Category: Standard of Review

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Petitioner Required To Post Bond For Costs Incurred As A Result Of Delay In Carrying Out Affordable Housing Project In Livermore

In Save Livermore Downtown v. City of Livermore (Dec. 28, 2022, Case No. A164987) __ Cal.App.1st __, the First District Court of Appeal held that the City of Livermore (City) did not violate planning and zoning laws when it approved a 130-unit affordable housing project (Project) in the downtown area. The Project was found to … Continue Reading

First District Upholds the Constitutionality of the Housing Accountability Act and Overturns City’s Denial of Housing Development

In Cal. Renters Legal Advocacy & Educ. Fund v. City of San Mateo (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 820, the First District considered an appeal from the denial of a petition that alleged the City of San Mateo (City) improperly denied a housing development under the Housing Accountability Act (HAA). The Court agreed that the denial had violated … Continue Reading

THIRD DISTRICT AFFIRMS FOLSOM’S USE OF A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION

On October 29, 2015, in Save the American River Association v. City of Folsom, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7827, the Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the City of Folsom’s use of a mitigated negative declaration for a project to develop dedicated ADA paths to the waterfront of Lake Natoma; create scenic overlooks; provide … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Ruling Clarifying “Unusual Circumstances” Exception

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, (March 2, 2015, S201116) __ Cal.4th __ (Berkeley Hillside), in a Majority Opinion joined by five Justices the California Supreme Court provided long awaited guidance on the standards applicable to both lead agencies and courts tasked with interpreting and applying the “unusual circumstances” exception to categorical exemptions … Continue Reading

Court Holds County’s Abandonment of Rights-of-Way is Not a Project Under CEQA

In an unpublished decision, Delucchi v. County of Colusa, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 231, the California Third District Court of Appeal denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging Colusa County’s abandonment of purported public rights-of-way and held the abandonment did not constitute a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 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

Mining the Administrative Record for Answers: Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court for Ignoring Substantial Evidence and Making Improper De Novo Determinations on Quarry Project

In an unpublished decision, Citizens Advocating for Roblar Rural Community v. County of Sonoma, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3393, the Court of Appeal for the First District reversed the trial court’s decision granting a petition for writ of mandate that challenged County certification of a final environmental impact report (EIR) and issuance of necessary … Continue Reading

Third District Court of Appeal Holds “Fair Argument” Standard of Review Applies to Determine Whether there is a Reasonable Possibility of Significant Effect to Trigger the Unusual Circumstances Exception to a CEQA Categorical Exemption

In a showing of solidarity with the First District Court of Appeal in its recent ruling in the Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 656 case (currently pending review by the Supreme Court), the Third District Court of Appeal slapped the hand of the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) for increasing … Continue Reading

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach (2011) 52 Cal. 4th 155

An association of plastic bag manufacturers challenged the city’s negative declaration, claiming the city’s ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic bags would have significant environmental impacts resulting from an increased use of paper bags, and thus alleged an environmental impact report (EIR) was required.  The California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing two issues.  First, … Continue Reading

Substantial Evidence Test Applies to Subsequent Environmental Review After a Negative Declaration Has Been Adopted for a Project

In Abatti v. Imperial Irrigation District (2012) 2012 Cal.App. LEXIS 496, the court considered whether the substantial evidence, rather than the “fair argument,” test applies to determine whether further environmental review is warranted for a subsequent approval where the agency has initially adopted a negative declaration for the project. In 2006, the irrigation district adopted … Continue Reading

Court Orders Partial Publication of Consol. Irrigation Dist. v. City of Selma (2012) __ Cal.App.4th __

On March 9, 2012, the Fifth Appellate District ordered a portion of its decision in Consol. Irrigation Dist. v. City of Selma (2012) __ Cal.App.4th __ (2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 277) published. Specifically, the Court ordered all but Sections I.A., III., IV.C., IV.D., V., and VI. of DISCUSSION published. The portions of the opinion ordered … 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
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