Sea level rise could bring flooding to inland California
Los Angeles Times – August 17
Sea level rise is more complicated than just waves breaking over seawalls and beaches disappearing. As the ocean moves inland, it will push groundwater upward until it breaks the surface. In many areas along the San Francisco Bay, this sea beneath us is already leaking out of the ground, said Kristina Hill, whose research at UC Berkeley focuses on this less-talked-about vulnerability. Statewide, scientists and planners are waking up to the reality that rising seas will threaten not only California’s precious shoreline but also areas once considered less vulnerable to flooding. In the Bay Area alone, Hill and her team found that more than twice as much land could flood from groundwater as the ocean rises. “We can build protections, walls, berms to prevent overland flooding, but that’s not going to stop the groundwater,” said Patrick Barnard, research director of the U.S. Geological Survey Climate Impacts and Coastal Processes Team and coauthor of a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. “It’s this slow creep upward that gets into garages and foundations and roadbeds.”
San Diego considers new proposal to bring 50K new residents, 25K new jobs to Kearny Mesa
The San Diego Union-Tribune – August 17
Kearny Mesa would be transformed from a mostly commercial area into one of San Diego’s fastest growing residential neighborhoods under a new proposed growth blueprint the City Council will consider this fall. The proposal would increase the population of Kearny Mesa from 10,400 to 58,800 over the next 30 years by spiking the number of housing units from 4,300 to nearly 26,000. The plan would add 25,000 more jobs by encouraging mixed-use villages throughout the community. The blueprint aims to address San Diego’s shortage of affordable housing and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gases. By allowing more people to live near Kearny Mesa’s thriving industrial areas, the plan would shrink work commutes.
L.A. City Council will create ‘transparency office’ amid sweeping corruption probe
L.A. Daily News – August 11
The Los Angeles City Council voted on August 11 to initiate the process of establishing an Office of Anti-Corruption and Transparency, which would oversee, investigate, and subpoena city officials. The council also voted to establish an Inspector General for Land Use and Development, who would focus on preventing corruption and increasing transparency on land use and planning decisions, according to Councilman David Ryu, who introduced both proposals. Ryu said his motion was first introduced amid a sweeping FBI and Department of Justice probe into corruption around real estate development and the abuse of land use power in Los Angeles.
New highway tolling eyed in Bay Area
The Daily Journal – August 18
As construction of the express lanes project progresses on Highway 101 in San Mateo County, regional transportation officials this month announced a plan to dramatically expand freeway tolling in the Bay Area. According to a letter dated Aug. 1, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission wants to eventually implement congestion pricing on all lanes of many if not most Bay Area freeways to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Express lanes, including those coming to Highway 101 in 2022, charge a toll on just one lane in each direction, though buses and carpools of three people or more can ride for free.
Old aircraft taxiway in Alameda to be converted to wetlands park
East Bay Times – August 15
A stretch of concrete and asphalt in Alameda that was once an aircraft taxiway will be removed so the site along San Francisco Bay can be converted to a wetlands park, according to a proposal the city is considering. The park would be located along the Seaplane Lagoon at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. Last Thursday, the city’s Recreation and Parks Commission unanimously endorsed a “vision plan” for the $14 million project, which the City Council will review next month. The city will ask the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to help pay for the future park through a grant under Measure AA, a 20-year parcel tax that voters in nine Bay Area counties passed in 2016 to fund habitat restoration and improve shoreline access. The site in its existing condition will take 210 more years to offset the carbon emitted from the original construction in the 1930s, according to the city.
California wastewater treatment site earns LEED Platinum certification
Construction & Demolition Recycling – August 11
The Lakewood, California-based Water Replenishment District’s Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning (ARC) has been awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating offered to environmentally sustainable buildings. ARC features 995 solar panels, outdoor landscaping that reduces water costs by 60 percent through a low-flow irrigation system using recycled water, and specially designed windows that minimize the need for electric lighting and create energy savings. Additionally, at least 20 percent of the building’s construction is derived from recycled content and over 20 percent of those materials were locally sourced within 500 miles of the facility.