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.
San Ramon City Center is an ambitious, 39-acre mixed-use project in the Contra Costa County city of 50,000 people. CP&DR Contributing Editor Morris Newman doesn't think much of the project, but he concedes that he might be asking for a little too much.
Redevelopment agencies may soon have authority to assist homeowners with subprime loans who are facing foreclosure, and to acquire foreclosed housing.
Under a measure likely to pass the Legislature, redevelopment agencies could aid homeowners, lenders and developers whether or not the subject property is within a redevelopment project area. However, a late amendment to the bill would prevent agencies from using their 20% housing set-aside fund for the activities.
In this month's roundup of state land use news: The state auditor is again raising questions about construction of a new death row at San Quentin; the State Water Resources Control Board is proposing an overhaul of the water regulatory system; the developer of a proposed Los Angeles project is suing the city for halting the review process; the company that owns the gigantic Newhall Ranch project has filed for bankruptcy.
An award of $665,000 in damages and legal expenses to a developer in Pacifica has been thrown out by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The unanimous three-judge panel determined that a questionable condition of project approval that the city eventually repealed did not constitute a violation of the developer's equal protection rights because the condition did not stop the project from moving forward.
The Sierra Club's challenge of the environmental review for a large annexation by the City of Orange and a related development by the Irvine Company has been rejected by the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
The court turned away arguments that the environmental analysis for the Santiago Hills and East Orange projects improperly described the project, segmented environmental reviews, failed to adequately address water quality, incorrectly analyzed traffic and lacked a proper project alternatives analysis.
An appellate court has reinstated a lawsuit over environmental review of a recreational trail proposed to be built in San Mateo County.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge had thrown out the suit because it was filed after the California Environmental Quality Act's usual 30-day statute of limitations expired. However, the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled there was "reasonable probability" environmentalists could show that a 180-day statute of limitations applied here.
A plan that alters regulations for the operation of a wastewater treatment plant that disposes of effluent into a Sierra Nevada foothills creek, rather than requiring improvements to the plant, has been upheld by the First District Court of Appeal.
Anglers and environmentalists sued over the plan, arguing state water quality regulators violated the California Environmental Quality Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. But a unanimous three-judge panel of the First District, Division One, ruled for the government.
You'd think so, based on all the publicity about plummeting home prices in California – and the rapidly increasing price of gasoline. In the short run, it is probably true that we'll see big housing price drops in the exurbs and construction will stop almost completely.
Wetlands used to cover a huge swath of Southern California's coast, serving as a sanctuary for wildlife and plants. But today one is hard pressed to find many wetlands left in this urbanized section of the state, where homes, marinas and ports long ago replaced native habitat. While wide, sandy beaches and rocky tide pools are part of the Southern California landscape, quieter wetlands with estuaries, marshes and sand dunes are harder to find.