Arthur F. Coon

Arthur F. Coon

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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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

“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

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

The New Range Wars: CEQA and the Williamson Act Are Deployed To Fight Global Warming Solutions In Save Panoche Valley

Nothing says “battle royal” quite like pitting several of California’s heavyweight environmental laws against one another in a “winner-take-all” litigation brawl....more

7/5/2013 - CEQA Climate Change Environmental Impact Report Renewable Energy Solar Energy Williamson Act

Is “Parking” Really A CEQA Impact? Same As It Ever Was!

Judging by all the recent articles and blog posts written about it, many commenters believe the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Taxpayers For Accountable School Bond Spending v. San Diego Unified School Dist....more

6/26/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Parking Lots

CEQA School In Session: First District Reverses Judgment Invalidating EIR for Desalination Plant Project In North Coast Rivers...

In a lengthy published opinion filed May 21, 2013, the First District Court of Appeal reversed a judgment granting a writ of mandate and upheld as legally adequate under CEQA the Marin Municipal Water District’s EIR for...more

6/7/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Infrastructure Water

First District Holds CEQA Remedies Provision Allows Park District’s Eminent Domain Action To Proceed Pending Preparation of...

In Golden Gate Land Holdings LLC v. East Bay Regional Park District (4/12/13 1st Dist., Div. 5) _____ Cal.App.4th _____, 2013 WL 1491547, the First District Court of Appeal explored the scope and proper application of CEQA’s...more

4/25/2013 - CEQA Condemnation Eminent Domain Environmental Impact Report

Residential Project Exempt From CEQA Review Under Government Code Section 65457 As Consistent With Specific Plan For Which Program...

In a recently published opinion construing Government Code § 65457’s exemption from environmental review for a residential development consistent with a specific plan for which an EIR was previously certified, the First...more

4/11/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Review Greenhouse Gas Emissions Housing Developers Land Developers

Second District Rejects CEQA Challenge To EIR for Riverbed Sand And Gravel Mining Project, Upholds Santa Barbara County’s...

The Second District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Santa Barbara’s Final Revised Environmental Impact Report for a 30-year conditional use permit (CUP) for the Diamond Rock mine project. Save Cuyama Valley v. County of...more

3/12/2013 - CEQA Conditional Use Permit Environmental Impact Report Mining Water

“Bare-Bones” CEQA Reform Bill (SB 731) Introduced By Senator Steinberg; Senator Evans Proposes Legislation to Further Expand CEQA

On February 22, 2013, Senator President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg introduced SB 731, a bill the Senator’s website press release described as “outlining the detailed intent that strengthens [CEQA’s] protection of the...more

2/27/2013 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Impact Report Mitigation

Are Courts Actively Limiting CEQA’s Scope In The Absence Of Meaningful Legislative Reform?*

While no California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) reform was achieved by the California Legislature in its last session, Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg has indicated in a recently-issued statement that it...more

2/6/2013 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Impact Report Patent Exhaustion Statute of Limitations Subdivision Map Act

Fourth District Applies CEQA’s “Murky” Piecemealing Tests To Reject “Project Definition” Challenge To Park Development in Banning...

Harmonizing CEQA’s rules and principles is, to say the least, not always easy, and is often quite challenging. The relevant concepts are often in tension, or are so malleable that they can be argued or construed to conflict....more

1/24/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Laurel Heights test Permits Project Definition

Recent Cases Show How CEQA’s Applicability And Substantive EIR Requirements Are Determined By Meaningful Agency Discretion

It is a fundamental precept of CEQA that it applies only to the discretionary approval of a project. If an agency has no discretion to deny or shape the project to address environmental concerns, CEQA review would be a...more

1/8/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Review Groundwater

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