Land Use

NIMBYs Gone Wild!!

Know Your NIMBYs

New Proposed Initiative Would Make Los Angeles a BANANA Republic

Los Angeles is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis: the city’s renters pay on average nearly half of their disposable income on rent alone. This threatens the city’s social and economic health: you simply cannot have a great city and hollow out its middle class. But NIMBYs never rest, and in the midst […]

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Muddling Through on Land Use Reform


Will Reform of Parking Regulations Ever See the Light of Day?

More than half a century ago, Charles Lindblom described the policy-making process as “The Science of Muddling Through.” California just demonstrated this with a new law, AB 744 (Chau), that holds important potential but in and of itself will not change the landscape. (Here is the most recent bill analysis). The law says that for […]

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Recreational marijuana legalization in California

Will a proposed ballot initiative on recreational marijuana legalization in California help the environment

In the wake of the enactment by the legislature of a regulatory structure for medical marijuana, it looks like voters in 2016 will probably be able to decide whether to legalize recreational use as well. Leading advocates for legalization of recreational marijuana have submitted a language for a ballot initiative to the California Secretary of […]

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New Report: Grading California’s Rail Transit Station Areas


Next 10 releases Berkeley Law study on transit-oriented development

If we build it, they will come. For many years, that was the mantra of rail transit planners. Just build the rail line, and development will happen around the stations. And then more people will ride, and the system will be a good investment. But in California, too often that hasn’t been the case. Much […]

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Evangelicals Versus Property Rights


Guess who invented the idea that property rights evolve with changing social values?

Today, evangelical Christians tend to be aligned with conservatives in defense of private property. But that was not always true. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, evangelicals launched a major attack on property rights. As historian John Compton documents in a recent book, they also adopted the idea of the “living Constitution” to justify […]

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Mixed results in CA medical marijuana legislation

New state law to regulate medical marijuana makes important environmental progress, still much to be done

California is moving towards marijuana legalization. This is a good and important thing for a whole host of reasons, but one important reason is the environmental impact of unregulated and illegal marijuana cultivation on the environment – something that has been discussed both in the news and here on Legal Planet. Those impacts include diversion […]

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CA Supreme Court Rejects California State University’s CEQA Dodge–Again


Justices Hold CSU Can't Pass the Buck re: Environmental Mitigation Measures Tied to Campus Expansion

In an important decision issued last week, the California Supreme Court forcefully rejected the California State University’s efforts to avoid paying for mitigation measures needed to offset the adverse environmental impacts associated with CSU’s ambitious expansion plans.  That’s welcome if predictable news from a court that has in recent years been protective of the state’s bedrock […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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Tragedy of the Commons–California Drought-Style


State Farmers Planting New Almond Orchards Despite Critical Water Shortages

Traveling through California’s drought-striken San Joaquin Valley repeatedly over the past year, I’ve been surprised and disheartened to see that Valley farmers continue to convert their agricultural fields to newly-planted almond orchards.  (My anecdotal observations have been confirmed by various recent press accounts.)  This development is a striking, current example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of […]

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Clem Shute to be honored by California bar

Clem Shute (photo by Liza Heider

Boalt alum will follow Joe Sax as second recipient of environmental law lifetime achievement award

This just in, courtesy of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger — Clem Shute (Boalt ’64) will be honored this fall with the second Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law. (The first Award, of course, went to the late Joe Sax.) Clem richly deserves this prestigious award. He has been a major player […]

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