Category: Exemptions and “Not a Project” Determinations

Subscribe to Exemptions and “Not a Project” Determinations RSS Feed

California Supreme Court Grants Review in Medical Marijuana CEQA Case

On January 11, the California Supreme Court granted review of the Fourth Appellate District’s decision in Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 103.  The two issues to be decided by the Court are as follows: Is the enactment of a zoning ordinance categorically a “project” within the … Continue Reading

Local Ordinance Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries is Not a “Project” Subject to CEQA Review, Fourth Appellate District Rules (Again)

In its October 14 decision in Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego, the Fourth Appellate District weighed in for the second time this year on whether a city ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries is subject to CEQA review. As in the first case, which was brought by the same petitioner … Continue Reading

Second Appellate District Upholds Use of Class 3 Exemption and Rejects Claim That “General Effects” of Operating a Business Constitute Unusual Circumstances

In its July 21 decision in Walters v. City of Redondo Beach, the Second Appellate District rejected a challenge to the use of a Class 3 categorical exemption for a proposed car wash and coffee shop in the City of Redondo Beach. The decision is helpful for lead agencies, as it clarifies that the general … Continue Reading

Air District CEQA Guidelines Partially Invalidated For Mandating “CEQA-In-Reverse” Analysis, Following Remand From California Supreme Court

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the First Appellate District has issued its second ruling in California Building Industry Assn. v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District. In this case, CBIA challenged BAAQMD’s 2010 “CEQA Air Quality Guidelines”—specifically, the Guidelines’ thresholds and methods for assessing the effects of siting new sensitive receptors (residences) near … Continue Reading

Appellate District Rejects ‘Discovery Rule’ in CEQA Cases and Holds Challenge to Richmond Crude-By-Rail Facility Untimely Under 180-day Statute of Limitations

On July 19, the First District Court of Appeal published its opinion in Communities for a Better Environment v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District. In this case, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and a host of other environmental groups sought to challenge a rail-to-truck facility for the transloading of crude oil permitted by … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Rejects Use of Categorical Exemption, Muddies the Waters on Standard of Review for Exceptions

The Fourth District has waded into the world of CEQA exemptions, holding that the City of Palm Springs improperly relied upon the Class 5 categorical exemption for “minor alterations in land use limitations.” However, in a confusing discussion of whether an exception to that exemption might apply, the Court seemed to ignore the Supreme Court’s … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Affirms Cadiz Valley Groundwater Project

In a series of sweeping opinions, the Fourth Appellate District on Tuesday, May 10, upheld the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project against six separate challenges brought by a host of environmental organizations and a salt mining operation. The Cadiz Project, initiated by the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) and Cadiz, Inc. in … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds Local Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Against CEQA Challenge

Local regulation of the medical marijuana industry has become a hot-button area of controversy. New ordinances are routinely being proposed and adopted – and then challenged in court. In a March 25 opinion filed in Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of Upland, the Fourth Appellate District weighed in on one such local dispute, … Continue Reading
LexBlog