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SCBA Annual Meeting

Thomas Law Group attends SCBA Annual Meeting, Honoring Distinguished Attorney of the Year, Justice Arthur Scotland (ret.)    … Continue Reading

OPR Releases a Preliminary Draft of Changes to the CEQA Guidelines Related to SB 743

On August 6, 2014, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a Notice of Availability of a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) Guidelines Related to SB 743 (Steinberg, 2013; “Preliminary Discussion Draft”). These updates are geared towards the evaluation of transportation impacts under CEQA. Traffic studies … Continue Reading

Superior Court Grants Attorney General Leave to Appear as Amicus Curiae in Support of Greenhouse Gas Analysis Prepared for Plan Bay Area

On May 16, 2014, in Bay Area Citizens v. Assn. of Bay Area Governments, et al (Case No. RG13690631), the Alameda County Superior Court granted an Ex Parte Application filed by the Attorney General on behalf of the People of the State of California to file an amicus curiae brief.   In its amicus curiae brief, … Continue Reading

Merced County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves the Vega Solar Photovoltaic Project

On January 28, 2014, the Merced County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a conditional use permit and certified an environmental impact report (EIR) for a project to construct a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic electrical generation facility on a 178.3 acre site in the Los Banos area of the County.  It is anticipated that the project … Continue Reading

City of Sacramento Uses SB 226 Infill Exemption to Approve a Residential Care Facility in the Central City

On January 7, 2014, the City of Sacramento unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit and took related actions authorizing the development of a three-story 28-room residential care facility on a 0.36-acre parcel in the Central City.  In approving the Project, the City found the Project was exempt from CEQA because, among other reasons, it is … Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission Awards $1.5 Million for Neighborhood Association’s Successful Opposition to a Natural Gas Storage Project Located in an Urban Residential Neighborhood

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) unanimously approved the award of almost $1.5 million to the Avondale-Glen Elder Neighborhood Association (AGENA) to reimburse expenses incurred in its approximately 5-year battle to oppose the Sacramento Natural Gas Storage, LLP (SNGS) proposal to store 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas underneath … Continue Reading

Modernizing CEQA Requires More than Repackaging Existing CEQA Procedures

On January 18, 2013, Senator Ellen Corbett introduced Senate Bill 123 which, if enacted, will require the presiding judge of each superior court to create an environmental and land use division. The specialized division would hear cases regarding the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), air quality, climate change, hazardous materials, and other biological resource subject … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Calls for Streamlining CEQA

On January 24, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown discussed the need for CEQA reform in his State Of The State address.  In discussing CEQA, Governor Brown explained that streamlining CEQA could help California regain its fiscal footing and create new jobs.  To achieve these goals, Governor Brown stated that CEQA must be implemented to apply “consistent … Continue Reading

Merced County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves the Quinto Solar Photovoltaic Project

On November 6, 2012, the Merced County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Quinto Solar Photovoltaic Project, certified the Environmental Impact Report for the Project and approved a Solar Benefits Agreement between the applicant and the County. The Project will generate 110-megawatts of new solar power utilizing approximately 320,000 monocrystalline silicon solar panels mounted to … Continue Reading

Thomas Law Group Ranks as a Tier 1 Law Firm

The U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings names Thomas Law Group as one of the best law firms in Sacramento in Land Use & Zoning Law and  Environmental Law.  Only four other law firms in Sacramento were given a “Tier 1” ranking in either Land Use & Zoning Law or  Environmental Law.  For … Continue Reading

Bloomberg Businessweek Publishes Article on Potential CEQA Reform

On November 1, 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about significant CEQA reform that is anticipated to be proposed next legislative session.  Thomas Law Group has been working closely with Senator Michael Rubio in regard to the potential reform.  Please see the Bloomberg Business week article here:    … Continue Reading

Sacramento City Planning Commission Approves Progressive Insurance Office Building in Arden Arcade Community Plan Area

On August 16, 2012, the Sacramento City Planning Commission unanimously approved the Progressive Insurance project located on 5.6 acre Office Zoned (OB) parcel within the Arden Arcade Community Plan area. The project will bring a 21,119 square foot regional insurance claims office to Sacramento and will provide new employment opportunities in the City. A second … Continue Reading

Court Upholds EIR for a Mixed-Use Senior Housing Project in Auburn

On August 13, 2012, Placer County Superior Court visiting Judge, Leslie C. Nichols, upheld the Placer County Board of Supervisors’ approval of an EIR for a continuing care retirement community, a commercial center, and a loop trail to be built on an infill site in Northern Placer County, within the Auburn Bowman Community Plan. Petitioners … Continue Reading

Neighbors for Smart Rail is En Route to the Supreme Court

On August 8, 2012, the California Supreme Court unanimously granted review of Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority ((2012) 205 Cal. App. 4th 552). (See our blog entry (Smart Rail) entitled “Court Disagrees with Sunnyvale and Madera Decisions and Holds that use of Projected Future Conditions as a Baseline for Analyzing … Continue Reading

SunPower Henrietta Solar Project Approved in Kings County

On August 6, 2012, the Kings County Planning Commission approved the SunPower Henrietta Solar Project Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and Conditional Use Permit (Project) by a unanimous vote of Commissioners present and voting.  The Project proposes to construct and operate an estimated 136-megawatt alternating current photovoltaic electricity generating facility and associated infrastructure on approximately 836 … Continue Reading

CEC Roundtable Brings Together Utilities, Developers, and Governmental and Environmental Agencies to Discuss the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

On Friday, July 13, 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) conducted a workshop to gather information, perspectives, and high-level principles on how the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) can be most effective as a long-term energy infrastructure plan. The DRECP is an effort by the Renewable Energy Action Team to provide protection and conservation … Continue Reading

Tina Thomas Named a Super Lawyer for 2012

For the 8th consecutive year, Tina Thomas has been named a Super Lawyer by Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine. Super Lawyers are those who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.… Continue Reading

Victory for Neighborhood Association in South Sacramento as the CPUC Votes 3-2 Against a Proposed Natural Gas Storage Project

On Thursday, July 12, 2012, the Avondale-Glen Elder Neighborhood Association (AGENA) prevailed against Sacramento Natural Gas Storage, LLP (SNGS), which proposed to store 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas underneath 700 homes in the Avondale Glen Elder neighborhood. AGENA was represented by attorneys from Legal Services of Northern California and Thomas Law Group on … Continue Reading

Alexander Crossings Project Approved in Napa

On June 26, 2012, the Napa City Council unanimously approved the Alexander Crossings Apartment project (Project), consisting of 134 residential units with an average density of 20.9 units per acre. A total of 27 residential units or 20% of the Project is designated as affordable housing consistent with the City’s Housing Element and Municipal Code. … Continue Reading

Attorney General Releases Report Interpreting CEQA to Require Consideration of Environmental Justice Issues at the Local and Regional Levels

On May 8, 2012, the California Attorney General’s office released a report entitled  “Environmental Justice at the Local and Regional Level – Legal Background” (Report) which interprets existing law to impose environmental justice obligations that local governments must consider when approving specific projects and planning for future development. “Environmental justice” is defined in the Government … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Seeks to Insulate California High Speed Rail From CEQA Challenges

Governor Brown’s office has proposed new legislation that would modify the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to limit the circumstances under which a court could issue an injunction or other stop work order on the California High Speed Rail (HSR) project pending the outcome of CEQA litigation.  The proposed legislation aims to protect the HSR … Continue Reading

Having Just Met the Federal 1-Hour Ozone Standard, District Has Eyes Set On Its Next Goal of Meeting Health Standards For Ground-Level Ozone

Upon reaching a large milestone in improving air quality, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (District) prepared and recently released the 2011 Snapshot Report.  The Report announces the District’s recent achievement of attaining the Federal 1-hour Ozone Standard, but also acknowledges that there is still much to be done.  The District, which includes all … Continue Reading