Transportation Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Transportation issues written by leading professionals.
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Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

Purple Line Continues to Move Forward

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 22, 2016 holding in favor of Montgomery County, Maryland that the future Purple Line (the proposed light rail between Bethesda and New Carrollton that includes a stop...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, January 2016

On January 4, 2016, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the nomination of Vince Bertoni as the new General Manager of the Department of City Planning (DCP). Bertoni has served five years as the City of Pasadena’s Planning and...more

What Are Green Bonds?

“Green Bonds” are a relatively new trend in the bond market. They offer investors an opportunity to invest in “green projects” that help mitigate climate change. Categories of green projects include renewable energy, energy...more

OPR Releases Revised Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendment To Implement SB 743 Traffic Analysis Mandates

The evolution of CEQA traffic impacts analysis from level of service (LOS) methodology to a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) analysis continues apace. The latest step in this revolutionary paradigm shift was the January 20, 2016...more

Deadlines Are Fast Approaching as Congress Is Already Considering Priorities for Next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

Stakeholders interested in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works projects, water resources policy, or funding for harbor, inland waterway, and other projects should engage Congress to advance their priorities as...more

Office of Planning and Research Proposes Revisions to State CEQA Guidelines

Comments Sought by Feb. 29 on the Transition from LOS to VMT - The California Office of Planning and Research has issued proposed revisions to the State CEQA Guidelines implementing Senate Bill 743 (2013). SB 743...more

The FAST Act Seeks to Streamline the Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—a five-year, $305-billion transportation authorization and spending bill. The FAST Act largely focuses on funding...more

Environmental Policy Quarterly

Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of Environmental Policy Quarterly, published jointly by the Environmental, Land and Natural Resources Practice Group and the Public Policy and Law Practice Group of K&L Gates. This...more

Oakland Proposed Developer Fees Summary

Unlike most large Bay Area cities, Oakland has not charged development impact fees to pay for affordable housing, but that is likely to change soon. The ramifications of a proposal to impose fees on new residential and...more

New California Law Pushes Cities to Approve Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Large Cities Are Required to Adopt Appropriate Ordinance By Sept. 30 - A new law that just went into effect pushes local governments to approve applications for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations....more

Design Liability and Right of Way Risk Allocation for Design-Build Projects

Design liability and right-of-way risk allocation are topics addressed in a legal research digest recently published by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The report,...more

Federal Aviation Administration Proposes New Stage 5 Aircraft Noise Standards

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing new “Stage 5” aircraft noise standards for certain subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. Such standards would reduce the noise produced...more

Menlo Park Grade Separations – On Track

The City of Menlo Park is proceeding with two transportation projects. The first one, an undercrossing to separate bicycles and pedestrians from rail traffic at Middle Avenue, received the green light from the City Council...more

Geeking Out on Transportation

This week, our transportation attorneys attended the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, which is affectionately deemed the nexus of all-out, unabashed transportation “nerdom” by industry insiders....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - State lawmaker seeks to close old SoCal Gas wells in Aliso Canyon - Los Angeles Business - Jan 12 State Senator Fran Pavley is calling for Southern California Gas Co. to close older...more

Congress Enacts Federal Permitting Improvements to Speed Infrastructure Projects

Congress enacted the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, also known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act) on December 4, 2015. A part of the FAST Act, Title XLI—Federal...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Gov. Brown declares state of emergency over natural gas leak - San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 6 - California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday over a...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

New Federal Permitting Council to Aid Large Infrastructure Projects — Emphasis on Energy

In December 2015, Congress passed the first major transportation infrastructure bill in over a decade, covering a large range of infrastructure projects and ensuring funding for the next five years. One section of the bill...more

Environmental Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act,” Public Law 114-94 ("FAST Act"). As finally enacted, the FAST Act exceeds 400 pages in length. This paper reviews those...more

Top Ten Stories in California Construction for 2015

Cranes, cement trucks, and street closures seem to be everywhere these days, especially in city centers such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. After the meltdown of 2006, real estate development went into hibernation for...more

New Highway Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Highway Authorization Act into law. One of the objectives of this legislation was to expedite federal authorization (licensing, permitting, approval, etc.) and environmental...more

After the Dust Settles: Implications of Continued Development in South Florida

To say South Florida’s real estate market is “booming” would be an understatement. The massive interest in development throughout Miami and its surrounding cities continues to increase. To quantify just how large this...more

DoT Announces “Smart City” Challenge to Increase Infrastructure Efficiency in Urban Areas

On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for “Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge,” the first in a two-part solicitation for a federally funded...more

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