News & Analysis as of

CEQA’s Standards For Subsequent Review To Be Addressed By Supreme Court

In a rare grant of review of an unpublished case, the California Supreme Court granted review on January 15, 2014 of the decision in Friends of the College at San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District...more

Application for State Funds Not A "Project" Under CEQA

In City of Irvine v. County of Orange (“City of Irvine”) (published and modified on November 22, 2013), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the County of Orange’s (“County”) application...more

All About “Commitment”: CEQA Review is Not Triggered By Orange County’s AB 900 Application For State Funding To Expand Existing...

In a decision recently ordered published, the Fourth District Court of Appeal added to the growing progeny of Save Tara, and affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying the City of Irvine’s writ petition seeking to compel...more

Adopting Thresholds of Significance Under CEQA Not Subject to CEQA Review

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA) (Case No. A135335 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st, August 13, 2013)), the First District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court and held...more

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental...more

California Supreme Court Redefines “Baseline” Under California Environmental Quality Act

The California Supreme Court has both resolved a split in the appellate courts and forged new law on the baselines agencies may use to assess projects’ environmental effects under CEQA. ...more

Like Athena From the Head of Zeus: Neighbors for Smart Rail Authorizes Future Baselines in CEQA Review

A new California Supreme Court decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, authorizes reliance on anticipated future conditions as the “baseline” for evaluating impacts of long-term...more

Seven Lawsuits Filed Challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and Environmental Review Document

Seven lawsuits challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and final environmental document were filed by the June 17 deadline. The groups challenging the Council’s actions represent a range of interests: export...more

The Courts Drag Parking Back into the California Environmental Quality Act - BB&K's Sarah Owsowitz and Stephanie Straka Explore...

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a Californian in possession of a car must be in want of a parking space. And, of course, this space should be free, just steps from your intended destination and available 24...more

Public Agency May Begin Eminent Domain Proceedings Before Completing CEQA Review, But May Not Actually Acquire The Property Until...

A racetrack landowner challenged a regional park district’s plan to condemn part of the property for construction of a bayside trail, asserting that the park district was required under eminent domain law and the California...more

CPUC Seeks to Revisit Controversial Decision on CEQA Process for Telecommunications Projects - Public Agency Participation is...

After a pause of more than a year, the CPUC has revived its effort to determine whether and how it will conduct environmental review of certain telecommunications projects under the California Environmental Quality Act...more

Condemn Now, CEQA-Compliance Later? OK. Maybe....

Acquiring property for public projects typically does not occur until after the project has received environmental approval. While this is the generally accepted rule – and it makes sense for a number of reasons – must a...more

Residential Project Exempt From CEQA Review Under Government Code Section 65457 As Consistent With Specific Plan For Which Program...

In a recently published opinion construing Government Code § 65457’s exemption from environmental review for a residential development consistent with a specific plan for which an EIR was previously certified, the First...more

Federal Efficiency/Streamlining: CEQ Issues New NEPA Guidance Documents

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released two handbooks under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on March 5, 2013, that provide regulatory guidance to "encourage more efficient environmental...more

Recent Cases Show How CEQA’s Applicability And Substantive EIR Requirements Are Determined By Meaningful Agency Discretion

It is a fundamental precept of CEQA that it applies only to the discretionary approval of a project. If an agency has no discretion to deny or shape the project to address environmental concerns, CEQA review would be a...more

Analysis Of Recent Challenges To Environmental Impact Reports

This report analyzes 95 published opinions from 1997 to 2012 in which CEQA plaintiffs litigated the validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to the California Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Among its...more

Recommendations For Complying With Ballona Wetlands’ Definitive Rejection Of “Converse-CEQA” Analysis

On March 21, 2012, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for review and requests for depublication of the Second District Court of Appeal’s opinion in Ballona Wetlands Land Trust et al. v. City of Los Angeles...more

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