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California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Applies to State Entity’s Railroad Project on State-Owned Rail Line As Act of...

On July 7, 2017, the California Supreme Court filed its 69-page opinion, written by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and joined by five other justices, in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, et al. (2017)...more

Supreme Court Denies Depublication Request, Declines To Review CEQA Decision Addressing Discretionary/Ministerial Project Approval...

On July 26, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued its order denying the losing appellants’ (Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity) request for depublication of the opinion in Sierra Club v. County of Sonoma...more

7/27/2017  /  CA Supreme Court , CEQA , Sierra Club

Supreme Disappointment: High Court’s Narrow Opinion In SANDAG RTP/SCS EIR Case Offers Little Guidance On CEQA GHG Analysis

On July 13, 2017, the California Supreme Court rendered a 6-1 decision holding that the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) 2011 EIR for its Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS)...more

No Surprises Here: First District Applies CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Mandated by Supreme Court on Remand, Again Affirms...

When all was said and done, it was a case of “same wine, different bottle” for Defendant and Appellant San Mateo Community College District (“District”) after the First District Court of Appeal’s published May 5, 2017...more

California Supreme Court Holds Banning Ranch EIR Violates CEQA by Failing to Identify and Analyze Coastal Zone Project’s Impacts...

In a unanimous 29-page opinion authored by Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, and filed on March 30, 2017, the California Supreme Court held the City of Newport Beach’s EIR for a large mixed-use development project proposed on...more

Longtime Supreme Court CEQA Maven, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Announces Retirement

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that California Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Werdegar, 81, and currently the Court’s longest-serving member, will retire this summer, on August 31, 2017. Justice Werdegar has served...more

3/10/2017  /  CA Supreme Court , CEQA

Supreme Court Denies Depublication Requests in CEQA Traffic LOS Impact Case

On February 15, 2017, the California Supreme Court denied numerous requests for depublication and declined to review on its own motion the decision in East Sacramento Partnership for a Livable City v. City of Sacramento (3d...more

Another One Bites the Dust: Supreme Court Denies Review and Depublishes Sixth District’s SMARA/CEQA Opinion Upholding Permanente...

On December 14, 2016, the California Supreme Court denied review and ordered depublished the Sixth District Court of Appeal’s opinion in Bay Area Clean Environment, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, which was previously filed on...more

California Supreme Court Denies Review in Expedited CEQA Litigation over Golden State Warriors Arena Project Approval

On January 17, 2017, the California Supreme Court denied the losing appellants’ petition for writ of supersedeas, stay request, and petition for review of the First District Court of Appeal’s decision in Mission Bay Alliance...more

Supreme Court Grants Review in Medical Marijuana Case Presenting CEQA “Project” Definition Issues

On January 11, 2017, the California Supreme Court by unanimous order granted review in yet another CEQA case, Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.4th 103, Supreme Court Case No....more

Completing the Loop Without Reinventing the Wheel: First District Holds 1998 EIR Adequate Without Further CEQA Review to Analyze...

In an opinion filed November 29, and belatedly ordered published on December 22, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of a writ petition challenging on CEQA grounds the San Francisco...more

Wither Subsequent Review? Supreme Court Again Weighs In On CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Following Negative Declarations –...

On November 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a significant Order granting review in Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 1234, and also transferring the matter back to the...more

Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Subsequent Review Rules in San Mateo Gardens Case

The California Supreme Court provided needed clarification to some aspects of the operation of CEQA’s “subsequent review” rules (Pub. Resources Code, § 21166; CEQA Guidelines, § 15162) in its highly anticipated opinion, filed...more

First District Modifies “Reverse CEQA” Case Opinion, Denies BAAQMD’s Petition For Rehearing With No Change In Judgment

On September 9, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal (Division 5) filed an “Order Modifying Opinion and Denying Rehearing [No Change In Judgment]” in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality...more

First District Applies CEQA’s “Subsequent Review” Rules, Substantial Evidence Standard of Review; Upholds Subsequent Mitigated...

The First District Court of Appeal has issued another published decision applying the “substantial evidence” standard of review to a local agency’s decision not to prepare an EIR for approval of revisions to a project for...more

Supreme Court Depublishes Quirky Fourth District CEQA/General Plan Decision

On August 17, 2016, the California Supreme Court ordered the Fourth District’s opinion in People for Proper Planning v. City of Palm Springs (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 640 to be depublished, rendering it unciteable and of no...more

Supreme Court Set To Hear Important CEQA Subsequent Review Case

On May 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in yet another of the many significant CEQA cases it has tackled in recent years, this one presenting critically...more

California Supreme Court Holds “CEQA-In-Reverse” Is Not The Norm, Reverses And Remands First District’s Judgment In CBIA v. BAAQMD

In a unanimous 24-page opinion authored by newly seated Justice Cuellar and filed December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court resolved a fundamental issue regarding CEQA’s scope, holding that – with certain specific...more

First District Reissues Slightly Modified Opinion on Retransfer From Supreme Court Rejecting Most CEQA Challenges to Cal State...

On November 30, 2015, following a grant and retransfer from the California Supreme Court and reconsideration in light of City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2015) 61 Cal.4th 945, the First...more

Lost in Translation: Supreme Court Elucidates CEQA GHG Analysis, “Fully Protected” Species Take Prohibition, And Issue Exhaustion...

In a 5-2 decision filed November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had upheld the EIS/EIR for the controversial Newhall Ranch development project. Center For Biological...more

Not Its First CEQA Rodeo: Third District Again Upholds Class 23 Categorical Exemption For 2011 Watsonville Rodeo Event On Remand...

In the Spring of last year, I posted an analysis of what I called the Third District Court of Appeal’s “exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion” in Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex...more

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

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

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

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

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