Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘growth’

The Weekly 3: Land Development

What are the three biggest stories each week in the world of California land development?  You’ll find them right here each Monday, or follow LP&A all week long on Twitter at @LPALand for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  This week:

1. Is Developing Alameda Point worth the hassle?

Alameda Point - What Could Have Been

The city of Alameda voted last week to terminate an exclusive negotiating agreement with SunCal for development of the city’s former Navy base, which closed 15 years ago.  SunCal invested nearly $15 million during its four-year process, but was stymied by ever-changing political winds, a city staff with personal agendas and a public that’s not happy without a fight on its hands.  SunCal came on board in 2006 after a partnership of Shea and Catellus got fed up and walked away, which begs the question:  Is developing Alameda Point worth the hassle?  >>Read More


Furry Vengeance: Anti-Growth Activism with a Side of Chocolate Milk

A new, kid-friendly comedy, Furry Vengeance, hits theaters April 30, chronicling a cast of loveable critters as they conspire to make the life of a developer (played with maximum evil buffoonery by Brendan Fraser) a living hell.  But don’t take it from me, here’s how this lovely bit of slam-the-developer is being marketed:

This hilarious film depicts the inventive and clever ways forest animals fight back against thoughtless humans whose development plans encroach on their habitat.

Of course the story line doesn’t mention EIRs, open space dedications with management endowments in perpetuity, or any of that boring stuff.  Instead, it’s another piece from the same folks that brought us An Inconvenient Truth, targeting our kids with an eco-activism message. The movie’s marketing plans include a “Social Action Network” complete with materials and games to teach kids how to vilify development.  No, really.  Its goal is to “educate and engage future environmentalists” and to help kids – your kids – “develop skills and deeper knowledge of habitat and animal protection issues.”

Here at LP&A, we happen to think habitat and animal protection is a stellar idea.  We’ve been involved in the approvals of new communities whose developers have set aside a combined 350 square miles of protected open space – more by far than the producers of Furry Vengeance have protected, we’ll wager.  We just don’t like it when one-sided messages go straight from Hollywood to the next generation, complete with suggested school curricula and Furry Vengeance stuffed animals and lunch boxes.

Kids are Key

While we disagree with their one-sided, anti-development message, the Earth Goddess evangelists of Furry Vengeance got one thing right: Young kids are a powerful audience that shouldn’t be overlooked.  Reaching out to them can spread goodwill, combat rumors, and have a surprisingly positive impact on your approval process.  The alternative is to let a talking squirrel from Hollywood get the last word on your well-balanced proposed project.

To “Save the Planet,” California must be America’s growth leader

If America’s greenest metro areas are in California, why do environmentalists make it so hard to build here?

The answer may benefit your project.

It may come as a surprise to you, but you’ve probably been indoctrinated by the environmental movement. Don’t think so? Well, just answer this question: Is LA – sprawling, smoggy, freeway crisscrossed LA – a “green” city or a “brown” city?

If you answered “brown,” you’re wrong. It turns out that Los Angeles is the fourth greenest metropolitan area in the country. Why’s that? Because the climate here is temperate, so LA’s carbon footprint for air conditioning is less than Atlanta’s or Houston’s, and its footprint for heating is smaller than that of Minneapolis or Chicago. So says a study by Edward Glaeser and Matthew Kahn, UCLA and Harvard profs respectively.