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Sustainable Development Update
April 4, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

U.S. states vow to defend auto fuel efficiency standards

REUTERS - Apr 4 Nearly a dozen U.S. states and Washington D.C. this Tuesday promised to defend federal automobile efficiency standards against a rollback proposed this week by Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The standards called for roughly doubling by 2025 the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in the United States to about 50 miles per gallon. Proponents say they help spur innovation in clean technologies and cut emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. California has long been allowed by an EPA waiver to impose stricter standards than Washington does on vehicle emissions of some pollutants, with 12 other states following California’s lead on cleaner cars.


UTC adopts circular mindset to put brakes on water usage

GREENBIZ - Apr 4 Earlier this month, a United Technologies manufacturing facility in Santa Fe Springs, California, officially opened the valve on a new water reclamation project — one that will siphon off its draw on the freshwater resources there by 25 million gallons annually. That’s a reduction of 95 percent annually, enough to supply 228 households with potable water for consumption and other uses. The reclaimed water will be recycled through the 50-something-year-old plant’s cooling towers, which expel heat generated by a 64,000-square-foot production line that spits out the carbon friction materials used in civil and military brakes. The unit has seven facilities in California. Collectively, they have reduced their water consumption by 65 million gallons through recycling, xeriscaping with native plants, and installing low-flow fixtures and toilets. But the Santa Fe Springs site, which employs about 130 people, is the first in the United States to take the leap of using reclaimed water for a mission-critical production process.

L.A. votes to fight state lawmaker's push for high-density housing

LOS ANGELES TIMES - Mar 27 The Los Angeles City Council voted last Tuesday to oppose a bill allowing residential buildings of four to eight stories on streets near public transit, despite objections from business leaders and groups that favor higher-density housing. The 13-0 vote makes L.A. the largest municipality in California to come out against Senate Bill 827, which would loosen or eliminate restrictions on height, density, parking, and design for residential projects near bus and rail stops. SB 827, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), is billed as a way to fight climate change, reduce traffic congestion, and address soaring rents and home prices. It allows for taller, denser buildings within a quarter-mile of stops where buses arrive every 15 minutes during rush hour. The bill also eases or overrides key planning rules on properties that sit within a half-mile of rail and subway stations, as well as stops where two higher-frequency bus routes intersect.

Google hits clean energy target

RENEWS - Apr 4 Google has achieved the 100 percent renewable energy target it committed to more than a year ago. The internet giant's senior vice-president of technical infrastructure Urs Holzle said that over the course of 2017, for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, the company purchased a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm built specifically for Google.

Community battery storage an economically viable solution

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Apr 4 Small-scale, grid-connected energy storage solutions – or community batteries – can have a viable business case, supporting the ongoing growth of decentralized energy generation resources, according to a feasibility study published by DNV GL. The study, based on work by an industry-wide consortium that includes energy storage firm Alfen and flexibility aggregator Peeeks, finds that, given current costs for lithium-ion battery technology and grid expansion projects, community storage can be both economically and socially viable. Furthermore, it outlines a decision-making framework to help grid operators and other stakeholders identify and optimize business models and revenue streams for community storage in any market.

Developer tries to fast-track housing at Cupertino’s Vallco Mall under new housing law

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL - Mar 27 Fed up with years of false-starts and controversy, the owner of defunct Vallco Mall in Cupertino on Tuesday went over city officials’ heads to push through a new proposal that aims to turn the failed shopping center into a downtown mixed-use destination combining shopping, housing, and office space. Sand Hill Property Co. submitted the application for the project under SB 35, a new housing-focused state law that requires California cities to approve certain residential and mixed-use projects — cutting out the opportunity for the political delays Sand Hill says have bogged down its Vallco redevelopment efforts for four years. More than two-thirds of Vallco Town Center would be made up of residential units, but the project also would include 1.8 million square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail.

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Chine Jeffrey A Jeffrey A. Chine
Partner
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Residential & Multifamily | Shopping Center, Retail & Mixed-Use | Real Estate Transactions
San Diego
(619) 235-1525
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Devine William R William R. Devine
Partner
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Investment Management Group | Residential & Multifamily | Real Estate Transactions
Orange County
(949) 851-5412
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Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
Partner
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Los Angeles
(213) 955-5504
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
San Francisco
(415) 273-8413
(415) 837-1516 (fax)
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