City’s Decision to Deny Mitigated Negative Declaration Upheld For Small San Diego Subdivision

On May 23, 2017, the Fourth District Court of Appeal court ordered published Kutzke v. City of San Diego, (2017)  ­­__ Cal.App.5th­­__ (Case No. D070288). In a succinct opinion, the court upheld the city’s decision …

Use It or Lose It? CEQA’s Bicycle Transportation Exemptions and Legislative Efforts to Preserve Them

CEQA and the Guidelines’ statutory and categorical exemptions streamline the environmental review process, and can play a key role in project planning and development. The philosophical underpinning of many exemptions is that the environmental impacts for …

First District Rules That Issuing Erosion-Control Permit Under Sonoma County Ordinance Was Ministerial Act Exempt From CEQA

On April 21, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal in Sierra Club v. County of Sonoma (2017) __ Cal.App.5th __ (Case No. SCV-255465), affirmed the trial court and ruled that Sonoma County’s ordinance, issuing an erosion-control …

Despite Being a “Successful Party,” Real Party in Interest Denied Attorneys’ Fee Award by Fourth District

In Save our Heritage Organisation v. City of San Diego (2017) ___Cal App.5th___ (Case No. D070006), the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s denial of a Code of Civil Procedure section 1025.1 …

Fifth District Rules CARB Acted in Bad Faith in Selecting Baseline for Analysis of Low Carbon Fuel Standards Regulations

In POET, LLC v. State Air Resources Board (2017) ___Cal.App.5th___ (Case No. F073340) (“POET II”), the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed to comply with the terms …

Second District Holds that Failure to Lodge Administrative Record Barred Post-Trial Relief

In The Urban Wildlands Group, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles (2017) ___Cal App.5th___ (Case No. B271350), the Second District Court of Appeal held that the mandatory relief provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section …

Third District Court of Appeal Upholds State Air Resources Board’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program

In a 2-1 opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the auction-sale component of the cap-and-trade program created by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 …

Sixth District Rules County of Santa Cruz Did Not Engage in Piecemeal Review of Zoning Ordinances and Upholds Negative Declaration

In Aptos Council v. County of Santa Cruz (2017) ___Cal.App.5th___ (Case No. H042976), the Sixth District held that the County of Santa Cruz did not engage in piecemeal review when it separately adopted three different …

California Supreme Court Holds that CEQA Requires EIRs for Projects Located within Coastal Zones to Identify Potential “Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas” as Defined by the California Coastal Act.

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (2017) 2 Cal.5th 918, the California Supreme Court held that CEQA requires an EIR for a project located within a coastal zone to identify which areas …

Fourth District Upholds EIR for Master-Planned Community and Concludes That County Not Required to Recirculate

On March 15, 2017 the Fourth District certified for publication its February 4, 2017 decision in Residents Against Specific Plan 380 v. County of Riverside (___ Cal.App.5th___, Case No. E063292), upholding the EIR for a …

Legislative Analyst’s Office Concludes State Government Has Limited Ability to Increase Housing Supply; the Solution Lies with Local Governments

On March 8, 2017, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released its report Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?, which considers whether the housing elements of city and county general plans achieve their objective of …

California Supreme Court Rules Personal Emails May Be Considered Public Records Subject to Disclosure Under the Public Records Act

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (2017) (Case No. S218066), the City of San Jose argued that messages communicated through personal accounts of city employees were not public records …

High Court Reverses Appellate Decision Limiting Use of Delisting Petitions under the California Endangered Species Act, But Avoids Reaching Merits of Fish and Game Commission’s Decision Denying Delisting Petition for Coho Salmon

On February 27, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in Central Coast Forest Association et al., v. Fish and Game Commission (Case No. S208181), reversing an appellate decision holding that Plaintiff’s petition …

California Air Resources Board 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update Issued

In January 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the Draft 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. The Proposed Scoping Plan identifies the overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent …