Author Archives: rmm_admin

Collin S. Mccarthy

Collin S. Mccarthy

Associate

Mr. McCarthy joined the firm as an associate in 2019. His practice focuses on land use and environmental law, handling all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative approvals and litigation. Mr. McCarthy’s practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the State Planning and Zoning Law.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. McCarthy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs from the California Maritime Academy. In 2015, he received his Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law, with a specialization certificate in environmental law. During law school, Mr. McCarthy served as an associate editor and writer for the Golden Gate University Law Review. He also completed internships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of General Counsel and the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Ecology Division. Prior to joining Remy Moose Manley, LLP, Mr. McCarthy completed a fellowship at the Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic and spent a year as an associate with a Sacramento law firm practicing environmental and land use law.

Education

  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 2015 (Environmental Law Certificate)
  • B.A., Global Studies and Maritime Affairs, California State University Maritime Academy, 2012 (magna cum laude)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

Sabrina V. Teller

Sabrina V. Teller

Partner

Ms. Teller joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in December 2006.  Ms. Teller represents public agencies, private applicants, and citizens’ groups in a wide variety of land use and environmental law matters.  Ms. Teller handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, from local agency administrative approvals through trial and appellate litigation.  Ms. Teller’s practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the Williamson Act, the California Coastal Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the California Water Code provisions relating to water supplies for development, the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, and the federal Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting.

Ms. Teller regularly teaches land use and environmental law continuing education classes and seminars for her client agencies and professional organizations such as the Association of Environmental Professionals. She served as an editor for the California Land Use & Policy Reporter from 2005 to 2008. She is currently a contributing author to the quarterly online Environmental Law Updates published by the California State Bar Environmental Law Section.

Representative matters include:

  • Jointly representing the California High-Speed Rail Authority with the California Attorney General’s Office to defend the Authority’s environmental review for the individual project segments of the future statewide high-speed train system. The case involving the first segment between Madera and Fresno was settled in April 2013 on the eve of the hearing on the merits of the petition for writ of mandate challenging the Authority’s EIR, allowing the Authority to proceed  with contracting and construction. Litigation regarding the Authority’s EIR for the Fresno to Bakersfield segment is currently pending in Sacramento County Superior Court.
  • Successfully defended the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in litigation challenging the environmental review for the Board’s electrification and modernization project to improve the Caltrain commuter rail service on the San Francisco Peninsula.
  • Representing the City of Los Angeles in several ongoing cases defending the City’s compliance with CEQA for various development projects.
  • Representing landowners in Folsom and Roseville in the environmental review and subsequent implementation of specific plans for future residential and commercial development.
  • Defended the San Mateo County Community College District in cases challenging facility improvements at the College of San Mateo. In 2016, the California Supreme Court decided in the District’s favor a key question regarding the standard of review for agency decisions to rely on CEQA’s subsequent review provisions.
  • Defending the City of Monterey in litigation challenging the City’s CEQA compliance for its approval of a city-wide streetlight replacement project for energy efficiency. The case is pending in the Sixth District Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully defended the City of Folsom in litigation challenging the City’s environmental review of a lakeside trail improvement project.
  • Represented Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas in successfully navigating CEQA, CESA, and local land use entitlement processes to obtain a conditional use permit in November 2008 for a new 103-MW wind power project on private land in Shasta County. Ms. Teller assisted RES in developing a strong biological and cultural resources mitigation program, working cooperatively with the County of Shasta, resource agencies, and environmental and tribal interests to avoid litigation after project approval.
  • Represented Save Our Water Resources, an unincorporated citizens association, in a successful petition for writ of mandate decided in Sacramento County Superior Court regarding the City of Orland’s CEQA compliance for approval of a new water bottling plant.

Reported cases:

  • Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado (2018) 30 Cal.App.5th 358
  • Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1079
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 596
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937
  • Save Our Big Trees v. City of Santa Cruz (2015) 214 Cal.App.4th 694
  • Keep Our Mountains Quiet v. County of Santa Clara (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 714
  • Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo County Community College District (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1572
  • California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 173
  • Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1277
  • Tomlinson v. County of Alameda (2012) 54 Cal.4th 281
  • California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 603.
  • Shasta Resources Council v. U.S. Dept of Interior (E.D.Cal. 2009) 629 F.Supp.2d 1045
  • Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412
  • Friends of the Sierra Railroad v. Tuolumne Park and Recreation Dist. (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 643
  • Save Our Neighborhood v. Lishman (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1288
  • The Pocket Protectors v. City of Sacramento (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 903
  • Sierra Club v. County of Napa (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1490

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2001
    B.A., Geography, University of Texas, Austin, 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
    • Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts, all California Districts
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Lead Articles Editor, Texas Environmental Law Journal, 2000-2001
  • Editor, California Land Use & Policy Reporter, 2005-2008
  • Contributing Author, Environmental Law Updates, CA State Bar Environmental Law Section, 2017-present
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2018 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine and Rising Stars section of the 2009-2011 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine

Community Involvement

  • Former Member, Environmental Law Society, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Member, Public Interest Law Association, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Board Member, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership- Northern California Chapter
  • Former Corporate Board Member, Francis House, Sacramento

Nathan O. George

Nathan O. George

Associate

Mr. George joined the firm in 2016 as an associate. Mr. George’s practice focuses on land use and environmental law, handling all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative approvals and litigation. His practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, and the federal Endangered Species Act.

During law school, Mr. George served as a Board Member for the Journal of International Law and Policy, and as a Board Member for the Environmental Council of Sacramento. Prior to joining Remy Moose Manley, LLP, Mr. George worked as an associate at David Allen & Associates, and clerked for the California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board, the Office of the Attorney General, Public Rights Division, and the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, Public Integrity Unit.  Mr. George was elected as Treasurer of the Environmental Law Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association for 2018.

Published Cases:

  • Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1079

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2014 (Environmental Law and Public Service Certificates)
  • B.S., Graphic Design, California State University, Sacramento, 2006 (with honors)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Admitted to all California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

RMM Successfully Defends Sustainable Communities Project Against Multiple Challenges

In what may be the first litigation of its kind, RMM has defeated three challenges to the City of Los Angeles’s reliance on the Sustainable Communities Project exemption. The exemption—for Transit Priority Projects that meet other environmental and efficiency standards—was adopted as part of SB 375. The exemption has not been frequently used, presumably because of its rigorous standards for access to transit and other sustainability requirements. But more cities are reexamining the exemption in light of California’s housing crisis and renewed focus on transit, infill development, energy and water efficiency, and other sustainability features. The City, with help from RMM, developed a model for evaluating such projects. The City’s approval was upheld against challenges contained in three separate lawsuits. Tiffany Wright and Elizabeth Pollock represented the applicant, CRM Properties.

101 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane in Santa Barbara Can Move Forward

RMM, representing the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and working with attorneys for Caltrans, defeated a challenge to Caltrans’ EIR for the 101 HOV project in Santa Barbara County. The project—an 11-mile HOV lane on Highway 101 from the City of Carpenteria to the City of Santa Barbara—will provide much needed congestion relief to the region. RMM joined SBCAG’s team after previous litigation required Caltrans to revise the EIR for the project. The successful defense of the revised EIR required an in-depth knowledge of the transportation analysis to respond to highly-technical challenges to the analysis, both in response to comments and in litigation. The court’s discharge of the previous writ allows the agencies to move forward with this key piece of transportation infrastructure. Tiffany Wright and Laura Harris represented SBCAG.

RMM Successfully Defends Metro’s Board on 710 North Gap Project

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with Caltrans, is in the process of preparing an EIS/EIR for the 710 North Gap Project. For decades, the agencies have considered ways to connect the 710 and 210 freeways. The voters of Los Angeles County approved $780 million in sales tax revenues for the project as part of Measure R. The Draft EIS/EIR for the project considers four build alternatives to close the gap. After the public comment period on the EIS/EIR, Metro’s Board identified the Transportation Systems Management/Transportation Demand Management alternative as its preferred alternative and allocated Measure R funds for the alternative. The City of Rosemead filed suit alleging that Metro’s identification of a preferred alternative and allocation of funds constituted premature “approval” of a project prior to completing the CEQA process. The Los Angeles Superior Court rejected Rosemead’s claims. Tiffany Wright and Laura Harris represent Metro.

Cannabis Regulation

Cannabis Regulation

In 2015-2017, the California Legislature and the state’s voters approved several bills and measures legalizing the cultivation, distribution, and sale of medicinal and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. The Bureau of Cannabis Control was established to be the lead agency regulating medical and adult-use cannabis in California. The Bureau is responsible for licensing retailers, distributors, testing labs and microbusinesses. Each local land use agency in the state may adopt its own regulations and policies to govern the establishment and operation of cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction, or they may prohibit them altogether. In 2017, Sabrina Teller advised the Bureau regarding compliance with CEQA for the adoption of statewide regulations governing the cultivation, manufacturing, retail sale, transportation, storage, delivery, and testing of cannabis in California, as required by statute and voter-approved ballot initiative. Ms. Teller also represented Humboldt County and several individual cannabis growers in defending against a challenge to the County’s cannabis land use regulations brought by residents of the City of Fortuna. The Humboldt matter was settled in late 2017. Tiffany Wright has advised Calaveras County regarding the County’s establishment of land use and permitting regulations governing the cultivation of cannabis.

RMM welcomes furry intern

Very Good Girl Sibella joined the firm in January 2018 as an eight-week old labrador/golden retriever puppy. Sibella comes to  us from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). She is completing a one-year internship in our land use and environmental practice, working with RMM Senior Associate Elizabeth Pollock. During the day, she practices chewing toys, licking faces, taking long naps, and giving lots of love. During her tenure at RMM, she will be developing her skills sitting, staying, and “doing her business” outside. After leaving RMM, Sibella will continue her work with CCI. CCI “is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.” You may learn more about the program at http://www.cci.org.