Arthur F. Coon

Arthur F. Coon

Miller Starr Regalia

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Supreme Court Adds Another CEQA Case To Its Docket, Will Review Fifth District’s Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (“Friant Ranch”)...

On October 1, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted the Real Party in Interest developer’s petition for review in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (5th Dist. 2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 704, now unciteable and pending review...more

10/28/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies SCOTUS Sierra Club Sierra Club v County of Fresno

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

10/17/2014 - Air Pollution CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Excessive Noise Plastic Bag Bans

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

10/7/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report ICCTA NCRA Preemption Public Entities Railroads Surface Transportation Board

Attorney Labor For Preparing CEQA Administrative Record Is Recoverable Cost Where Specialized Knowledge Required, Holds Fourth...

In a partially-published opinion filed September 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed an order and judgment permitting the County of San Diego to recover actual labor costs incurred for an attorney and...more

10/2/2014 - CEQA Discovery Document Productions Litigation Fees & Costs San Diego

Governor Brown Is Not CEQA “Public Agency,” Holds Third District In Indian Casino Case

In a published decision filed September 24, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal (per Justice Robie) held that CEQA’s definition of a “public agency” that is subject to its requirements (see Pub. Resources Code, § 21063)...more

9/26/2014 - Appeals Casinos CEQA Department of the Interior Indian Gaming Public Entities Resorts & Restaurants

CEQA Administrative Record Preparation Costs – Who Pays and When? First District Provides Guidance In Coalition For Adequate...

In a published decision filed September 15, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded a trial court’s post-judgment order granting an unsuccessful CEQA petitioner’s motion to tax the entire $64,144 cost...more

9/23/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies Urban Planning & Development

Tentative Map Approval Is CEQA “Project”, Holds Third District In Published Opinion Also Addressing Prejudicial Error, Agency...

In a lengthy published decision filed September 9, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging Colusa County’s adoption of a...more

9/16/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies Mitigated Negative Declaration Urban Planning & Development

Fifth District Reaffirms Its CEQA Historicity Rules in Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno

In a published opinion filed August 29, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that the City of Fresno erred in approving a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for...more

9/9/2014 - CEQA Urban Planning & Development

Parkmerced Project Upheld Against CEQA and General Plan Inconsistency Challenges In San Francisco Tomorrow v. City and County of...

In a lengthy, mostly-unpublished opinion filed on August 14, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the superior court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the Parkmerced Development Project. San...more

8/27/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies Urban Planning & Development

Governor’s Passion For Legislative CEQA Reform Has Waned, Contra Costa Times Reports After Mercury News Interview

On August 15, 2014, the Contra Costa Times reported on a wide-ranging interview of California Governor Jerry Brown conducted by the Mercury News opinion and editorial board on that same date. While largely devoted to other...more

8/26/2014 - CEQA CEQA Reform CPUC Energy Environmental Policies Jerry Brown Utilities Sector

California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Inapplicable To City’s Adoption Of Qualified Voter Initiative Approving Wal-Mart “Supercenter”...

In a concise 15-page opinion filed August 7, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s judgment which had held that a city may not adopt a voter-sponsored initiative with potential...more

8/11/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Wal-Mart

Kern County’s CEQA Mitigation Measure For Wind Farm Project Relying On FAA Review and Determination of Aviation Safety Impacts Is...

Alleged land use conflicts between newly proposed land uses and existing nearby airports are nothing new, and can produce heated CEQA battles as project opponents often raise “life safety” issues as potential project impacts....more

8/8/2014 - Airports Appeals Aviation Industry CEQA Energy Projects Environmental Impact Report FAA Wind Farm Wind Power Writ of Mandamus

Estopping the “Revolving Door” CEQA/Land Use Plaintiff: Roberson v. City of Rialto Holds Different Plaintiffs Litigating To...

In a decision ordered published on June 17, 2014, nearly a month after it was originally filed, the Fourth District Court of Appeal addressed a key element of the related doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel –...more

8/7/2014 - Appeals CEQA City of Rialto Collateral Estoppel General Plan Real Estate Development Res Judicata Wal-Mart

Of High Speed Rails and Litigation Snails: The Train Rolls On As Third District Rejects Additional CEQA Challenges To High-Speed...

While CEQA actions are statutorily designed as special proceedings with priority over other civil actions, and thus mandated to be heard and resolved expeditiously, when complex or controversial projects with dedicated...more

8/5/2014 - Central Valley CEQA Complex Litigation Environmental Impact Report High-Speed Rail Railways San Francisco Surface Transportation

Eight Is Not Enough: CEQA Challenge To Eighth Addendum To San Jose International Airport Master Plan EIR Is Rejected By Sixth...

In a decision filed June 6, but not certified for publication until July 2, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the City of San Jose’s eighth addendum to its Airport Master...more

7/16/2014 - Air Cargo Appeals Aviation Industry CEQA Environmental Impact Report Excessive Noise Greenhouse Gas Emissions Master Plan San Jose International Airport

Whatever the EIR’s Name, CEQA’s Rules For Substantive Content and Subsequent Review Remain The Same: First District Upholds EIR...

On July 7, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal filed its published opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment upholding the EIR for the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Project. Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure...more

7/15/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Urban Planning & Development

Fifth District Upholds CEQA Exemptions For Ongoing Pre-CEQA Projects And Continued Operation of Existing Facilities To Reject...

In a July 3, 2014 published decision more notable for the practical importance of the water rights involved than the CEQA law applied, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected the CEQA challenges of various environmental...more

7/14/2014 - Bureau of Reclamation CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Inland Waterways State Water Project Utilities Sector Water Water Rights Water Supplies

Supreme Court’s CEQA Docket Expands With Grant of Review in Newhall Ranch Case

On July 9, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted the petition for review filed by Plaintiff/Respondent Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Department of Fish and Game...more

7/11/2014 - CEQA Endangered Species Endangered Species Act Environmental Liability Environmental Policies

First District Holds CEQA Statute Of Limitations Bars Citizens Group’s Challenge To College Of San Mateo Tree Cutting

In a published opinion, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ and held that a CEQA action filed by a citizens group against a community college district and its board of...more

6/24/2014 - Appeals CEQA Statute of Limitations

Fifth District Decides Significant CEQA Air Quality/Health Impact Analysis and Mitigation Issues In Sierra Club v. County of...

In a lengthy and scholastic published opinion filed May 27, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision, which had upheld the EIR and other approvals (including a General Plan...more

6/17/2014 - Air Quality Standards Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report Mitigation Sierra Club Sierra Club v County of Fresno

San Francisco Beautiful CEQA Decision Interpreting Class 3 Categorical Exemption For Installation of Small Structures Is Ordered...

On May 30, 2014, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District (Division 4) filed its order denying rehearing and granting the requests of real party in interest AT&T, Verizon, Remy Moose Manley and others to publish...more

6/3/2014 - AT&T CEQA Environmental Policies Exemptions

CEQA “Late Hit” Reform Bill (SB 1451) Is Withdrawn By Author

Earlier this month, I posted an entry regarding the latest legislative effort at meaningful CEQA reform. See New CEQA Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps and Extend...more

5/28/2014 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Policies

Spring 2014 CEQA Roundup

It’s that time of year again – business mixers, the Giants in first place in the NL west, the school year winding down, the NBA and NHL playoffs in full swing, coastal whale migrations, California bursting with beautiful...more

5/13/2014 - CEQA Environmental Policies Environmental Review

New CEQA Standing Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps And Extend...

A CEQA reform bill (SB 1451) introduced and authored by seven (7) Democrats (Senators Correa, Galgiani, Hill, Hueso, Roth, and Steinberg, and Assembly Member Mullin) would amend Public Resources Code § 21177 to heighten...more

5/2/2014 - CEQA Environmental Assessments Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies

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

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