Category: Mitigation

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Attorney General Issues Guidance Outlining Best Practices for Analyzing and Mitigating Wildfire Impacts Under CEQA

Citing the increasing prevalence of wildfires, the California Attorney General (AG) has issued guidance designed to help lead agencies comply with CEQA when considering whether to approve projects in wildfire-prone areas. Although the guidance does not impose any additional requirements on local governments or alter any laws or regulations, it does apprise local governments of … Continue Reading

CEQA Lawsuit, Latest in Decades of Local Opposition Delaying Marin County Housing Development, Met with Judicial Rebuke: “Something is very wrong with this picture”

In Tiburon Open Space Committee v. County of Marin (2022) 78 Cal.App.5th 700, the First District Court of Appeal considered the adequacy of an EIR certified by Marin County (County) for a residential development. The Court rejected a number of arguments raised by opponents, most prominently the argument that the EIR erred in recognizing limits on … Continue Reading

Another CEQA Victory for Conservation Groups in Tahoe, another GHG Mitigation Measure Held Inadequate

In League to Save Lake Tahoe Mt. Area Pres. Found. v. County of Placer (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 63, the Third District Court of Appeal held that a land use specific plan and rezoning permit for commercial and residential development, including workforce housing, of forest land in the Martis Valley near the Northstar California Ski Resort … Continue Reading

Impact Analysis and Mitigation May Be Located in Initial Study Appended to EIR; City Entitled to Deference on Interpretation of Its Municipal Code

In Ocean Street Extension Neighborhood Assn. v. City of Santa Cruz (2021) 73 Cal.App.5th 985, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s determination that the City of Santa Cruz (City) had complied with CEQA in approving a 32-unit residential project (Project) and overturned the trial court’s ruling that the City had violated … 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

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

ON REMAND, FIRST DISTRICT MODIFIES CITY OF HAYWARD OPINION TO REQUIRE FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE FEASIBILITY OF OFF-SITE MITIGATION

In its 2012 opinion, City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 204 Cal.App.4th 446, the First District concluded that the EIR for an expansion of the California State University East Bay campus was adequate in all respects except for its analysis of parkland impacts.  While the opinion also discussed the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects the California State University System’s Erroneous Interpretation of City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2006) 39 Cal.4th 341 Regarding its Duty to Mitigate Off-Campus Impacts

After months of anticipation, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on City of San Diego v. Trustees of the California State University, S199557, affirming the appellate court’s ruling that the California State University (CSU) should have evaluated one or more possible project modifications to its Project to reduce or avoid unmitigated off-site traffic impacts. The … Continue Reading

Supplement to 16 year old EIR is Acceptable, Project Proponents Need Not Address Every Comment Following Public Review.

In City of Irvine v. County of Orange, (July 6, 2015, G049527)__Cal.App.4th__, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the adequacy of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) prepared approximately 16 years after the original EIR was adopted. The court granted publication on July 7, 2015. The dispute began in 1996 when the City of … Continue Reading

Court Holds County’s Abandonment of Rights-of-Way is Not a Project Under CEQA

In an unpublished decision, Delucchi v. County of Colusa, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 231, the California Third District Court of Appeal denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging Colusa County’s abandonment of purported public rights-of-way and held the abandonment did not constitute a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds EIR for Fresno County Mining Project

In a partially published opinion in Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 105, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District affirmed the denial of a writ of mandate challenging Fresno County’s (the County) environmental review of a 1,500-acre aggregate mine project. The County initially approved the environmental … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Denies Writ Challenging EIR for Expansion of Marin County Landfill

In an unpublished opinion in No Wetlands Landfill Expansion v. County of Marin, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8866, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging the environmental impact report (EIR) for a proposed landfill expansion in Marin County. The court affirmed in … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds EIR for Perris Dam Remediation Project in Riverside County

In Paulek v. California Department of Water Resources, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 999, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth District upheld the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging the Department of Water Resources’ (Department) approval of an environmental impact report (EIR) for a dam remediation project at Perris Dam in Riverside … Continue Reading

Addendum Upheld: Amendments to San Jose Airport Master Plan Cleared For Landing

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose (2014) Cal. App. LEXIS 588, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth District upheld the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging the City of San Jose’s (the City) approval of an addendum to an EIR analyzing the environmental impacts of amendments to … Continue Reading

Court Grounds Lawsuits Challenging Wind Farm’s Impacts on Airport in Kern County

In Citizens Opposing a Dangerous Environment v. County of Kern, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 679, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District upheld the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging Kern County’s (the County) approval a wind farm near a private airport east of Tehachapi. The proposed wind farm would include … Continue Reading

Mining the Administrative Record for Answers: Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court for Ignoring Substantial Evidence and Making Improper De Novo Determinations on Quarry Project

In an unpublished decision, Citizens Advocating for Roblar Rural Community v. County of Sonoma, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3393, the Court of Appeal for the First District reversed the trial court’s decision granting a petition for writ of mandate that challenged County certification of a final environmental impact report (EIR) and issuance of necessary … Continue Reading

You Can’t Abate if You Don’t Correlate: Appellate Court Finds EIR for Proposed Master-Planned Senior-Living Community Included Inadequate Analysis of Air Quality Impacts and Mitigation Measures

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 459, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District reversed and remanded the lower court’s denial of a petition for writ of mandate challenging the County’s adoption of a proposed master-planned community. In February 2011, the County of Fresno certified the Environmental Impact … 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

COURT FINDS PROGRAMMATIC EIR FOR RETAIL DEVELOPMENT INCLUDED INADQUATE ANALYSIS OF URBAN DECAY AND ENERGY IMPACTS

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 300, certified for partial publication on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of a petition for writ of mandate to vacate the City of Woodland’s certification of an EIR for a regional shopping center. … Continue Reading

APPELLATE COURT REJECTS MARIN COUNTY EIR AND REQUIRES GREATER MITIGATION TO PROTECT COHO SALMON AND STEELHEAD TROUT

In an unpublished opinion, Salmon Protection and Watershed Network v. County of Marin, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 1578, the Court of Appeal, First District, reversed the trial court and granted an environmental group’s petition for a writ of mandate challenging the sufficiency of the EIR for Marin’s Countywide General Plan (CWP). The Court also overturned … Continue Reading

Court Holds EIR’s Inadequacy Is Rooted In Its Failure to set Forth A Significance Threshold For Impacts To Old Growth Redwoods And To Properly Disclose Related Impacts And Mitigation Measures

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 97, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, reversed the trial court’s denial of appellants’ petition for writ of mandate challenging the adequacy of the EIR for a highway realignment project. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) sought to realign and widen portions of … Continue Reading

Court Allows ARB’S LCFS Regulations to Remain In Effect Pending Outcome of New Proceedings

In POET, LLC v. California Air Resources Board, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 554, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision denying plaintiffs’ petition for a writ of mandate seeking invalidation of California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) approval of low carbon fuel standards (“LCFS”) regulations for non-compliance with CEQA. In an unpublished … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Issues Neighbors for Smart Rail Decision: Predicted Conditions Baseline Allowable Under CEQA in Limited Circumstances

In a much anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court held in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority that lead agencies can use future predicted conditions as an environmental baseline in assessing the impacts of proposed projects. The court held that in order for an agency to omit the normally required existing … Continue Reading
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