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Approval of Initial Entitlement Triggers CEQA Statute of Limitations, Even Where Project Requires Additional Entitlements for Implementation

In the partially published Crenshaw Subway Coalition v. City of Los Angeles (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 917, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment dismissing the claims of Crenshaw Subway Coalition (Coalition) alleging that the City of Los Angeles and the City Council (collectively, City), represented by the Thomas Law Group on the … Continue Reading

In Unpublished Opinion, Court Finds Los Angeles Development Project Description Accurate and Stable Despite a New Alternative Being Added to the FEIR and Approval of a Variation of that New Alternative

In the unpublished opinion, Southwest Reg’l Council of Carpenters v. City of L.A. (Mar. 7, 2022, B301374) [nonpub. opn.], the Second District Court of Appeal agreed with the City of Los Angeles (City), represented by Thomas Law Group, that an EIR for a mixed-use commercial and residential development (Project) contained an adequate project description and … Continue Reading

Third District Holds City’s Explanation and Substantial Evidence Supported Traffic Impact Conclusion, Discharge of Writ of Mandate Proper

In reviewing whether the City of Sacramento complied with a peremptory writ of mandate issued by the Sacramento Superior Court (East Sacramento Partnership for a Livable City v. City of Sacramento (2016) 5Cal.App.5th 281 (ESPLC I)), the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that the City had explained and provided substantial evidence supporting both its … Continue Reading

Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds College Land Purchase, Dismisses CEQA Challenges

In Bridges v. Mt. San Jacinto Community College District (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 104, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court and upheld Mt. San Jacinto Community College District’s (“College”) purchase agreement for approximately 80 acres of unimproved land in the City of Wildomar (“Property”), located about a mile southwest of Interstate 15. Over … Continue Reading

Court Rejects CEQA Lawsuit Challenging Approval of Planned Parenthood Clinic Premised on Potential Secondary Environmental Impacts Associated with Clinic Protests

In Respect Life S. San Francisco v. City of South San Francisco, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 801, the First Appellate District held that the City of South San Francisco’s approval of a conditional-use permit allowing an office building to be converted to a medical clinic did not violate requirements imposed by the California Environmental Quality … Continue Reading

Certified Regulatory Program’s Environmental Documents Must Comply with CEQA’s Policy Goals and Substantive Requirements

In Pesticide Action Network North America v. California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 803, the First Appellate District reversed the trial court and set aside the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (“DPR”) approval of amended labels for two pesticides, Dinotefuran 20SG and Venom Insecticide.  The purpose of the amended labels was to allow … Continue Reading

President Trump Executive Order Aims At Revising EPA Waters of The United States (WOTUS) Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Trump singed an executive order (“Order”) intended to roll back a rule promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) (collectively “Agencies”) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule (“Rule”). Noting that EPA can … Continue Reading

Third Appellate District Upholds CARB’s Cap-And-Trade Program

In California Chamber of Commerce, et al., v. State Air Resources Board, et al. (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 604, the Third Appellate District affirmed the trial court and rejected challenges to a cap-and-trade program developed by the State Air Resources Board (“CARB”) under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”). The program imposes … Continue Reading

Proper CEQA Baseline for a Project Normally is the Conditions Existing When the Environmental Review of the Project Commences

In Poet v. State Air Resources Board (2017) 12 Cal.App.5th 52, the Fifth Appellate District held that the Air Resources Board (ARB) violated several procedural requirements imposed by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA) through noncompliance with a previous writ compelling the agency to address its NOx emissions … Continue Reading

Third Appellate District Rejected Constitutional and CEQA Challenges to Casino/Hotel Resort Project

In United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria v. Brown (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 36, the Third Appellate District affirmed the trial court and rejected challenges to Governor Brown’s concurrence in a determination made by the Secretary of the Interior (“Secretary”) concerning the Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California’s (“Enterprise Tribe”) request to acquire … Continue Reading

SUPREME COURT FINDS RESIDENTIAL PROJECT INCONSISTENT WITH THE CITY OF ORANGE’S GENERAL PLAN

On December 15, 2016, the Supreme Court filed, Orange Citizens for Parks & Recreation v. Superior Court (2016) __ Cal.App.5th __  (2016 Cal. LEXIS 9595), a unanimous opinion finding a 39-unit residential development project proposed on 50 acres of land in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains could not be found consistent with the … Continue Reading

: FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT UPHOLDS ADEQUACY OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL EIR PREPARED FOR THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS NEW ARENA

In Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment & Infrastructure (2016) 6 Cal. App. 5th 160, the First Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) complied fully with CEQA in approving a proposed 488,000-square foot multipurpose event center, which would serve as the Golden State … Continue Reading

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT REJECTS CEQA CHALLENGE TO CHANGES TO A HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

In an unpublished opinion, Ventura Realty & Investment Company v. City of San Buenaventura, 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7486, the Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s rulings and upheld the City of San Buenaventura’s (City) approval of changes to a plan to redevelop a 15-acre hospital district (Hospital Plan) proposed by Community Memorial … Continue Reading

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT HOLDS COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPEAL DID NOT STAY STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS APPLICABLE TO CITY’S APPROVAL OF A PROJECT

In an unpublished opinion, Fudge v. California Coastal Commission, 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8765, the Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s rulings granting the City of Laguna Beach’s (City) demurrer to several causes of action in a lawsuit challenging actions by the City and Coastal Commission concerning a project proposed by Laguna Beach … Continue Reading

PROJECT PROPONENTS SCORE A DECISIVE VICTORY IN GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS ARENA CASES

On July 18, 2016, in a 54-page opinion, Judge Wong of the San Francisco Superior Court delivered a decisive victory to the respondents and real parties in interest in the litigation concerning the proposed Golden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure. Thomas Law Group represented the Office … Continue Reading

SUPREME COURT DELAYS DEVELOPMENT OF NEWHALL RANCH PROJECT

On November 30, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2015 Cal. LEXIS 1043, addressing Newhall Ranch, a proposed 12,000 acre development project. The Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area, located in northwestern Los Angeles County in a portion of the Santa Clara River … Continue Reading

Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife, S217763. (B245131; 224 Cal.App.4th 1105; Los Angeles County Superior Court; BS131347.)

Petition for Review Granted July 9, 2014 Current Status Fully briefed by the parties as of November 26, 2014. Amicus briefing complete as of March 16, 2015. The Court Ordered the Attorney General, or an appropriate state agency to be identified by the Attorney General, to serve and file an amicus curiae brief on or … Continue Reading

Judge Rules Against Petitioner’s Lawsuit Challenging EIR for McKinley Village Infill Project

In an opinion issued April 9, 2015, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging the environmental impact report (EIR) for the McKinley Village infill development project in East Sacramento. The court also rejected petitioner’s argument that McKinley Village conflicted with the City of Sacramento’s General Plan. Thomas … Continue Reading

Trial Court Upholds Approval of Plan Bay Area

On July 2, 2014, Judge Evelio Grillo of the Alameda County Superior Court issued a 30-page decision in Bay Area Citizens v. Assn. of Bay Area Governments, et al (Case No. RG13690631), upholding approval of Plan Bay Area by the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Plan Bay Area is the regional … Continue Reading

Second Appellate District Upholds EIR and Wildlife Permits for Large Southern California Development

In a partially published opinion, the Second District reversed the ruling of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and affirmed the adequacy of the EIR certified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW, formerly the California Deptartment of Fish and Game) in 2010, as well as related permits issued to development company Newhall … Continue Reading

Merced County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves the Vega Solar Photovoltaic Project

On January 28, 2014, the Merced County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a conditional use permit and certified an environmental impact report (EIR) for a project to construct a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic electrical generation facility on a 178.3 acre site in the Los Banos area of the County.  It is anticipated that the project … Continue Reading

City of Sacramento Uses SB 226 Infill Exemption to Approve a Residential Care Facility in the Central City

On January 7, 2014, the City of Sacramento unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit and took related actions authorizing the development of a three-story 28-room residential care facility on a 0.36-acre parcel in the Central City.  In approving the Project, the City found the Project was exempt from CEQA because, among other reasons, it is … Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission Awards $1.5 Million for Neighborhood Association’s Successful Opposition to a Natural Gas Storage Project Located in an Urban Residential Neighborhood

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) unanimously approved the award of almost $1.5 million to the Avondale-Glen Elder Neighborhood Association (AGENA) to reimburse expenses incurred in its approximately 5-year battle to oppose the Sacramento Natural Gas Storage, LLP (SNGS) proposal to store 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas underneath … Continue Reading

Sacramento Superior Court Says Greenbriar Project in Natomas Can Move Forward

On December 13, 2012, Judge Timothy M. Frawley of the Sacramento Superior Court upheld the City of Sacramento’s and LAFCO’s 2008 approval of project entitlements and certification of the EIR for the 577-acre Greenbriar development project in Natomas. The City Council and LAFCO voted to approve the project and annex a section of land into … Continue Reading
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