California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

Wither Subsequent Review? Supreme Court Again Weighs In On CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Following Negative Declarations –...

On November 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a significant Order granting review in Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 1234, and also transferring the matter back to the...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, October 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

Appellate Court Rejected EIR That Found Insignificant Traffic Impacts, Despite Consistency With Infill-Promoting General Plan...

The Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District, overturned an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appellate court rejected the EIR's...more

Evaluating a Project’s “Exacerbation” on Existing Environmental Hazards

Substantial Evidence Proving “Exacerbation” Required, California Appellate Court Says - A significant decision interpreting the scope of the California Supreme Court’s ruling in California Building Industry Association...more

Sacramento Residential Infill Project EIR Violated CEQA By Basing Less-Than-Significant Traffic Impact Finding Solely On...

On November 7, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal filed a published opinion mostly upholding the EIR for a 48.75-acre, 328-unit residential infill project (known as McKinley Village) against various CEQA challenges, and...more

Governor (Still) Not A Public Agency Subject To CEQA, Holds Third District In Indian Gaming Case

The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”; 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) allows gaming on Indian lands acquired by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) in trust for a tribe’s benefit after October 17, 1988, if, among...more

Blowing Smoke About Impacts? Fourth District Rejects Speculative CEQA Challenge to San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Consumer...

In a 29-page published opinion filed October 14, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal dispensed some good news to municipalities desiring to reasonably regulate retail medical marijuana facilities within their...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

CEQA News You Can Use - Vol. 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first edition of CEQA News You Can Use, a quarterly publication of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Natural Resources lawyers. This resource will provide quick, useful bites of CEQA news that we hope can be a...more

Fifth District Denies Rehearing, Corrects Published Opinion And Judgment In Consolidated City of Ceres Appeals To Reflect...

It’s always nice not to lose a hard-won prevailing party cost award due to a court’s imprecise use of party designations – which can get confusing where there are multiple appeals at issue. On October 4, 2016, the Fifth...more

California Supreme Court Rules That Agencies—Not Courts—Determine Whether Modified Projects Are Subject to CEQA's Subsequent...

On September 19, the California Supreme Court held unanimously in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College, that agencies—and not courts—must decide whether the "subsequent review"...more

California Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Supplemental Review; Rejects “New Project” Test

Recent decision resolves appellate split regarding standard of review for agency decision to prepare supplemental environmental review. On September 19, the California Supreme Court held that the substantial evidence...more

With SB 1262, SGMA Becomes Further Entrenched in California’s Water Supply Planning Laws

With Senate Bill 1262 (“SB 1262”), California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) has become firmly rooted into the State’s water supply planning laws. Specifically, SB 1262 amends the Water Supply Assessment...more

California Supreme Court Sets New Deferential Standard for Supplemental CEQA Review

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District, No. S214061 (Cal. September 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court rejected the “new project” test for determining whether a changed...more

Courts Must Defer to Agency Determination on Whether a Changed Project is a New Project

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Supreme Court No. S214061, filed Sept. 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court resolved the vexing question of whether a change to...more

New California Law Amends Water Supply Planning Laws

Water Supply Sufficiency Analyses Must Consider Groundwater Sustainability - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1262 into law, representing an initial attempt to incorporate groundwater management requirements under...more

UPDATE: Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

Update: September 26, 2016 - On September 21, 2016, the Honorable George C. Hernandez, Jr. issued the final Statement of Decision, which affirmed the tentative decision denying all claims for relief. The court denied...more

California Supreme Court Rejects "New Project" Test In High Profile CEQA Suit

“Enough already!” Reading between the lines, this is what a seemingly exasperated California Supreme Court appears to be saying in its latest California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) decision?Friends of the College of...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, August 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

My Project Changed—Is My EIR Still Valid: A New California Supreme Court Case Provides Guidance

Change is inevitable. Many times between project approval and project construction fluctuations in market conditions, financing terms or other factors mandate project changes. Do the changes require a further or modified...more

California Supreme Court Rejects "New Project" Test for Modifications to Previously Approved Projects

On September 19, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District (Case No. S214061). The Supreme Court held that...more

“New and Improved” is Not Always a Good Slogan Under CEQA

Marketing departments in major corporations love to describe products as “new and improved” in order to convince you that the product is something you need. In many cases though, you already have the product; the new and...more

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies - A developer can recover the cost of preparing a California Environmental Quality Act administrative record, even when the lead agency, not the developer, actually...more

Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Subsequent Review Rules in San Mateo Gardens Case

The California Supreme Court provided needed clarification to some aspects of the operation of CEQA’s “subsequent review” rules (Pub. Resources Code, § 21166; CEQA Guidelines, § 15162) in its highly anticipated opinion, filed...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

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