CP&DR News Briefs January 25, 2022: SF Housing Lawsuit; High-speed rail LA segment; The sea level rises; and more

SF supervisors face lawsuit over housing project denial
YIMBY Stock deposit a lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco in San Francisco County Superior Court, arguing that the Board of Supervisors violated several state housing laws, including CEQA, the Housing Responsibility, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, and the Streamlining Permits Act, when they rejected the 469 Stevenson housing project near the city’s Financial District. YIMBY Law disagrees with the Commission’s belief that the CEQA review provided an “inadequate analysis”, particularly because the planning department had been involved in the design of the 500-unit project for four years. The group has already filed a lawsuit against San Francisco for another housing project and the city of Los Angeles, also for violation of state laws defended by YIMBY Action. (See related CP&DR coverage.)

High Speed ​​Rail Authority certifies EIR for Burbank-Los Angeles segment
California High Speed ​​Rail Authority Board of Directors Unanimously approved the final environmental impact report for the 14-mile segment from Burbank to Los Angeles, making 60%, or 300 miles, of the Phase 1 system from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim environmentally clear. This is Southern California’s second environmental document certification and the first in the Los Angeles Basin by the board. As funding becomes available, the project will move closer to connecting a new Hollywood Burbank Airport station to Los Angeles Union Station with high-speed rail service along the Los River. Angeles. The location aims to improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion and increase accessibility. Going forward, CEQA and NEPA must file a Notice of Determination and issue a Record of Decision, and the Board will review environmental documents for the remaining sections of the Project. City of Burbank officials expressed concerns on the route, saying that the construction of a tunnel and an underground station could disrupt the city’s water supply.

Coast Commission report predicts sea level rise of 10ft
In its most recent report on the danger of sea level rise, the Coast Commission uses estimates and extreme scenarios to ensure the state is as prepared as possible to relocate vulnerable coastal roads, railroads and gas stations. purification. In the report, the Coast Commission assumes sea levels will rise 10 feet by 2100 to ensure critical infrastructure is protected. The 224-page draft titled “Critical Infrastructure at Risk: A Guide to Sea Level Rise Planning for the California Coastal Zone” focuses particularly on transportation and water infrastructure as two systems that require a lot of pre-preparation. The report was released on August 16 and public and local jurisdictions can comment on the project until September 24 for the Coast Commission to consider final approval in November or December.

Purchase of Fort Bragg factory site raises concerns
The Fort Bragg Skunk Train owner used its federally recognized railroad status to purchase a vacant Georgia-Pacific factory site through eminent domain. The site covers nearly the entire west side of Fort BRagg, meaning a single owner will make residential, commercial and tourism development decisions on 300 clifftop acres located in an underfunded community. The move was met with significant opposition from the Mendocino Coast community, including city officials and local residents who both called the deal a “land grab” to redevelop. . one of the largest plots on the North Coast. The company has been trying to buy the property for two decades and has expressed a commitment to working with the government to make the region a “blue economy” that takes into account the resources and resilience of the oceans.

San Francisco parklet policy draws criticism
Although San Francisco supervisors have approved the policy to popularize outdoor parklets due to the pandemic, strict rules and regulations are conduct many restaurants to completely cease their outdoor dining operations. One estimate suggests that up to 90% of parklets must be removed or severely altered to comply with the city’s 60-plus-page guidelines covered by the Shared Spaces Policy program, or they may face serious charges. As restaurants receive infringement notices, the city is not acting on fines, according to London Breed Mayor’s office spokesman Jeff Cretan. Meanwhile, worried restaurant owners are working through confusing infringement notices and parklet requirements to prop up their businesses.

CP&DR coverage: Newsom offers $1 billion in planning-related grants
Anticipating the release of a new statewide housing plan earlier this year, Governor Gavin Newsom promised in his budget proposal to increase efforts to identify land for new housing and further streamline housing regulations with the aim of accelerating housing production. In addition, Newsom plans to continue funneling funds to programs designed to accelerate housing production, including an additional $500 million for the infill infrastructure grant program, $300 million for affordable housing and sustainable communities managed by the Strategic Growth Council, $100 million to accelerate housing development. on state-owned land, and an additional $100 million to encourage adaptive reuse of older buildings for housing.

Quick hits and updates

Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall ruled that members of the Mission Viejo City Council acted in accordance with the Transparency Act in their private negotiations regarding the purchase and redevelopment of the Stein Mart building in the downtown mall. The landlord who filed the lawsuit argued that the city council violated the Brown Law.

As part of its Universal Basic Mobility pilot program, the Oakland Department of Transportation has Posted 500 debit cards to East Oakland residents and employees who can spend the downloaded $150 on public transit, bikeshares and electric scooters. The program, with funding from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and assistance from community organizations to increase awareness of transit options, aims to minimize financial barriers to transit access and share. After residents complete a survey this month, the city will approve an additional, final $150 download.

The Rename S-Valley Fresno County Coalition, founded by Roman C. Rain Tree, is to propose to replace the derogatory term for indigenous women with “Nuum”, which means “the people” in the Western mono language. Just before that, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asked the Geographic Names Board to begin removing the term from federal use. While several states have banned its use in place names, 650 federal lands still include the term in their name.

Environmental groups who sued to stop hundreds of two-story homes from being built along Alameda County wetlands lost after state district court ruled that the City of Newark and developer The Sobrato Organization’s Sanctuary West plan with 469 market-priced single-family homes can move forward. While the groups argued that the city and the developer had not sufficiently considered the impact of rising sea levels over the next few decades in their environmental review, the court held that the conditions environmental issues decades from now shouldn’t factor into this current decision, and the developer agreed to raise the homes above planned heights from sea level.

The 72,000 Acres 13-Year-Old Frank and Joan Randall Preserve effort to form a $65 million wildlife preserve between the southern Sierra Nevada and Tejon Ranch was completed after acquiring his latest property. Nine ranches in Kern County will form a stretch of biodiversity-rich land to protect mountain lions, California condors and other species, producing the largest project assembled in the state by The Nature Conservancy.

To help protect California’s natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the California Strategic Growth Council approved more than $65 million in grants to protect farmland on the outskirts of cities from development and support for local governments to develop regional farmland conservation strategies. The funding will help the state avoid approximately 2.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) announcement plans to prioritize the creation of a Racial Equity Resource Center that would amend the SGC’s Racial Equity Resolution to allow for increased state, regional and local access to resources that would advance racial equity in policies and practices. The SGC recommends re-establishing its commitment to combating racism by improving access to resources, awareness and data analysis within the resource centre.

While the Oakland A’s have for years flirted with a plan to develop the team’s waterfront baseball stadium project at Jack London Square, the team has officially put an offer to purchase land in Las Vegas to potentially house the baseball stadium site. Although negotiations are still ongoing, news broke the same day Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff confirmed the city would receive federal funding for infrastructure improvements to Jack London Square.

As part of Arcata’s strategic infill redevelopment program to reduce building sprawl by taking advantage of underutilized land, the city has published its proposed housing development plan in the 138-acre Gateway area. The draft walkway area plan will be available for public comment for about a year before city council votes on it.

About 600 neighborhoods in San Francisco and 289 neighborhoods in the San Jose metro area have low access to food, according to data analysis from ABC7. According to the analysis, 65% of neighborhoods lack access to easily accessible grocery stores, while 18% of the two metro areas have both limited access to food and are low income.

Jose P. Rogers