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Sustainable Development Update
November 29, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

Bullet-train land acquisitions are moving so slowly a judge hearing the cases calls it a ‘lifetime job’

LOS ANGELES TIMES - Nov 20 Once a month, Judge Edward M. Ross packs his car and drives 200 miles to preside over the biggest government taking of private land in recent California history. At a courthouse in the Central Valley farming town of Hanford in Kings County, Ross, 85, hears land disputes involving the California bullet train, which is planned to slice through one of the richest agricultural belts in the nation. Eight years ago, the California High-Speed Rail Authority estimated it would cost $332 million to acquire the route spanning the Central Valley’s orchards, vineyards, dairies, and cities. The process, however, has proven far more legally tangled. The 1,900 properties in the Central Valley are now budgeted at $1.5 billion, part of the reason the project is 13 years behind schedule and at $44 billion over budget.


Hearings delayed for Lilac Hills and other 'bundled' San Diego housing developments

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE - Nov 14 A hearing scheduled for December to decide if several large housing developments should be approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has been delayed indefinitely. The county’s Planning and Development Services Department cited “staff workload in preparing some of these projects, the county’s Climate Action Plan litigation, and the injunction which applies to the PSRs (property specific requests), and applicants continuing to provide additional information to staff for their projects” as reasons for the delay. All the projects are proposed for parts of unincorporated San Diego County and need a General Plan Amendment. The Climate Action Plan litigation refers to an ongoing lawsuit challenging parts of the county’s plan, specifically on how greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated by developers. A court hearing at which a final ruling may be issued is scheduled next month.

BART considering construction of second transbay tube

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Nov 15 BART aims to start construction on a second transbay tube within the next decade, as transit planners anticipate population and job growth that could overwhelm the Bay Area’s already stressed rail system. A new study by the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission predicts that 4 million people will move into the mega region that encompasses the Bay Area, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Joaquin Counties by 2040, and that San Francisco will add 300,000 jobs. If demand for BART escalates from about 45,000 people crossing the bay during peak hours in 2020 to about 55,000 in 2025, BART will reach capacity by 2027. Presented with those figures, the transit agency’s board mostly supports the idea of a second rail crossing, which would cost billions of dollars and require BART to make many complex engineering decisions. The board will revisit plans for a second transbay tube in June, when it votes on a contractor to study the proposal.

High-efficiency electric heat pumps could help California meet emissions goals

ENERGY MANAGER TODAY - Nov 26 Using high-efficiency electric heat pumps instead of gas for residential heating needs in California could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half or more, according to a new NRDC analysis published in the Electricity Journal. This makes heat pumps an important tool to help achieve California’s ambitious goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, achieve carbon-neutrality by 2045, and improve air quality in its urban areas, which rank among the most polluted in the country. According to the analysis, switching to a heat pump water heaters could reduce emissions between 50 percent and 70 percent per household annually, depending on the efficiency of the gas technology they replace.

UCLA receives sustainability award for LEED Platinum-rated training facilities

DAILY BRUIN - Nov 27 UCLA’s Wasserman Football Center and Mo Ostin Basketball Center have been awarded LEED Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating for green buildings. UCLA policy has required all new constructed buildings on campus to obtain LEED certification since 2006. The Wasserman Football Center employs water-saving strategies, including efficient plumbing solutions and grey water management programs, achieving a 72 percent reduction in the facility’s water use and saving the training center approximately 197,000 gallons in total. The Mo Ostin Basketball Center minimizes energy use with efficient natural ventilation and natural sunlight.

Survey finds continuing investment in energy efficiency

EC&M - Nov 26 U.S. organizations are planning to increase investments in smart building controls and systems integration at a greater rate than more traditional energy efficiency measures, according to the results of a study released by Johnson Controls, Milwaukee. The company’s 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator survey polled nearly 2,000 facility and energy management executives from 20 countries and found that 57 percent of organizations in the United States and 59 percent of global organizations plan to increase investment in energy efficiency in the next year. The organizations identify greenhouse gas footprint reduction, energy cost savings, energy security, and enhanced reputation as key drivers of investment fueling growth in green, net zero energy, and resilient buildings.

Orange County officials approve $43B transportation plan

CONSTRUCTION DIVE - Nov 26 The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors this month authorized a $43.4 billion plan that will shape the area’s transportation “blueprint” for at least the next 20 years. The Designing Tomorrow plan will address an estimated 66 percent increase in traffic congestion by the year 2040, driven by an anticipated 10 percent rise in area population, a 17 percent uptick in the number of local jobs, and a 12 percent increase in daily trips. Using input from the community, the plan prioritizes traffic signal synchronization, road and freeway maintenance, exploration of “innovative” transportation options, such as autonomous vehicles and on-demand ridesharing, and a balanced approach to spending, which includes investing across a variety of transit programs.

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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
(619) 233-1158 (fax)
Email Jeffrey

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
(949) 553-8354 (fax)
Email William

Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
Partner
Land Use & Development | Telecommunications Infrastructure | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Environmental & Natural Resources | Office | Shopping Center, Retail & Mixed-Use | Appeals & Writs | Real Estate Transactions
Los Angeles
(213) 955-5504
(213) 620-8816 (fax)
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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)
Email Renée



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