News & Analysis as of

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015

Substance Over Form—A Refreshing Application of CEQA Analysis: City of Irvine v. County of Orange (2015) 283 Cal.App.4th 526 - Why It Matters: The Court of Appeal in City of Irvine v. County of Orange elaborated...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Fully Protected Species Issues

On September 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving fully protected species that may have important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

State Agencies Cannot Use State Budgetary Uncertainties to Escape Mitigation Obligations under CEQA

The California Supreme court determined the California State University ("CSU") could not rely solely on earmarked appropriations from the State Legislature for payment of "fair share" mitigation fees the CSU determined...more

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

California Governor's Office Releases Comprehensive Update to State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines

On August 11, 2015, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its Preliminary Discussion Draft of a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines – the first global update to the CEQA Guidelines...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

Uncertainty of Legislative Earmarks Not Enough to Deem Mitigation Infeasible

California Supreme Court Takes on CEQA Issue in State College Expansion Project - State agencies cannot declare mitigation infeasible for construction projects on the grounds that the California Legislature has not — and...more

Cal State University Cannot Avoid Off-Site Traffic Mitigation Payments Because the Legislature Failed to Approve Funds

City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University - Why It Matters: The California Supreme Court has clarified language from its prior decision in City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California...more

California Supreme Court Holds that State Agencies May Not Escape CEQA Mitigation Requirements Based on Failure of the Legislature...

In a decision that enhances the ability of local interests to obtain mitigation funds from state agencies, the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") requires the Board of...more

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update Second Quarter 2015

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach - 236 Cal.App.4th 1341 - This case involved the City of Newport Beach’s approval of a mixed-use development project on land located within the coastal zone. Banning...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Duties of State Agencies in Funding Off-Site Mitigation

On August 3, the California Supreme Court released its second CEQA decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation. In City of San Diego v. Board...more

State Agencies Cannot Declare Mitigation of Project Impacts Infeasible Based Solely on the Lack of Legislative Appropriations

A public agency may not rely solely on a request to the Legislature to appropriate funding to mitigate a project's adverse environmental impacts and conclude that mitigation is infeasible because the funding cannot be...more

A State Agency’s Duty To Mitigate Significant Environmental Impacts Does Not Depend On A Legislative Appropriation Of Funds For...

The California State University system may not condition its funding of mitigation for off-site impacts of a campus expansion project on receipt of a legislative appropriation earmarked for that purpose, according to a...more

The “Old College Try” Flunks Out: California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Mitigation Obligation For CSU Campus Expansion Projects...

In an August 3, 2015 decision that impacts the California State University’s (CSU) plans to expand its campuses across the state, the California Supreme Court has rejected CSU’s arguments that mitigation of its projects’...more

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR...more

Fourth District Expounds On CEQA’s Responses To Comments Rules – And Abuses of the Process – As Well As Other Issues In Upholding...

In an opinion filed June 12 and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding a supplemental EIR (“SEIR 564”) for a long-planned expansion of the James A....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - California Approves Drought Curb on Sacramento River Flows - Sacramento Bee - Jul 8: California regulators gave final approval on Tuesday to a controversial drought plan to restrict the...more

California Superior Court Denies PANNA Petition for Writ of Mandate

On June 16, 2015, the California Superior Court for the County of Almeda denied the petition of the Pesticide Action Network North America, et al. (PANNA) for a writ of mandate to direct the California Department of Pesticide...more

Neighbors’ Noise Complaints Trigger EIR

Keep Our Mountains Quiet v. County of Santa Clara - Why It Matters: The Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s holding that preparation of an EIR was required for the approval of a use permit to allow...more

DOGGR Releases Final Well Stimulation EIR

Yesterday, July 1, 2015, pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”) the State Oil & Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen, head of the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”), certified a Final...more

A CEQA Trustee Agency “Muscles Up”: Third District Holds Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newly Exercised Power To Require Notice...

Under CEQA, a “trustee agency” is a “state agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for the people of the State of California” and “[t]he California Department of...more

CEQA Categorical Exemption Case Opinion Ordered Slightly Modified By Supreme Court; Berkeley Hillside Preservation Judgment Is...

On May 27, 2015, the California Supreme Court filed a 4-page order modifying portions of the majority and concurring opinions previously filed March 2, 2015, in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2015) 60...more

Court Rules Planned Development of Banning Ranch May Proceed

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (filed 5/20/2015, No. G049691), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, held the Environmental Impact Report prepared by the City of Newport Beach for the partial...more

California's Office of Planning and Research Releases Draft Technical Advisory for Formal Native American Consultations Under AB...

Comments on the Draft Advisory due by June 1 - The Office of Planning and Research released a Draft Advisory earlier this month entitled “Discussion Draft Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA”...more

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