News & Analysis as of

Real Estate and Land Use - June 2014

Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The Court in Bowman held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second permit that included the same project, even if the first permit...more

State Water Board Looks to Streamline Recycled Water Use Permits

The proposed order responds to California’s current — and probable future — drought conditions. Public meeting scheduled for June 3. The State Water Resources Control Board released a draft order establishing General...more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Winery Zoning Ordinance Allowing Establishment of Boutique Wineries Without Discretionary Permits Survives CEQA Challenge

A county prepared an environmental impact report (“EIR”) and adopted a zoning ordinance allowing the development of small wineries “by right,” without a discretionary permit. A citizens group opposed to the ordinance sued,...more

Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court: New California Court of Appeal Opinion Addressing Privilege Issues in Connection with Review...

Effective environmental review of a real estate development project under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") often requires that the approving agency and representatives of the developer work together...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - April 11, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus - ..Court rules CEQA streamlining provision unconstitutional: CourtHouse News - Apr 3 - A section of a California law aimed at streamlining construction projects by moving...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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - March 7, 2013

In This Issue: Environmental and Policy Focus - Little unity over California's cap-and-trade program; California cancels carbon permit reserve sale after no bids; Obama names McCarthy to top EPA post; Peninsula cities...more

Proposed Revisions to Mining Inspection Form Could Decrease Local Control - Form Revisions Could Also Increase Burdens and Costs...

On March 14, the State Mining and Geology Board’s Policy and Legislation Committee will consider an expanded version of the Surface Mining Inspection Report that is required to be completed annually by cities and counties...more

No Need To Address Adjacent Project In EIR Because Projects Are Separate, Have Different Proponents, And Serve Different Purposes

A city certified an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for development of a park. A conservancy group claimed the city wrongly defined the project to exclude a residential and commercial development project that was pending...more

Fourth District Applies CEQA’s “Murky” Piecemealing Tests To Reject “Project Definition” Challenge To Park Development in Banning...

Harmonizing CEQA’s rules and principles is, to say the least, not always easy, and is often quite challenging. The relevant concepts are often in tension, or are so malleable that they can be argued or construed to conflict....more

City Erred In Certifying Environmental Impact Report That Misdescribed Project’s Objectives

In a case demonstrating the importance of a well-crafted statement of objectives, the appellate court held that a city erred in certifying a final environmental impact report (“EIR”) and approving a project because the EIR...more

CEQA Year In Review 2012

In This Issue: - Project Approvals Triggering CEQA ..Chung v City of Monterey Park (2012) 210 CA4th 394 ..Tuolumne Jobs and Small Business Alliance v Superior Court) 210 CA4th 1006 (petition for review pending,...more

Court Second-Guesses City, Finding Incorrect Description of Project Objective and Purpose Invalidates EIR

As the year comes to an end, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is facing a heightened level of focus from legislators and the general public as CEQA reform efforts for 2013 begin to take shape across the state....more

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