Amy R. Higuera

Amy Higuera has successfully represented numerous clients in achieving favorable results in environmental law and land use entitlement matters.

Specifically, her practice includes representation and litigation involving CEQA and NEPA, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Government Reorganization Act of 2000, the Subdivision Map Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting. Amy also has experience representing real estate developers with the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate, including due diligence title and zoning compliance review, as well as drafting and negotiating commercial leases. (Read more…)

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Approval Upheld for Lafayette Affordable Housing Project Delayed for a Decade

In a partially published opinion in Save Lafayette v. City of Lafayette (2022) 85 Cal.App.5th 842, the First District Court of Appeal upheld approval of an affordable housing project in the face of the third in a series of lawsuits filed by a citizens group against it. The Court held that the applicant could resume processing … Continue Reading

Construction of 90-Foot-Tall Lights at Athletic Field Not Categorically Exempt as either an Existing Facility or Construction of a Small Structure

Effective January 1, 2023, Thomas Law Group (TLG) will merge with Downey Brand. We are thrilled to welcome the TLG team to CEQA Chronicles and look forward to sharing their updates on important CEQA developments, new case law, legislation, and guidance. In St. Ignatius Neighborhood Assn. v. City & County of San Francisco (Nov. 18, 2022, A164629) … Continue Reading

Exhausting Administrative Remedies Does Not Toll the Statute of Limitations When the CEQA Determination Is Not at Issue

Effective January 1, 2023, Thomas Law Group (TLG) will merge with Downey Brand. We are thrilled to welcome the TLG team to CEQA Chronicles and look forward to sharing their updates on important CEQA developments, new case law, legislation, and guidance. In American Chemistry Council v. Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (Nov. 18, 2022, F082604) __Cal.App.4th__ [2022 … Continue Reading

Court Finds Site Visits and Reports Taken Before and After Issuance of NOP Adequate for Establishing Biological Resources Baseline, EIR’s Emergency Evacuation Analysis Upheld

Effective January 1, 2023, Thomas Law Group (TLG) will merge with Downey Brand. We are thrilled to welcome the TLG team to CEQA Chronicles and look forward to sharing their updates on important CEQA developments, new case law, legislation, and guidance. In Save North Petaluma River and Wetlands v. City of Petaluma (Nov. 14, 2022, … Continue Reading

Fourth District Court of Appeal Publishes Case Reducing Attorney Fees Following Limited Success on CEQA Challenge

On April 13, 2015, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District granted a request by respondent County of San Bernardino (County) and real party Al-Nur Islamic Center to publish its recent decision in Save Our Uniquely Rural Community Environment v. County of San Bernardino, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 307 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Agency Discretion to Issue a Timber Plan in Accordance with Statutory Requirements

In Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 1181, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny a petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (Cal Fire) approval of a Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan … Continue Reading

CARB’s Authority to Order Recall and Repair of Heavy-Duty Vehicle Engines Upheld

In Engine Manufacturers Association v. State Air Resources Board, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 1075, the California Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment on the pleadings and upheld the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) authority to adopt regulations requiring the testing and recall of in-use heavy-duty engines to protect air quality. California … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds Attorney Fees Award in CEQA Litigation Challenging State Water Board Adoption of Instream Flow Policy

In an unpublished opinion in Living Rivers Council v. State Water Resources Control Board, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7321, the California Court of Appeal for the First District affirmed an award of attorney fees to Petitioners Living Rivers Council as the prevailing party in a CEQA lawsuit challenging an instream flow policy adopted by … Continue Reading

Costs for Preparing Administrative Record May Include Attorney and Paralegal Labor

In a partially published opinion in Otay Ranch, L.P. v. County of San Diego, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 875, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed the trial court’s decision to allow San Diego County to recover the reasonable costs charged by outside counsel to prepare the administrative record for a mandamus … Continue Reading

Federal Law Preempts CEQA Review of Northern California Rail Line Operations

In Friends of Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 877, the California Court of Appeal for the First District affirmed the trial court’s determination that federal law preempts the North Coast Railroad Authority’s (North Coast) obligation to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in repairing and operating a … Continue Reading

When is Agency Action Considered a Project under CEQA? When the Legislature Says So.

In Rominger v. County of Colusa, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 813, the Court of Appeal for the Third District overturned the trial court and held a proposed subdivision approved by Colusa County was a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), even though the proposal did not include any specific plans for development. The … Continue Reading

Court Publishes General Plan Consistency Discussion in Case Upholding San Francisco Redevelopment Project

On September 4, 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District granted a request to publish an additional portion of the recent case San Francisco Tomorrow v. City & County of San Francisco, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 800. The previously published opinion affirmed the City and County of San Francisco’s approval of a redevelopment … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Makes Key Permit Streamlining Act Ruling for Conditional Use Permit Applicants

In American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15641, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the City of San Diego’s (City) denial of three conditional use permits (CUP) for three cell tower facilities owned and operated by American Tower Corporation. The court reversed in part and affirmed in part … Continue Reading

ALL ABOARD! – High Speed Rail Moves Forward with Bay Area to Central Valley Route After Appellate Court Approval

In Town of Atherton v. Cal. High-Speed Rail Authority, (2014) Cal. App. LEXIS 670, the Court of Appeal for the Third District upheld the final program environmental impact report (EIR) for the segment of the California High Speed Rail project linking the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley. In the EIR, the California … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Rejects Challenges to Redevelopment Project in San Francisco Neighborhood

In a partially published opinion in San Francisco Tomorrow v. City and County of San Francisco, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 735, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District upheld denial of a petition for a writ of mandate seeking to overturn approval of a 152-acre redevelopment project near Lake Merced in southwest San … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds Trial Court’s Jurisdiction to Discharge Writ for Huntington Beach Senior Center

In an unpublished decision, Parks Legal Defense Fund v. City of Huntington Beach, (2014) Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5050, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s jurisdiction to discharge a writ of mandate, but reversed and remanded the trial court’s determination that the subsequent environmental impact report complied with the California Environmental … Continue Reading

Mining the Administrative Record for Answers: Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court for Ignoring Substantial Evidence and Making Improper De Novo Determinations on Quarry Project

In an unpublished decision, Citizens Advocating for Roblar Rural Community v. County of Sonoma, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3393, the Court of Appeal for the First District reversed the trial court’s decision granting a petition for writ of mandate that challenged County certification of a final environmental impact report (EIR) and issuance of necessary … Continue Reading

Superior Court Grants Attorney General Leave to Appear as Amicus Curiae in Support of Greenhouse Gas Analysis Prepared for Plan Bay Area

On May 16, 2014, in Bay Area Citizens v. Assn. of Bay Area Governments, et al (Case No. RG13690631), the Alameda County Superior Court granted an Ex Parte Application filed by the Attorney General on behalf of the People of the State of California to file an amicus curiae brief.   In its amicus curiae brief, … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds CEQA Exemption for New Fiber-Optic Cable Utility Boxes in San Francisco

In an unpublished decision in San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3108, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of a writ of mandate challenging the City and County of San Francisco’s decision to approve AT&T’s installation of 726 metal utility boxes without requiring … Continue Reading

COURT FINDS PROGRAMMATIC EIR FOR RETAIL DEVELOPMENT INCLUDED INADQUATE ANALYSIS OF URBAN DECAY AND ENERGY IMPACTS

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 300, certified for partial publication on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of a petition for writ of mandate to vacate the City of Woodland’s certification of an EIR for a regional shopping center. … Continue Reading

COURT FINDS PROGRAMMATIC EIR FOR RETAIL DEVELOPMENT INCLUDED INADQUATE ANALYSIS OF URBAN DECAY AND ENERGY IMPACTS

In an unpublished opinion, California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1481, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of a petition for writ of mandate to vacate the City of Woodland’s certification of an EIR for a regional shopping center. In 2007, a developer … Continue Reading
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