Ken Alex is a senior policy advisor to Governor Brown and the head of the state agency that's writing the new California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines. He says projects that meet certain environmental criteria could skip CEQA's requirement of examining a series of possible alternatives.
Alex: "Our interest is in making sure that they're environmentally-good projects, but that they're able to get streamlined review, which we think will lighten the load of developers while protecting the environmental values."
But the process of streamlining CEQA is far from streamlined itself. The regulation changes won't make it through all the steps in the state bureaucracy until 2013. So while Democrats hope these CEQA changes will jump-start infill development, don't expect an economic impact in the coming year.