Category: Procedural Issues

Subscribe to Procedural Issues RSS Feed

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

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In an unpublished opinion in CREED-21 v. City of San Diego, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed in large part the trial court decision granting an injunction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

Second District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Development Along Santa Clara River

In an unpublished opinion in Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment v. City of Santa Clarita, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8998, the California Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court and denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging a 185-acre development (the Project) along the Santa Clara River … Continue Reading

Court Orders Supplemental EIR for Ventura County Medical Center Building Due to 15 Foot Increase in Building Height

In Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 429, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s decision requiring Ventura County (the County) to prepare a supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) to evaluate the impacts associated with increasing the height of a medical office building previously approved … 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

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

City Violated its Municipal Code by Delegating CEQA Approval to its Preservation Commission

In Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 786,the Fifth Appellate District affirmed a judgment granting a writ of mandate challenging the City of Fresno’s (City) approval of an infill development project. The court upheld the trial court’s ruling that the City violated the California Environmental Quality … 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

Appellate Court Rejects Challenge to Walmart Supercenter Under Res Judicata and Calls Decision Not to Dismiss Appeal as Frivolous a Close One

In Roberson v. City of Rialto, (2014) Cal. App. LEXIS 532, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed the denial of a writ of mandate challenging the City of Rialto’s approval of a Wal-Mart Supercenter and shopping center in the city. However, the court declined to dismiss the appeal as frivolous and denied … 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

Plaintiff’s LAFCO and CEQA Claims Dismissed on Procedural Grounds

In Protect Agricultural Land v. Stanislaus Local Agency Formation Commission, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 80, the court affirmed the requirement that challenges to annexation and sphere of influence decisions by Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCO) must be brought as reverse validation actions. The case involved the Stanislaus County LAFCO’s approval of an application by the … 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

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

CEQA Document Adoption is a Distinct “Item of Business” to be Listed on Agency Meeting Agenda

The Merced County Planning Commission (the Commission) posted an agenda for an upcoming meeting that set forth, as one item of business, the Commission’s potential approval of a subdivision application to divide 380.45 acres into nine parcels (the project). The agenda failed to mention that the Commission would also be considering whether to adopt a … Continue Reading

No Excuses Allowed — Court Determined CEQA Provides No Flexibility in Regard to the 30-day Statute of Limitation Requirement

In an unpublished decision, Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment v. County of Placer (Feb. 28, 2013) 2013 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 1524, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision that Petitioner’s complaint was barred by the mandatory provisions of Public Resources Code section 21167, which sets forth the 30-day statute … Continue Reading

Challenge Under Planning and Zoning Law Time-Barred for Failure to Comply with 90-Day Limitations Period

In Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2012) 2012 Cal.App. LEXIS 1175, the appellate court affirmed a trial court decision dismissing petitioner’s lawsuit seeking a writ of mandate to compel the City of Stockton to vacate its approval of a Wal-Mart supercenter based on alleged violations of planning and zoning laws. The … 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

Court Finds Evidence Plaintiff Should Have Known About CEQA Violation At Time Injury Occurred Over A Year Ago, Therefore Court Held Plaintiff’s CEQA Claim Time Barred

In Lucille Saunders v. City of Los Angeles (2012) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6965, Lucille Saunders (Saunders) and Fix the City sought writs of mandate to require the City of Los Angeles (City) to comply with its general plan, its municipal code, applicable Government Codes, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The Second … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Views Appellants’ Failure to Present and Discredit Evidence favorable to the Agency as a Concession that Substantial Evidence Does In Fact Support Agency

In an unpublished decision, El Pueblo Para El Aire Y Agua Limpio v. Kings County Board of Supervisors, 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4984, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and El Pueblo Para El Aire y Agua Limpio (collectively appellants) sued the Kings County Board of Supervisors (County) alleging that the County’s approval of … 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

Quantification Settlement Agreement Cases (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 758

The Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California entered into various agreements concerning the allocation and conservation of California’s share of Colorado River water. The Imperial Irrigation District filed a validation action, which was opposed by many in separate lawsuits, all challenging the agreements on several grounds, including … Continue Reading

Friends of Shingle Springs Interchange, Inc. v. County of El Dorado (2011) 200 Cal. App. 4th 1470

Petitioner petitioned for a writ of mandate, claiming the County of El Dorado (County) violated CEQA, the Planning and Zoning Law, and traffic safety regulations when it approved a gas station. County responded with a demurrer to the petition, claiming that the Petitioner lacked the capacity to sue since the Petitioner’s corporate status was suspended … Continue Reading

Community Water Coalition v. Santa Cruz County Local Agency Formation Com. (2011) 200 Cal. App. 4th 1317

The Santa Cruz Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approved an agreement between the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the City of Santa Cruz (City), which stated that the City would extend water and sewer services to UCSC’s north campus, an area just outside the city’s jurisdictional boundaries. The Community Water Coalition (CWC) … Continue Reading