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Sustainable Development Update
June 8, 2018

Sustainable Development Focus

Latest bill to boost housing statewide takes a step forward

THE REAL DEAL - May 31 A bill aimed at drastically increasing housing development statewide passed the Senate last week, and, if enacted, would require cities like Los Angeles to zone more land for residential construction. Senate Bill 828 (SB 828), drafted by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), passed last Tuesday by a 23-10 vote and now heads to the Assembly. Currently, California law requires cities and counties to zone enough land to meet 100 percent of the local housing need. Under SB 828, that would increase to 125 percent. The bill would apply to land suitable for residential development, including vacant lots, residential lots that could be upzoned, sites owned or leased by government bodies, and nonresidential sites that could be rezoned. Few cities and counties meet the existing requirement for residential zoning, and the law is rarely enforced. If local officials failed to comply with SB 828 requirements, that law would bar them from rejecting any residential project proposed on suitable land.

San Francisco’s 1986 cap on office space now a hurdle — but fix may be in works

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Jun 4 San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Aaron Peskin think they have found a solution to a problem posed by Proposition M, a 1986 cap on development that threatens to block millions of square feet of new commercial space South of Market. The fix, which has the potential to usher in high-profile projects like the new San Francisco Flower Mart at Sixth and Brannan streets, has its roots in a short-lived real estate trend that swept the city in the mid-2000s: a rash of conversions that turned older office buildings into residential condominiums. Peskin and Farrell are co-sponsoring an ordinance that would allow office space converted to residential use to be reallocated as commercial space available to be developed — about 1.3 million square feet. The law, which will be introduced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, would need their approval but would not have to go before the voters. Proposition M, which voters passed to stop the “Manhattanization” of the Financial District, limits the amount of office development the city can approve to 950,000 square feet a year.

Major industrial and retail REITs among leaders in deploying solar power

COSTAR GROUP - Jun 4 Five real estate companies, including three publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), recently landed on the Solar Energy Industries Association's list of the 25 largest corporate providers/users of solar power, including Prologis, GGP, Extra Space Storage, Hartz Mountain, and Lackland Storage. Prologis and GGP ranked in the top 10. Retailers Target and Walmart were the top two corporate solar users based on the capacity and total number of solar installations. Prologis, which was among the first commercial real estate companies to invest in rooftop solar, has a solar capacity of 175 megawatts in its portfolio, enough energy to power 26,000 average U.S. homes each year.

Hilton commits to cutting environmental footprint in half

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER - May 23 Hilton will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions and send zero soap to landfill. Hilton’s new 2030 goals include the following: reduce carbon emissions intensity by 61 percent, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement; reduce water consumption and produced waste by 50 percent; remove plastic straws from managed properties; and sustainably source meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and cotton.

Recycled wastewater now flowing to San Joaquin Valley farms and wildlife

WATER DEEPLY - Jun 4 Only a year after starting construction, at a cost of around $90 million, the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project is already delivering recycled urban wastewater to farms and wildlife refuges in California’s San Joaquin Valley, providing a reliable new water supply to a drought-plagued region. The project, which began delivering water in December, provides farmers in the Del Puerto Water District with about 10,000 acre-feet of water. That’s roughly a 25 percent increase over what they were allocated this year by the federal Central Valley Project (CVP). And since the source is a steady stream of urban wastewater, it’s an irrigation supply that won’t change much from year to year. In comparison, allocations of federal CVP water, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, vary enormously depending on drought conditions, environmental issues, and other factors.

Los Angeles City Council approves $276 million for homeless housing


The Los Angeles City Council approved a plan last Tuesday to spend voter-approved tax revenue to build housing with social services for homeless residents and endorsed state legislation that would funnel $2 billion to cities to immediately house the homeless. In a 15-0 vote, council members approved using $239 million to finance construction of 24 projects that will create 1,517 units of housing for homeless residents, 1,242 of which come with social services and health services attached to them. 248 units are designated as affordable under the market rate, according to a city report. The funds are generated from Proposition HHH, which Los Angeles voters approved in November 2017.

California approves $768 million for electric vehicles

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - May 31 California’s electric utility companies will spend nearly $768 million on charging infrastructure for electric cars, trucks, and buses, under a series of proposals approved last Thursday by state regulators. The programs, viewed together, are believed to be the largest state-level effort yet by the utility industry to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. Governor Jerry Brown has set a goal of having 5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2030, a steep jump from the 369,300 pure electrics and plug-in hybrids now registered in the state. Transportation accounts for about 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and state officials see electrifying heavy-duty vehicles as a way to fight both global warming and air pollution in one step, since regulators also expect much of the electricity to be generated by clean sources like solar power.

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Chine Jeffrey A Jeffrey A. Chine
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Residential & Multifamily | Shopping Center, Retail & Mixed-Use | Real Estate Transactions
San Diego
(619) 235-1525
(619) 233-1158 (fax)
Email Jeffrey

Devine William R William R. Devine
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Investment Management Group | Residential & Multifamily | Real Estate Transactions
Orange County
(949) 851-5412
(949) 553-8354 (fax)
Email William

Perry Patrick A Patrick A. Perry
Land Use & Development | Telecommunications Infrastructure | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Environmental & Natural Resources | Office | Shopping Center, Retail & Mixed-Use | Appeals & Writs | Real Estate Transactions
Los Angeles
(213) 955-5504
(213) 620-8816 (fax)
Email Patrick

Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
San Francisco
(415) 273-8413
(415) 837-1516 (fax)
Email Renée

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