Development & Population

Overview

Development & Population

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

In California’s new wildfire reality, facing the need for periodic fires to clear fuel

When a wall of flames raced up the hillside at Avalanche Creek on a recent afternoon, firefighters in Yosemite National Park had to act quickly. The giant Ferguson Fire was headed toward the south rim of Yosemite Valley, and if crews didn’t stop it here, the fire would open up on the edge of the park’s most beloved spot.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At UC Santa Cruz, a housing shortage pits the need for beds against a much-loved meadow

The road to UC Santa Cruz winds past old lime kilns, assorted barns and storage sheds. Then a vast meadow opens. Its wild prairie grasses, baked golden on toasty summer days, add a vivid layer of color to the vista of redwood forests beyond and bright blue sky above.

Aquafornia news Cronkite News

Decades-long court battle over water rights impedes economic investment in rural Arizona

The “growth” industry has fueled Arizona’s economy – growth in houses, offices, and places to have fun. Consistent growth is possible, in part, because of prudent water management in the more populated areas of the state. But outside the population hubs, some water rights still are tied up in court, making it hard for developers to plan.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Lessons from the La Tuna fire

Despite the evidence, many policymakers still mistakenly believe that wildland fires behave unpredictably, and that their effect on homes is similarly unpredictable. That leads to inaction. More troubling, some politicians are now attempting to use the loss of homes and lives in recent wildland fires as an excuse to reduce environmental protections and increase commercial logging in our national forests under the guise of “thinning.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona sides with developer in river water use dispute

A proposed housing development that opponents say will dry out one of the Southwest’s only free-flowing rivers can take shape after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the developer has proved it has sufficient long-term water supply.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Coastal officials vote to tear down sea wall protecting Laguna Beach mansion

The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously Thursday to order a Laguna Beach couple to pay $1 million in fines and tear down a sea wall that officials say protects a single mansion from erosion at the expense of the public beach in front.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona Supreme Court to rule on lawsuit over water rights

The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on a lawsuit involving water usage for a proposed 7,000-home development near one of the Southwest’s only free-flowing rivers.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

How Coastal Commission could force a $25 million beachfront home to be bulldozed

After previous owners were told by the California Coastal Commission that they couldn’t rebuild their Laguna Beach house in its existing beachfront footprint, new owners performed an extensive remodel — without a commission permit — that they say increased the home’s value by $11 million. … Commission staff is recommending removal of a retroactively approved seawall …

Aquafornia news NPR

Why today’s wildfires are hotter and more destructive

In the West, wildfires are burning hotter and more intensely than ever because of climate change, and the situation is made worse by the explosion of development in fire-prone areas and past firefighting decisions. Here are three reasons the destructive fires you’re seeing all over the news right now are unlikely to abate anytime soon.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California groundwater law means big changes above ground, too

California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon train. The rules do not require critically overdrafted aquifers to achieve “sustainability” until 2040. But 22 years from now, once they finally get there, lives will be transformed.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: Gov. Jerry Brown talks CEQA reform, but hasn’t done it

The state has a neat little Internet search engine that, among other things, allows one to plug in some keywords and instantaneously find every legislative bill containing those words. Inserting “California Environmental Quality Act” into the designated box reveals that there are 142 measures in the current biennial session that in some way pertain to the 48-year-old law signed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Editorial: Madera County Supervisors Premature in Approving Gunner Ranch

From The Fresno Bee:

With California — particularly its farm economy — suffering from the effects of a historic drought, it is imperative that our leaders act responsibly to protect water resources.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Building Again in Natomas is Too Risky

From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Bruce Maiman:

Growth is returning to Natomas, but a troubling question is going to be ignored or dismissed by those with the power to address it: Is building in a floodplain a good idea?

Read more

 

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Manteca Share of Levee Study: $863K

From the Manteca Bulletin:

If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 — development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

National Park Service Calls Development Plans a Threat to Grand Canyon

From the Los Angeles Times:

Looking eastward from the canyon’s popular South Rim, visitors could soon see a hive of construction as workers build restaurants, hotels and shops on a distant mesa on the Navajo Indian reservation. … That project and a second, unrelated development proposed for just south of the canyon have set off alarms at the National Park Service, which sees them as the most serious threat the park has faced in its 95-year history.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California Acts to Speed Up Quake Fault Mapping

From the Los Angeles Times:

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval, California officials are reviving an ambitous plan to study dangerous earthquake faults and create zoning maps that could restrict development.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Developers Seek End to Federal Protections for California Gnatcatcher

From the Los Angeles Times:

Developers citing new scientific evidence are pressing to end federal protections for the California gnatcatcher, whose status as a threatened species has barred development in many areas of prime Southern California coastal real estate for two decades.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Developers Seek End to Federal Protections for California Gnatcatcher

From the Los Angeles Times:

Developers citing new scientific evidence are pressing to end federal protections for the California gnatcatcher, whose status as a threatened species has barred development in many areas of prime Southern California coastal real estate for two decades.

Read more

 

Aquafornia news

Blog: High Population Growth Shifts from California to Other States

From The Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert blog, in a post by Dan Walters:

“California cities once led the nation in urban population growth, but sharp declines in migration and birthrates have slowed the state’s human expansion to well under 1 percent a year, a third of what was happening during the go-go 1980s.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Interior Secretary: Contra Costa Conservation Efforts are a Model for Nation

From the Contra Costa Times:

“Making her second visit to East Contra Costa in less than two months, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday lauded the region as a model for the nation in the area of habitat conservation.”

Read more from the Contra Costa Times

 

Commands