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Developers use a loophole to bypass Calfornia’s environmental rules

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Developers are exploiting a loophole in California’s ballot initiative process to bypass environmental laws and speed developments. Normally, the planning process for development takes years, stalled by environmental reviews and lawsuits. But a developer in California can put a proposal before voters as a ballot initiative instead. And that means, because of a loophole, city officials can fast-track a proposal before it even makes it on the ballot. It’s a strategy pioneered by Wal-Mart.