Arthur F. Coon

Arthur F. Coon

Miller Starr Regalia

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Miller Starr Regalia Files Neutral “CEQA-in-Reverse” Case Amici Brief in California Supreme Court on Behalf of League of...

On April 16, 2014, Miller Starr Regalia filed in the California Supreme Court a “neutral” amici brief – one in support of neither party – addressing the important “CEQA-in-reverse” issue presented in California Building...more

4/23/2014 - Bay Area Air Quality Management District CEQA Miller Starr Regalia

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

4/15/2014 - CEQA Clean Energy Energy Environmental Impact Report Mitigation Permits Real Estate Development Urban Planning & Development

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

4/8/2014 - CEQA class

Second District Addresses Interesting CEQA and CESA Species Mitigation Issues in Lengthy Partially Published Opinion Upholding...

In a lengthy, mostly published opinion filed on March 20, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate, and upheld – as against state law challenges brought by a...more

4/7/2014 - Carbon Emissions CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Fish and Wildlife Service Greenhouse Gas Emissions US Army Corps of Engineers

CEQA’s Standards For Subsequent Review To Be Addressed By Supreme Court

In a rare grant of review of an unpublished case, the California Supreme Court granted review on January 15, 2014 of the decision in Friends of the College at San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District...more

3/26/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies Environmental Review

Overreaching to Apply CEQA; Second District Strikes Down LA’s Attempted Mid-Game Rule Change in Tower Lane Properties

Sometimes in the land use world, municipal planners and other regulators need to be reminded of the simple things. For example, a fundamental precept of due process is that the rules cannot be changed in the middle of the...more

3/17/2014 - Building Permits CEQA Environmental Policies

Supreme Court is Primary CEQA Reform Engine

Followers of CEQA reform efforts over the past several years will have observed two general trends: (1) Legislative reform has proven difficult, incremental, and marked by political division and dealmaking; and (2) the...more

3/5/2014 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Policies SCOTUS

CEQA Requires CalTrans’ EIR to Separately Analyze Significance of Highway Project’s Impacts on Protected Old Growth Redwoods’ Root...

In a partially-published opinion filed January 30, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal, Division 3, reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition, and held that Caltrans must correct certain deficiencies in...more

2/17/2014 - Caltrans CEQA Department of Transportation Environmental Impact Report Highways Infrastructure Roads

OPR Mulls Changes in CEQA Traffic Metrics

As previously discussed in this blog, last year’s passage of SB 743 added a requirement in Public Resources Code § 21099(b) that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) develop new CEQA guidelines “for...more

2/14/2014

CEQA Action Seeking to Avoid LAFCO Annexation and SOI Change Approvals is Dismissed for Failure to Comply with Procedural...

The lessons taught by the Fifth District Court of Appeal in its recently-published decision in Protect Agricultural Land v. Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission (City of Ceres, RPI), ___ Cal.App.4th ___, 2014...more

2/13/2014 - CEQA Compliance Environmental Impact Report Land Developers Land Use Courts Municipalities Urban Planning & Development Validity

OPR To Review Specific CEQA Guidelines Topics Proposed For 2014 Update, Solicits Public Input

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) will undertake a comprehensive review of the CEQA Guidelines (14 Cal.Code Regs., §15000 et seq) this year and is currently soliciting public input – to be provided not...more

1/30/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies

CEQA-In-Reverse Case Opening Brief Filed In California Supreme Court

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) laid out its case that CEQA contains no general directive requiring analysis of the existing environment’s impacts on a future project in a 50-page opening brief filed in...more

1/16/2014 - Air Pollution Building Standards CEQA Contamination Environmental Policies Hazardous Substances

“Bag It!” – Third Published CEQA “Bag Ban” Decision Upholds San Francisco’s Ordinance as Categorically Exempt While Slamming...

Plaintiff Save the Plastic Bag Coalition (Coalition) lost a third consecutive published appellate decision in its litigation campaign to require EIRs for virtually all local ordinances that ban or restrict the use of...more

1/13/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Municipalities Plastic Bag Bans Retailers

2014 Land Use Program - Northern California

In this presentation: - Legislative CEQA Reform Efforts - Selected CEQA Case Law Developments - Land Use Developments - What’s Happening in Tracy? - Overview and Purpose - Site...more

1/10/2014 - Business Development CEQA CEQA Reform Economic Development Environmental Policies Koontz v St John's River Water Management Public Projects Railways SCOTUS Smart Rail

First District “Doubts” CEQA Operates In Reverse, Upholds Mitigated Negative Declaration For Urban Infill Project Despite Soil and...

In an opinion recently ordered published, the First District Court of Appeal extensively reviewed the relevant case law and expressed skepticism that CEQA would operate in reverse to require analysis of potential impacts on a...more

1/6/2014 - CEQA Contaminated Properties Contamination Environmental Claims Environmental Policies Mitigated Negative Declaration Urban Planning & Development

Judicial CEQA Reform On Supreme Court’s Docket In Coming Year?

Few would dispute that the California Supreme Court has played a leading role in judicial CEQA reform in recent years. It has clarified the law on the operation of CEQA’s statues of limitations, and attempted to bring more...more

12/24/2013 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Policies

Supreme Court Will Review “CEQA-In-Reverse” Issue In CBIA Case Challenging 2010 BAAQMD Air Quality Guidelines

On November 26, 2013, the California Supreme Court by unanimous vote granted review of a fundamental legal issue that repeatedly has surfaced in recent years in both published appellate opinions and the legislative debate...more

12/10/2013 - Air Pollution Air Quality Standards CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Policies

All About “Commitment”: CEQA Review is Not Triggered By Orange County’s AB 900 Application For State Funding To Expand Existing...

In a decision recently ordered published, the Fourth District Court of Appeal added to the growing progeny of Save Tara, and affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying the City of Irvine’s writ petition seeking to compel...more

11/27/2013 - CEQA Environmental Review Prison

First District Rejects CEQA Challenge To City of Napa’s Reliance On Prior General Plan EIR For Housing Element Update Project

The EIR has long been the judicially-proclaimed “heart of CEQA” because it represents the culmination of the statute’s environmentally-protective purposes and objectives. Yet the legal “expiration date” for the document...more

11/20/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Municipalities Public Projects

Third District Holds CEQA Does Not Require Recirculation Based On Staff-Recommended Alternative Raised After Preparation of Final...

In a recent decision extensively analyzing and applying CEQA’s rules on alternatives analysis, recirculation, and a petitioner’s burden to show agency error, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the Nevada County...more

11/18/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies

CEQA Standing and Exhaustion Rules Applied In Action Challenging City of San Jose’s General Plan Update

The Sixth District Court of Appeal, in a published decision filed September 30, 2013, reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant City of San Jose in an action challenging its “Envision San Jose” comprehensive...more

11/13/2013 - CEQA Environmental Policies Municipalities Standing Urban Planning & Development

“The Year in CEQA: A Look Back”

My October 31 presentation with David Ivester for the Bay Planning Coalition on recent CEQA developments brought home the fact that while there has been only partial and incremental legislative reform (in the form of SB 743),...more

11/4/2013 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Policies

Depublication of Controversial CEQA Common Interest Case Denied by Supreme Court, Leaving Troublesome Split of Authority

On October 16, 2013, 60 days after the request was submitted, the California Supreme Court denied Infill Builders’ request to depublish Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court (5th Dist. 2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 889, a decision...more

10/18/2013 - CEQA SCOTUS Split of Authority

Plaintiff’s Failure to Request CEQA Hearing Within 90 Days of Filing Petition Due to Lead Attorney’s “Excusable” Calendaring Error...

The important legislative policy of expediting CEQA litigation sometimes inevitably conflicts with the policy favoring resolution of cases on their merits. This conflict is never more sharp than when a CEQA plaintiff’s...more

10/9/2013 - CEQA Environmental Policies

Recent CEQA Developments In The Legislature And Courts

As we move past summer, into fall, the “back-to-school,” and football seasons, and toward daylight savings time – and a possible shutdown of the federal government – it is time to reflect and take stock of the really...more

10/2/2013 - CEQA Common-Interest Privilege Fracking Greenhouse Gas Emissions Sustainable Communities Strategy

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