CalBeach Advocates v. City of Solana Beach

(2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 529

The Court of Appeal affirmed the City of Solana Beach’s use of CEQA’s emergency exemption to approve a permit for a seawall in order to protect homes from the imminent collapse of coastal bluffs. Opponents of the seawall argued that the sudden, catastrophic collapse of the coastal bluffs was not an emergency because CEQA defines an emergency as an “unexpected occurrence.” The court rejected this argument, holding that the CEQA exemption did not require that emergencies be “unexpected” when the purpose of the project was to prevent an emergency. [RMM Counsel of record: James G. Moose and Tiffany K. Wright]