News & Analysis as of

Exemptions California Environmental Quality Act

First District Holds CEQA Action Can Be Brought Directly Against Local Air District to Challenge “Authority to Construct” Issued...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In an opinion filed March 23, and belatedly modified and ordered published on May 25, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a plaintiff environmental group’s (“Friends”) CEQA action...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2017 WL 1422533), the California First District Court of Appeal held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County...more

First District Holds Sonoma County Vineyard Development (VESCO) Permit was Ministerial Approval Exempt from CEQA

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On April 21, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal filed a 22-page published opinion providing significant guidance and analysis concerning the critical, but sometimes elusive, distinction between “discretionary” project...more

When Will They Ever Learn? CBD Files Another Questionable Lawsuit Against DOGGR

by Stoel Rives LLP on

On August 3, 2016, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed suit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) and the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”),...more

Second District Upholds Application of CEQA’s Class 3 Categorical Exemption For New Small Structures To City’s Approval of Small...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a published opinion filed July 21, 2016, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment rejecting plaintiffs/residential neighbors’ (“Appellants”) CEQA challenge to the City of Redondo Beach’s...more

Discovery Rule Does Not Postpone Accrual of CEQA Cause of Action; Events Specified In CEQA Statute of Limitations Provide...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a short but significant published opinion filed July 19, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the San Francisco County Superior Court’s judgment of dismissal following the sustaining of demurrers (without...more

Saving Private Partnerships: Court Upholds P3 Project against CEQA Challenge under Save Tara

A 2008 California Supreme Court decision, Save Tara v. City of West Hollywood, cast doubt on local governments’ ability to enter into agreements with private developers prior to completing project review under the California...more

Fourth District Modifies CEQA Categorical Exemption Opinion Involving Palm Springs General Plan Amendment Without Altering...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In an order filed June 17, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (Division 2) modified its opinion filed April 22, and ordered partially published May 20, 2016, in People for Proper Planning v. City of...more

Home(s) In The “Range”: Fourth District Overturns CEQA Exemption For City of Palm Springs’ General Plan Amendment Removing...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

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

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

by Miller Starr Regalia on

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

CEQA Year In Review 2015

by Perkins Coie on

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

Not Its First CEQA Rodeo: Third District Again Upholds Class 23 Categorical Exemption For 2011 Watsonville Rodeo Event On Remand...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In the Spring of last year, I posted an analysis of what I called the Third District Court of Appeal’s “exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion” in Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex...more

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

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

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...

by Nossaman LLP on

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

Developer Catches a Break in California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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

by Perkins Coie on

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

by Perkins Coie on

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

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

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

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

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

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

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

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