Archive: Mar 2014

  1. Finance, Fitness, and the Young Affluents

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    March 20th marks the official start of Spring, when pulses beat faster, green shoots signal optimism and the fire season has not yet started. And so California enters the season of budget-making, legislating and primary politicking. The economy continues to grow and with it rise hopes for long-promised new economic development tools for cities. Local budgets remain tight, reminding us of California’s uniquely constrained public finance structure. What lessons might we learn from East Coast efforts to counter gentrification through property tax reform? Might a more tailored version of Prop.13 have legs now that real estate values are rising again? And as the good weather in the land of perpetual sunshine beckons us outdoors, we welcome the planning profession’s embrace of public health and wellness as core elements of well-planned communities. It’s spring! Enjoy the outdoors, ride a bike, take a walk and keep praying for more rain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano

  2. Props for Prop. 13-Lite?

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    Image from Michael Premo:

    Image from Michael Premo: link

    The consequences of gentrification – both good and bad – continue to be hotly debated. While municipalities are eager to reap the benefits of increased land values and a growing tax base, some cities are also caught in a delicate balancing act. While promoting policies that attract wealthier residents to urban neighborhoods, some local governments are also attempting to minimize the displacement of longtime, lower-income denizens. Policies being considered on the East Coast to combat the displacement of low-income homeowners may have some implications for Proposition 13 reform in California. (more…)

  3. Governor Brown’s Vision for Redevelopment 2.0

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    Image from Washington State Department of Transportation:

    Image from Washington State Department of Transportation:

    Since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2011, cities and counties throughout the state have been left without a well-funded, practical financing mechanism for economic development.   Governor Brown’s new budget trailer bill [PDF] aims to bring back some elements of redevelopment via new and improved infrastructure financing districts.  Yet portions of the Governor’s proposal may not catch fire with local governments. (more…)

  4. Community Wellness Focuses on Equity

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    Always the consummate inter-disciplinary profession, the planning field has evidenced a renewed focus on public health over the last several years. Federal, state, and local governments have embraced community wellness initiatives explicitly focused on health equity, emphasizing policies that facilitate positive health outcomes and reduce disparities between different populations. (more…)

  5. Rails-to-Trails Dealt a Blow by the Supreme Court

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    Rails-to-Trails will need a bigger wallet. The popular movement, which transforms abandoned railroad lines into public bike paths, uses a variety of mechanisms to convert old rail rights-of-way to public space. Some projects relied on federal rights of way created by the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 and applied to land formerly used by railways. These rights-of-way were generally granted in the West, and they were, in some cases, invoked to facilitate the construction of a trail through privately owned property.  But the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that once the rail line was abandoned and the property was sold, the government lost its right of way. (more…)

  6. ULI Urban Market Place on April 23rd

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    ULI will be holding its annual Urban Marketplace event on Wednesday, April 23 from 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The theme this year is “Make a Deal, Make a Difference” and ELP Advisors will be showcasing a the opportunities available along the Biomed Corridor spanning the USC+LAC Hospital to Cal State LA along Valley Boulevard in East LA. (more…)

  7. Cecilia V. Estolano Appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors

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    On February 28th, Governor Brown appointed our own Cecilia V. Estolano to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation with 2.4 million students. (more…)