Friends of Davis v. City of Davis

(2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1004

The Court of Appeal affirmed that the City of Davis did not act unlawfully under CEQA by failing to construe the City’s design review ordinance to exclude Borders Books from locating in the City. The court rejected the argument that the design review ordinance must be construed to allow tenant-specific review of previously approved projects. The court held that an agency’s interpretation of its own ordinance is entitled to great weight and that the interpretation is unaffected by CEQA. The court also rejected as speculative the argument that Borders Books’ social and economic effects must be regarded as a potentially significant change in the environment, thus warranting a supplemental EIR as a matter of law. The court stated that social and economic effects are not significant effects, unless, on the basis of substantial evidence, they cause a foreseeable physical change in the environment. [RMM Counsel of record: Whitman F. Manley]