Recent Redevelopment News and Analysis

On Wednesday, July 14, at 10 am, the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) held its public hearing on the Department of City Planning’s proposed hotel special permit text .  Over the past two months, the proposal has been considered by the City’s Borough Presidents and Community Boards, with a number of Community Boards voting in support, and a number of Community Boards voting against the City’s proposal to implement a special permit requirement for all new hotels.  At the public hearing, the Commissioners received public comments regarding the proposal. A number of City Council Members, other elected officials, neighborhood residents, and a representative from the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO (the union for hotel workers in New York) testified in support of the proposal.  A number of other organizations, including the Regional Plan Association and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, testified against the proposal. Those who spoke against the proposal questioned its timing, cited lack of any evidence of problems caused by hotels in commercial districts, and noted that the proposal will likely result in significant detrimental economic impacts on the tourism sector and the City’s economy as a whole, given that it will likely slow or stop development of new hotels.  Several Commissioners also mentioned the proposal’s probable economic impacts, and questioned its land use rationale, wondering why hotels should be subject to a higher level of scrutiny than other uses in the Zoning Resolution, the majority of which are not subject to a special permit process.  Some of the Commissioners also suggested that the proposal should be modified, potentially to include a sunset provision or a geographic limitation.  The Planning Commission’s vote will likely occur in August.

Continue Reading Full Summer Calendar at New York City Planning Commission: Hotel Special Permit, Gowanus Rezoning and More

On Monday, May 3, 2021, the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) “referred” the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) proposed zoning text that would mandate a Special Permit for all
Continue Reading NYC Proposed Citywide Hotel Special Permit Moves into the Public Review Process

On January 23, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (the “2020 Rule”), which includes a revised definition of the “waters of the United States” subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act.[1] The revisions in the 2020 Rule come after a line of U.S. Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) cases ending with Rapanos v. United States,[2] as well as an Obama-era administrative rule addressing the waterbodies under federal jurisdiction (the “2015 Rule”).[3] Rapanos was the last time the Supreme Court interpreted the term “waters of the United States,” with the intent of curtailing the substantial litigation concerning the meaning of the phrase and defining what “waters of the United States” should be included under federal jurisdiction. The 2015 Rule intended to clarify the definition further and codify the Supreme Court decisions. When effective, the newly issued Navigable Waters Protection Rule will limit the 2015 Rule, attempting again to define what are and what are not “waters of the United States.”
Continue Reading Navigable Waters Protection Rule: How are the “Waters of the United States” Being Defined?

State lawmakers passed over 1,200 bills this year, the most in more than a decade according to sources. Governor Brown signed 1,016 into law as of September 30th. Below is a summary of the bills signed into law regulating the planning and development of housing. The majority will take effect on January 1, 2019.
Continue Reading California Housing Legislation (2017-2018)

After several failed attempts in previous years, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 2 (Alejo) on September 22, 2015. (Stats. 2015, ch. 319.) AB 2 authorizes a new structure for tax increment financing—the planning and financing tool that redevelopment agencies (RDAs) had used to support revitalization projects until 2012, when California dissolved the sixty-year-long operation of RDAs.
Continue Reading Redevelopment Strikes Back

On September 29, Governor Brown signed legislation that is seen as creating a robust new financing tool which will expand the existing mechanism of Infrastructure Financing Districts (“IFDs”) and replicate some of the functions of the state’s abolished local redevelopment agencies.  SB 628 (Beall; D-San Jose) authorizes local officials to create Enhanced IFDs and issue bonds to finance capital improvement projects and other specified projects of communitywide significance.  Enhanced IFDs may include any portion of a former redevelopment project area.
Continue Reading Governor Signs Off on New Tax-Increment Financing Structure

By Phillip Tate and Michael Kiely

Two cases filed in Sacramento County, City of Cerritos v. State of California and Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. State of California, have challenged the constitutionality of AB 1X 26, the 2011 bill that provided for the elimination of redevelopment in California. While the California Supreme Court previously upheld the constitutionality of AB 1X 26 in California Redevelopment Association vs. Matosantos, the new cases raise an issue not raised in Matosantos: whether AB 1X 26 violates the provisions of both the California and United States constitutions prohibiting legislation impairing existing contracts. A previous post on this blog discussed a potential challenge to AB 1X 26 based on unconstitutional impairment of contracts.


Continue Reading Redevelopment: Rising From The Ashes Or Final Death Rattle?

By Michael Kiely and Phillip Tate

On December 29, 2011, legislation to dissolve all redevelopment agencies became effective when the California Supreme Court released its opinion in California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos, challenging the Legislature’s adoption of AB 1X 26, providing for elimination of California redevelopment agencies (RDAs), and AB 1X 27, exempting from elimination any RDA that makes a voluntary contribution of its revenues. The Court has upheld the constitutionality of AB 1X 26 and struck down AB 1X 27.
Continue Reading State Cancellation of Redevelopment Agencies May Affect You!

By Michael Kiely and Phillip Tate

The California Supreme Court released its opinion today in California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos, challenging the Legislature’s adoption of AB 1X 26, providing for elimination of California redevelopment agencies (RDAs), and AB 1X 27, exempting from elimination any RDA that agrees to make its share of a $1.7 billion voluntary contribution of its revenues to other local government needs[1].  


Continue Reading Update On Redevelopment Law: The Supreme Court Makes it Official – Redevelopment Is Dead In California