While the Tea Party movement has been trying to "take back America" on the national stage since the election of Barack Obama, Tea Party activists have also turned their attention to taking back California – and, specifically, Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that seeks to combat climate change by promoting density in the state's metro regions.
Assessments for services traditionally funded by property tax have faced an uphill battle after the passage of Proposition 218, the 1996 voter initiative that requires the local governments and special districts to seek voter approval for any proposed new or increased assessment before it could be levied. That hill has gotten steeper in the wake of a recent decision.
Last week the Nevada Legislature—usually not an entity with much to say on California land use—issued a decision that would make King Solomon blush.
After 31 years as a supposedly equal party in the Bi-State Compact governing the Lake Tahoe basin, Nevada has taken its first steps towards pulling out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and thereby negating the agreement under which the two states have governed and managed Lake Tahoe and the surrounding basin.
Even with the preoccupation over the state budget--and especially the fate of redevelopment--Sacramento lawmakers have managed to advance a typically broad array of bills related to land use.
Several of those bills focus on redevelopment reform, most notably Sen. Alan Lowenthal's SB 450, which seeks to preserve funds for affordable housing, and Sen. Rod Wright's SB 286, aimed at comprehensive reform -- but not elimination -- of the state's redevelopment system. Both bills have the support of the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Association.
When you are hog butcher for the world, you become Chicago. When you make bacon and sausages for Southern California, you face a rather different fate.
Assembly Speaker John Perez introduced last month AB 46, a bill that would take the singular action of forcing the disincorporation of a city that many consider noxious in more ways than one: the Los Angeles County city of Vernon.
For over 100 years Vernon has operated more as an industrial park than a traditional city, and city leaders have vowed to fight -- and even sue -- to maintain cityhood and its distinctive business environment.
As the clock ticks down to an imminent -- but as yet unscheduled -- vote on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, localities and their respective redevelopment agencies have been taking frantic evasive measures to try to shield funds and properties from liquidation and transfer to the state.
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget will do more than merely plug a $24 billion deficit. According to some, it will also lead to shuttered factories, recidivism among ex-convicts, and the flight of companies and jobs to rival states such as Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. Faltering clothing manufacturer American Apparel could be pushed closer to the brink of bankruptcy.
At least if Brown's proposal to do away with Enterprise Zones is adopted along with the proposed elimination of the redevelopment program.
One of the country's leading experts on land use law, attorney and UCLA professor Robert Freilich has tried cases and designed plans in hundreds of cities and witnessed the legal and conceptual evolution of planning. In 1999 he co-authored From Sprawl to Smart Growth: Successful Legal, Planning and Environmental Systems, which heralded the mainstreaming of the smart growth movement. >>read more