Land Use

Reinventing Parks & Rec.

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We need to protect city parks, not just rural wilderness.

“The few green havens that are public parks” is a phrase from the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Overton Park case.  The case involved a plan to build a highway through the middle of a major park in Memphis.  The Court put a heavy burden on the government to justify the project: “The few green havens […]

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Finding Least-Conflict Lands For Solar PV In California’s San Joaquin Valley — And Beyond

A PATH FORWARD May 2016 COVER

New CLEE report identifies 470,000 acres of ideal land for solar PV, with 4pm webex briefing with state officials

To achieve California and the post-Paris world’s climate goals, we’re going to need a whole lot more renewable energy. Given current market trends, much of it will come from solar photovoltaic (PV), which has gotten incredibly cheap in the last few years. But deploying these solar panels at utility scale will mean major changes to […]

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Should California Recover More Energy From Municipal Solid Waste?

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New Berkeley Law report explores policy options, with KALW radio show discussion tonight at 7pm

Every year, Californians send about 30 million tons of trash to landfills. While the state’s residents do their part to reduce, reuse and recycle, that’s still a whole lot of garbage. It’s not only a land use issue, it’s a climate change issue: as landfill waste decays, it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Many […]

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San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Dodges Supreme Court Bullet

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Justices Deny Review of California Supreme Court Decision Upholding San Jose Measure

Advocates of the City of San Jose’s controversial inclusionary housing ordinance, which was upheld in a 2015 California Supreme Court decision, are breathing a sigh of relief this week.  That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the California Building Industry Association’s petition for certiorari in the case.  But the available evidence suggests that the High Court […]

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Reflections on the Coastal Commission’s Implosion

The Implications of the Decision to Fire Charles Lester - and the Decision Not to Explain It

As Rick Frank insightfully discussed earlier this week, the California Coastal Commission has fired its former executive director, Charles Lester. Readers interested in more background information and analysis should read Rick’s post, as well as the excellent reporting by Tony Barboza and others from the LA Times. (And anyone who wants to hear about it […]

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California Coastal Commissioners Fire Executive Director Charles Lester

Personnel Dispute is Commission's Biggest Political Controversy in Over a Decade

Following months of public controversy and a marathon 10 1/2 hour hearing Wednesday in Morro Bay, a closely-divided California Coastal Commission voted to fire its Executive Director, Charles Lester.  The Commission vote to remove Lester was 7-5. Lester, who as Executive Director has led the Commission staff for the past 4 1/2 years, is the […]

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NIMBYs Gone Even Wilder!!!

NIMBY Grandma

Newport Beach Wants to Honor Veterans and Seniors by Excluding Them

Christmastime is here, and what better way to foster goodwill towards all than by trying to exclude affordable housing from your community. And not just any affordable housing: affordable housing for seniors and veterans: A plan for a 12-unit affordable housing project for veterans and seniors in the Newport Shores neighborhood was blasted by residents who complained […]

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California Supreme Court Hands Air District, Environmentalists Qualified Win

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Justices' Unanimous Opinion Addresses Key "Scope of CEQA" Issue

In a closely-watched case, the California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision on the scope of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California’s most important and heavily-litigated environmental statute.  That decision is unlikely to fully satisfy either side in the litigation, though over the long-term it would seem to favor local regulators and their […]

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Climate Actions For Governor Jerry Brown’s Final Term

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New report on how California's executive branch agencies can build on climate progress to date

In Paris this month, much of the talk related to California’s successful efforts to date in reducing carbon emissions while growing the economy.  Certainly the state has made significant progress in areas like renewable energy and electric vehicles, and Governor Brown and his administration deserve a lot of credit. But more progress will be needed […]

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The Uneasy Case for NIMBYism

Know Your NIMBYs

A Growing Class Conflict Lurks Underneath the Land Use Debate

Paul Krugman is turning his attention to housing affordability, and the results as usual are salutary. When discussing the skyrocketing cost of housing in New York City, he observes: There’s still room to build, even in New York, especially upward. Yet while there is something of a building boom in the city, it’s far smaller […]

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