Decision: Voter-Sponsored Local Land Use Initiatives Not Subject to Environmental Review

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 voter-sponsored initiative. The opinion, handed down Thursday in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, clarifies that land-use initiatives proposed by voters are not subject to environmental reviews under CEQA, even when local elected body adopts it rather than placing the initiative on the ballot.

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