Category: Exemptions

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Appellate Court Reverses Injunction for La Jolla Hillside Revegetation Project

In an unpublished opinion in CREED-21 v. City of San Diego, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed in large part the trial court decision granting an injunction and other relief for violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) relating to emergency repair and subsequent revegetation of a hillside and storm drain in … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Rejects Challenge to Use of Categorical Exemption for Conservation Easement over Hunting Club Property

In an unpublished opinion in Paulek v. Department of Fish & Game, 2014 Cal. App Unpub. LEXIS 7710, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging the application of categorical exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Department of Fish and … 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

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

Renewal of Interim Water Contracts Exempt from CEQA Review

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, (2014) Cal. App. LEXIS 590, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District upheld the trial court’s denial of a petition for a writ of mandate challenging the renewal of interim water contracts between the Bureau of Reclamation (the Bureau) and Westlands Water District along with … 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In an unpublished decision in San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, 2014 Cal.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

Appellate Court Upholds CEQA Exemption for Rodeo at Santa Cruz County Fairground

In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State ex rel. 14th District Agricultural Association, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 283, the Court of Appeal, Third District, affirmed the trial court’s determination that a rodeo at the Santa Cruz County Fairground (the Fairground) meets CEQA’s Class 23 categorical exemption for “normal operations of existing facilities for public gatherings.” … Continue Reading

CEQA Challenge Barred by 35-Day Statute of Limitations for Categorically Exempt Infill Project

In an unpublished decision, Friends of the Landmark Filbert Cottages v. City and County of San Francisco, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 564, the First District Court of Appeal rejected a CEQA challenge to an infill project near San Francisco’s Russian Hill. The court applied CEQA’s 35-day statute of limitations and affirmed that the public interest … Continue Reading

ANOTHER LOSS FOR THE PLASTIC BAG

Following the overwhelming majority of courts that have upheld local laws regulating plastic bags, California’s First District Court of Appeal unanimously upheld San Francisco’s ban on plastic bags in Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City and County of San Francisco (2013) 222 Cal.App.4th 863.  The court found that the city complied with CEQA in … Continue Reading

CEQA Challenge Barred by 30-Day Statute of Limitations Based on Exemption Not Asserted in Notice of Exemption

In May v. City of Milpitas, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 557, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District held that a 30-day statute of limitations in Government Code section 65457 barred a CEQA challenge for which a Notice of Exemption (“NOE”) had been filed. NOE’s typically trigger a 35-day statute of limitations; however, … Continue Reading

Put on Your Dancing Shoes – Restaurant & Nightclub to Open Soon in Manhattan Beach

In Coastal Defender v. City of Manhattan Beach (Dec. 6, 2012) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8919, the Second District Court of Appeal issued an unpublished decision upholding the trial court’s determination that the City of Manhattan Beach correctly concluded a proposed renovation of a restaurant and nightclub was exempt from the California Environmental Quality … Continue Reading

Alameda County Directed to Reconsider Its Approval of an Infill Development In Light of the Cumulative Impact Exception to the CEQA Infill Exemption

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the First District Court of Appeal again considered the case of Tomlinson v. County of Alameda (Case No. A125471) in light of the Supreme Court’s holding (54 Cal.4th 281) that the exhaustion of administrative remedies provision as set forth in Public Resources Code section 21177, subdivision (e), applies … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Holds Association’s CEQA Claims Regarding Klamath River Compromise Agreements are Time-Barred

In Siskiyou County Water Users Association v. Natural Resources Agency (2012) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7073, the Siskiyou County Water Users Association (Association) challenged a pair of compromise agreements made between stakeholders regarding the potential removal of hydroelectric dams to help restore fisheries on the Klamath River (Agreements), alleging the Agreements constituted a “project” … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Finds No Issue with the Timing of San Francisco’s Permit Issuance for T-Mobile’s Project

In Wendy Robinson v. City and County of San Francisco (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 950, the First District Court of Appeal upheld the City’s approval of T-Mobile’s installation of wireless telecommunication equipment on existing utility poles throughout San Francisco as proper under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The issue raised by appellants (a group of … Continue Reading

Third District Court of Appeal Holds “Fair Argument” Standard of Review Applies to Determine Whether there is a Reasonable Possibility of Significant Effect to Trigger the Unusual Circumstances Exception to a CEQA Categorical Exemption

In a showing of solidarity with the First District Court of Appeal in its recent ruling in the Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 656 case (currently pending review by the Supreme Court), the Third District Court of Appeal slapped the hand of the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) for increasing … Continue Reading

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Petitioners Must Exhaust Their Administrative Remedies Prior to Challenging an Agency’s Decision That a Project is Categorically Exempt from CEQA

In Tomlinson v. County of Alameda (Case No. S188161), the Supreme Court of California held that the exhaustion of administrative remedies provision as set forth in Public Resources Code section 21177, subdivision (e), applies to a public agency’s decision that a project is categorically exempt from CEQA. The Court’s eleven page decision put to rest … Continue Reading

Del Cerro Mobile Estates v. City of Placentia (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 173

Petitioner challenged the City of Placentia’s (City) EIR for a proposed railroad grade separation project, claiming that the EIR was not sufficient. The trial court dismissed the case. The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal. The Petitioner argued that because the City did not claim the project was exempt from CEQA and prepared … Continue Reading

Applying the Fair Argument Test, Court holds that Construction of a Large Single-Family Home was Not Exempt from CEQA Because the Unusual Circumstances Exception Applied

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2012) 203 Cal. App. 4th 656, the Berkeley Zoning Adjustment Board (Board) determined that a new roughly 10,000 square foot home in the Berkeley hills was categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to (1) the Infill Development Exemption and (2) the New Construction / Conversion of a Small … Continue Reading

Agencies Can Make Adjustments to Environmental Baseline Early in the Review Process

In Citizens for East Shore Parks v. California State Lands Commission (Dec. 30, 2011) 202 Cal.App.4th 549, a citizen group challenged the California State Lands Commission’s (Commission) approval of a lease renewal for Chevron’s marine terminal in the San Francisco Bay near its refinery in Richmond, California.  At the onset of the review process, the … Continue Reading
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