Commercial Real Estate Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

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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

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

Case update Scotland: Retail park - whether tenant withholding consent to further development by landlord was reasonable

Aviva Investors Pensions Ltd v McDonald's Restaurants Ltd [2014] CSOH 009A: 31 January 2014 - Introduction - In this case, which was heard in the Outer House of the Court of Session, the judge (Lord Malcolm)...more

Redevelopment Wind-Down: A Few Random Thoughts

I saw a couple of California redevelopment-related stories over the past week that seemed worthy of at least a brief comment. First, a court decision involving a rather bold argument by a public agency. ...more

“Spot Zoning” Found Permissible Where Small Parcel Given Greater Rights than Surrounding Properties and New Zoning Served the...

The Orange County Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approved a proposed senior citizen living community (“Project”) on a seven-acre parcel, creating a new zoning definition for senior residential housing and rezoning the parcel...more

Contaminated but Remediated Soil and Cortese Listing Does Not Compel Preparation of EIR

As 2013 came to a close, the California court of appeal in Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council (1st Dist., Div. 4, 12/30/13, A136873) ___Cal.App.1st___, 2013, upheld the City of Berkeley’s decision not to...more

CEQA-In-Reverse Case Opening Brief Filed In California Supreme Court

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) laid out its case that CEQA contains no general directive requiring analysis of the existing environment’s impacts on a future project in a 50-page opening brief filed in...more

Expert Testimony Recommending Vapor Intrusion Study is Insufficient Evidence of Health Effects, Does Not Trigger Need for EIR

After the Berkeley City Council (“City”) approved a mixed-use commercial and residential project on the site of a former car dealership and service garage, a community group sued, claiming that pre-existing contamination on...more

First District “Doubts” CEQA Operates In Reverse, Upholds Mitigated Negative Declaration For Urban Infill Project Despite Soil and...

In an opinion recently ordered published, the First District Court of Appeal extensively reviewed the relevant case law and expressed skepticism that CEQA would operate in reverse to require analysis of potential impacts on a...more

Guidance For Developers: Protect Against Liability Through Planning And Regulatory Compliance

Recently, Phillips Lytle attorneys successfully appealed an award of punitive damages against a developer found liable for flooding neighboring property. Unanimously reversing the Appellate Division, the New York Court of...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs Finalizes Changes to Land-Into-Trust Procedures in Light of Patchak

In response to last year’s United States Supreme Court case of Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, 132 S. Ct. 2199 (2012) (“Patchak”), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) issued a final rule on...more

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

New Alternative Does Not Trigger Recirculation of Draft EIR Unless Considered "Significant New Information"

In South County Citizens for Smart Growth v. County of Nevada, the Third Appellate District held that South County Citizens for Smart Growth’s (“Smart Growth”) claim that the County of Nevada violated CEQA by failing to...more

Wetland Projects: The Legality of Certain MDDEFP Requirements is Confirmed

On October 18, 2013, the Court of Appeal of Quebec reversed the Superior Court of Quebec’s decision in the Atocas de l’érable inc. case, quashing directive no. 06-01, used by the ministre du Développement durable, de...more

Winery Zoning Ordinance Allowing Establishment of Boutique Wineries Without Discretionary Permits Survives CEQA Challenge

A county prepared an environmental impact report (“EIR”) and adopted a zoning ordinance allowing the development of small wineries “by right,” without a discretionary permit. A citizens group opposed to the ordinance sued,...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law October 31, 2013

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Debate Appeals from a Pollution Control Facility Certification Order

Tomorrow morning in Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral argument in The Board of Education of Roxana Community Unit School District No. 1 v. The Pollution Control Board, which presents an important question of...more

CEQA, Sausages, And The Art of The Possible: A Closer Look at SB 743’s General CEQA Reform Provisions

In a flurry of eleventh-hour activity following Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s withdrawal of SB 731 from consideration (see 9/13/13 post “Steinberg Drops Statewide CEQA Reform Bill (SB 731) After Meeting with...more

Third District Holds CEQA Analysis of GHG Emissions Was Inadequately Quantified To Support EIR’s Mitigation Conclusion in Friends...

In a partially published opinion filed August 19, 2013, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed a judgment denying a writ petition challenging a Wal-Mart Supercenter that would replace an existing Wal-Mart store....more

A Jury in an Eminent Domain Action Must Decide if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that Government Will Require Dedication of Land...

A city planned to realign a truck route and offered the landowners compensation that valued the property as undevelopable agricultural land instead of its current zoning of light industrial. The city reasoned that the...more

Supreme Court Clarifies The Standard To Be Applied When Evaluating The Negative Criteria For A Conditional Use Variance...

In a recent decision entitled TSI East Brunswick, LLC v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment of Twp. of East Brunswick, the Supreme Court held that the enhanced quality of proofs standard established in Medici v. BPR Co., 107 N.J. 1...more

In Eminent Domain Proceedings, the Likelihood and Constitutionality of a Dedication is a Jury Determination

When a public agency seeks to impose a land exaction on a planned development, the analysis of whether the proposed dedication meets the necessary "essential nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests is often cumbersome and...more

NJ Supreme Court Settles Proof Debate For Conditional Use Variances

The New Jersey Supreme Court has finally settled the question concerning the burden of proof for an applicant to obtain approval of a conditional use variance....more

California Supreme Court Weighs in on the CEQA Projected Baseline Issue

On August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (S202828), which attempted to answer once and for all whether a lead agency can...more

First District Publishes Significant CEQA Decision On Legal Feasibility Of Mitigation For Prime Farmland Losses In Masonite...

In a partially-published opinion filed July 25, 2013, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition with directions that the County of Mendocino prepare and circulate a...more

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