California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

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

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge refuses to halt Delta land sale to Metropolitan Water District - Sacramento Bee - May 1 - San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Barbara Kronlund last Friday declined to grant a...more

“Hot Bench” For Advocates In Supreme Court CEQA Subsequent Review Case

The California Supreme Court held a lively oral argument session this morning (May 4, 2016), at 9:00 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom in the case of Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community...more

Supreme Court Set To Hear Important CEQA Subsequent Review Case

On May 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in yet another of the many significant CEQA cases it has tackled in recent years, this one presenting critically...more

New Laws Reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act

True to his word, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills, AB 1142 and SB 209, into law on Monday to reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA). Now, before getting too excited, keep in mind that the new...more

Challenge to Ordinance Prohibiting Mobile Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Goes Up in Smoke

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of Upland (3/25/16, D069293) In 2007, the City of Upland banned both fixed and mobile medical marijuana dispensaries from any zone within the City’s limits. Presumably...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

Does a Project’s Impact on the “Character of the Community” Need to Be Evaluated under CEQA?

Harry Rogers owned and operated a horse boarding facility called the Stock Farm, in the City of Poway, California – a city that proudly calls itself the “City in the Country.” Rogers wanted to shut down the Stock Farm and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2016

A Rare Win for Former Redevelopment Agencies—State Collection Procedures Ruled Unconstitutional - City of Bellflower v. Michael Cohen, Director of the Department of Finance (245 Cal. App. 4th 438) - Why It Matters:...more

Fourth District Holds CEQA’s Definition of “Project” Does Not Encompass Municipal Ordinance Merely Restating Existing Prohibition...

In a published opinion filed March 25, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition that challenged a 2013 ordinance of the City of Upland which expressly prohibited...more

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