Salmon Protection & Watershed Network v. County of Marin

(2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 195

The First Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal of Salmon Protection & Watershed Network’s (SPAWN’s) complaint in intervention where the underlying tolling agreements were valid. Property owners SPAWN had challenged the adequacy of an EIR certified by Marin County in connection with a county-wide General Plan update implementing stream conservation policies. The trial court had sustained a demurrer to SPAWN’s complaint, which alleged that the group’s petition was untimely. 

Marin County had certified an EIR in connection with area-wide stream conservation policies. Thereafter, SPAWN entered into a series of tolling agreements that extended the limitation period for filing a complaint challenging the sufficiency of the EIR, during which time the parties were engaged in unsuccessful settlement negotiations. The Court held, against SPAWN’s arguments, that these tolling agreements were valid because the added time benefitted the County rather than SPAWN, and thus could be waived by the County. Because the tolling agreements were valid, the trial court had properly sustained demurrers to the complaint in intervention. [RMM Partner James G. Moose, Senior Counsel Jennifer S. Holman and Associate Jeannie Lee  represented the respondent County.]