Arthur F. Coon

Arthur F. Coon

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If A Tree Falls In The (Urban) Forest … Does CEQA Apply? Sixth District Holds City Of Santa Cruz’s Amendment Of Tree Protection...

When California local governments stretch their resources too far to regulate private conduct and property rights in the name of environmental protection, CEQA can make it quite onerous to undo what has been done. And one can...more

11/16/2015 - CEQA Environmental Policies Environmental Review Local Ordinance Public Parks

Berkeley Hillside CEQA Cat Ex Case Redux: Kapors Get Their Mansion, First District’s Belatedly Published Opinion Upholds City’s...

On remand following a landmark California Supreme Court decision, the First District Court of Appeal filed its opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment on September 23 and later ordered it published on October 15, 2015....more

11/11/2015 - Berkeley Hillside v City of Berkeley CA Supreme Court CEQA Environmental Impact Report Land Developers

Second District Rejects CEQA And Fair Transit Hearing Challenges To LA Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project In Lengthy...

In a 65-page opinion certified for publication and filed October 22, 2015, the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s judgment denying writ petitions by the City of Beverly...more

11/5/2015 - Appeals CEQA EIR Environmental Impact Report Federal Transit Administration NEPA Railroads Railways SCAQMD Transportation Industry University of California

Satisfying State Compensatory Mitigation Requirements Under CEQA On Federal Conservation Lands: CDFW And BLM Agree To Cooperate To...

On October 2, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”) entered into a 12-page “agree[ment] to work with each other to conserve biological and natural resources on...more

10/29/2015 - Bureau of Land Management CEQA Conservation Federal Land Habitat Conservation Plan Mitigation Natural Resources Public Land US Fish and Wildlife Service

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Baseline Issues In Partially Published Opinion Upholding EIR For Carlsbad Shopping Mall Renovation

In an opinion filed September 10, and later ordered partially published on October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the substance of a judgment upholding an EIR for a regional shopping center renovation project in...more

10/14/2015 - CEQA Construction Industry EIR Environmental Impact Report Groundwater Mitigation Retail Market San Diego Assoc of Governments (SANDAG) San Francisco Shopping Centers Standard of Review Traffic Laws Urban Planning & Development

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part II – Proposed “Substance” and Major...

On September 18, 2015, I posted a “Part I” piece on the “efficiency improvements” category of OPR’s Preliminary Discussion Draft of its “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). This follow up post...more

10/6/2015 - CEQA Clean Energy Construction Industry Discussion Draft Energy Commissions Energy Policy Energy Sector Environmental Impact Report NOAA Renewable Energy Water Supplies

First District Applies CEQA Exhaustion/Standing Rules, Upholds Judgment Rejecting Claim of Statutory Exemption for Controversial...

In a published decision filed September 17, 2015, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that a proposed land exchange agreement was not statutorily...more

9/29/2015 - Administrative Proceedings Appeals CEQA Exhaustion Doctrine Land Developers Land Use Restrictions Petition for Writ of Mandate Real Estate Development San Francisco Standing

Back To The Chalk Board: School District’s Math Fails To Justify CEQA Categorical Exemption For School Closures

In a published opinion filed September 2, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Division 2) reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging a school district’s determination that its closure of...more

9/4/2015 - Appeals Berkeley Hillside v City of Berkeley Categorical Exemptions CEQA Educational Institutions School Districts Student Enrollments

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...more

8/26/2015 - Attorney-Client Privilege CEQA Inadvertent Disclosure Injunctive Relief PRA Public Records Public Records Act TRO Work Product Privilege

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

8/20/2015 - CEQA Commercial Real Estate Market Compliance Educational Institutions Energy Sector Environmental Impact Report Greenmail Industrial Space Infill Development Infrastructure Public Parks Real Estate Development Retail Market Solar Energy Wind Power

The “Old College Try” Flunks Out: California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Mitigation Obligation For CSU Campus Expansion Projects...

In an August 3, 2015 decision that impacts the California State University’s (CSU) plans to expand its campuses across the state, the California Supreme Court has rejected CSU’s arguments that mitigation of its projects’...more

8/5/2015 - CEQA Educational Institutions Environmental Impact Report Fair Share Contribution Mitigation Standard of Review Universities University of California

Fourth District Expounds On CEQA’s Responses To Comments Rules – And Abuses of the Process – As Well As Other Issues In Upholding...

In an opinion filed June 12 and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding a supplemental EIR (“SEIR 564”) for a long-planned expansion of the James A....more

7/15/2015 - Agricultural Land Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. CEQA Construction Industry Environmental Impact Report Environmental Liability Environmental Review Prison Smart Rail Traffic Laws

Fourth District Holds Losing CEQA Plaintiff’s Mooted Appeal Was Not “Catalyst” To City’s Revocation Of Project Entitlements After...

In an opinion filed June 8, and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a CEQA plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees under CCP § 1021.5,...more

7/9/2015 - Appeals Attorney's Fees CEQA Construction Industry General Plan Land Developers Purchase Agreement Target

Fourth District Upholds San Diego’s Balboa Park Revitalization Project Against Land Use Law And CEQA Challenges

In a published decision filed May 28, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed that part of the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate and otherwise affirmed the judgment, thus upholding the City of San...more

6/30/2015 - CEQA Public Projects San Diego

A CEQA Trustee Agency “Muscles Up”: Third District Holds Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newly Exercised Power To Require Notice...

Under CEQA, a “trustee agency” is a “state agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for the people of the State of California” and “[t]he California Department of...more

6/16/2015 - Administrative Authority Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report Inland Waterways Jurisdiction NGOs Property Owners Real Estate Development State Department of Fish and Wildlife Statutory Interpretation Subject Matter Jurisdiction Trustees Water Diversion Water Rights

CEQA Categorical Exemption Case Opinion Ordered Slightly Modified By Supreme Court; Berkeley Hillside Preservation Judgment Is...

On May 27, 2015, the California Supreme Court filed a 4-page order modifying portions of the majority and concurring opinions previously filed March 2, 2015, in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2015) 60...more

6/3/2015 - Berkeley Hillside v City of Berkeley CA Supreme Court Categorical Exemptions CEQA Environmental Impact Report Legal Opinion Substantial Evidence Standard

Fourth District Holds CEQA Does Not Require City To Predict ESHA Determinations In Approving Project Over Which Coastal Commission...

In a published opinion filed May 20, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting mandate relief based on a general plan violation, affirmed its denial of relief under CEQA, and...more

5/27/2015 - Appeals CEQA Coastal Real Estate General Plan Mixed-Use Zoning

Sixth District Applies CEQA’s “Fair Argument” Standard, Holds That Despite Project’s Compliance With Local Noise Ordinance, EIR...

On May 7, 2015, the Sixth District Court of Appeal filed a published opinion addressing numerous issues of interest under CEQA’s “fair argument” test for preparing an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”). Keep Our Mountains...more

5/13/2015 - Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report Excessive Noise Local Ordinance Special Use Permit

Executive Order B-30-15 And CEQA GHG Analysis: Evolving Uncertainty At The Intersection Of Law, Policy And Science

I recall that Mike Zischke, co-author of CEB’s excellent CEQA treatise, used to be fond of saying the “normal” or “usual rules” for analyzing cumulative impacts should apply to analysis of a project’s greenhouse gas (GHG)...more

5/6/2015 - CEQA Climate Change Energy & Climate Debates Executive Orders Greenhouse Gas Emissions Jerry Brown

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

4/16/2015 - Appeals Attorney's Fees Cal Code of Civil Procedure CEQA Private Attorneys General Act

Second District Holds First Tier CEQA Analysis Suffices For Regional Board’s Setting of Novel TMDL For Lake Bed Sediment

In a short published opinion, the Second District Court of Appeal rejected federal Clean Water Act, state Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and CEQA challenges to a regional board’s Basin Plan Amendment establishing a...more

4/9/2015 - Appeals CEQA Clean Water Act Inland Waterways TMDL Water Quality Control Boards

CEQA Review of Sacramento Kings Downtown Arena Project Held Legally Adequate In Published Third District Opinion

In a published opinion filed February 18, 2015, the Third District Court of Appeal rejected all legal challenges to the City of Sacramento’s EIR and CEQA compliance for approval of its new downtown entertainment and sports...more

3/13/2015 - Appeals CEQA Construction Project Environmental Impact Report Sacramento Kings Sports

Supreme Court Will Review CEQA Decision Invalidating SANDAG’s 2050 RTP

On March 11, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) petition for review of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San...more

3/13/2015 - Appeals CA Supreme Court CEQA Petitions for Review San Diego San Diego Assoc of Governments (SANDAG) Urban Planning & Development

Work Done Under Unchallenged CEQA Emergency Exemption Held Part Of Existing Environment Baseline In Subsequent CEQA Challenge To...

In a decision filed January 29, and belatedly ordered published on February 18, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected numerous CEQA (and other) challenges to the City of San Diego’s regular, after-the-fact...more

3/13/2015 - Categorical Exemptions CEQA Coastal Real Estate Construction Permits Public Projects Real Estate Development San Diego

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