Approvals Process

Wood-frame building under construction with robust palm tree in front

L.A. Law Exempts Affordable Housing From Time-Consuming Review Process

Affordable housing and other qualifying projects will no longer be subject to Site Plan Review under a law signed by the city’s mayor last week.

July 10, 2023 - Los Angeles Daily News

An overhead image of a large wooden building as it's being constructed.

What Is By-Right Development?

A by-right approval (also known as an as-of-right approval) is granted when a development proposal strictly conforms to zoning and building codes and, thus, qualifies for construction without requiring discretionary approval.

December 9, 2021 - James Brasuell

The exterior of Cincinnati City Hall on a sunny day.

Cincinnati Ends Political Contributions by Developers in Response to Corruption Spree

Corruption is a common companion to the development approvals process—Cincinnati is no exception. But Cincinnati is attempting a new approach to conflicts of interest.

October 31, 2021 - WTOP

Center City Construction

Philadelphia Council President Wants to Curb the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment has shown a strong preference for providing developer-friendly decisions. Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke has seen enough.

September 21, 2021 - PlanPhilly

Newtown Creek

How Broken Planning and Development Processes Hobble the Potential of Neighborhoods

A stinging critique of the public review process in New York City.

November 30, 2020 - Curbed

Car-Centric Planning

The Causes of California's Development Malaise

A spate of recent articles has taken a critical look at the regulatory obstacles to a progrssive planning vision in the state of California.

September 22, 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle


Are Virtual Public Meetings Here For Good?

Online public hearings and other meetings have become commonplace. A case can be made to continue virtual meetings even in the post-COVID-19 era.

September 9, 2020 - Governing

Los Angeles City Hall

Keeping Bees Away from Honey? Corruption Cases Expose Flaws in L.A. City’s Land Entitlement Process

Three former Los Angeles public officials share their collective perspective on how best to reform the city of Los Angeles' corrupted land use approval process.

September 8, 2020 - The Planning Report


Trump's Latest Deregulatory Itch: The National Environmental Policy Act

In a move called "one of the biggest — and most audacious — deregulatory actions of the Trump administration," President Trump yesterday announced plans to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act for federal infrastructure projects.

July 16, 2020 - The New York Times

Los Angeles Grand Park

L.A. City Councilmember Arrested, to Face Charges in Development Corruption Scheme

Longtime City Councilmember Jose Huizar was arrested at his home in Boyle Heights this morning, in the latest signal of a culture of corruption at Los Angeles City Hall.

June 23, 2020 - Los Angeles Times


Economic Stimulus in England: Speed Up Planning Approvals

To help jumpstart the economy in England, the country is taking the bureaucracy out of the planning process.

June 23, 2020 - Financial Times

Public Outreach

Regulatory Considerations for Online Public Engagement: Ensuring the Viability of Projects

As online engagement becomes increasingly important during COVID-19, so does understanding compliance with legal requirements.

June 17, 2020 - Stantec


CEQA Exemptions Could Finally Be Granted to Sustainable Transportation Projects

California has traditionally granted environmental exemptions to large projects like football stadiums, a practice criticized by environmentalists and urbanists alike. SB 288 would change that, with exemptions for sustainable transportation projects.

June 16, 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade

Reforms Would Ease Approvals Process for Downtown Developments in Santa Monica

The city of Santa Monica will consider approvals process changes that will make it easier to entitle the largest projects allowed under zoning for the city's downtown.

May 14, 2020 - Urbanize LA

South Los Angeles Market-Rate Housing Development

Developer Sues L.A. After Area Planning Commissioners Reject Multi-Family Project

A development controversy also now an expanding legal controversy, after a local planning commission rejected a controversial development proposal allowed by zoning.

February 24, 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Subway Homeless

Proposed Law Would End Development Review Exemption for Homeless Shelters

If passed, a new law would require homeless shelter developments in New York City to undergo the full Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

January 29, 2020 - Staten Island Advance


The High Costs of Housing Development: It's Complicated

The high costs of housing development do not fit a convenient narrative, according to new analysis by Jenny Schuetz from the Brookings Institution.

January 24, 2020 - Brookings


States Mandating Housing Deregulation

Housing deregulation for the sake of housing affordability made progress in both Democratic- and Republican-led states last year.

January 21, 2020 - City Journal


To Clear Obstacles to Housing Affordability, Environmental Law Reformed in Washington

State and local lawmakers hope that recent reforms to the Washington State Environmental Policy Act are only an initial step toward ending the law's use as a tool for delaying affordable housing plans.

January 8, 2020 - Crosscut

Downtown Boston Waterfront

600-Foot Tower Proposed for the Boston Waterfront

A proposed high-rise would transform the downtown Boston waterfront, and the city's skyline.

November 22, 2019 - The Boston Globe

Assistant/Associate Professor in Indigenous Planning

University of New Mexico - School of Architecture & Planning

Principal Planner

Placer County

Coastal Program Analyst III

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)

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