Jerry Brown Sues Suburb Over Housing Element

The CA Attorney General wants cities to take their housing obligations seriously - so much so that he has joined a 2006 lawsuit against the Alameda County suburb of Pleasanton over a 'housing cap' of 29,000 units approved by its voters in 1996.

2 minute read

July 6, 2009, 11:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


In April, 2007, AG Jerry Brown joined an environmental law suit against fast-growing San Bernardino County because its general plan didn't take into account the greenhouse gas emissions that result from sprawl development.

Now he has taken on the other side of the same coin - going after Pleasanton, a city with high job growth that is deliberately restricting its housing growth with 1996 Measure GG that prevents it from having a certified 'housing element' (a state-required element in a city or county general plan').

"Cliff Rechtschaffen, a special assistant to the attorney general's office, said the state's Department of Housing and Community Development brought the case of Pleasanton to the attorney general's office after finding them out of compliance with their housing element requirements.

Rechtschaffen said the goal of the lawsuit, which was initially filed by the nonprofit group Public Advocates in October 2006, is to have the housing cap modified or repealed."

From "Jerry Brown to Pleasanton: Housing and Climate Change Are Connected":
"What continues to be interesting here is Jerry Brown's consistent emphasis on climate change. In this case, Pleasanton's General Plan just straight-up violates state housing requirements, and the City's housing cap could be invalidated on that basis alone.

Brown has embraced a policy discussion that goes beyond simply pointing out the literal legal problem. In his January 2009 comments on the General Plan DEIR, he criticized the City for not adequately considering the climate change impacts of the Plan. (Amazingly, the City had claimed that a 46% increase in vehicle miles traveled was an insignificant impact!)"

Thanks to Steve Raney

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