Category: Project Description/Piecemealing

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Design Changes to State Capitol Renovation Revealed in FEIR Did Not Adequately Allow for Public Input or Informed Decision-Making

In Save Our Capitol! v. Department of General Services (Jan. 18, 2023, C096617, C096637) __Cal.App.5th__, the Third District Court of Appeal held that the Department of General Services violated CEQA when certain design changes to the State Capitol renovation (Project) were not revealed until the final EIR (FEIR), preventing the public from commenting on the … Continue Reading

In Unpublished Opinion, Court Finds Los Angeles Development Project Description Accurate and Stable Despite a New Alternative Being Added to the FEIR and Approval of a Variation of that New Alternative

In the unpublished opinion, Southwest Reg’l Council of Carpenters v. City of L.A. (Mar. 7, 2022, B301374) [nonpub. opn.], the Second District Court of Appeal agreed with the City of Los Angeles (City), represented by Thomas Law Group, that an EIR for a mixed-use commercial and residential development (Project) contained an adequate project description and … Continue Reading

In Consolidated Appeals, Third District Upholds Multiple Trial Court Decisions in Decades-Long Litigation Over CEQA Review of State Water Project Contracts

In Central Delta Water Agency v. Department of Water Resources (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 170, the Third District Court of Appeal considered three consolidated appeals arising out of long-term water contracts that have been the subject of repeated rounds of environmental review and litigation lasting decades. In each of the consolidated cases, the Court of Appeal set … Continue Reading

Fourth District Finds Failure to Evaluate Consistency with CAP Rendered MND Incomplete Despite no Fair Argument of Inconsistency; Rejects Piecemealing, Project Description, and Aesthetic Impacts Claims, and Others as Barred by a Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

In McCann v. City of San Diego (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 51, the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the Plaintiff, Margaret McCann (McCann), was barred from bringing a judicial action challenging the City’s approval of projects for undergrounding utility lines because she failed to exhaust the City of San Diego’s (City’s) administrative appeal process.  … Continue Reading

Sixth District Court of Appeal Upholds Adoption of Environmentally Superior Alternative Project Including Reduced Percentage of Affordable Housing

In Carmel Valley Ass’n v. County of Monterey (2021) 2021 Cal.App.Unpub. LEXIS 3286, the Sixth District Court of Appeal reversed a decision granting a petition of mandate against the County of Monterey’s (County) approval of an environmentally superior alternative to a proposed mixed-use residential subdivision project (Project). The decision was issued on May 19, 2021, … Continue Reading

Stopthemillenniumhollywood.com v. City of Los Angeles (2019) 39 Cal. App. 5th 1

Stopthemillenniumhollywood.com v. City of Los Angeles (2019) 39 Cal. App. 5th 1 Millennium Hollywood LLC, the City of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles City Council (Appellants) challenged a trial court holding that a proposed four-and-a-half-acre mixed-use development failed to comply with the requirements of CEQA. Millennium filed a master land use permit with the City’s … Continue Reading

South of Market Community Action Network v. City and County of San Francisco (2019) 33 Cal. App. 5th 321

South of Market Community Action Network v. City and County of San Francisco (2019) 33 Cal. App. 5th 321 In 2014, Forest City California Residential Development, Inc. proposed a mixed-use business and residential project known as “5M” in the area bounded by Mission, Fifth, Howard, and Sixth Streets in San Francisco. The 5M site included … Continue Reading

Population Projections Proper Baseline for San Francisco General Plan Housing Element Update

In San Franciscans for Livable Neighborhoods v. City and County of San Francisco (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 596, the First District Court of Appeal held the City of San Francisco (City) general plan housing element EIR satisfied CEQA in using 2025 population projections as a baseline for a growth-accommodating policy and adequately considered traffic impacts, water needs, … Continue Reading

Second Appellate District Calls Settlement Agreement Part of “Project” for CEQA Consideration In Line with Historically Broad “Project” Definition

In County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 377, the Second Appellate District upheld a CEQA statutory exemption applied to a project undertaken by the State-created Broad Beach Geologic Hazard Abatement District (BBGHAD) and clarified that a “project” for CEQA consideration may be two separate activities if they serve a single purpose, … Continue Reading

First District Court of Appeal Reverses Upper Truckee River Restoration and Golf Course Reconfiguration Project, Citing Lack of Identified Preferred Alternative

In Washoe Meadows Community v. Department of Parks and Recreation (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 277, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s (“Department”) approval of the Upper Truckee River Restoration and Golf Course Reconfiguration Project (“Project”), finding that the failure to identify a preferred alternative in the Draft EIR … Continue Reading

SECOND DISTRICT UPHOLDS CITY’S PERMITTING PROCESS FOR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT IN UNPUBLISHED DECISION

In an unpublished opinion, Malibu Community Alliance v. City of Malibu, 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3116, Division Seven of the Second Appellate District adjudicated a challenge to development permits granted by the City of Malibu (City) to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (District) for the installation of athletic field lights at Malibu High … Continue Reading

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT UPHOLDS EIR FOR PROPOSED UCLA CONFERENCE CENTER

In an unpublished opinion, Save Westwood Village v. Regents of the University of California, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9281, the Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s rulings and rejected several CEQA challenges to the UC Regents’ approval of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center on the UCLA campus. As noted … Continue Reading

CITY OF SAN JOSE’S LANDFILL EIR UPHELD BY COURT

In an unpublished opinion, City of Milpitas v. City of San Jose, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8610, the Sixth Appellate District upheld the City of San Jose’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for the Newby Island Sanitary Landfill and Recyclery. The programmatic EIR assessed the impacts of: (1) increasing the maximum elevation of the … Continue Reading

Two Wins for the Railyards Development in Third District Court of Appeal

This month, the Third District Court of Appeal issued two unpublished opinions on pending CEQA suits challenging the Railyards development in Sacramento. Both opinions affirm the decisions of the trial court and conclude that the City of Sacramento complied with CEQA when it adopted the Railyards Specific Plan and the Railyards Redevelopment Plan. In Sacramento … Continue Reading

A Project under CEQA is the Whole of the Action Proposed

In Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority v. City of Whittier 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3859, the Second District Court of Appeal reiterated that a “project” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not each individual governmental approval, but rather the whole of an action. The facts leading up to the case began when … 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

Court Upholds Discussion of Project Objectives and Alternatives in an EIR for an Infill Project in San Diego

In an unpublished decision in Save Our Heritage Organisation v. County of San Diego, (2014) Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5121, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth District reversed the trial court and ordered the trial court to deny a writ of mandate challenging the adequacy of the environmental impact report (EIR) for a mixed-use … Continue Reading

City Properly Analyzed Community Park Project Separately from Adjacent Housing Development

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (2012) 2012 Cal.App.LEXIS 1259, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued a decision upholding the trial court’s denial of Banning Ranch Conservancy’s challenge to the City of Newport Beach’s (City) environmental impact report (EIR) for Sunset Ridge Park (Park Project).  Petitioner alleged that the Park EIR … Continue Reading

EIR’s Skewed Description of Project Objectives Results in Inadequate Analysis of Alternatives

In Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz (2012) Cal.App. LEXIS 1213, the Sixth District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court decision and ordered that certification of an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by the City of Santa Cruz be vacated pending the City’s correction of defects in the identification of project … 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

Court Upholds EIR for a Wind Energy Project Despite the Conceptual Nature of the Project Description

In an unpublished decision, Bedford v. Santa Barbara County, 2012 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 886, the Second Appellate District upheld a trial court’s ruling denying a petition challenging the adequacy of an environmental impact report for a wind farm project in Santa Barbara County. First, the Court upheld the trial court’s determination that the Petitioners failed to exhaust … Continue Reading
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