Exemptions California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

CEQA “Common Sense” Exemption Upheld; Environmental Baseline for Project Following Improvements Pursuant to an Emergency Exemption...

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2/18/2015, 4th Civil No. D064186) - The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a CEQA exemption related to the City of San Diego’s approval of a project comprising emergency storm drainage...more

It’s Not Unusual: California Supreme Court Declines to Expand “Unusual Circumstances” Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions

In an important and highly anticipated decision under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Supreme Court overturned a Court of Appeal’s decision that would have severely limited public agencies’...more

California Supreme Court Establishes the Standard of Review for the Unusual Circumstances Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions...

Breathing life into the use of CEQA categorical exemptions, on March 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court held that a reasonable possibility that a project may result in significant effects on the environment alone is not...more

Government & Regulatory Law Update March 2015: California Supreme Court Issues Decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City...

On March 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (“Berkeley”). The opinion clarifies two important issues relating to the California...more

Developer Catches a Break in California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2015) (slip op), the California Supreme Court overturned an appeals court ruling that banned developers from using an exemption under the...more

California Supreme Court’s CEQA Ruling Reaches Beyond Residential Development

On Monday March 2, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing a Berkeley home builder to use an exemption from detailed environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) in its...more

CA Supreme Court Provides Key CEQA Guidance Regarding Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling regarding categorical exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reversing a court of appeal decision that would have sharply curtailed the use...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on the “Unusual Circumstances” Exception to CEQA’s Categorical...

In its March 2 decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (SC Case No. S201116), the California Supreme Court provides critical guidance to CEQA lead agencies and practitioners regarding the proper...more

CEQA Year In Review 2014: A Summary Of Published Appellate Opinions And Legislation Under CEQA

In This Issue: - When Does CEQA Apply? - Exemptions from CEQA - Negative Declarations - Environmental Impact Reports - Certified Regulatory Programs - Supplemental CEQA...more

California Supreme Court Poised To Decide Key CEQA Questions: The Court’s Lineup For 2015

The California Supreme Court’s involvement in CEQA cases has been relatively limited since he statute’s enactment in 1970, with the court taking  review of at most one or two appellate court decisions a year.  The last two...more

CEQA Lead Agencies Do Not Waive Defense that CEQA Did Not Apply Despite Proceeding under CEQA

Recently, the court in Rominger v. County of Colusa found that a lead agency which approved a mitigated negative declaration for a project, can take the seemingly inconsistent position that the proposed project was not a...more

Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a...more

San Francisco Beautiful CEQA Decision Interpreting Class 3 Categorical Exemption For Installation of Small Structures Is Ordered...

On May 30, 2014, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District (Division 4) filed its order denying rehearing and granting the requests of real party in interest AT&T, Verizon, Remy Moose Manley and others to publish...more

Court Approves San Francisco's Use of Class 3 CEQA Exemption for Telecommunications Project

Opinion clarifies when projects involving the construction of hundreds of new small utility structures may be exempt from environmental review - The California Court of Appeal upheld San Francisco’s determination that...more

Court Applies Limitations on Unusual Circumstances Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions

The Third District Court of Appeal recently applied a standard of review that gives more certainty to project proponents relying on a California Environmental Quality Act categorical exemption. The decision in Citizens for...more

Specific Plan EIRs and Exemptions for Follow-On Actions

The 2013 legislative session began with high hopes that California’s landmark environmental law – the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) – would be reformed. Developers, builders, and public agencies across the state...more

AB 417 Adds Statutory CEQA Exemption for Bicycle Transportation Plans

On October 7, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 417 (“AB 417”) authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) that streamlines the CEQA process for bicycle transportation plans. ...more

First District Holds CEQA Categorical Exemptions For Regulatory Agency Actions To Protect The Environment Apply To Marin County’s...

After years of study, Marin County adopted an Ordinance in 2011 banning single-use plastic bags and mandating a 5-cent fee on single-use paper bags; the ordinance applies to roughly 40 retailers in the unincorporated county....more

Court Upholds CEQA Exemption for Residential Development - Minor Project Tweaks and New Greenhouse Gas Thresholds Don’t Trigger...

In a recent case involving the California Environmental Quality Act, a state appellate court upheld a city’s decision to exempt from environmental review a residential development because it was consistent with a broader...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

Supreme Court Case Involving CEQA’s “Unusual Circumstances” Exception to Categorical Exemptions Now Fully Briefed by Parties;...

The Respondent City of Berkeley and Real Parties (Kapors) filed their joint Reply Brief on the Merits in the California Supreme Court in a much-watched categorical exemption case, Berkeley Hillside Preservation, et al. v....more

Judicial Review Of CEQA Categorical Exemptions From 1997-Present

This report reviews all California Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions that have analyzed categorical exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) from 1997 through the present. This research was...more

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