Category: Aesthetics

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Design Changes to State Capitol Renovation Revealed in FEIR Did Not Adequately Allow for Public Input or Informed Decision-Making

In Save Our Capitol! v. Department of General Services (Jan. 18, 2023, C096617, C096637) __Cal.App.5th__, the Third District Court of Appeal held that the Department of General Services violated CEQA when certain design changes to the State Capitol renovation (Project) were not revealed until the final EIR (FEIR), preventing the public from commenting on the … Continue Reading

Fourth District Finds Failure to Evaluate Consistency with CAP Rendered MND Incomplete Despite no Fair Argument of Inconsistency; Rejects Piecemealing, Project Description, and Aesthetic Impacts Claims, and Others as Barred by a Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

In McCann v. City of San Diego (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 51, the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the Plaintiff, Margaret McCann (McCann), was barred from bringing a judicial action challenging the City’s approval of projects for undergrounding utility lines because she failed to exhaust the City of San Diego’s (City’s) administrative appeal process.  … Continue Reading

Second District Court of Appeal Upholds Challenge to an MND for a Mixed-Use Project on Environmentally Sensitive Hillside and Award of Attorney Fees

In Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll v. City of Agoura Hills (February 24, 2020) 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 222, in a detailed decision, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgement and concluded that a proposed mixed-use development project in Los Angeles County presented potentially significant impacts requiring the preparation of an … Continue Reading

Maacama Watershed Alliance v. County of Sonoma (2019) Cal.App.5th 1007

Maacama Watershed Alliance v. County of Sonoma (2019) Cal.App.5th 1007 In 2015, Knight Bridge Vineyards LLC sought approval from the County of Sonoma to develop a two-story, 5,500 square foot winery, a 17,500 square foot wine cave, tasting room, wastewater treatment and water storage facility, fire protection facility, and mechanical area on an 86-acre parcel … Continue Reading

Third District Echoes Pocket Protectors, Holds “Large Number” of Public Comments on Nontechnical Aesthetic Impacts Support Fair Argument

In Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado (2018) 2018 Cal.App.LEXIS 1167, the Third District Court of Appeal held that conformity with the general plan does not insulate a project from CEQA review. Where a“large number” of public comments objected to the project for “nontechnical” aesthetic issues, there was a fair argument that the … Continue Reading

Fact-Based Residents’ Comments Substantial Evidence Meriting CEQA Review, Special Commission’s Findings Substantial Evidence Meriting CEQA Review

In Protect Niles v. City of Fremont (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 1129, the First District Court of Appeal held that the Niles Historical Architectural Review Board’s (HARB) factual findings and members’ collective opinions about the compatibility of a project with the Niles Historic Overlay District rose to the level of substantial evidence. Further, fact-based comments in … Continue Reading

Fourth District Court of Appeal Finds Minor Telecommunications Facility on Dedicated Park Land Is Not An “Unusual Circumstance” Exception to CEQA Small Facility Exemption

In Don’t Cell Our Parks v. City of San Diego (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 338, the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the San Diego City Charter (Charter 55) did not prohibit the City of San Diego (City) from approving a telecommunications project within real property held in perpetuity by the City for “park purposes.” The … Continue Reading

Court Rejects CEQA and Subdivision Map Act Challenges to Shopping Center in Redlands

In an unpublished opinion in Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition v. City of Redlands, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2210, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision and denied petitioner’s challenges under the Subdivision Map Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to the City of Redlands’ (City) approval of a … Continue Reading

Court Turns Tide in Favor of Desalination Plant – Holds Ample Substantial Evidence Supports the Project’s EIR

Almost four years after the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) certified an environmental impact report (EIR) and approved a five million gallon a day desalination plant project, the Court of Appeal, First District, in a published opinion (N. Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Mun. Water Dist. Bd. of Dirs. (2013) 2013 Cal.App.LEXIS 401), reversed the … Continue Reading

A Dark Day for Hoover High School – Court Finds Mitigated Negative Declaration for Stadium Improvements Inadequate

In a decision that was ordered published on April 25, 2013, Taxpayers for Accountable School Bond Spending v. San Diego Unified School District (March 26, 2013) 2013 Cal.App.LEXIS 324, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held that a high school could not use general obligation bond revenue to pay for new stadium lighting because … Continue Reading
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