Planners, architects and developers think they make stuff that lasts forever, or at least for a very long time. For them, empty lots are merely temporary conditions. However, empty lots can be interesting and even useful, especially during economic down times. In San Francisco, a number of architects and landscape designers have created temporary uses for cleared construction sites or abandoned construction pits.
A committee of experts appointed by the California Air Resources Board should come up with a list of best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by new development by January 2010. The practices, combined with estimates of future transportation demand, should provide the basis for the board to establish regional targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions later in 2010, according to the advisory committee.
Sometime this year or next year, Congress will probably pass a climate change bill that tries to mimic SB 375's link between transportation patterns and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And the bill will probably generate billions of dollars by capping emissions and placing a market value on them. But it is doubtful Congress use the money to invest in the transportation improvements and land use changes required to reduce automobile travel.
A city may determine that project alternatives once considered potentially feasible for California Environmental Quality Act analysis are infeasible as actual projects, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
The City of Los Angeles had no obligation under the California Environmental Quality Act to complete an environmental impact report for a project that it had rejected, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
The court dismissed all arguments put forward by the developer of the 555-acre Las Lomas project at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 14. "[I]f an agency at any time decides not to proceed with a project," the court said, "CEQA is inapplicable from that time forward."
News from around the state: A wastewater collection system and treatment plant for the Central Coast town of Los Osos has been approved for a second time, which could end a 21-year-old building moratorium; an appellate court has upheld a 1,200% development fee hike in Manteca despite development agreements; the state has dropped an appeal of a judge's ruling blocking a shift of redevelopment tax increment from local redevelopment agencies to schools.
Forced into negotiations by the state Legislature, the City of Walnut has dropped its lawsuit contesting the adequacy of an environmental impact report for a proposed professional football stadium and 3 million-square-foot entertainment complex in the neighboring City of Industry.
A city may determine that a project has no significant effects on energy consumption if it exceeds the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled. The ruling appears to be the first on an environmental impact report's analysis of how a project might affect energy use, an area of the California Environmental Quality Act receiving increased attention because of concerns about climate change.