Laurence Wiener is an attorney with Richards, Watson & Gershon and can be reached at LWiener@rwglaw.com.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was conceived in the 1970s to promote the goal of ensuring that local government decision-makers understand the environmental impacts of their decisions. To implement this goal, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research developed CEQA implementation guidelines, which stated that Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) should be no more than 150 pages and written in plain language that can be readily understood by decision-makers and the public.
Does your city want to help its residents understand how local government works? Are you frustrated when people complain about how city revenues are raised and spent? Do you wish you had an easy way to explain the Brown Act and Public Records Act to the public and your newly elected and appointed officials?
Ken Loman is a policy consultant for the California Climate Action Network, a program of the Institute for Local Government (ILG), and can be reached at email@example.com. Charles Summerell is a program analyst for ILG and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Special thanks to the following individuals who contributed to this article: Betsy Strauss, special counsel to the League; Beth Gabor, public information officer, Yolo County; Jill Boone, sustainability consultant to the City of San Mateo; and Nancy McKeever, PLACE3S program manager, California Energy Commission. For more information about ILG’s climate change program, visit www.ca-ilg.org/climatechange.
An increasing body of scientific research links greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with rising land and ocean temperatures, changes in storm and rainfall patterns, seasonal temperature variations, rising sea levels and other evidence of climate change.
Brian Heaton is former communications specialist for the League. Bill Higgins is the League’s housing and land use legislative representative and can be reached at email@example.com.
At first glance, drafting a new housing element may not seem that complicated. The housing element requires a city to plan for its fair share of housing for each income category: very low, low, moderate and above moderate. The city must identify the land where this housing will be located. To the extent that communities cannot complete this inventory, they must develop a program so that all the land will be identified and appropriately zoned by the end of the five-year planning period.
The City of Livermore won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Internal Administration category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
The City of Fairfield won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
The City of Hemet won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
Michael Jenkins is a partner with the law firm of Jenkins & Hogin and serves as city attorney for the City of West Hollywood and several other Southern California cities; he can be reached at MJenkins@localgovlaw.com. Helyne Meshar is principal of Helyne Meshar & Associates and legislative advocate for the City of West Hollywood; she can be reached at HMeshar@aol.com. Hernan Molina is deputy to West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and can be reached at HMolina@weho.org.
It has been three years since California’s Domestic Partner Law was enacted. This article traces the law’s history, explains California cities’ role in its development and implementation and includes specific recommendations to ensure that your city is in compliance with the law.