Faced with growing demand for student housing, University of California, Santa Cruz, has agreed to lease the Santa Cruz Holiday Inn for 10 years for about $19.5 million. During the past three years, UCSC has leased a small portion of the hotel for student housing. But starting later this year, the 170-room hotel will be turned over completely to students, faculty and campus visitors. About 250 students will live at the hotel, which is three miles from campus. Santa Cruz city officials are angry about the deal because it will cost the city about $500,000 a year in transit occupancy tax. The Holiday Inn is one of only two large hotels in town. Cities and counties in the Inland Empire have sued the state Department of Housing and Community Development and the Southern California Association of Governments over fair-share housing targets. Filing the suit were the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, and the cities of Moreno Valley, Hemet, Victorville and Chino. Those jurisdictions argue that they are being forced to accommodate more than their share of the region's housing need (see CP&DR, February 2001). The City of Oxnard has also sued SCAG over its method of allocating low- and very low-income units. Under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment adopted by SCAG late last year, Oxnard must provide 1,211 low- and very low-income units out of a total of 3,074 new homes. A San Diego councilwoman with ties to the owner of the San Diego Padres has resigned and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for violating the California Political Reform Act. San Diego County Superior Court Judge Wayne Peterson accepted the plea agreement between Valerie Stallings and federal prosecutors. Stallings pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally failing to disclose gifts from the Padres and team owner John Moores, and one count of intentionally failing to disqualify herself from City Council votes on a new stadium for the Padres and related downtown development projects. The gifts included airplane tickets for Stallings' family to visit her in Kansas during cancer treatment, use of Moores' house in Carmel, and various Padres souvenirs. The FBI began investigating Stallings over what appeared to be a sweetheart stock deal involving Stallings and a Moores-owned company. But the FBI found no evidence of insider trading, and Stallings did report her $11,000 stock profit in disclosure forms. State parks officials announced in February that they were dropping plans for development of a luxury resort at Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County. Officials said public protest over the project was simply overwhelming. The state parks department in 1997 signed a lease with a developer to convert 46 1920's-vintage cottages into expensive, hotel-style cabins. But environmentalists, historic preservation advocates and supporters of public beach access fought the proposal vigorously. The state will now need to buy back the lease it signed with developer Michael Freed. Money for that and an overhaul of the cottages might come from the Coastal Conservancy. The state in February also served eviction notices on tenants of the cottages, some of whom have lived there for decades. The state has tried, but failed, to evict the tenants off and on since the late 1970s, in part because of a failing septic system. Opponents of a proposed Indian casino at the site of a cardroom in the Bay Area city of San Pablo are lobbying Gov. Davis to halt the project. Legislation carried by Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) allows the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to add the 10-acre cardroom site along Interstate-80 to their reservation. The Lytton Band, which is based 70 miles away in Sonoma County, is negotiating with the governor's office in hopes of bringing full-scale gambling to the Bay Area. Owners of existing cardrooms and a number of local government officials are hoping to block the casino. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a six-month ban on construction of live-work lofts in mid-February. The moratorium, approved 9-1, halts conversions that have been changing the nature of several working-class neighborhoods and displacing lower-income families. Supervisors said they would work with community activists on ways to encourage development of new housing for low- and middle-income families. Supervisors also extended an existing jobs-housing linkage fee to developers of large hotels, retail projects, entertainment centers, and some research and development projects. Officebuilders in San Francisco have paid the affordable housing fee for years. The battle over the Redlands Doughnut Hole appears to have ended. Both the Redlands City Council and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted to approved a settlement agreement. Majestic Reality fought with the city for years for the right to develop a 125-acre retail center on a portion of the 1,200-acre unincorporated island, but Majestic and the city could never reach agreement. Last year, the state Legislature approved a bill that essentially gave the county the right to approve development at the site. Under the agreement, the city will drop objections to the Majestic development, and the county and Majestic will end their challenge to a large commercial project the city approved in December. Two members of the Redlands City Council voiced strong objections to the agreement, calling it "disastrous." Opposition to construction of apartments resulted in voters in Fontana's Hunter's Ridge district overwhelmingly approving modifications to a Mello-Roos special tax district. In mail-only balloting that concluded in late-January, residents voted 1,191 to 19 in favor of Measure T. The refinancing divides $3 million in Mello-Roos bond payments among future residents of a subdivision, rather than requiring the builder of apartments to pay the money up front. The vote also allows the city's rezoning of a 23-acre parcel to go forward, permitting development of 142 single-family homes. Hunter's Ridge residents fought an earlier proposal, envisioned in the original Mello-Roos bond financing, to construct 390 apartments on the site. Residents said the apartments would reduce property values and increase crime. The City Council in the far-eastern Contra Costa County community of Brentwood approved a 45-day moratorium on housing construction in one area of town. Planners sought the moratorium, which could be extended for up to a year, to allow time to complete a study that should determine whether the fast-growing city has adequate land zoned for a jobs-housing balance. Correction. Southern California Association of Governments Principle Planner Joe Carreras was misquoted in the February edition. In arguing for a lower housing target for the region, Carreras said that the federal census found 600,000 fewer Californians than the state Department of Finance had estimated.