Land Use

CEQA and Local Land-Use Regulations

California gubernatorial candidates debate the role of CEQA and local land-use regulations in the state’s housing crisis

The first (and probably only) debate in the California governor’s race happened earlier this week between Democratic nominee Gavin Newsom and Republican nominee John Cox.  Appropriately enough both candidates were asked how they were going to address the state’s housing crisis.  Newsom’s response was an ambitious target of 500,000 new homes/year through 2025 (far higher […]

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Wildfires: Managing the Risks

How can we limit the spread of wildfires and save people and property?

Wildfires are already a serious problem, and climate change will only make the problem worse, as I’ve discussed in my two prior posts. Reducing carbon emissions can help keep the problem from growing, but we need to deal with the risks we’re already facing. That is going to require a portfolio of risk management strategies.  We […]

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If You Can Buy a Coast, You Can Buy a Newspaper

Supreme Court’s California Coast Decision Will Be Back, No Matter What the Papers Say

High-fives, or at least, sighs of relief, from environmentalists this week, as the Supremes denied cert in Surfrider Foundation v. Martin’s Beach, a case where Sun Microsystems founder and multibillionaire Vinod Khosla challenged aspects of California’s Coastal Act. Article after article after editorial is celebrating this as a great victory for the environment and the […]

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Mitigating Increased Driving Miles From New Projects Under CEQA

New Berkeley Law/CLEE report released today; Webinar discussion on Tuesday, October 30th

California law now requires developers of new projects, like apartment buildings, offices, and roads, to reduce the amount of overall driving miles the projects generate. Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg, 2013) authorized this change in the method of analyzing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), from auto delay to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). […]

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What is the role of CEQA in California’s housing crisis?

Ongoing research suggests that CEQA is more a symptom than the cause of the problem.

This blog post was authored by Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and Eric Biber. Discussions about what laws and regulations might drive up housing costs continue in California. One reoccurring theme in the media is the question of whether the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) significantly contributes to the housing crisis in California by either driving […]

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A Loss for Trump — and for Coal

Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case

Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with […]

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Secretary Zinke Misleads the Public About Wildfires and Federal Public Land Management

Secretary of Interior’s Op-Ed Ignores Science and Land-Use Planning to Falsely Blame Wildfire Risk on “Radical Environmentalists”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke published an op-ed today calling for “active management” of our federal public lands to reduce wildfire risk, and blaming “radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods” for the prevalance and lethality of wildfires in the American West.  Zinke’s op-ed is disingenuous, […]

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SB 827 (To Boost Homes Near Transit) Killed In Committee

Setback reveals tough politics behind restrictive housing policies & potentially guides new path forward

Yesterday afternoon, SB 827 (Wiener) was killed in its first committee. Though a number of legislators acknowledged California’s severe housing shortage, few were willing to risk the political backlash of taking on the local government lobby. The bill needed 7 votes on the 13-member Senate Transportation and Housing Committee but only got 4. Here were […]

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SB 827 and the Concept of Deregulation

When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why

Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827.  Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number […]

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Register Now: Toward Zero-Emission Freight At Southern California’s Ports

Free daylong conference at UCLA on Friday, June 8th will examine the prospects, pitfalls & policy needs

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach bring more goods into the U.S. than any other ports in the country. Yet together the ports are the single largest source of air pollution in Southern California. Harbor commissioners have adopted an ambitious plan to transition to cleaner fuels for goods movement in and around the […]

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