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
Collectively, ballots that California voters will cast Nov. 2 encompass a representative sample of the usual land use questions that California cities and counties face on a regular basis. Local voters will decide on everything from urban growth boundaries to downtown plans to specific projects. But, however strong local passions may be, the statewide ballot also includes potential whoppers on major issues like redevelopment funding, climate change, and the survival of state parks.
Updated as of November 3 with most current results.
The entire California planning world now seems to revolve around combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Proposition 23 – a long-term suspension of the state's climate-change law – is on the ballot this fall. The proposition is behind at the polls – but if it passes – will that be the end of SB 375, Sustainable Communities Strategies, greenhouse gas emissions analyses in environmental impact reports, and the whole industry that has been built up around climate change planning?
For all of the Legislature's fretting this year, the consensus in Sacramento is that among the state's overwhelming crises, land use ranked as a low priority this past legislative session. The legislative session that ended Aug. 30 included relatively few land use bills and, of those, they were of relatively minor import.
This month's legislative session, which concludes August 31, includes no game changers like SB 375, but it does include a few bills related to land use and redevelopment that bear watching.
Los Angeles Stadium CEQA Exemption
Over 100 organizations have signed on to a statement circulated by the Planning and Conservation League opposing a CEQA exemption for the development of a would-be NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The concerns have arisen in part because of an exemption granted to Majestic Realty in 2009 for its proposed stadium in the City of Industry and because of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's stated desire to grant exemptions to certain projects in the name of economic development.
Legislators in Sacramento are currently considering an assembly bill that, though it originated with the City of Los Angeles in mind, proposes some significant changes in California Redevelopment Law (CRL). AB 2531, sponsored by Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles) is an important step forward for the state economy for a variety of reasons.