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Why it matters: Project proponents may avoid CEQA altogether by gathering sufficient voter signatures and then having the local City Council approve the proposed project, without submitting the measure to a vote of the...more
In a relatively short decision, the California Supreme Court held in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court of Tuolumne County (Tuolumne Jobs) that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not...more
The proposed expansion of a Wal-Mart store into a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the City of Tuolumne, Calif. yielded a California Supreme Court decision that says city councils need not comply with CEQA before adopting a...more
In Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (Supreme Court, Aug. 7, 2014), the California Supreme Court ruled that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply when a lead...more
Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code requirements may be adopted directly by local governments without first conducting a full review under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), according to...more
The Supreme Court of California has held that CEQA review was not required before the Sonora City Council adopted an initiative measure approving a specific plan for expansion of a Wal-Mart store. The court held that: the...more
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
Opinion Clarifies When CEQA Review is Required for Local Land Use Initiatives -
Local governments may adopt voter-sponsored initiatives without conducing environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental...more
On August 7, the California Supreme Court filled the last gap in the interpretation of CEQA in the context of land use initiatives. Previously, the courts had determined that (1) CEQA compliance is required for land use...more
The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that when a city council or county board of supervisors adopts a citizen-sponsored land use initiative, rather than placing it on the ballot, it need not comply with the...more
On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court granted cert in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a case in which the Ninth Circuit upheld the Town of Gilbert’s sign ordinance against a First-Amendment challenge. The case could directly impact...more
On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and...more
The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (case submitted May 28, 2014), a case that gives the Justices the opportunity to determine...more
As governor, Senator Joe Manchin famously declared West Virginia to be “Open for Business.” Whether motivated by environmental or other concerns, however, some groups believe that, when it comes to the natural gas industry,...more
Gong v. City of Rosemead (May 20, 2014, B247601) -- Cal.App.4th --, a Court of Appeal declined to hold the City of Rosemead ("City") liable for the alleged tortious conduct of former mayor and City Council member John Tran...more
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
Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more
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
The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) closed out the year by issuing two binding opinions. The following is a summary of key points from the opinions of which public bodies should be aware....more
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES -
After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental...more
The recent spate of court cases dealing with local regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries ("MMDs") offers an interesting illustration of the interplay between federal, state and local laws that regulate the same subject...more
Lauded as the CEQA Modernization Act of 2013, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s SB 731 includes a number of amendments to CEQA that appear intended to appeal to a wide variety of interest groups. SB 731 replaces...more
A cooperative corporation that operates a nonprofit medical marijuana collective challenged city ordinances that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The court of appeal held that the ordinances are not preempted by the...more
This year has seen more momentum for CEQA reform than in many previous years. California’s economy has placed a spotlight on the burdens that environmental regulations and litigation, particularly CEQA litigation, impose on...more
After receiving three separate petitions for review, including petitions from real parties Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the City of Sonora, the California Supreme Court voted unanimously on February 13, 2013 to grant review of...more
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