Archive: Oct 2012

  1. November 6th and Beyond

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    As the November election looms, there’s much talk about gaining momentum. Whether it’s in context of the oft-shifting polls of the presidential race, the highly contested runs for Congress or the Senate, or the ever-contentious spate of state measures, propositions, and initiatives, everyone is looking to gain an edge. But as we look beyond November 6th, it’s important to take note of the policy tools and new ways of thinking that are gaining traction. (more…)

  2. Governor Brown Puts a Hold on Redevelopment Redo

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    The Governor has put the brakes on the Legislature’s attempts to develop new economic development tools in the wake of redevelopment’s dissolution.

    On September 30, he vetoed SB 1156, saying that his office would prefer to take a “constructive look at implementing” [PDF] the program only after the redevelopment wind down is complete. Governor Brown echoed those sentiments in his veto messages for AB 2144, AB 2551, and SB 214, which would have reformed Infrastructure Finance Districts to help achieve economic development and renewable energy goals. For AB 2144, he writes [PDF] that the “measure would likely cause cities to focus their efforts on using the new tools provided by [AB 2144] instead of winding down redevelopment.”  While the goals of AB 2551 are laudable, Governor Brown felt that the measure was “premature” [PDF]. (more…)

  3. Los Angeles: Measure J – Accelerate Traffic Relief and Job Creation

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    We’ve covered this measure before, so this will be brief.

    THE PROPOSAL: If approved, this bill would extend the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. By extending the sales tax, the local transportation authority will be able to qualify for new financing options and can accelerate the timeline for completing a series of transit projects. (more…)

  4. California: Proposition 39 – “Clean Energy Jobs Act”

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    THE PROPOSAL: If passed, Prop. 39 will require out-of-state businesses to calculate their California tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. The law would repeal an existing law that gives out-of-state businesses “favorable tax treatment,” and would dedicate $500 million annually to fund projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California. The revenue to fund these projects will come from the anticipated tax revenues from the out-of-state companies. (more…)

  5. EB-5 Visas: A Not-So-New Funding Tool

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    A program created to bring foreign investment to U.S. shores is becoming a more widely used tool to finance development projects. Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 Visa program provides a mechanism for foreign nationals to obtain a green card in exchange for making investments in U.S. businesses. (more…)

  6. It’s Voting Season: A Rundown of Select State and Local Ballot Measures

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    Election day is upon us once again. While the theatrics of the presidential race have garnered much of the nation’s attention, our friends at Ballotpedia are promising another “high-drama ballot proposition year in California.” Voters in the Golden State are facing a barrage of initiatives, measures, and propositions. We don’t have space to go over all of them here, but we’ve cherry-picked some ballot measures that may shape sustainable development outcomes statewide. This article series will start with local ballot measures for San Francisco and Los Angeles counties, then move on to a state proposition.

  7. Moving Beyond the Station Area

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    It looks like the idea of taking a more corridor-based approach [PDF] to transit-oriented development is beginning to take hold. While planning for traditional transit-oriented development has focused on targeted investment around transit stations, planning for integrated transit corridors looks well beyond the station area. This presents an opportunity to spur development and investment in the oft-neglected neighborhoods that happen to fall between transit stations. But, as with all things, corridor planning presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges. (more…)

  8. San Francisco: Proposition C – Affordable Housing Trust Fund

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    THE PROPOSAL: If approved, this measure would create the San Francisco Housing Trust Fund by dedicating a portion of the City’s general fund revenues “to create, acquire and rehabilitate affordable housing and promote affordable home ownership programs” [PDF]. The bill also calls for a 20 percent reduction in the City’s affordable housing requirements for most projects. (more…)

  9. Designed/Made in LA

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    The winner of the “Designed/Made in Los Angeles” logo contest was announced earlier this week. The logo was one of 23 put up for a public vote earlier this month, and will be made available to Los Angeles-based apparel and accessory firms to identify products designed or manufactured in the city. The contest was part of a larger strategy to support LA’s formidable apparel industry. The region boasts 10,000 firms and supports 100,000 direct jobs, about half of which are manufacturing jobs. While apparel industry employment has fallen nationwide, Los Angeles’ share of apparel employment has increased. To capitalize on these gains, the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC) is compiling an online directory of LA-based garment firms, creating a roadmap for contractors that will (hopefully) generate additional demand for local businesses. The Council is also working with fashion education institutions to better train the next generation of fashion industry workers. That gives a whole new meaning to fashion-forward.

  10. LowLine Update

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    We talked about the LowLine’s Kickstarter campaign a few months back and we’ve got some updates to share. First, it looks like the campaign managed to raise enough cash to finance the creation of a small replica of the underground park in an abandoned warehouse. The plan calls for the use of new technologies that’ll help deliver sunlight from above ground to the subterranean park in sufficient quantities to allow for photosynthesis. Check out this CNN video for more details on the project.