Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘regulation’

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.

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Prop 26 – A New Way To Stop Projects?

Given how deft Sacramento is at hiding taxes as fees in order to avoid the mandatory two-thirds vote for taxes, who didn’t vote for Prop 26, so fees will also be subject to a two-thirds vote?  Well, actually 4.3 million Californians didn’t, by current count. Fortunately for wallet-watchers, 4.7 million voted yes.

But California is nothing if not the Land of Unintended Consequences.  Now it looks like Prop 26 could be a nifty new way for state regulatory boards like the California Coastal Commission or a Regional Water Quality Control Board, which are subject to its provisions, to delay new development projects.

Development fees are not subject to Prop 26, so if a new project is dinged a nice little bucket of cash to improve signals at some intersections it’s impacting, no special vote  is required.  That’s fine – the authors of the California Chamber-sponsored proposition anticipated that, and wrote the measure to protect developers.

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LP&A Creates New LinkedIn Group for Water Policy Professionals

Thanks to Laer Pearce & Associates, professionals that work with water policy around the world now have a LinkedIn group where they can discuss topics related to helping set and navigate water policy.  The Water Policy Professionals group encourages members to discuss legislation, communication strategies, regulations, incentives and news regarding policy on water supply, quality and pricing.  It will also include job postings and other networking functions.

Laer set up the group because he believes idea-sharing and open communications can help to find consensus on highly contentious issues – or at least move the discussion forward instead of having it bog down in rhetoric wars.

The group is a sister to LP&A’s other LinkedIn group, Water Conservation Professionals, which has 513 members. Seven people joined Water Policy Professionals in its first 30 minutes.

LP&A has been working on water-related issues for more than 20 years and is actively involved in helping to set policy for water issues on local, regional and state-wide levels.  We currently serve four water and wastewater agencies and CalDesal, a nonprofit advocating for pro-desalination policies and regulation in California.

Local Land-Use Matters Split November Ballot

The San Diego Union Tribune identified 17 key local land-use matters before California voters on Tuesday.  After all the votes were cast, nine resulted in positive news for the building industry, while eight weren’t so great.  See the rundown below.

Merced County Measure C: Voter Confirmation of Zoning Changes - Failed

Considered a slow growth initiative and known originally as the “Save Farmland Initiative,” Measure C would amend the county’s general plan to require voter approval whenever ten or more acres would be converted from agricultural or open space to residential use.

Yes 43.84%

No 56.16%

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LP&A Land Weekly 3: Reaching, Reaching, Reaching

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPALand on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

CARB Officials Reach for Their Sunglasses

It may not exactly be “Morning in America” just yet, but the sun is beginning to shine through the obfuscating clouds in Sacramento.  A new law signed this week by Governor Schwarzenegger requires the California Air Resources Control Board to – get this – actually explain to businesses why they’re being fined.  According to the bill’s author, “there was nothing that held CARB accountable in how the penalties were determined or the reason for the violation.”  That was a necessary first step.  Now it’s time to address the burdensome laws CARB will be more transparently enforcing.

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Water Weekly 3: Totally cool, totally hot and totally illogical

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

Totally Cool About Climate Change

UCLA economist Matthew Kahn thinks global warming is the real deal, and he’s really cool with it. “There is a lot of evidence that we can cope with change, that we are not mice, and we have big brains,” he told the LA Times, stating what we’ve always thought was obvious.  As for California’s water woes in a hotter world, he’s once again positive … in a way:  ”Climate change may force us to get rid of our crazy outdated [water] laws,” he said.  Looks like good times ahead for water lawyers!

Read the L.A. Times interview here

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The Weekly 3 Land: Red tape and NIMBYs galore

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPALand on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

Red Tape…Fuggedaboudit

It’s a rare day when California can learn something from the state of New Jersey.  We’ll take the California shore over Jersey’s version any day, but Californians should be paying attention to what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is up to.  The state’s newly elected leader is proposing the merger or elimination of nearly 300 boards and commissions – including many inactive or defunct groups created years ago, and some that have never met at all.  Sacramento, are you listening?

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The Water Weekly 3: Goop, Poop and Puffery

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

Cleaning up Sacramento

It’s an old trick – bury a story by releasing it late Friday before a holiday – but it didn’t work, as the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s much too delayed dealing with the Sacramento County Regional Sanitation District still got noticed.  Ammonia from Sacramento’s sewage pollutes the Delta, contributing to declining fish populations, yet the goop and poop get only primitive primary treatment.   The order sets change in motion, but expect Sacramento to fight it or ask the rest of the state to pay to clean up their … problem.

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Weekly 3 Land: Spited noses, golden gambles and more

What are the three biggest stories each week in the world of California land development?  You’ll find them right here, or follow LP&A all week long on Twitter at @LPALand for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

1. What’s That About Noses and Faces and Spite?

There’s AB32, SB375 and a whole host of other regulations designed to coerce developers onto the green bandwagon. Some moves in that direction are wholly embraced by the building community, primarily because they’re market-driven solutions that provide tangible benefits.  Like smart energy and water meters that help homeowners better manage their consumption and reduce utility bills.  So why is the evergreen County of Santa Cruz moving to ban the technology? It’s afraid the wireless signal the boxes transmit – similar to cell phones – poses health risks.  Builders beware.

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Possible Pick of RFK, Jr. for EPA Head Signals a New Age of Regulation

Tougher water quality regulations and higher energy costs may be on the horizon for the water industry.

The ballot-counting hasn’t even stopped and we are seeing signs of increased regulation ahead for the water industry under the administration of Barack Obama.Politico reports:

President-elect Barack Obama is strongly considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a Cabinet post, Democratic officials told Politico.

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