Land Use

Grandma Saves The City!

New Data Shows Hope For Affordable Housing In the Most Unlikely Place: Los Angeles

It’s not often that you get some good planning news from Los Angeles, but at least if you believe the City’s numbers, there are some. The Planning Department’s latest housing numbers, from its year-end 2018 Quarterly Report, state that in light of SB 1069 (Wieckowski), which substantially liberalized the construction of Accessory Dwellling Units (ADUs), […]

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Can Voter Registration Combat NIMBYism?

Homeless Voting Can Change the Urban Political Calculus

NIMBY land use politics stems from a classic political process failure: the people who would benefit from more housing do not yet live in the jurisdiction where it will be built — and for the most part, do not even know that they will be the ones who will live there. Thus, local officeholders have […]

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Even Worse Than Duke

San Francisco Takes NIMBYism to a New Level

A few years ago, an episode of South Park saw Cartman attempting to rescue Kyle in San Francisco from a SMUG  alert. It was, as it is so often, ahead of its time: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast […]

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Goodbye, Cleveland!

Newspaper Collapse Threatens The Environment: Universities Need To Fill The Gap

In 1970, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire. This past week, we have seen an even worse environmental disaster for the city: The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of […]

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California Adopts New, Welcome Wetlands Protection Rules

State Fills Void Left By Trump Administration’s Weakening of Federal Wetlands Standards

This week California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted important new rules to protect the state’s remaining wetlands resources.  Enacted after over a decade of Board hearings, workshops and deliberation, those rules are overdue, welcome and critically necessary.  Their adoption is particularly timely now, given the Trump Administration’s wholesale assault on and erosion of federal […]

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Duke Sucks: The Legal Planet March Madness Special

Why Is The University Killing Light Rail In The Research Triangle?

Like most people of intelligence and character, when it comes to NCAA basketball, I despise the Duke Blue Devils. As the precocious son of a good friend notes, “you can’t spell Blue Devil without evil.”  I acknowledge Mr. Mxyzptlk’s Mike Krzyzewski’s greatness as a basketball coach, but it’s too much to put up with garbage quotations […]

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Ray of Hope in Eastern Europe

Environmental Issues Help Foster Victory for Democratic Forces

The world got some very good news yesterday when political newcomer Zuzana Caputova, a political newcomer, won a smashing victory in Slovakia’s President elections. Unlike the right-wing authoritarians like Hungary Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice Party, which have dominated east European politics in recent years, Caputova, is a political liberal, strongly committed to […]

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A Legislative Response to California’s Housing Emergency: Senator Skinner’s SB 330

How to Make a Good Bill Even Better

(This post is co-authored by U.C. Davis Law School Professor Chris Elmendorf)  Last week, as President Trump harrumphed about the faux emergency on our nation’s Southern border, California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a potentially transformative bill that addresses California’s real emergency: the ever-escalating cost of housing in the state’s economically productive metropolitan regions. As […]

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Build, Baby, Build?

New Study Points To More Sophisticated Analysis of Upzoning – And Perhaps Surpassing the Stale Gentrification Debate

A couple of weeks ago, I noted a study casting some doubt on whether upzoning leads to a decline (or at least a stabilization) of housing prices. The theory is that by building more, developers are simply inducing demand, pushing out low-income people, and not reducing overall prices because of the higher demand. It would […]

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What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts […]

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