A square mile of Central Valley farmland moved closer to development with the defeat, on procedural grounds, of a CEQA and reorganization challenge to the annexation of 960 acres by the City of Ceres under its West Landing Specific Plan.
Government Code Section 65589.5(j) which, among other provisions, requires a city or county to adopt findings justifying the denial or density reduction in circumstances in which the project complies with "applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, including design review standards." This code section was added in an effort to tighten down the discretion exercised by local officials when acting on a housing project application. It is codified as part of the Housing Accountability Act.
A program intended to preserve farmland, adopted pursuant to the county's general plan, has been upheld as reasonably related to adverse impacts of residential development on agricultural land by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In addition, the unanimous three-judge appellate panel ruled the program is not in conflict with a state law prohibiting a local agency from conditioning the issuance of land use approvals on the granting of conservation easements.
It has taken 25 years, but various government and private investments have turned downtown Modesto into a center for the arts, entertainment and dining. Still, there is a long way to go before downtown is completely "back" from the dead.
Stanislaus County supervisors and developers have beaten farmland preservation advocates to the punch. Supervisors adopted a developer-written growth plan for the unincorporated community of Salida six months before voters are scheduled to decide on a slow growth/farmland protection initiative that actually was written first.
An appellate court has overturned an award of $33,000 to an irrigation district for the preparation of the administrative record in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case. The court found that the district's request for more than $8 per page for preparing the record was out of line with other CEQA cases, that the record included documents prepared after the administrative process concluded, and that the district did not justify the expense. >>read more