Fees Take Effect on December 27, 2021…
California Environmental Quality Act & Land Use Cases:…
Farmland Protection Alliance v. County of Yolo (3rd App. Dist., November 2021)…
Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods v. Regents of University of California (1st App. Dist., October 2021)…
McCann v. City of San Diego (4th App. Dist., October 2021)…
Protect Tustin Ranch v. City of Tustin (4th App. Dist., September 2021)…
California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund v. City of San Mateo (1st App. Dist., September 2021)…
Saratoga is one of the 6 communities in Santa Clara County with zones designated as Very High Fire Hazard Severity by CAL FIRE. This page describes the City’s efforts to plan for and prevent wildfires.
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area of Saratoga is at the greatest risk for wildfire. The WUI covers roughly half the City, covering the western hillsides of Saratoga. This part of the City is subject to special regulations and requirements due to the fire risk. The City works closely with Santa Clara County Fire Department and the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council to help provide information and resources to property owners in the WUI.
Wildfire Risk Mitigation Policies
Given the potential for wildfire in Saratoga, the City has worked to identify fire-related hazards in the City of Saratoga and measures to mitigate these potential risks.
- City of Saratoga Safety Element (adopted February 20, 2013)
The Safety Element helps guide development in the City of Saratoga in a manner that effectively addresses potential hazards, including wildfire, and includes strategies for reducing risks associated with specific hazards.
- Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) (adopted August 1, 2018)
The CWPP identifies specific wildfire risks in the City of Saratoga and strategies for minimizing those dangers. Since Saratoga is served by two separate fire protection agencies that operate independently of the City, the CWPP calls for a collaborative that includes Santa Clara County Fire, the Saratoga Fire Protection District, other local fire agencies, the City, the County, and other local government organizations, and local non-profit partners… (more)
By Ashley Werner, Special to CalMatters
For generations, public agencies have directed highways, landfills, meat processing plants, warehouses and other polluting facilities to South Fresno neighborhoods, an area of the San Joaquin Valley that is predominantly populated by lower income households and people of color.
This activity has turned South Fresno into one of the most environmentally burdened neighborhoods in the state. Every day, thousands of trucks rumble past homes and schools. Domestic wells have run dry as warehouse landscaping springs up around them.
2020’s devastating hardships brought important truths about the enduring legacy of structural racism and inequity in California to the forefront of public awareness. Some recognized for the first time that many communities suffer from a lack of access to clean air, reliable drinking water, quality housing, safe parks and other basic amenities due to this legacy.
It does not need to be this way...(more)
Kirk Siegler : npr – excerpt (excerpt) includes audio track and transcript
The first-ever shortage declaration on the Colorado River forces arid Western states to re-examine their relationship with resources many take for granted, drinking water and cheap hydroelectricity.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
For the first time ever, the U.S. government declared a shortage on the Colorado River last week. That means states like Arizona that rely on the river for their water supply are seeing big cutbacks as a punishing drought continues in the west. The Colorado River and its tributaries are a lifeline to some 40 million people in multiple states, including in California, who rely on it for drinking water. The river also irrigates countless farms and generates lots of cheap hydropower. So a shortage on the Colorado is a big deal, and we wanted to hear more about that. We asked NPR’s Kirk Siegler to talk us through it. He covers the West and has been reporting on the Colorado River for years…(more)
by Greg Magofña : CaRLA – excerpt
An absurd ruling in our Huntington Beach Lawsuit
We are simultaneously disappointed in and surprised by a trial judge’s ruling last week to deny 48 units of desperately needed and zoning-compliant housing in Huntington Beach on the grounds that the project is not protected by the Housing Accountability Act. This ruling flies in the face of court precedent elsewhere in the state and is a blow to housing, potential tenants, and the Housing Accountability Act that was created specifically to prevent spurious disapprovals of housing such as this. It is a complete misinterpretation and misapplication of a statute intended as much as possible to facilitate the approval of housing developments.
This ruling simply cannot stand. However, before we appeal in court, we must appeal to pro-housing supporters everywhere. Your financial support is needed now, more than ever…
We are also gearing up for the appeal of San Mateo’s illegal denial of zoning-compliant housing where the ruling was so bad, California’s Attorney General Xavier Bercera had to intervene on behalf of California housing laws, and we need your help! …(more)
California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund frustrated by loss.
The EPA has a list of known toxic sites based on historical use . This is a good place to start investigating the condition and mitigation measures suggested for those site prior to development on them.
Below are the data resources that provide information regarding the facilities or sites identified as meeting the “Cortese List” requirements.
- List of Hazardous Waste and Substances sites from Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) EnviroStor database
- List of Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites from the State Water Board’s GeoTracker database
- List of solid waste disposal sites identified by Water Board with waste constituents above hazardous waste levels outside the waste management unit (PDF).
- List of “active” CDO and CAO from Water Board (MS Excel, 1,453 KB).
- PLEASE NOTE: This list contains many Cease and Desist Orders and Cleanup and Abatement Orders that do NOT concern the discharge of wastes that are hazardous materials. Many of the listed orders concern, as examples, discharges of domestic sewage, food processing wastes, or sediment that do not contain hazardous materials, but the Water Boards’ database does not distinguish between these types of orders. If there is a question about whether a specific order concerns the discharge of wastes that are hazardous materials, please contact the applicable Regional Water Board.
- List of hazardous waste facilities subject to corrective action pursuant to Section 25187.5 of the Health and Safety Code, identified by DTSC.
For more information regarding the “Cortese List” statute, go to Background and History.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Judicial Council on April 6, 2020, introduced amendments to the California Rules of Court, which are effective immediately and impact a broad suite of criminal and civil judicial proceedings. With respect to civil complaints, for example, California Judicial Council Emergency Rule 9 tolls the statutes of limitations for civil causes of action “from April 6, 2020, until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.”
Emergency Rule 9 does not differentiate between the full “lifting” of the state of emergency and any interim steps that California Gov. Gavin Newsom may take, such as allowing more people to return to work. Because Emergency Rule 9 does not start a 90-day statute of limitations until the Governor “lifts” the state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 crisis, statutes of limitations in civil actions do not commence for the foreseeable future – and won’t end until 90 days thereafter.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), unlike many civil lawsuits such as contract and property disputes, statutorily prescribes much shorter statutes of limitations. Lawsuits challenging projects approved with a Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report must be filed within 30 days of the filing of the required notice, and lawsuits challenging categorical exemptions must be challenged in 35 days. (Cal. Pub. Res. Code Section 21167.)
A CEQA lawsuit is a petition for writ of mandate as opposed to a standard civil complaint. The emergency rule applies to “civil causes of action,” which are distinct from special proceedings such as writs of mandate. See generally Code Civ. Proc. §§ 21-24.
Because Emergency Rule 9 does not address modified rules for writs (including CEQA writs), stakeholders are requesting clarifications from the Judicial Council. Petitioners who assume that Emergency Rule 9 has effectively eliminated the CEQA statute of limitations for the foreseeable future (90 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency) do so at the risk of having such lawsuits deemed barred by CEQA’s statutorily prescribed statute of limitations… (more)
This appears to be different from what other legal opinions have suggested re: statutes of limitation for writ of mandate filings (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 21-24).
By Tiffany Crawford :vancouversun – excerpt
Researchers at the University of B.C. have found a link between living near highways and an increased risk of several major neurological disorders, including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
The study, published this week in Environmental Health, found proximity to major roads may also increase the risk for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s diseases, likely because of exposure to more air pollution such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.
Lead author Weiran Yuchi, and a team of researchers at the UBC school of population and public health, analyzed data for 678,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 84 in Metro Vancouver. The subjects were interviewed from 1994 to 1998, and again during a follow-up period from 1999 to 2003…(more)
And, as some are pointing out, living in close quarters is also unhealthy when it comes to spreading pathogens. Note: The “city” of Wuhan under quarantine has a population of 14 million people. That is big as the state of Ohio and dwarfs US Cities. These are the megalopolis “cities of tomorrow” pushed by the urbanists and world government enthusiasts. I prefer Jefferson’s ideal of independence and self reliance.
Another reason to oppose SB50 and state-ordered dense cities.