California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, July 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

Unsubstantiated Challenges to an Agency’s Conditional Use Permit Findings Will Not Fly

Developing real property in California is notoriously difficult. Given minimal standing requirements, project opponents can and do tie up and delay new development for the mere cost of a filing fee. In order to prevail in...more

Court Rejects General Plan Consistency Challenge Regarding City’s Approval of Franchise Retail Store Where Applicable Economic...

Numerous California communities regulate broad economic development objectives through general plan goals and policies intended to encourage and support small businesses or to ensure the compatibility of new commercial...more

Fourth District Holds Non-Expert Opinion Fails To Support “Fair Argument” Under CEQA That Approval of Non-Regional Retail Store In...

In an opinion filed June 15, and ordered partially published on July 13, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment requiring the County of San Bernardino to prepare an EIR instead of a...more

CEQA Remedies Statute Does Not Authorize Appellate Court To Issue Writ And Supervise Compliance On Direct Appeal, Holds Second...

In the published part of a partially published opinion filed July 11, 2016, the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal held that Public Resources Code § 21168.9 does not authorize an appellate court to issue and supervise...more

AEP Launches New CEQA Portal Website As Compliance Resource

The Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) has developed a new CEQA reference website designed to provide detailed, authoritative, and easy to understand information on CEQA and CEQA compliance. While the site went...more

Supreme Court CEQA Subsequent Review Case Briefing Completed And Case Submitted (Apparently)

As a brief follow up to my earlier posts of April 26, May 4, and May 12, 2016, it appears that supplemental and amicus briefing has ended and that the matter has now been submitted for decision in the important Supreme Court...more

Lack of Court Direction Requires Developers and Lenders to Estimate Their Own Significance Thresholds for GHG Emissions Past 2020

This June, the California Supreme Court heard the last set of oral arguments before breaking for the summer. Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 231 Cal.App.4th 1056 (2014)...more

Saving Private Partnerships: Court Upholds P3 Project against CEQA Challenge under Save Tara

A 2008 California Supreme Court decision, Save Tara v. City of West Hollywood, cast doubt on local governments’ ability to enter into agreements with private developers prior to completing project review under the California...more

Fourth District Modifies CEQA Categorical Exemption Opinion Involving Palm Springs General Plan Amendment Without Altering...

In an order filed June 17, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (Division 2) modified its opinion filed April 22, and ordered partially published May 20, 2016, in People for Proper Planning v. City of...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: June 2016 #2

LACMTA Approves Tax Ballot Measure to Fund $120 Billion Transit Plan - The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMA) on June 24, 2016, approved a sales tax ballot measure to help fund $120 billion...more

Deficient CEQA Guidelines Appendix F Energy Impacts Analysis Causes First District To Pull The Plug On Ukiah Costco Project EIR

In a partially published opinion filed June 21, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District reversed in part the Mendocino County Superior Court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the City of...more

Fourth District Holds Wal-Mart Victorville Project EIR Violates CEQA; Project Approval Findings Violate Map Act; And Project Is...

In a decision filed May 25, and belatedly ordered published June 15, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed and reversed in part a judgment of the San Bernardino County Superior Court. It affirmed the judgment to...more

June 2016 CEQA Update: Legislative Developments

As summer rapidly approaches, and we continue to experience a (from my perspective welcome) “mini-drought” of published CEQA cases, I’ll briefly report on some recent legislative developments of possible...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: June 2016 #1

California Governor Proposes "Build By Right" Approval Process for Affordable Housing - Recognizing the extreme need throughout California for construction of new affordable housing units, on May 13, 2016, Gov. Jerry...more

Los Angeles Evaluates New Affordable Housing Programs and General Plan Updates

Earlier this week, the City of Los Angeles’s (City) Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) of the city council considered new programs that could impact affordable housing requirements for new projects and could implement a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Proceeds from cap-and-trade auction fall far short of targets - Los Angeles Times - May 25 - The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, May 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

Home(s) In The “Range”: Fourth District Overturns CEQA Exemption For City of Palm Springs’ General Plan Amendment Removing...

In a brief – and somewhat odd – opinion filed April 22, and belatedly ordered partially published on May 20, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate...more

Governor Seeks to Streamline Approval of Multifamily Housing Projects

In an effort to encourage housing production, Governor Jerry Brown has made a bold proposal to streamline the approval of certain multifamily housing projects that include a portion deed-restricted affordable units. The...more

Governor Brown Proposes to Streamline Approval of Certain Local Housing Developments

On May 13, 2016, Brown administration released the administration’s “May Revision” budget, which contains a bold proposal in a trailer bill to address California’s long-standing and consequential housing affordability...more

Fourth District Upholds EIR For Cadiz Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project Against Various CEQA Challenges

In the second of two published opinions filed May 10, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the lead agency designation and EIR for a controversial project proposing to pump...more

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California - A proposed public-private partnership project to pump fresh groundwater, which would...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Some emergency drought rules might be eased - Los Angeles Times - May 9 - Governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Monday laid out a revised...more

The Plot Thickens: California Supreme Court Vacates Submission Of Just-Argued CEQA Subsequent Review Case, Orders Supplemental...

In orders issued May 11, 2016, one week after the May 4 oral argument and submission of the cause for decision, the California Supreme Court vacated the submission and ordered supplemental briefing in Friends of the Collage...more

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