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Sam Bacal-Graves helps public and private clients navigate complex land use and environmental issues. He aids developers and agencies with a wide range of legal issues, utilizing his knowledge of CEQA, California’s housing laws, and other planning and environmental laws. (Read more...)

In Snowball West Investments L.P. v. City of Los Angeles (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 1054, the Second District Court of Appeal addressed the “rezoning exemption” of the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), finding that a housing project was required to comply with a zoning density limit even though the applicable general plan allowed for higher residential

In Guerrero et al v. City of  Los Angeles (January 17, 2024, No. B326033 c/w B327032) ___Cal.App.5th___,  the Second District Court of Appeal held that the project opponents did not timely file their CEQA lawsuit. The published opinion reverses a trial court decision that had found the lawsuit to be timely and concluded that environmental

The 2023 legislative session culminated in Governor Newsom signing dozens of land use bills. This post discusses the most important.

The Legislature continued its multifaceted approach to addressing the housing crisis, with the Governor signing 56 housing bills. The most important include expansions of SB 35 and the Housing Accountability Act.

Housing bills discussed

In Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. County of Monterey (2023) 15 Cal.5th 135, the California Supreme Court held that Measure Z, a local ordinance banning certain oil production methods, was preempted by state law governing the regulation of oil wells.  

Measure Z was sponsored by Protect Monterey County (PMC) and passed by Monterey County

In Anderson v. County of Santa Barbara (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 554 (Anderson), the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s grant of a preliminary injunction that barred Santa Barbara County from removing unpermitted encroachments from a public right-of-way. In reversing the preliminary injunction, the Court held that the petitioners would

On June 23rd, the Fourth District published Save Our Access v. City of San Diego (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 819, holding that a city’s approval of a ballot measure to remove the 30-foot Coastal Zone height limit in a community planning area required further environmental review. The Court concluded that the program EIR

In June we reported that California Governor Gavin Newsom’s infrastructure permitting and CEQA reform legislation package was mostly dead, with the Legislature finding it too complex for last-minute consideration. But there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Legislators and the Governor subsequently reached a tentative agreement to allow a pared-down version

A proposed bill before the California legislature would impose strict requirements for the construction of logistics facilities and warehouses throughout California. AB 1000, introduced by California Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes would require planned industrial facilities to adopt statutory mitigation measures to be approved by local governments. The bill would apply to facilities

In E. Oakland Stadium Alliance v. City of Oakland (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 1226, the First District Court of Appeal concluded that the EIR prepared for the proposed Oakland A’s stadium was largely satisfactory, but on a single point failed to adequately mitigate wind impacts.

The Oakland Waterfront Ballpark Project (Project) proposed a 50-acre development

In Arcadians for Environmental Preservation v. City of Arcadia (2023) 88 Cal.App.5th 418, the Second District Court of Appeal found no error in a trial court ruling that there had been a failure to exhaust administrative remedies where project opponents merely raised general environmental objections without identifying any reason why the agency could not