Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘home building’

Brown Takes on Greens over (Some) Anti-Growth Litigation

Governor Brown almost sounded like a frustrated land developer earlier today when he talked about the impact litigation by environmental activists has on projects that are essential to meeting California’s demographic growth and protecting its frail economy.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t talking about the ecos’ endless legal challenges to new housing developments.

From the Sacramento Bee:

“In Oakland, I learned that some kind of opposition you have to crush,” Brown, the city’s former mayor, said at a renewable energy conference in Los Angeles.  “Talk a little bit, but at the end of the day you have to move forward, and California needs to move forward with our renewable energy.”

Brown said his office will “act to overcome the opposition,” helping projects overcome permitting and environmental challenges. The Democratic governor announced Friday that he had filed a legal brief urging a federal judge to deny litigation seeking to block a solar energy project in the Mojave Desert.

Yes, the governor is willing to “crush” the very environmentalists who were his strong supporters in the 2010 election – but only as long as it’s over government-subsidized alternative energy schemes. Providing housing for Californians? Rebooting the failed economy? Putting thousands back to work? That’s apparently not worth fighting for.

We’re not sure what we feel about government “crushing” environmental litigators. Having seen them slow so many very well-planned new home communities, driving up costs for consumers and driving down profits for businesses in the process, we confess we’re a bit tickled by the idea.

But two things bother us:  First, we can’t deny we’re sticklers for due process and are more than a little concerned when government gets heavy-handed and agenda-driven.  And second, we’d like to see an acknowledgment that useless litigation is just as bad when it’s used as a tool against home builders and, ultimately, home buyers.

Laer to start second year as Builder News columnist

The national homebuilding magazine Builder News has again picked up Laer as a columnist for 2011, following the successful debut of his business column in 2010. His columns will appear in the February, April, June, August, October and December issues and cover regulation, communications and public affairs topics that affect the building and development industries.

Laer’s more than 25 years of experience helping home builders navigate the entitlement process in California has made him an expert on how to get projects approved in California.  His column aims to help home builders across the nation better understand the regulatory environment.

“California is the master of over-regulating industry, and there is no industry they like to regulate more than the building industry.  The news we share with Builder News about what happens here is a warning sign to the rest of the nation, so they can prepare.”

Laer’s Builder News articles from 2010 are linked below.  We will share the new articles with you as they are published, or you can subscribe to receive Builder News personally.  Click on the images below for full-size views.