of the California HCD's management of federal funds classified under COVID-19 assistance, State Auditor Elaine M. Howle determined that the Emergency Solutions Grant program failed to effectively use federal funding to address the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the state's unhoused population. The ESG program received $316 million from the federal government to help those who were at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness, but the audit found that the HCD was too slow to provide access to the funding to Continuum of Care entities, which aid in homeless services. According to the audit, the HCD also failed by not hiring a contractor who would manage and monitor ESG-funded activities, so direction and organization were lacking, leaving the unhoused population and those at risk to homelessness even more vulnerable.
developers to produce pro-formas in order to justify concessions related to density bonuses, according to a recent appellate court ruling. The case dealt with changes to stater law in 2008. Prior to 2008, the City of Los Angeles had adopted an ordinance requiring developers to provide pro-formas explaining how concessions would make their projects “pencil”. But the court concluded that this requirement was deleted from state law in 2008. Neighbors opposed to the project subsequently sued, saying the pro-forma analysis provided by the developer under the city’s ordinance was inadequate. But the Second District Court of Appeal disagreed, concluding the burden of proof for financial feasibility is on the city and not the developer.
Quick Hits & Updates
The House of Representatives passed
Representative Salud Carbajal's Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act designed to make public lands, including the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument, more accessible to local communities. Carbajal noted that this policy, which is part of the "must-pass" National Defense Authorization Act, would be very impactful in terms of climate change, access to the outdoors, the economy, and plant and wildlife protection and could permanently ban
development on 288,000 acres of land on the Central Coast.
The Los Angeles City Planning Commission has amended and approved
its draft DTLA 2040 plan to house over 175,000 new residents and generate 100,000 new jobs in just 1 percent of Los Angeles' total land area. The plan to rezone the city's Downtown center, eliminate parking requirements, and streamline design standards will now head to City Council for review.
The Trust for Public Land, a San Francisco environmental group, purchased
the 540-acre Nyland Property ranch for $4.4 million to prevent the area from becoming a luxury development and protect San Juan Bautista's rustic scenery. The ranch is composed of oak-studded grasslands, wetlands, and seasonal streams and is situated along 1.5 miles of Highway 156 in San Benito County.
A federal appeals court reversed
a decision made by Judge David O. Carter's that ordered Los Angeles to offer housing to Skid Row's entire unhoused population by October. The three judges ruled that Carter did not follow basic legal requirements when making his decision because he based it on racial discrimination, but the claims made by the LA Alliance for Human Rights were not race-based.
Thousands of UC students are struggling to find housing due to rising off-campus costs and limited availability for on-campus housing, according to a Mercury News analysis
. The difficulties are due to limited density in off-campus housing for social distancing, and there are few additional on-campus rooms available for students who cannot afford off-campus housing.
Amazon is planning
to open several 30,000 square-foot retail stores throughout California and Ohio, putting more traditional department stores on edge. Their stores would be smaller than most department stores, which Amazon believes will attract more customers
While Simi Valley City Council in 2019 rejected a proposal for a 108-unit assisted-living facility and suggested that it would harm single- and multi-family neighborhood character, the council approved
the proposal, declaring that it had no option based on a judge's ruling. The site would include 68 assisted-living units and 40 memory-care units in addition to a gym, a communal dining room and kitchen, a lounge area, and a hair salon.
While heatwaves and drought have drained water levels in Lake Tahoe over the past few years, water levels are expected to rise
exponentially, according to a study from environmental scientists at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. The influx of water could put several towns in the Lake Tahoe area at risk of severe flooding.
Zoning and investment in Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade may undergo a significant transformation
to allow for housing and hotel development along the stretch. Part of the Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan also includes expanding outdoor dining on sidewalks and rooftops as well as a "town square" for large gatherings in order to bring more sales tax revenue to the city lost during the pandemic.
Fix the City, Inc. filed
an unsuccessful lawsuit that maintained that two Los Angeles housing projects fail to meet requirements under Measure JJJ, which includes Transit Oriented Community Guidelines. The court rejected all of the group's claims, stating that the proposals meet all four requirements for TOC incentive eligibility.
Emile Haddad, CEO of developer Five Point, developer of several large-scale developments statewide, will step down
from his position at the end of the month and take a senior adviser role while remaining on the board as chairman emeritus. Stuart Miller and Lynn Jochim will take over on the management team, while Haddad hopes to focus on growing public interest projects and confronting the housing crisis.
Mountain View City council unanimously approved
a plan to transform a parking lot near the City Hall building into 120 affordable apartments as well as a ground-floor retail and community space intended to promote pedestrian attraction. Alta Housing plans to set 20 units aside for residents facing homelessness, another 20 for those making up to 30% of the area's median income, and 40 for those making between 30% and 50%.
San Bernardino is moving forward with the redevelopment of its boarded-up and closed Carousel Mall
after entering an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with the developer, Renaissance Downtowns USA and ICO Real Estate Group. Moving forward, the city and developer will begin negotiating and determining their terms and conditions for the 43-acre site's sale and development.