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When “Tigers Eat Their Young” – Federal Preemption Of CEQA In Context Of Railroad Projects Will Continue To Present Complex Issues...

On April 30, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed in North Coast Railroad Authority v. Friends of the Eel River, U.S. Supreme Ct. Case No. 17-915, which presented this issue: ...more

First District Rejects Numerous CEQA Challenges To RFEIR For Propane Recovery Project At Phillips 66 Company’s Rodeo Oil Refinery,...

In an opinion filed March 20, and later certified for publication on April 12, 2018, the First District Court of Appeal (Division 3) affirmed a limited peremptory writ of mandate issued by the Contra Costa County Superior...more

Redrawing CEQA’s “Parking” Lines? Second District Holds Parking Impacts of Covina Mixed-Use, Transit-Oriented Infill Project Are...

SB 743 was enacted in 2013 to further California’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions by encouraging transit-oriented, infill development – a strategy announced in SB 375, the “Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act...more

Fourth District Upholds San Diego’s CEQA Class 3 Categorical Exemption Determination For Verizon’s Faux Tree Wireless...

In a published opinion filed March 15, 2018, the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Division One) affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition and complaint challenging the City of San Diego’s approvals of a...more

Fifth District Holds CARB Violated CEQA And APA In Approving Modifications To Truck And Bus Regulation

In a published opinion filed January 31, 2018, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial Court’s judgment issuing a writ of mandate voiding the California State Air Resources Board’s (“CARB”) 2014 amendments to...more

Can You Clear Me Now? Sixth District Upholds Santa Cruz County’s CEQA Categorical Exemption For Project To Install Microcell...

In an opinion filed February 5 and later ordered published on February 27, 2018, the Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying Aptos Residents Association’s (“ARA”) writ petition challenging Santa Cruz...more

CEQA Does Not Require City’s General Plan Update EIR to Address Urban Decay Based on Broker’s Speculative Opinion Concerning...

In an opinion filed on January 4, and later certified for partial publication on January 30, 2018, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court judgment rejecting appellant’s claim that the EIR for the City of...more

CEQA Guidelines Update: California Natural Resources Agency Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On January 26, 2018, the Natural Resources Agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the public regarding its proposed updates to the CEQA Guidelines; the Notice and related rulemaking materials are available for...more

First District Holds CEQA Exhaustion Requirements Don’t Apply to Attorney General, Upholds Adequacy of Most of EIR’s Analysis for...

In a lengthy, partially published opinion filed January 12, 2018, the First District Court of Appeal (Division 3) partly affirmed, but in large part reversed, the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate directing...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenge To MND For Small Rural High School Project Based On Challenger’s Failure To Exhaust...

In a lengthy opinion filed December 20, 2017, and belatedly ordered published on January 8, 2018, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 1, affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition asserting CEQA and...more

Second District Holds Melrose Triangle Project EIR’s Alternatives Analysis and Responses to Comments Comply with CEQA, Upholds...

In an opinion filed on November 30, and belatedly ordered published on December 22, 2017, the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 1, affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying all CEQA challenges asserted by...more

The Past Year In CEQA Case Law: A Quick Look Back at 2017

As we move into a brand new year of tracking CEQA developments, it seems like an appropriate time to survey and briefly recap some of the many significant published case law developments that occurred over the past...more

Fourth District Upholds Use of CEQA Writ Action Discovery Directed To Standing Issue, Affirms Trial Court’s Terminating Sanction...

A fundamental prerequisite to a viable lawsuit is a plaintiff possessing standing to bring it, and in writ of mandate proceedings that generally means a person or entity actually possessing a beneficial interest in the legal...more

CEQA Remedies Statute Authorizes Writ Partially Decertifying EIR and Leaving Project Approvals In Place

In a partially published opinion filed December 4, 2017, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s post-remand judgment and held that CEQA’s remedies statute – Public Resources Code § 21168.9 – allows a...more

Year-End CEQA Legislative And Regulatory Roundup – December 2017

As another year draws near its close, a number of notable recent CEQA developments in both the legislative and regulatory arenas have occurred that bear mention. SB 35 (Wiener), perhaps the “poster child” of the numerous...more

Fifth District Holds Cap-And-Trade Program Compliance Supports Refinery Project EIR’s Conclusion That GHG Emissions Are Less Than...

In a lengthy, partially published opinion filed November 21, 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed four CEQA challenges asserted by plaintiffs and appellants (“AIR”) to the sufficiency of Kern County’s 2014 Final...more

SANDAG RTP/SCS EIR Redux: Is Fourth District’s Published Opinion on Remand Constructive CEQA Compliance Lesson or Moot Exercise?

When it comes to CEQA cases, some courts don’t seem to know when to stop beating a dead horse. So it may be with the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s 43-page, published, 2-1 majority decision, accompanied by a 4-page...more

Power to the Public: DEIR’s Failure to Identify Proposed Project Among Handful of Vastly Different Analyzed Alternatives Violates...

In a published opinion filed November 15, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal (Division 5) affirmed the trial court’s order granting a petition for writ of mandate setting aside the California Department of Parks and...more

Leaving Well Enough Alone: Governor Brown Vetoes CEQA Bill That Would Mandate Lead Agencies To File NOEs For Projects Approved As...

On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown vetoed SB 80 (Wieckowski), a bill that would have added to CEQA’s already detailed notice requirements. Specifically, SB 80 would have amended Public Resources Code §§ 21092.2, 21092.3,...more

Keeping CEQA In Its Lane: First District Holds Substantial Evidence Supports EIR’s Conclusion That “Urban Decay” Is Not Reasonably...

In 15-page opinion filed on September 15, and later certified for publication on October 16, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the Judicial...more

Unique, But Not Unusual: First District Affirms CEQA Exemptions and General Plan Consistency Finding For Three-Unit Infill Condo...

While “agree[ing] with appellant that Telegraph Hill is outstanding and unique in a city of outstanding and unique places[,]” the First District Court of Appeal nonetheless affirmed the trial court’s order denying...more

Governor Brown Vetoes Flawed AB 890, Signals Preference for More Comprehensive CEQA Reform

On October 15, 2017, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. sent a veto letter to California State Assembly Members, returning a controversial and flawed proposed land use bill – AB 890 – without his signature. Fortunately,...more

First District Rejects CEQA Challenges to SWRCB’s Revised Environmental Document and Approval of Northern California Coastal...

In a published opinion filed September 28, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Alameda County Superior Court’s judgment denying appellant Living Rivers Council’s (LRC) writ petition challenging the State...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Substantive Requirements Apply to Environmental Documentation of State Agency Acting Under Certified...

In a published opinion filed September 19, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of a writ petition challenging defendant California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (“Department”)...more

9/26/2017  /  CEQA , Honeybees , Pesticides , Pollinators

First District Upholds CEQA Categorical Exemption for Approval of Planned Parenthood Clinic in City of South San Francisco,...

When a lead agency finds a project approval to be categorically exempt from CEQA, this determination at the initial step of CEQA’s multi-tiered process necessarily includes an implied finding that no exceptions to the...more

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