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Sustainable Development Update
November 6, 2018

Sustainable Development Focus

Judge rules in favor of Trump administration in California federal lands case

POLITICO - Nov 2 A federal judge in California last Thursday blocked a state law that sought to limit the transfer of federal lands. The California Legislature passed Senate Bill 50, which would give the California State Lands Commission the first right of refusal over government proposals to sell federal land, in 2017. Environmentalists encouraged its adoption to allay fears that the Trump administration would sell large swaths of federal land to be used for drilling, mining, or real estate development. But the Justice Department sued the state in April, with federal officials claiming that the law already slowed down a number of planned transfers. In its ruling handed down Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Judge William Shubb said the California law violated the Constitution because it interferes with the federal government’s right to regulate the sale of federal property.

S.F. Board of Supervisors approves rezoning of underused lots to allow more affordable housing in SoMa

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Oct 30 Twenty-four underused parcels of land, most of which are parking lots, in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood could be turned into affordable-housing projects, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday. An ordinance authored by Supervisor Jane Kim will allow the city to build 100 percent affordable-housing units in an area that was previously reserved for light industrial use. While all of the lots may not be suitable for housing, the Planning Department said the zoning change could lead to 600 or more 100 percent affordable units. The zoning change comes as the board negotiates the details of the Central SoMa plan, which would revamp a portion of downtown San Francisco with 8,550 housing units and a projected 32,500 jobs.

10 Southern California municipalities commit to 100% renewables through CCA program

SOLAR POWER WORLD - Nov 5 A total of nine cities and one county have opted to power their communities with 100 percent renewable electricity through Clean Power Alliance, a new community choice aggregation (CCA) program in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The cities of Culver City, Ojai, Oxnard, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, South Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, and West Hollywood, as well as unincorporated Ventura County, have each set a 100 percent renewable electricity default through the CCA. This means all residential, business, and municipal customers will be automatically powered entirely by clean, renewable electricity in 2019 when service begins.

Paramount’s S.F. office portfolio earns LEED Platinum

CP EXECUTIVE - Nov 6 Paramount Group Inc. has seen all three of its San Francisco-based office properties, totaling 2.9 million square feet, achieve LEED Platinum status. In October, both One Front St. and 50 Beale St. received the coveted certification, which is the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating. They joined One Market Plaza, a 1.6-million-square-foot trophy office and retail building, which had previously earned the distinction. For the latest two properties to achieve certification, Paramount increased water efficiency by more than 30 percent, received the maximum allotment of points for the Location & Transportation category, and pursued a light pollution reduction credit. The company also achieved superior ratings in IAQ standards and water diversion, including registering high composting rates.

GM advocates for national zero-emissions vehicle program

THE VERGE - Oct 26 General Motors (GM) is advocating for a new nationwide program that promotes electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles. The so-called “National Zero Emission Vehicle program” would potentially put 7 million “long-range” EVs on the road by 2030 and reduce CO2 emissions by 375 million tons. GM is calling for more investment into electric charging infrastructure and for 25 percent of all automakers’ fleets to switch to electric or hybrid power. It also suggests an expansion of California’s current zero-emissions vehicle “credit” system in which automakers have to make and sell a minimum number of clean cars, but they can swap credits if they have a deficit or a surplus.

Cloud computing meets microgrids in new Palo Alto project

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE - Nov 2 Cloud computing firm VMware and the city of Palo Alto announced last Thursday that they will develop a proof-of-concept microgrid at VMware’s headquarters in Palo Alto. The project will explore charging for the city’s emergency command vehicles, and it may serve as an emergency communications node for the city to use during extended power outages, one that demonstrates an alternative to commonly used diesel back-up generators. The microgrid will include an existing solar array and new energy storage. The city's electricity has been carbon neutral since 2013 and its natural gas supply since 2017. The microgrid will add intelligence to its energy management and enhance its electric reliability.

Inside Home Depot’s sustainability and energy strategy

GREENTECH MEDIA - Nov 6 Home Depot plans to reduce its emissions over 50 percent by 2035. Criticisms in the 1990s led the company to develop a strategy to both carry more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly options and label them clearly. Then certain stores began to sell wind turbines and solar panels in the 2000s. More recently, Home Depot worked to develop fuel cell systems, offsite renewables, and rooftop solar projects to power its stores. In 2018, the company set its goal to reduce emissions 50.4 percent by 2035.

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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)
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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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