CP&DR News Briefs November 15, 2022: Olympic Valley Resort; 469 Stevenson EIR; Chuckwalla National Monument, and more
Placer County supervisors reject resort development in Olympic Valley
A major proposed development in Tahoe’s Olympic Valley, adjacent to the Palisades Tahoe ski area, will not proceed after the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rescind its approval in response to a lawsuit by environmental nonprofit Sierra Watch. The developer, Alterra Mountain Company, intended to build high-rise condominium hotels, a roller coaster and a 90,000 square foot water park, all on a large scale, which would have a significant impact on the mountain landscape. and its ecosystems. In response, residents and volunteers fought the project alongside Sierra Watch to prevent further damage to the area, increased traffic, reduced workforce housing, risk of increased fire and restricted water supplies. (See related CP&DR coverage.)
Report contradicts claims by SF supervisors about controversial high-rise proposal
The draft environmental impact report for 469 Stevenson, a 495-unit housing development in San Francisco, suggests the board’s concerns about gentrification and displacement are unfounded, largely because the development replaces a car park and therefore has no direct impact. impact. While UC Berkeley researchers suggest 10 to 41 households could be indirectly displaced, the report says affordability requirements, such as the inclusion of 73 affordable units and $8 million for other projects to low income, will minimize the impacts. In response to arguments that the project would harm historic and cultural resources and pose a seismic safety risk, the report proposed mitigation measures for heavy machinery used during construction and noted that the foundation would be seismic resistant. (See related CP&DR coverage.)
Proposed 700,000-acre national monument southeast of Joshua Tree National Park
A new national monument to identify 700,000 acres of wilderness as recreation lands and to protect ecosystems and significant cultural and historical sites may soon be placed along the southern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park. The initiative involves the Chuckwalla National Monument, which takes its name from a lizard that lives in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. The Protect California Deserts campaign, which is behind the decision, hopes to create a resource for the surrounding community and further plans to add 20,000 acres of state land to the national park. To come to fruition, the Biden administration must issue an executive order or Congress would have to approve the monument.
California Coast Faces Faster Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise is accelerating at different rates along the California coast, with Humboldt Bay experiencing the fastest rate on the West Coast, according to a new report from the California Ocean Protection Council. Humboldt Bay’s decline is due to tectonic activity allowing the coast to sink, which could cause a rise of one foot by 2030 and 3.1 feet by 2060. Intense storms, also due to climate change, exacerbate the problem. Homes, sewage treatment plants, part of Highway 101 and a nuclear waste storage facility could all be impacted. (See related CP&DR coverage.)
CP&DR Coverage: Deep Dive into Redondo Beach’s “Builder’s Remedy” Project
Amid Redondo Beach’s longstanding aversion to new developments, a developer purchased an outdated power plant in 2018 and in August submitted a preliminary proposal for One Redondo, a large mixed-use development that includes a hotel, shops and offices, 22.5 acres of greenery and above all 2,290 housing units. Importantly, 458 of them are low income. The combined projects have drawn criticism from city officials and residents, many of whom have long opposed housing development in part on the grounds that regardless of housing pressures on the California coast, more residents will strain the streets of the city. “Builder’s Remedies” laws, codified primarily in the Housing Liability Act of 1990 and implemented by the RHNA’s Sixth Cycle Ambitious Goals, may enable the project to proceed , whether the city likes it or not.
Quick hits and updates
After hearing hours of public comment, Beaumont officials unanimously rejected a master plan change that would have allowed a proposed 1.2 million square foot warehouse project called Summit Station’s to go from the front.
In response to property owners’ complaints, the San Diego Planning Department formulated a plan to redefine “transit priority areas”. The change would include a new category, “sustainable development zones”, which identifies areas within a one-mile radius along pedestrian paths rather than a half-mile around a transit stop to ensure that locations are accessible. Landlords remain unhappy, but city officials fear they simply want to reduce overall housing density.
Five California tribal nations will take over stewardship of coastal lands with $3.6 million in state support. More than 200 miles of coastline and marine ecosystems will be protected by tribes as part of the Tribal Marine Stewards Network. The tribes plan to monitor salmon populations, test for toxins and pass the knowledge on to future generations.
The California Association of Realtors has issued an apology for its role in deepening racial segregation. The group is now working to confront its history, collaborating with nonprofits that focus on racial equity, supporting a bill that would reverse a law that makes it harder to build affordable housing, and pledging to improve the intergenerational wealth of black households.
The new nine-mile Arrow train service between San Bernardino and Redlands is open to passengers. The train will make more than twenty trips a day and one daily express train between Downtown Redlands and Union Station in Los Angeles. (See related CP&DR coverage.)
The Napa City Council voted unanimously to adopt its 2040 General Plan, which includes significant input from the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), formed to improve community awareness. GPAC members include local residents who have collaborated with city staff.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval of a bill banning new oil and gas wells from operating within 3,200 feet of community areas was met with a referendum proposal to overturn the law. A lobbying firm that represents Exxon Mobil and Chevron has started collecting the 623,000 signatures it needs to put the proposal on the 2024 ballot.
Since San Francisco won’t be able to meet a deadline to build a rail loop, the city must repay a $15 million federal government grant to help the city make Market Street car-free. The construction of Loop F has been postponed indefinitely.