One trend that is not new at all is California’s housing crisis. If anything, it only got worse during the pandemic. Now, cities, developers, and lawmakers are trying to figure out whether these three crises might have a common solution: Can excess office and retail space be used for housing?
The pandemic accelerated the “retail apocalypse,” rendering storefronts and mall spaces vacant. And that raises the question of what will happen to all that excess retail space.
CP&DR to discuss exactly what combination of art and science will be required for cities to undo single-family zoning
Amid pressure from community groups, Inland Empire cities reconsider benefits of big warehouses.
Cities across California are eliminating parking minimums in order to reduce automobile dependency and promote better urban design. The state legislature is getting in on the act too.
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.
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.
The California Legislature has come roaring back in 2021 with a whole new set of bills affecting planning and development
The council vote was unanimous, but now comes the hard part: Implementing an upzoning in a city with strong homeowner advocacy and fire-prone hillside neighborhoods.
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.
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.”
60% of Orange County cities challenge their targets, which are much higher than last time around
Already an epic-scale tragedy, California’s wildfires–consuming a record 4 million acres this year–are effectively shrinking the amount of land available for housing and prompting planners to make tough choices between growth and safety
Southern California and Bay Area MPOs must get more aggressive to meet RHNA goals and SB 375 goals.
OPR issues guidelines for implementing SB 1000, which requires local governments to address EJ directly in planning for the first time
Low-cost transformation of streets to public — and restaurant — spaces may help enliven city neighborhoods and revive their sales tax bases
Visual depictions of projects remain an issue — though accessibility might actually be improved for some. Brown Act has been loosened for the duration of COVID-19