Bryan Wenter

Bryan Wenter

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Unsubstantiated Challenges to an Agency’s Conditional Use Permit Findings Will Not Fly

Developing real property in California is notoriously difficult. Given minimal standing requirements, project opponents can and do tie up and delay new development for the mere cost of a filing fee. In order to prevail in...more

7/22/2016 - CEQA Conditional Use Permit Land Developers

Court Rejects General Plan Consistency Challenge Regarding City’s Approval of Franchise Retail Store Where Applicable Economic...

Numerous California communities regulate broad economic development objectives through general plan goals and policies intended to encourage and support small businesses or to ensure the compatibility of new commercial...more

7/15/2016 - CEQA Conditional Use Permit Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Mitigated Negative Declaration

Development Project May be Declared Consistent with General Plan Even if Quantitative Standards Exceeded

There is no question in California land use law that development projects need not comply with every goal or policy in a community’s general plan. While a city’s or county’s land use decisions must be consistent with the...more

7/6/2016 - General Plan Land Developers Residential Real Estate Market Urban Planning & Development

Court Rejects City’s Anti-SLAPP Claim Regarding Would-Be NFL Stadium in Carson

The location of several National Football League franchises have been in flux for years, with teams such as the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams seeking modern, amenity-laden stadiums they have been unable to attain in their...more

7/5/2016 - Anti-SLAPP Athletes Breach of Contract Football NFL

Court Clarifies that Brown Act “Cease and Desist” Requirements Apply to Past Actions of a Legislative Body and Awards Costs to...

In 2012, the California legislature amended the remedies available to address violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act. The amendment added section 54960.2 to the Government Code to require that anyone seeking to challenge past...more

6/28/2016 - Cease and Desist City Councils Public Comment Ralph M. Brown Act

Grand Jury finds Oakland City Council Member Broke Ethics Rules in Interfering With a Housing Development Next Door to Her Home

In a final report issued June 21, 2016, the Alameda County Grand Jury found that an Oakland City Council member used her position and office to advocate for private gain, and not the good of the City, in interfering with the...more

6/27/2016 - City Councils Conflicts of Interest Ethics Housing Developers

Vested Rights Conferred Under Local Ordinance Trump Conditional Use Permit Requirement Later Imposed by Emergency Ordinance

On June 23, 2016, in Stewart Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Oakland, __ Cal.App.4th __ (2016) (Case No. A143417), the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District issued an important decision dealing with whether a new...more

6/24/2016 - Conditional Use Permit Land Developers Local Ordinance Vested Rights Doctrine

Changed Dam Operations Not Subject to an Environmental Impact Statement Under NEPA

On June 21, 2016, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of a decision of the Bonneville Power Administration to proceed with a change in the operation of the Albeni Falls Dam during the winter...more

6/23/2016 - Environmental Assessments Environmental Impact Report (EIR) NEPA US Army Corps of Engineers

The Mitigation Fee Act Provides the Sole Means for Challenging Development Impact Fees and Recovering Interest

The Mitigation Fee Act (Government Code § 66000 et seq.) provides the requirements for development impact fee programs. Most of the Act’s provisions were adopted in 1987 as AB 1600 and are sometimes referred to as “AB 1600...more

6/14/2016 - Impact Fees Mitigation Nollan v California Coastal Commission

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Rules for Landowners Challenging Army Corps’ Wetlands Determination

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court substantially strengthened property rights for landowners whose property has been determined to contain wetlands subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. In United States Army...more

6/1/2016 - Administrative Procedure Act Clean Water Act EPA Hawkes Co v United States Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determination (JD) SCOTUS Waters of the United States Wetlands

State Allocation Board Temporarily Stopped From Authorizing Level 3 School Impact Fees

The California Building Industry Association obtained a critical temporary restraining order against the State Allocation Board in connection with the Board’s 6-4 vote on May 25, 2016 finding, for the first time, that state...more

5/27/2016 - California Building Industry Association (CBIA) Impact Fees Injunctive Relief Land Developers School Districts

When Land Use Regulations Collide With the Protections of the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment states that “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” In District of Columbia v. Heller, the...more

5/24/2016 - Firearms Gun Laws Second Amendment

Governor Brown Proposes to Streamline Approval of Certain Local Housing Developments

On May 13, 2016, Brown administration released the administration’s “May Revision” budget, which contains a bold proposal in a trailer bill to address California’s long-standing and consequential housing affordability...more

5/19/2016 - Affordable Housing CEQA Multi-Family Development Real Estate Development

Surfers Break With Billionaire in Ongoing Battle Over Historic Coastal Property

At the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the United States acquired California from Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Treaty promised to honor Spanish and Mexican land grants. While it is...more

4/27/2016 - Property Owners Public Access Laws Waterfront Properties Zoning Laws

Impairment of Views From (or to) Private Property Does Not Constitute a Taking Requiring the Payment of Just Compensation

On April 26, 2016, in Boxer v. City of Beverly Hills (Case No.B258459), the Second District Court of Appeal roundly rejecting a takings lawsuit premised on alleged impairment of private views and speculative risk of fire...more

4/26/2016 - Condemnation Just Compensation Private Property Takings

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of California Supreme Court Decision Upholding San Jose Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

February 29, 2016 was a notable leap year day for the United States Supreme Court. To the surprise of most in the courtroom that day, Justice Clarence Thomas asked his first question from the bench in more than 10 years. The...more

4/14/2016 - California Building Industry Association (CBIA) City of San Jose Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Petition for Writ of Certiorari Rough Proportionality Test SCOTUS Takings

Rezoning Denial May Give Rise to Liability for Discriminatory Zoning Practices

The federal Fair Housing Act is one of the most important pieces of Congressional legislation in the last half-century or more. It was enacted in the 1960s after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at a time of...more

3/25/2016 - Disparate Impact Disparate Treatment Fair Housing Act (FHA) Land Developers Race Discrimination

California Supreme Court Rules that Ordinance Intended to Increase Number of Affordable Housing Units is a Lawful Exercise of the...

In one of the most widely followed land use cases in recent years, the Supreme Court of California unanimously upheld the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance because it was intended to advance the constitutionally...more

6/19/2015 - Affordable Housing CA Supreme Court City of San Jose Construction Industry Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Real Estate Development Rough Proportionality Test

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

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