Arthur F. Coon

Arthur F. Coon

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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 Department of Fish and Wildlife Environmental Impact Report Inland Waterways Jurisdiction NGOs Property Owners Real Estate Development 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

California Supreme Court Construes CEQA’s “Unusual Circumstances” Exception to Categorical Exemptions in Berkeley Hillside...

In a 46-page majority opinion written by Justice Chin and joined by four other justices, punctuated by an 18-page concurring opinion (by Justice Liu, joined by Justice Werdegar) which reads like a dissent, the California...more

3/11/2015 - Berkeley Hillside v City of Berkeley CA Supreme Court Categorical Exemptions CEQA Environmental Impact Report Substantial Evidence Standard

Third District Rejects CEQA Challenge To Program EIR For California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Statewide Fish...

In a lengthy published decision filed February 10, 2015, and addressing consolidated appeals in three related actions, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment rejecting petitioner and appellant...more

2/20/2015 - Appeals Case Consolidation CEQA Department of Fish and Wildlife Environmental Assessments Environmental Impact Report

CEQA Roundup – Recent Developments

Numerous CEQA-related developments have recently been in the news. Some of possible interest include: Kings and Kern Counties, the Kings County Farm Bureau, and a number of other groups filed a petition on February 9 with the...more

2/20/2015 - Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report High-Speed Rail Oil & Gas Preemption Railways Surface Transportation Board

How CEQA’s Administrative Record Preparation Process Could Be Reformed By Eliminating CEQA Petitioners’ Statutory Option To...

I recently analyzed proposed legislation (SB 122) seeking to create an alternative procedure for preparation of the CEQA administrative record concurrently with administrative proceedings on a project and prior to any...more

2/16/2015 - CEQA Land Developers Proposed Legislation Real Estate Development

Latest Proposed CEQA Legislation (SB 122) Seeks To Reform Administrative Record Process – At A Price

California Senate Bill No. 122 (SB 122), introduced by Senators Jackson, Hill and Roth on January 15, 2015, appears to be the newest stab at legislative CEQA “reform.” But numerous of SB 122’s embryonic provisions raise...more

1/28/2015 - CEQA Pending Legislation

SANDAG Seeks Review of CEQA Decision Invalidating EIR for Its Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

On January 6, 2015, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to review the decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation, et al. v. San Diego Association at...more

1/8/2015 - Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report Greenhouse Gas Emissions Public Projects Roads San Diego Surface Transportation Urban Planning & Development

First District Publishes Decision Rejecting CEQA Challenges To Cal Fire’s Approval of Gualala Area Nonindustrial Timber Management...

In a decision filed December 2, and later ordered published on December 30, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Mendocino County Superior Court’s judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate challenging a...more

1/7/2015 - Appeals CEQA Fish and Wildlife Service Petition for Writ of Mandate Substantial Evidence Standard Timber

Second District Holds Short CEQA Statute Of Limitations Not Triggered By NOD That Fails To Provide Public Notice Of Material...

On December 15, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal (Division 6) issued a pithy published opinion affirming the Ventura County Superior Court’s judgment. The judgment granted a peremptory writ of mandate requiring...more

12/31/2014 - Appeals CEQA Construction Industry Construction Project Environmental Impact Report Public Disclosure Statute of Limitations

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