In a landmark ruling, the state Supreme Court has made clear that maps recorded prior to 1893 do not create legal, developable lots for today's purposes. And the court at least hinted that maps recorded between 1893 and 1929 might not be valid unless a city or county somehow exercised discretion in approving the map.
The regional housing allocation process should be suspended until it can be reformed, the Legislative Analysts' Office (LAO) has recommended.
"The regional housing planning process is not very effective at ensuring the construction of affordable housing or obtaining compliance with state law," the LAO reported.
An 11,000-unit housing development and 325-acre "employment center" has won approval from the City of Lathrop, in the San Joaquin Valley east of the Bay Area. If built, the project would be the first major urbanization of one of the many flood-prone islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
In its first ruling directly addressing the validity of "antiquated subdivisions," the California Supreme Court has held that maps recorded prior to adoption of the first precursor to the Subdivision Map Act in 1893 do not create legal parcels for today's purposes.
Opponents of a proposed power plant in San Jose have lost an attempt to get their arguments heard in court.
The Third District Court of Appeal ruled that project opponents could not bring a case in Superior Court because the California Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review power plant certification decisions by the state Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission. The fact that the Supreme Court rejected the opponents' lawsuit without reviewing the record did not matter, the Th
The owners of apartment buildings in the City of West Hollywood cannot avoid the city's rent control ordinance by relying on 1980s-era approvals to convert the buildings to condominiums, an appellate court has ruled.
Elisa Barbour, of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in San Francisco, recently published a comprehensive study on regional planning, "Metropolitan Growth Planning in California, 1900-2000."
In her study, Barbour says that California has tried to create stronger metropolitan planning institutions for 100 years. She calls the most recent surge of regionalism the "third wave," after the establishment of home rule, and the rise of single-purpose agencies.
Supposedly we're in an economic downtown, which, if past behavior of local officials in California is any indication, ought to mean that development impact fees are heading south. After all, high fees often become a scapegoat in a down economy, and lowering those fees is often touted as a way to stimulate an economic recovery.
But that is not happening. Throughout California, fees are not going down. They're going up.
More than a decade ago, a state appellate court ruled that developers could hire their own consultants to prepare environmental impact reports required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Now, prompted by events surrounding the controversial Newhall Ranch development in Los Angeles County, a Southern California legislator has launched an effort to outlaw the practice.
An economic downturn that has forced up Bay Area unemployment and office vacancy rates shows little sign of abating. Business leaders, economic development experts and analysts say that righting the greater Bay Area's economic ship will be neither easy nor quick.