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Aviation & Aerospace and Surface Transportation Quarterly Newsletter

In This Issue: - Update on Developments in California Drone Law - One Community Gets Relief from Aircraft Noise - California Once Again Relinquishes Clean Air Act Enforcement Responsibility to the...more

Senate Passes Extenders Legislation For Calendar Year 2014

In the annual ritual of last minute legislative action, the Senate has passed the renewal of nearly all of the so-called Extenders legislation by a vote of 76 to 16, which will make the tax incentives applicable to calendar...more

County Modifies Road Impact Fee Schedule With New Ordinance

The Miami-Dade County Commission adopted Ordinance 14-122, effective December 12, 2014, making several modifications to the County's Road Impact Fee schedule. A notable change is that the timing of the Road Impact Fee Present...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

The 'Rents: NCDOT Is Looking to Charge Rents, While Residential Tenants Are Denied Class Certification to Collect Rent Deposits

We've been quiet these past few weeks but the world has not been. We'd like to talk today about two entirely unrelated but fascinatingly fun topics: (1) the North Carolina Department of Transportation's ("NCDOT") idea to...more

California Insurance-Related Bills Signed into Law

September 30, 2014, was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to take action on bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2014 regular legislative session. Here are summaries of noteworthy insurance-related bills...more

FTA Publishes Guidance on Joint Development

Earlier this week, on August 25, 2014, the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) published Circular 7050.1, providing much anticipated guidance for grantees interested in pursuing joint development projects within FTA’s...more

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them...more

Supreme Court Ruling Represents Major Shift for Railroad Rights of Way

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States Forest Service could not construct a trail on an abandoned railroad right of way (ROW) that crosses through private property. Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173,...more

Capital Thinking: Homeland Security

Homeland Security Nominations - The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next Inspector General of the U.S. Department of...more

Is Your Property Next? California Authorizes Condemnation of Fresno County Property for High Speed Rail Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) first request to seize a parcel in Fresno County through eminent domain has been approved by the State Public Works Board (the “SPWB”), the state agency that...more

Legislature Passes Arena Bill

Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 743 (“SB 743”) on September 27, 2013. The bill amends the Public Resources Code to streamline the environmental review for the new downtown arena in Sacramento and eliminate...more

Caltrans to Finally Sell Those Homes it Purchased 50+ Years Ago for the 710 Freeway

More than 50 years ago, Caltrans purchased roughly 500 homes under threat of eminent domain within the planned right-of-way for the anticipated construction of the I-710 freeway (linking Monterey Park to Pasadena). That...more

Property Owners May Not Recover Precondemnation Damages for Decline in Property Values - Appellate Court Rules That Property...

In a ruling that benefits public agencies, a state appellate court yesterday overturned a finding of precondemnation liability against the California Department of Transportation. The court held that a causal relationship...more

High Court Tackles CEQA Future Baselines In Neighbors For Smart Rail Decision

In a much-anticipated decision filed August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court held that CEQA requires a lead agency to assess a project’s environmental impacts against an “existing conditions” baseline – and consequently...more

Unusual Circumstances: California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Use of Future Conditions Baseline Under CEQA

On August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a split decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, et al. The court held that a lead agency may choose to avoid using an...more

CEQA Baseline Analysis: Future Conditions Baseline Should Be The Exception Not The Rule When Agency Reviews Environmental Impacts,...

In Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (filed August 5, 2013) (“Neighbors”), a majority of the California Supreme Court justices announced a new rule regarding the baseline agencies may...more

Supreme Court Allows Future Conditions to Be Used as the Baseline Under Limited Circumstances

Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (August 5, 2013, S202828) __ Cal.4th __(“Neighbors”). What is the baseline against which environmental impacts are measured? There has been...more

California Supreme Court Redefines “Baseline” Under California Environmental Quality Act

The California Supreme Court has both resolved a split in the appellate courts and forged new law on the baselines agencies may use to assess projects’ environmental effects under CEQA. ...more

High Speed Rail Authority's Appraisal Process Questioned

Two Republican State Assemblymen (Jim Patterson, R-Fresno and Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals) submitted a request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee on Tuesday for an investigation into the California High Speed Rail...more

Like Athena From the Head of Zeus: Neighbors for Smart Rail Authorizes Future Baselines in CEQA Review

A new California Supreme Court decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, authorizes reliance on anticipated future conditions as the “baseline” for evaluating impacts of long-term...more

Break Out the Crystal Ball—But Only If You Have the Evidence to Support It: California Supreme Court Affirms Agency Discretion to...

In a highly anticipated decision published today, the California Supreme Court affirmed that the use of a future baseline for analyzing certain environmental impacts is appropriate when supported by substantial evidence. The...more

Oil And Gas Bills Passed By Texas Legislature

The regular session of the 2013 Texas Legislature is over and now it’s time to assess the damage. ...more

CEQA Streamlining Under California Bay Area's "Plan Bay Area"

On March 2, 2013, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) released the Draft Plan Bay Area (Plan), the California Bay Area's first integrated land use, housing and...more

Pipeline Loses Effort To Condemn Private Land

Private property rights advocates scored a big victory in a Texas condemnation case in the ongoing battle between pipelines and landowners over the power of eminent domain. (See our last post for a decision with the opposite...more

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