Category: Mitigation

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A Mendocino County Quarry Project Can’t Keep the ACE in the Hole, Court Finds Inadequate the EIR’s Farmland Conversion Analysis

On July 27, 2010, Mendocino County approved the Kunzler Terrace Mine Project, a 65.3 acre sand and gravel quarry one mile north of Ukiah. Project opponents sued, alleging various CEQA violations. The First District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the challengers and published the portion of the decision addressing impacts to agricultural lands. … Continue Reading

Court Rejects CEQA and Williamson Act Challenges to a San Benito Solar Power Project

In Save Panoche Valley v. San Benito County, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District affirmed a ruling denying a petition for a writ of mandate alleging violations of CEQA in San Benito County’s (County) approval of a solar power project and related cancellation of Williamson Act contracts. This decision follows on the … 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

Glendora Wal-Mart Expansion is a Go—Court Finds the EIR Not in Violation of CEQA

In Creed 21 v. City of Glendora (Feb. 19, 2013) 2013 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 1193, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s denial of Creed-21’s (Creed) petition for a writ of mandate against the City of Glendora.  Creed contended the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the approval of an expansion of an existing Wal-Mart … Continue Reading

Sixth District Thirsty for a More Robust Alternatives Analysis

In Habitat v. City of Santa Cruz (Feb. 19, 2013) 2013 Cal.App.LEXIS 128, the Sixth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court decision and ordered the City of Santa Cruz (City) to vacate its certification of the final EIR and approval of a project because the EIR failed to discuss any feasible project alternatives … Continue Reading

Court Finds CEQA Challenge Not Worth its Weight in Sand

In  Save Cuyama Valley v. County of Santa Barbara (Jan. 10, 2013) 2013 Cal.App.LEXIS 212, the Sixth District Court of Appeal issued a decision upholding the trial court’s denial of Save Cuyama Valley’s (Save Cuyama) petition for a writ of mandate against the County of Santa Barbara (County).  Save Cuyama contended that the Environmental Impact … Continue Reading

EIR Found Deficient With Regard to Water Supply Impacts and Deferred Butterfly Mitigation

In Preserve Wild Santee v. City of Santee (2012) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 1091, petitioners challenged the City of Santee’s (City) certification of a final environmental impact report (EIR) for a development project in the City, claiming the project violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in several ways.  The trial court found merit in … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds City’s Approval of Large Commercial Project Even with Unknown Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Deferred Mitigation, and Rejected Alternative

UPDATE: On August 27, 2012, the Fourth Appellate District Court certified Rialto Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rialto (2012) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 849 for full publication. In a decision certified for partial publication, Rialto Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rialto (2012) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 849, the Fourth Appellate District … Continue Reading

Newly Published Appellate Decision Holds Analysis of Parkland Impacts for Campus Master Plan Fails to Comply with CEQA

The City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 761, publication status was recently changed from unpublished to published on June 28, 2012. The Board of Trustees of the California State University (Trustees) approved a master plan to guide the expansion of the Hayward campus. The City … Continue Reading

CSU Board of Trustees’ EIR for Campus Expansion was Held as Sufficient, with the Exception of its Analysis on Impacts to Surrounding Parklands

In an unpublished decision, City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4097, the Board of Trustees of the California State University (Trustees) wished to expand its Hayward campus in order to meet its assigned enrollment ceiling.  In 2009, the Trustees approved a master plan to … Continue Reading

City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 1134

California State University (CSU) adopted a master plan to expand its San Diego campus. In its EIR, CSU identified mitigation measures to help alleviate traffic impacts. However, CSU ultimately rejected offsite traffic mitigation measures because it could not ensure that the Legislature would provide money to fund the mitigation. The City of San Diego (City) … Continue Reading

Ballona Wetlands Land Trust v. City of Los Angeles (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 455

In a 2004 case, the Superior Court, through directions from the Court of Appeal, issued the City of Los Angeles (City) a writ of mandate, invalidating its EIR because the City failed to comply with CEQA. In 2010, the City certified a Revised EIR (REIR). Petitioner filed a new petition for a writ of mandate … Continue Reading

Madera Oversight Coalition, Inc. v. County of Madera (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 48

Petitioner claimed the County of Madera’s (County) approval of a development project failed to comply with CEQA, Planning and Zoning Law, and the California Water Code. The Superior Court found for the Petitioner, holding that the EIR’s discussion of the water supply was inadequate. The Petitioner appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal claiming … Continue Reading

Clover Valley Foundation v. City of Rocklin (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 200

The City of Rocklin (City) certified an EIR for a developer to build a 622-acre residential project. Petitioners sued, claiming the EIR was insufficient. The trial court found for the City. The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision, upholding the City’s approval of the project and the EIR. In challenging the … Continue Reading

Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment v. City of Santa Clarita (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1042

The City of Santa Clarita (City) certified an EIR and adopted a master plan for a project to expand a hospital and medical office space over a 15-year period. The Petitioner challenged the City’s approvals for two reasons: First, the City failed to provide evidence and explanations for why the project’s impact on climate change … Continue Reading

Chawanakee Unified School Dist. v. County of Madera (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1016

The Chawanakee Unified School District (Petitioner) filed a petition for writ of mandate against the County of Madera’s (County) approval of an EIR for a development project, arguing that the approval did not comply with CEQA. The trial court denied the petition. Petitioner appealed the ruling to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which reversed … Continue Reading

Oakland Heritage Alliance v. City of Oakland (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 884

Petitioner challenged the City of Oakland’s (City) EIR for a mixed-use project claiming it failed to provide meaningful analysis of seismic impacts under CEQA. The trial court issued a writ of mandate ordering the City to compose a new EIR. The City submitted a revised EIR which the trial court found adequate, discharging the writ … Continue Reading

Third Appellate District Grants Partial Publication of CEQA Decision Relating to Agricultural Mitigation, Urban Decay, Res Judicata, and the Deliberative Process Privilege

In Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi (2012) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Opinion), the Court rejected Citizens for Open Government’s and Lodi First’s (Petitioners) challenges to the reapproval by defendant City of Lodi (City) of a conditional use permit for a proposed shopping center to be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter (Project) after the … Continue Reading

Mitigation Fee Programs Must Be Analyzed In An EIR Prior to Adoption

Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation et al. v. County of El Dorado (January 20, 2012) 202 Cal. App.4th 1156 (Superior Court Case No. PC20080336) El Dorado County adopted an oak woodland management plan (Management Plan) and mitigation fee program (Fee Program) without first certifying an EIR.  Instead, the County issued a negative declaration that allegedly tiered from … Continue Reading

Final Environmental Impact Reports Must Include Responses to Public Comments, but Need Not Include Economic Feasibility Analyses

The Flanders Foundation v. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, et al. (January 4, 2012) 202 Cal. App. 4th 603 A citizens group brought suit against the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea challenging the city’s Final EIR prepared in connection with the sale of an historic property known as the Flanders Mansion.  It its action, The Flanders Foundation claimed that … Continue Reading