Smart Growth News – February 25, 2013

Taking a close look at the federal government’s spending on real estate
US Green Building Council Blog – February 22, 2013
The biggest real estate investor in the United States isn’t Donald Trump, and it’s not a private equity firm.

Kissing Frogs, and Other Smart Growth Strategies
Globe Street – February 22, 2013
Urban development continues to require expert planning and smart growth on the part of cities and developers alike.

Affordability as a transportation planning goal
Planetizen – February 25, 2013
What do transportation system users consider to be the most important problem? Here’s a hint: it’s not traffic congestion.

Bill seeks changes to Calif. environmental law
Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA) – February 25, 2013
California lawmakers on Friday positioned themselves to tackle changes to the state’s landmark environmental regulatory law, which has long been a source of conflict among business, environmentalists, labor groups and local governments.

Biofuel Boom Threatens Life on the Plains
Washington Post – February 23, 2013
A new study finds that high commodity prices and a biofuels rush have led to rates of grassland loss in America’s northern Plains “comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia.” Brad Plumer discusses the impacts.

Local News

Work starts on ‘smart growth’ project
San Diego Union Tribune (CA) – February 25, 2013
Crews have begun clearing the way for Palomar Station, a long-stalled residential and retail project next to the Palomar College Sprinter Station in San Marcos.

In Bid for New Buses, L.A. Demands American-Made
Next City – February 25, 2013
The regional transportation authority for Los Angeles placed an order for 550 American-made buses last month.

Redeveloping La Mesa for Smart Growth
Scoop San Diego (CA) – February 22, 2013
La Mesa awaits a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for a redevelopment project that’s expected to redraw the face of the community’s downtown and spur local business.

Compass: Title 21 isn’t perfect, but it’s good
Anchorage Daily News (AK) – February 25, 2013
Land use decisions are important. They should reflect what all citizens want for the future. That would be easy if we all wanted the same things, but we don’t.