Land Use

How Much Rain is L.A. Capturing?

Local measures like Measure W are working. But more needs to be done to capture stormwater and rainwater.

At least nine atmospheric rivers blasted California between December 20th and January 15th, causing flooding and extensive damage, while also delivering much needed precipitation to our parched state. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced recently that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the winter …

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What Would King Do?

California “YIGBY” Bill Could Empower Churches To Add Affordable Housing

As Martin Luther King day ends here on the west coast, the role of churches and religious institutions looms large. King’s activism arose out of his spiritual commitment. And in California, it looms large in a surprising way concerning the built environment. Land use is (in)famous for its acronyms: NIMBY, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere …

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Parks and Housing Together: A Win for Communities and the Environment

A new Pritzker Environmental Policy Brief discusses the benefits of parks and affordable housing joint development

Los Angeles needs more parks and more affordable housing. When compared to other major cities across the country, the City of L.A. ranks 78th out of 100 in terms of park access, acreage, amenities, investments, and equitable distribution. More than 1.4 million people in the City of L.A. and nearly five million people in Los …

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A New Birth of Housing?

Omnibus’ “Baby YIMBY” Bill Offers An Opportunity For Cities — And For Advocates

Tucked deep inside the massive Omnibus bill is what has been called the “Baby YIMBY” provision — an $85 million grant program, to be administered by HUD: The bill provides the U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with $85 million to dole out on a competitive basis to jurisdictions for “the identification and …

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 10 Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2022

Climate Change, Water Rights, Environmental Justice & Federalism Issues Highlighted the Ninth Circuit’s Prodigious Environmental Docket This Year

I’ve shared in previous posts my view that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is–after the U.S. Supreme Court–the most influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental and natural resources law.  That’s true for two related reasons: first, the sprawling Ninth Circuit encompasses nine different states (including California) and …

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Reflections on a Century of “Regulatory Takings” Law

A Century Ago, the Supreme Court Created a Transformative Legal Doctrine Out of Whole Cloth

One hundred years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a radical constitutional decision that over the last century has proven enormously consequential in a host of environmental, natural resources and public health contexts.  In the December 1922 decision Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahon, a divided Supreme Court created the constitutional doctrine of “regulatory …

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The Coming Ground War For Missing Middle Housing

Municipalities Continue to Maintain and Erect New Barriers To Homes For Working People

Last year, the California Legislature enacted SB 9, which required local governments to allow duplexes (and with ADUs, sometimes triplexes and quadraplexes) in single-family zones. Housing advocates rejoiced, and NIMBYs screamed that it was the end of the world and would lead to “Manhattanization” (because as we all know, Manhattan is famous for its duplexes). …

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Balancing fire risk and housing

How can California reconcile the dual needs of managing for fire risk and producing more housing?

This is the last in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state.  In this blog post, we’ll discuss …

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What is being built in the WUI?

What our data says about development in the WUI in California

This is the third in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state.  In this blog post, we summarize …

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California Law in the WUI

California’s legal framework for development in the wildland-urban interface

This is the second in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state.  These blog posts summarize our recent …

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