October 2008

SB 375 - Landmark Land Use and Greenhouse Gas State Law Adopted

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 375, a sweeping change in land use, housing and environmental law. The law aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by discouraging sprawl development and dependence on car travel. As the Governor's press release states, the law will promote, "more environmentally-friendly communities, more sustainable developments, less time people spend in their cars, [and] more alternative transportation options". SB 375 helps implement AB 32's GHG reduction goals by integrating land use, regional transportation and housing planning.

Governor Signs Design-Build Legislation Expanding Authority of Cities, Counties, and Special Districts to Use Design-Build Method

On September 26, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 642 ("AB 642"). AB 642 expands existing design-build authority of public agencies by adding Public Contract Code Section 20175.2, authorizing all cities to use the design-build method for the construction of buildings for projects exceeding $1 million, and Public Contract Code Section 20193-20195, authorizing all cities, counties, cities and counties, and special districts to use design-build contracting to construct local wastewater treatment, solid waste, or water recycling facilities exceeding $2.5 million.

To read more about AB 642, click here.

Eminent Domain Approved For Project Waiting On CEQA Ruling From Court

Yuba County Supervisors voted to acquire slivers of land from ten property owners through eminent domain on October 21, 2008 even though the Project's CEQA compliance may be in question. The Yuba Count Superior Court had not yet issued its ruling as to whether the Project's environmental impact report complies with CEQA.

Counsel for the property owners opposed the County's adoption of a Resolution of Necessity for improvements to the Highway 20 and Kibbe Road intersection that would create a road arguing that the County did not have a right to pass the resolution given the uncertainty of the court's ruling.

While public entities can use their power of eminent domain to acquire land for a public road, the property owners argument was that the road to be created is not a "public" road, but for private use.

California HCD to Hold Stakeholder Meetings

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will hold three stakeholder meetings to discuss the new Neighborhood Stabilization Program (Program), which will provide approximately $530 million in Community Development Block Grants within California. HCD is currently reviewing the Program guidelines and has invited all entitlement and non-entitlement jurisdictions, as well as any interested parties, to stakeholder meetings at the following locations:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Junipero Serra State Building

First Floor Carmel Room

320 W. Fourth Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Monday, November 3, 2008

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

VCGBC Building

400 R Street

Sacramento, CA 95811

Thursday, November 6, 2008

10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Merced, CA (Location to be announced)

For more information on the stakeholder meetings from the California Redevelopment Association website, click here. For more information regarding the Program, click here.