Tuesday, May 18, 2010

California land use and climate change

Just when you thought land use regulation in California could not get any trickier, along comes this.

By way of reference, I started my career in California working with the California Environmental Quality Act, better known as CEQA.  I haven't stayed current with CEQA, but I can tell you that complying with it can be a veritable minefield for a developer. Groups and people, whether well-intentioned or not, can hold up a project for years or even stop it entirely for more reasons than I can count.


Now you can add another mine to the field: curbing greenhouse gases. Municipal planning organizations can conflict with local plans, and then you have possible inconsistencies with general plans, specific plans...I could go on for an hour and I am not even a expert in this area at all.  It will be a field day for lawyers, though!

It isn't clear how this will all play out, but what is clear that uncertainty will be in the market.  And we all know how much investors like uncertainty (not). 

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