In Arcadians for Environmental Preservation v. City of Arcadia (Feb. 16, 2023, No. B320586) ___Cal.App.5th___ [2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 103] 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
Exceptions to CEQA Categorical Exemptions
First District Rejects “Location Exception” for Project in Earthquake Fault and Landslide Areas and Affirms Class 3 Exemption for Small Residential Projects in the Berkeley Hills
In Berkeley Hills Watershed Coalition v. City of Berkeley (2019) 31 Cal.App.5th 880 [certified for partial publication], the Court of the Appeal for the First District affirmed that the construction of three new single-family homes on adjacent parcels in the Berkeley Hills was exempt under CEQA’s Class 3 exemption for single-family residences in urbanized areas. In doing so, the Court held that the “location exception” to CEQA categorical exemptions (Guidelines, § 15300.2(a)) does not apply because an earthquake fault zone or earthquake-induced landslide area is not an “environmental resource of hazardous or critical concern.” This case importantly limits the location exception to areas that are considered beneficial environmental resources, as opposed to hazardous geologic zones.