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2022’s New State Housing Laws

This week Governor Newsom signed a series of bills intended to accelerate housing development in California. Two bills – AB 2011 and SB 6 – seek to facilitate residential redevelopment of commercially zoned areas, though they contain stringent requirements that may put their benefits out of reach for many developers. AB 2097 largely eliminates local … Continue Reading

Trial Court Decision Indicates that Housing Must be Permitted at General Plan Density, Regardless of More Restrictive Zoning

In YIMBY v. City of Los Angeles (Super. Ct. L.A. County, 2022, No. 21STCP03883), a Los Angeles County trial court decided a number of issues under California housing laws. Though the trial court decision carries neither precedential nor persuasive value, it may portend the direction in which courts will interpret these relatively new laws. In … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines to Stay Court-Imposed Enrollment Cap at UC Berkeley

On March 3, 2022 the California Supreme Court denied UC Berkeley’s (UC’s) request to stay enforcement of a trial court order capping its enrollment for the upcoming year. The denial is the latest development in ongoing CEQA litigation filed by Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods (SBN) over the UC’s enrollment levels (see TLG’s coverage of related cases … Continue Reading

AB 819 Expands Requirements for Electronic Filing and Posting of CEQA Notices and Environmental Documents

Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill 819 (AB 819), signed by Governor Newsom earlier this year, imposes expanded requirements on lead agencies when posting CEQA notices and documents. Under the bill, lead agencies must post the following documents and notices to their websites, if they have one: DEIRs, negative declarations, mitigated negative declarations, notices of … Continue Reading

Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Conservation, etc. (2019) 36 Cal.App.5th 210

Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Conservation, etc. (2019) 36 Cal.App.5th 210 The Legislature passed Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) in 2013, requiring the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Department) to study the environmental effects of fracking and other types of oil and gas well stimulation in California. Specifically, the … Continue Reading

Thomas Law Group Receives “High 5 Award” at First 5 Sacramento 20th Anniversary Event

Thomas Law Group is honored to accept the High 5 Award at the Rise Up Sacramento event on January 8, 2019 at the Golden 1 Center’s Assembly Lounge. This award, granted on behalf of First 5 Sacramento and Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, recognizes a business that incorporates family-friendly policies into the workplace. Hope to see … Continue Reading

Tina Thomas Hosts CEQA 2018: A Year In Review Panel at 33rd Annual Land Use Law and Planning Conference

On Friday, January 18, 2019 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Thomas Law Group founder Tina Thomas will host the panel CEQA 2018: A Year in Review as part of UCLA Extension’s 33rd Annual Land Use Law and Planning Conference.  The conference it presented by UCLA Extension’s Public Policy Program. It focuses on providing … Continue Reading

Thomas Law Group Annual Retreat

In October 2018, Thomas Law Group team members and guests gathered for the firm retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a tour of the Bay by sea in the Osprey, a 50 foot sailing yacht. This annual trip provided all participants an opportunity to relax and socialize together as well as strategize for the … Continue Reading

Tina Thomas and Thomas Law Group Attorneys Named Top Environmental and Land Use/Zoning Lawyers

Tina Thomas and Thomas Law Group attorneys have been recognized anew in 2018 as top attorneys in environmental, land use, and zoning law and litigation. Sacramento Magazine named a number of Thomas Law Group attorneys as “Top Lawyers,” an honor given only to a handful of attorneys with the highest number of peers’ votes. Tina … Continue Reading

The Rose Foundation Releases Report on CEQA Economic Impact

CEQA has been in effect since 1970, when it was signed into law by Governor Ronald Regan. Over the past 46 years, there have been many debates about the effect CEQA has on the California economy. In response to recent analyses that link CEQA to economic challenges in the State, the Rose Foundation for Communities … Continue Reading

Thomas Law Group Associates Present “CEQA Streamlining” to Association of Environmental Professionals at May 2016 Program

Thomas Law Group Associates Chris Butcher and Ashle Crocker will host a special presentation on CEQA Streamlining at the Superior California Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals May 2016 Program on May 17, 2015 from 11:30 to 1:00 pm. The program will be at Blue Prynt Restaurant, 815 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 and include a … Continue Reading

Thomas Law Group Associates Present “CEQA Streamlining” to Professionals Involved in the Environmental Review Process

Thomas Law Group Associates Chris Butcher and Ashle Crocker will host a special presentation on CEQA Streamlining as part of the curriculum developed specifically for professionals involved in the Environmental Review Process on May 17, 2015 from 8:00 to 9:30 am. The program will be at North Coast Builders Exchange, 1030 Apollo Way, Santa Rosa. For more … Continue Reading

Please Join AEP & APA North Bay For A Workshop CEQA Streamlining Processes

Thomas Law Group Associates Chris Butcher and Ashle Crocker will host a special presentation on CEQA Streamlining Process for the Association of Environmental Professionals and the California chapter of the American Planning Association on Thursday, April 7, 2016. The program will be at 2235 Mercury Way, Suite 150, Santa Rosa, California. Lunch will be provided. For more … Continue Reading

LSNC 13th Annual Race for Justice Valentine Run/Walk

Thomas Law Group won “Best Dressed” at Legal Services of Northern California 13th Annual Race for Justice Valentine Run/Walk! Friends and family of Thomas Law Group all dressed in costume to match TLG team members as all participated int he annual community fundraiser for the legal services organization.      … Continue Reading

Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, S222472. (A139222; 230 Cal.App.4th 85; Marin County Superior Court; CV1103591, CV1103605.)

Petition for Review Granted December 10, 2014 Current Status Fully briefed by the parties as of April 30, 2015. Amicus briefing in progress. Court’s Statement of Issues Presented The court will consider two issues: Does the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA) (49 U.S.C. § 10101 et seq.) preempt the application of the California Environmental … Continue Reading

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments S223603 (D063288; 231 Cal.App.4th 1056; San Diego County Superior Court; 37-2011-00101593-CU-TT-CTL.)

Petition for Review Granted March 11, 2015 Current Status Opening brief on the merits filed on May 8, 2015. Answer brief on the merits is due on July 10, 2015. Court’s Statement of Issues Presented Must the environmental impact report (EIR) for a regional transportation plan include an analysis of the plan’s consistency with the … Continue Reading

California Building Industry Assn. v. Bay Area Air Quality Management Dist., S213478. (A135335, A136212; 218 Cal.App.4th 1171; Alameda County Superior Court; RG10548693.)

Petition for Review Granted November 26, 2013 Current Status Fully briefed by the parties as of March 17, 2014. Amicus briefing complete as of May 28, 2014. Court’s Statement of Issue(s) Presented Under what circumstances, if any, does the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq., hereinafter CEQA) require an analysis … Continue Reading

OPR Released Discussion Draft Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA

On September 25, 2014, Governor Edmond G. Brown, Jr., signed Assembly Bill (AB) 52, which expands the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000, et seq.)[1] to include a new category of resources that must be evaluated – “tribal cultural resources.” To shed some light on AB 52’s implementation, the Governor’s Office … Continue Reading

City of San Diego v. Trustees of the California State University, S199557. (D057446; 201 Cal.App.4th 1134; San Diego County Superior Court; GIC855643, GIC855701, 37-2007-00083692-CU-WM-CTL, 37-2007-00083773-CU-MC-CTL, 37-2007-00083768-CU-TT-CTL.)

This post is part of a series highlighting the CEQA cases currently pending before the California Supreme Court. Petition for Review Granted April 18, 2012 Current Status Fully briefed by the parties as of September 18, 2012. Amicus briefing complete as of December 5, 2012. Supplemental briefing completed by the parties as of January 29, … Continue Reading

California Building Industry Assn. v. City of San Jose, S212072. (H038563; 216 Cal.App.4th 1373; Santa Clara County Superior Court; 1-10-CV167289.)

This post is part of a series highlighting the CEQA cases currently pending before the California Supreme Court. Petition for Review Granted September 11, 2013 Current Status Fully briefed by the parties as of January 31, 2014. Amicus briefing complete as of March 27, 2014. Oral Argument April 8, 2015. Court’s Statement of Issues Presented … Continue Reading

Executive Order Establishes New 2030 Mid-Term Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target

On April 29, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Executive Order B-30-15, which establishes “[a] new interim greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030…” (Executive Order B-30-15, ¶ 1, at http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18938.)  The Executive Order requires the California Air Resources Board to express the 2030 target … Continue Reading

No Foolin’ – Community Group Files Lawsuit April 1 Claiming Sacramento General Plan Update Violates CEQA

On April 1, 2015, Citizens for Positive Growth & Preservation filed a petition for a writ of mandate in Sacramento Superior Court seeking to invalidate the City of Sacramento’s (City) recent adoption of its 2035 General Plan. After a “major overhaul” of its 1988 General Plan and adoption of the 2030 General Plan in 2009, … 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

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Decision Invalidating SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan

On March 11, 2015, the California Supreme Court unanimously granted the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) petition for review of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (2014) 180 Cal.Rptr.3d 548. A complete summary of the case is available here: https://thomaslaw455.wpengine.com/appellate-court-requires-sandag-consider-executive-order-emissions-targets-regional-transportation-plan/, in which … Continue Reading
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