Archives: December 2011

Californians for Native Salmon and Steelhead Association et al. v. Department of Forestry

(1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 1419

The Court of Appeal permitted the filing and prosecution of a “pattern and practice” action brought by various plaintiffs to challenge the procedures followed by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in approving timber harvesting plans (THPs). The complaint alleged that the Department had a policy of failing to issue timely responses to public comments on proposed THPs or to issue such responses at all, and of consistently failing to analyze the cumulative environmental impacts of such plans. The appellate court held that a justifiable controversy existed as to whether the Department’s policies violated applicable law, and that a declaratory relief action was an appropriate procedural vehicle for challenging those policies.

Citizens for Quality Growth v. City of Mt. Shasta

(1988) 198 Cal.App.3d 433

The Court of Appeal required the City of Mount Shasta to prepare findings prior to approving a general plan amendment that would allow a shopping center project, even though the applicant had not yet submitted any specific development proposal. The court required that the findings address the feasibility of environmentally superior project alternatives before the City could adopt a statement of overriding considerations. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and James G. Moose]

Paul Baily et al. v. County of El Dorado

(1985) 162 Cal.App.3d 94

The Court of Appeal issued a peremptory writ to compel the respondent county to place an initiative measure on the ballot. The initiative measure required the creation of buffer zones surrounding strip and pit mining projects. Applicants for a mining project sought unsuccessfully to halt the processing of the initiative, claiming that the proposed ordinance was an invalid exercise of the county’s police powers, and that the “short title” of the initiative was misleading. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]

Environmental Council of Sacramento v. County of Sacramento

(1982) 135 Cal.App.3d 428

The Court of Appeal held that, once a lead agency has certified and adopted an EIR, the agency cannot change the document’s conclusions regarding the significance of environmental impacts without substantial evidence supporting such changes. The respondent board of supervisors had, after certification of an EIR concluding that a development project would result in significant environmental impacts on agricultural land, substituted its own judgment for that of staff with respect to the significance of the impact, and had concluded that the impact was less than significant. There was no substantial evidence, however, supporting this change in the impact classification. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]

Environmental Planning & Information Council v. County of El Dorado

(1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 350

The Court of Appeal held that an EIR for a general plan amendment must analyze the project’s impacts on the existing environment, rather than simply compare the project’s impacts to the eventual impacts that could occur in the future through build out under existing specific plan or general plan designations. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]

Perley v. County of Calaveras

(1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 424

The Court of Appeal upheld the use of a mitigated negative declaration for a seven-acre strip mine. The court concluded that the neighbors’ testimony regarding noise, dust, and traffic did not constitute substantial evidence requiring preparation of an EIR. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]

Rural Land Owners’ Association v. City of Lodi

(1983) 143 Cal.App.3d 1013

The Court of Appeal rejected a harmless error standard under CEQA. The court also held that the respondent city had failed to adequately respond to agencies’ comments on the EIR for a proposed development project. Finally, the court held that the city’s administrative findings were too ambiguous to apprise interested parties and a reviewing court of the basis for the city’s administrative action. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]

Sutter Sensible Planning, Inc. v. County of Sutter

(1981) 122 Cal.App.3d 813

The Court of Appeal required Sutter County to recirculate an EIR when significant new information became available regarding the potential of a proposed tomato processing facility to cause environmental impacts. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy and Tina A. Thomas]