New bill would fight homelessness by raising California’s corporate tax rates
The Mercury News – January 13
New, higher tax rates on large corporations doing business in California would raise $2.4 billion to fund state homeless programs under a bill announced last Wednesday. Assembly Bill 71, known as the “Bring California Home Act,” would raise tax rates on businesses with annual profits of more than $5 million. The state would use that money to prevent families from falling into homelessness, expand emergency shelters, create more affordable housing and fund services including employment support for unhoused people. Last year, a group of legislators tried and failed to pass Assembly Bill 3300, which would have funneled an annual $2 billion in general funds toward solving the state’s homelessness crisis.
Sacramento moves forward with controversial zoning change designed to address housing crisis
The Sacramento Bee – January 19
The Sacramento City Council took a step this Tuesday toward becoming one of the first cities in the country to eliminate traditional single-family zoning. The change, for which the council unanimously signaled support, would allow houses across the city to contain up to four dwelling units. City officials said the proposal would help the city alleviate its housing crisis, as well as achieve equity goals, by making neighborhoods with high-performing schools, pristine parks, and other amenities accessible for families who cannot afford the rising price tags to buy homes there.
Orange County cities fail in bid to increase Santa Ana’s future housing requirement
The Orange County Register – January 15
Four Orange County cities last Friday lost appeals seeking to increase the number of homes Santa Ana must plan to build in the coming decade. The cities of Garden Grove, Irvine, Newport Beach, and Yorba Linda lost their appeals during a hearing held by the Southern California Association of Governments. Officials from the cities asked Southern California’s regional planning agency to, among other things, take into account the number of Santa Ana apartments already planned for construction as meeting future housing needs. The cities are also asking to decrease their own numbers.
Los Angeles County unveils draft update to L.A. River master plan
Urbanize Los Angeles – January 14
Los Angeles County has unveiled its draft update to the L.A. River master plan, the document intended to guide the development of new parks and water quality projects along the 51-mile corridor, while also accounting for potential displacement and equity issues in neighboring communities. The draft is the first update to the master plan since 1996. The 51-mile corridor is home to more than 1 million residents, and is flanked by roughly 2,300 acres of publicly-owned land. In addition to its focus on open space, transportation, and water quality, the master plan also considers the externalities of new investment in infrastructure along the river corridor.
San Diego loosens rules for housing under flight paths, adds incentives for moderate-income homes
The San Diego Union-Tribune – January 12
San Diego last Tuesday approved policy changes that will, in part, allow more housing projects under airplane flight paths, increase construction of moderate-income housing, and make it easier to convert ground-floor commercial space to housing. Other changes include making it easier to open daytime care facilities for senior citizens and reducing vehicle parking requirements in the Gaslamp Quarter. City officials say they expect the Airport Land Use Commission to object to some of the changes. If so, the council would have to overrule those objections this spring.
Conservationists file lawsuit against Laguna Beach, alleging violations of state environmental law
Los Angeles Times – January 14
Historic conservationists filed a lawsuit last Monday in Orange County Superior Court against the city of Laguna Beach, alleging that the city violated state environmental law when amending its historic preservation program last summer. The amendment, adopted by the City Council in August 2020, updates the program and defines “owner consent” as a criterion for eligibility for the local historic register. The lawsuit, filed by the Laguna Beach Historic Preservation Coalition, Preserve Orange County, and Village Laguna, contends that owner consent is irrelevant to historic merit and puts properties on the register at risk of substantial alteration or demolition.
PepsiCo says it will reach net-zero emissions by 2040
Fast Company – January 14
PepsiCo plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of what’s necessary to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. By 2030, PepsiCo plans to cut emissions under its direct control—such as its offices, factories, and deliveries—by 75%, and to cut emissions in its supply chain by 40%. As part of this, the company is moving to new zero-emissions and near-zero emissions technology at plants such as a Frito-Lay facility in California, which will use equipment like electric forklifts charged with on-site solar power.