The ancient public trust doctrine is as relevant as ever in today’s California, with implications for how local governments make decisions that could directly or indirectly affect water resources.
Building Decarbonization Update: Local Governments in California Consider Strategies to Reduce Natural Gas Use in Existing Buildings
Following up on the October 2019 and February 2020 editions of In the Public Interest, this article provides an update regarding strategies proposed by several cities and counties to encourage or require existing buildings to go all-electric.
Cities across California are adopting measures to ensure buildings do not pose threats to bird safety, often pairing these measures with those that reduce sources of nighttime light pollution.
Utilities provide integration capacity maps that can help customers and developers optimize the placement of distributed energy resources like solar generation and electric vehicle chargers. The California Public Utilities Commission recently decided to require improvements to the maps, which will unlock new uses that can aid public agencies’ decarbonization efforts.
Public agencies must walk a careful line in trying to police expressions of public opinion, even when members of the public target officials and employees as proxies for their frustration. This article discusses how to keep civic engagement constructive while protecting officials and employees from harassment.
December 2020 Short-term home rentals have become increasingly popular in recent years, and have continued to thrive even during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many local communities report an increase in short-term rentals in the last six months, presumably as people seek safe vacation options close to home and take advantage of the ability to […]
December 2020 The administrative record is the heart of any administrative mandamus proceeding, including under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Because the administrative record generally comprises the entire universe of evidence, the contents of the record are critical. Accordingly, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District’s recent decision in Golden Door Properties, LLC v. […]
December 2020 In the late summer and fall in recent years, the power has been going out more often in California. Utilities are turning off residents’ power preemptively in unprecedented numbers. Energy storage systems owned by residents and public agencies, including those that are paired with solar generators, have the ability to safely provide power […]
In the early 1980s, the Legislature enacted the Housing Element Law (Gov. Code § 65580 et seq.) and the Housing Accountability Act (“HAA”, Gov. Code § 65589.5), citing the lack of housing as a paramount state concern. Since then, the Legislature has passed multiple laws limiting the discretion of local agencies to disapprove or condition housing […]
Since its passage in 2017, Senate Bill 35 (SB 35)—a state law requiring local jurisdictions to streamline approval of certain affordable housing projects—has been controversial, to say the least. Over the last few years, SB 35 has been the subject of much litigation, as discussed in Benjamin Gonzalez’s and Andrew Schwartz’s article, “Is local control of affordable housing development dead?” in this issue. But because none of […]