California Supreme Court Holds that State Agency Compliance with CEQA is Not Preempted By the ICCTA

In Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority (2017) ___Cal.5th ___ (No. S222472) [http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S222472.PDF] the California Supreme Court held that the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA) does not preempt CEQA when …

California Supreme Court Upholds GHG Analysis in SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan EIR

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (2017) ___ Cal. 5th __ (Case No. S223603) (July 13, 2017). In a 6/1 opinion, the California Supreme Court held that the San Diego Association …

First District Reversal Allows for Challenge to Local Air District’s Limited Discretionary Approval Under CEQA

Friends of Outlet Creek v. Mendocino County Air Quality Management District (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 1235. The First District Court of Appeal held that a responsible agency air quality management district may be sued under CEQA, …

Air District Board’s Tie Vote on Authority to Construct Permit Is Effectively a Decision Not to Revoke It, Which Is Reviewable for Prejudicial Abuse of Discretion

On June 14, 2017, Division One of the First Appellate District published its decision in Grist Creek Aggregates, LLC v. The Superior Court of Mendocino County, ___Cal.App.5th­­­ ___ Case No. A149861 (April 6, 2017) in …

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 …