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Author: Jonathan Williams

August 21, 2014

Does San Francisco have school choice?

This article in the San Francisco Examiner reminded me of the importance of school choice. The author noted the wide disparity in educational options for rich and poor kids in San Francisco. A related story notes that frustrations are growing for families unable to send their children to neighborhood schools. The unifying theme of these ...

June 04, 2014

City responds to PLF’s CA Supreme Court amicus brief in City of Perris v. Stamper

Recently we received a response to our amicus brief, filed in City of Perris v. Stamper, a case pending before the California Supreme Court. The National Federal of Independent Business joined us on the brief, which argued that cities can't avoid paying fair market value for private property seized through creative general plan amendments. We also ...

May 22, 2014

Coastal Commission ignores local concerns (again)

Last week, I attended the California Coastal Commission meeting at the Inverness Yacht Club near the Point Reyes Seashore. As usual, the Commission scrutinized a wide variety of issues, some mundane, some unusual. These included: whether wireless antennas on the side of telephone poles destroy view sheds; the racial composition of new hires on the ...

May 07, 2014

Los Angeles responds to our General Plan 2035 letter

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission is currently in the process of adopting General Plan 2035. Like Obamacare, General Plan 2035 checks in at a whopping 900 pages. It seeks to reshape the county through mandates including: expanded transit districts, expanded mixed use development, mandatory farming districts, and "Employment Protec ...

April 11, 2014

Should a city be able to use legislative tricks to acquire land cheaply?

The Constitution requires the government to pay just compensation when it seizes private property for public use. However, if the City of Perris has its way, cities will be allowed to pay less than fair market value for private property they seize merely by amending their general plans. The California Supreme Court is set to consider ...

March 12, 2014

CEQA: Special interest groups’ favorite toy

Union activists in San Francisco recently filed suit to block Google's commuter buses from stopping at City bus stations– a privilege for which Google pays the City handsomely. Why might activists use an environmental regulation to block buses that eliminate at least 45 million vehicle miles and 761,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year ...

January 29, 2014

Rural school choice: a personal perspective

People across the country are celebrating National School Choice Week. The vast majority of school choice discussions focus on the struggles of kids in failing urban school districts. However, school choice also has a role to play in rural areas. Schools in these communities enroll one of four American students. In these communities four out ...

January 29, 2014

Sierra Club tries to block Del Mar Fairground visitors

On January 8,the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission seeking to block the Del Mar Fairgrounds' Coastal Development Permit for parking at the fair. The fair needed a permit because the Commission classified parking outside of fair season as "development" in a "wetland." After a long series of meetings the Commissio ...

January 15, 2014

January Coastal Commission Wrap Up

PLF keeps tabs on all of the happenings with the California Coastal Commission by attending their monthly meetings. We live tweet those meetings @TheCoastWatch, and provide recaps here at the blog. Here's a rundown on what happened at the meeting I attended in San Diego last month: • Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $14 million ...

December 06, 2013

Agencies use global warming anxiety to strangle property rights

As Coastal Land Rights Week concludes, it is important to recognize that a tremendous amount of work remains to be done. Governments around the country seem set on taking property along the coast at no cost. Currently the greatest publicity tool these governments have is the prospect of climate change and global warming. In a ...