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Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

State Agency’s Intentional Flooding for Environmental Protection Results in Physical Taking of Private Property – Strict Liability...

Pacific Shores Property Owners Association v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (1/20/16, C070201) - On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California ruled that where a state agency...more

Are Groundwater Pumping Fees or Charges Subject to Proposition 218? California Supreme Court to Resolve Conflicting Precedent

In 2015 California’s Sixth and Second District Courts of Appeal issued conflicting opinions regarding whether groundwater extraction fees or charges are subject to Article 13D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218)....more

California Supreme Court Shifts Gears on “Reverse CEQA”

The California Supreme Court has shifted gears on so-called “reverse CEQA” under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)....more

New regulations will oblige owners of buildings in Scotland to improve or report on energy efficiency of buildings

Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for regulations to be made for: (1) the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings;...more

New Flood Hazard Maps Released for Boston

After several years of study and an appeal by the City of Boston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, which become effective...more

A Good Reminder: State and Federal Wildlife Laws Have Severe Penalties for Harm to Endangered Species

Welcome to the New Year! I have decided to declare 2016 to be the year of the endangered species. Why? We ended 2015 with a bang by seeing how serious the take prohibition in the California Fish and Game Code can be for fully...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

CEQA Doesn’t Operate in “Reverse” (Usually)

It’s not quite Star Wars, but in the world of land use, this counts as a blockbuster. The California Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require...more

What if a Partition Deed Doesn’t Consider the Minerals?

Did Moses worry about the mineral rights when he parted the Red Sea? Maybe Charlton Heston knows. What we know is that 3,500 years later if you plan to partition surface rights, the time to pay attention to the minerals is...more

California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Guideline Requiring Analysis of the Existing Environment’s Impacts on a Proposed Project

A unanimous California Supreme Court has held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require an analysis of how existing environmental conditions will impact a project’s future users or...more

“Reverse CEQA” Reversed: California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Analysis of Impacts of the Environment on the Project

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (December 17, 2015) (Case No. S213478) (CBIA v. BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court rejected a requirement for so-called “reverse CEQA”...more

The Carbon Challenge - How emission reduction schemes may affect property lenders

Commercial property is now subject to a range of EU-wide and UK domestic law aimed at reducing carbon emissions. These laws raise important questions for those lending against property....more

Worth the Wait? The California Supreme Court Rules that CEQA Does Not Require An Analysis of the Environment's Impacts on a...

On December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (No. S213478). The sole question before the Court...more

Risky “Business as Usual”: The California Supreme Court Upholds the BAU Approach to CEQA Climate Impact Analysis, but Sets a High...

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife,1 the California Supreme Court upheld the “Business as Usual” (BAU) approach for analyzing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental...more

California Supreme Court Decision Regarding Newhall Ranch Development Could Significantly Impact Developments

California Supreme Court Overturns Environmental Impact Report Related to Proposed Residential Development - In a much-anticipated decision, Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife,...more

How to Fix Your GHG Analysis After the California Supreme Court’s Newhall Ranch Decision

My colleague, Michael Sherman, posted yesterday about two issues decided in the California Supreme Court’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Today, I’ll address the...more

Lost in Translation: Supreme Court Elucidates CEQA GHG Analysis, “Fully Protected” Species Take Prohibition, And Issue Exhaustion...

In a 5-2 decision filed November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had upheld the EIS/EIR for the controversial Newhall Ranch development project. Center For Biological...more

Take of Fully Protected Fish Stops Large Housing Development Project in LA County

While many of us were busy hitting refresh for those great Cyber Monday deals, the California Supreme Court quietly issued its decision on the Newhall Ranch project. In a decision reminiscent of the snail darter era, the...more

Two for Further Review?

It's that time of year again. Time for "Further Review." By that, I mean it's football season, and almost every week, millions of Americans watch in anticipation as black-and-white-striped NFL arbiters retreat to the...more

California Supreme Court Rules Mitigation Measures Constitute Take of Fully Protected Species

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision comes at...more

MassDEP Agrees to Settlements with Financial Institutions to Resolve Alleged Violations of Massachusetts Environmental Laws at...

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) recently entered into consent orders with two financial institutions to resolve alleged Massachusetts environmental law violations occurring at two bank...more

Affordable Housing Permit Revoked by Massachusetts Appeals Court

In a recent ruling sure to embolden municipalities seeking to block affordable housing projects, the Massachusetts Appeals Court revoked the approval of a Comprehensive Permit issued under the Anti-Snob Zoning Act, G.L....more

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