Is CEQA "Fixed"- Do Infill CEQA Reforms Help Or Handicap Your Project?

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Explore:  CEQA

California's Legislature passed the California Environmental Quality Act in 1970 (Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq.)("CEQA") to establish a process for lead agencies to analyze and mitigate potential environmental impacts resulting from planning and new development. In the more than four decades since its adoption, CEQA has been a magnet for controversy, in part because it fuses planning with public input with science. Because of its wide-sweeping range of substantive topics, project opponents frequently leverage CEQA litigation as a tool to obstruct, if not altogether halt, projects - and to negotiate non-environmental concessions in settlements. The result is a vast body of case law, now fraught with inconsistency and ambiguity, interpreting CEQA requirements and the Guidelines for CEQA (14 Cal. Code Regs. §§ 15000-15387). The CEQA litigation risk has created a morass of uncertainty in terms of costs, timing, and requirements for compliance for project applicants and lead agencies. Experienced representatives of the public and private sectors can cite countless examples of CEQA abuse, with lawsuits filed to derail projects or settle for non-environmental concessions (and fees).

The Legislature has periodically responded by attempting to create "streamlined" process for projects that are presumptively environmentally beneficial, such as infill projects. We invite you to review these reforms and test whether they help or handicap your project - or whether they are simply inapplicable, and thus irrelevant.

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Topics:  CEQA

Published In: Construction Updates, Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates, Commercial Real Estate Updates, Residential Real Estate Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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