Land Use

ESA Under Attack. Again.

The Washington Post tomorrow is running an Op Ed written with Peter Alagona, a colleague in environmental studies at UCSB. We were approached by the Post and asked to write a piece addressing the current raft of bills that seek to weaken the Endangered Species Act and sharing our views about alternatives. With a tight limit […]

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A Major Defeat for Property Rights Advocates

Hardly anyone noticed a decision last June limiting the rights of property owners against regulators.

Murr v. Wisconsin was a sleeper case decided by the Supreme Court last June. But it deserves a lot more attention than it has gotten. As I discuss in a new paper, Murr was a major defeat for property rights advocates and a big win for land use planners and environmentalists. Murr has escaped much […]

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San Francisco Tests Supreme Court’s “Hole” In Prop 13 & 218 Restrictions On Local Tax Increases

Ambiguity in California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland creates an opening for simple majority approvals

As I blogged in August, the California Supreme Court potentially “ripped a huge hole” in Prop 13 and 218, the two state constitutional initiatives that created a two-thirds majority requirement on local tax measures. In California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland, the court held that “general taxes” initiated by citizens is not bound by […]

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Disaster Resilience: Inching Forward, Sliding Back

We’re slowing improving disaster resilience. But there have been some notable setbacks.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.  The same is true for disasters. We are slowly getting better at mitigating disaster risks.  These improvements don’t generally take the form of dramatic breakthroughs.  Rather they involve incremental progress on a number of fronts. For instance, homes that were constructed […]

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Disaster Insurance

States (for wind) and the Feds (for water) provide insurance for hurricane victims. Here’s how.

Rebuilding takes money.  That makes insurance a crucial part of the equation. Insured losses are expected to be in the $70 billion range for Harvey and Irma combined.  This includes commercial insurance, but the payments for home owners will also be hefty. Those costs are generally covered by government-supported insurance markets. I’ve posted previously about […]

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Is CEQA the problem?

Developing a better understanding of how land-use law and housing production interact in California

On Friday, the Governor signed a package of housing bills intended to help address the soaring costs of housing in many metro areas in California. Follow-up coverage of that bill package has (rightly) indicated that those bills are a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing California’s housing crisis. One theme that emerges in […]

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Amazon’s New Urban Headquarters Could Flip A Red State To Blue

A city-state rundown on how an influx of Democratic-leaning tech workers could impact swing states like Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Bob below who pointed out that the employee numbers from the San Francisco Chronicle that I used to make the calculations below have since been significantly revised downward.  As Geekwire reports, the numbers I cited were for Amazon company-wide, not just Seattle. In fact, Amazon employees 40,000 in Washington state, not […]

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High Time to Fix California’s Affordable Housing Crisis

California Political Leaders Announce Historic Housing Accord

The Sacramento Bee reports that California Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic leaders of the State Senate and Assembly have reached an 11th-hour agreement to address California’s chronic, steadily growing affordable housing crisis.  (The California Legislature’s 2017 session concludes in mid-September.)  That’s good news indeed–and a most welcome (if overdue) proposed fix to one of […]

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Did The California Supreme Court “Rip A Huge Hole” In Prop 13 & 218?

New decision could lower voter threshold for local government taxes by voter initiative

UPDATE: This post has been modified from its original version to reflect some ambiguity in the court’s decision that I missed on first read. California local governments have long been stymied in efforts to raise taxes for basic infrastructure and services by California’s constitution.  Two voter-approved constitutional amendments, Prop 13 and Prop 218, require that […]

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Center for Ocean Solutions Releases Consensus Statement and Report on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in California

Report Analyzes State Public Trust Responsibilities on the Coastline, Coincides With Coastal Commission Staff’s Release of Draft Residential Adaptation Policy Guidance

UPDATE (September 1, 2017):  The statement’s drafters have provided a link (shared at the end of the post) for California attorneys who wish to sign on to the statement discussed here. Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two […]

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