Surplus Land Act Upends Public Agency Development Plans

According to the Surplus Land Act (SLA), a relatively new state law whose implementing guidelines went into effect in January, all of these properties must be made available to affordable housing developers first. While state officials defend the guidelines, the landowning agencies say the law will undermine their vision for the property – and maybe even hinder their ability to build the affordable housing that the law seeks to create.

Updated Cal EnviroScreen Will Improve State’s EJ Efforts

In March, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released the draft of its fourth iteration of CalEnviroScreen (CES). First released in 2013, CES is a database of environmental hazards that forms the basis of myriad state and local efforts to limit human exposure and strive for environmental justice.

SCAG Shoots Down RHNA Appeals

Many housing advocates considered the assignment of 1.3 million new housing units to Southern California via 2019’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation process to be a serious win. It was followed up by an intra-regional allocation process that weighted units toward high-cost, high-demand coastal cities, for another win. Last month, they scored a few more wins — 50 to be exact.

The Rise of Zoomtowns

While many in the state do not have the means to pick and choose exactly where they want to live, the combination of remote work and pandemic ennui has prompted untold numbers of well-off urban Californians to retreat to suburbs and to exurban “Zoomtowns.”