Category: Transportation

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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

CEQA Lawsuit, Latest in Decades of Local Opposition Delaying Marin County Housing Development, Met with Judicial Rebuke: “Something is very wrong with this picture”

In Tiburon Open Space Committee v. County of Marin (2022) 78 Cal.App.5th 700, the First District Court of Appeal considered the adequacy of an EIR certified by Marin County (County) for a residential development. The Court rejected a number of arguments raised by opponents, most prominently the argument that the EIR erred in recognizing limits on … Continue Reading

Another CEQA Victory for Conservation Groups in Tahoe, another GHG Mitigation Measure Held Inadequate

In League to Save Lake Tahoe Mt. Area Pres. Found. v. County of Placer (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 63, the Third District Court of Appeal held that a land use specific plan and rezoning permit for commercial and residential development, including workforce housing, of forest land in the Martis Valley near the Northstar California Ski Resort … Continue Reading

Third District Holds City’s Explanation and Substantial Evidence Supported Traffic Impact Conclusion, Discharge of Writ of Mandate Proper

In reviewing whether the City of Sacramento complied with a peremptory writ of mandate issued by the Sacramento Superior Court (East Sacramento Partnership for a Livable City v. City of Sacramento (2016) 5Cal.App.5th 281 (ESPLC I)), the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that the City had explained and provided substantial evidence supporting both its … Continue Reading

Fact-Based Residents’ Comments Substantial Evidence Meriting CEQA Review, Special Commission’s Findings Substantial Evidence Meriting CEQA Review

In Protect Niles v. City of Fremont (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 1129, the First District Court of Appeal held that the Niles Historical Architectural Review Board’s (HARB) factual findings and members’ collective opinions about the compatibility of a project with the Niles Historic Overlay District rose to the level of substantial evidence. Further, fact-based comments in … Continue Reading

FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT REJECTS CHALLENGE TO MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION FOR A RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

In an unpublished decision, Save Desert Rose v. City of Encinitas, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7685, the Fourth Appellate District reversed the judgment of the trial court and held Save Desert Rose (Petitioner) failed to demonstrate that substantial evidence supported a fair argument that a proposed 16 single-family home subdivision project (Project) may have … Continue Reading

NEW GUIDANCE ON BASELINES WHEN PROJECT IS REUSING OR REPLACING AN EXISTING BUILDING

On October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal partially published the Fourth Appellate District’s opinion in North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015) 2015 Cal.App.LEXIS 891 (North County). The published portion of the opinion discusses an important exception to the traditional baseline determination under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Generally, the baseline consists … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects the California State University System’s Erroneous Interpretation of City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2006) 39 Cal.4th 341 Regarding its Duty to Mitigate Off-Campus Impacts

After months of anticipation, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on City of San Diego v. Trustees of the California State University, S199557, affirming the appellate court’s ruling that the California State University (CSU) should have evaluated one or more possible project modifications to its Project to reduce or avoid unmitigated off-site traffic impacts. The … Continue Reading

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

Double Dribble: Court Rejects Second CEQA Lawsuit Over the Downtown Sacramento Arena

In Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 150, the California Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging the environmental impact report (EIR) for an arena in downtown Sacramento (arena project) and held the City of Sacramento (City) did not prematurely commit itself to … 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

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

California Supreme Court Issues Neighbors for Smart Rail Decision: Predicted Conditions Baseline Allowable Under CEQA in Limited Circumstances

In a much anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court held in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority that lead agencies can use future predicted conditions as an environmental baseline in assessing the impacts of proposed projects. The court held that in order for an agency to omit the normally required existing … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Does Not Review City’s Nonpecuniary Interests to Determine If City Qualifies for Attorney Fees, But Rather Bases Award of Fees on Number of Issues Won

In City of Maywood v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2012) __ Cal.App.4th __ (Case No. B233739), the City of Maywood (City) filed a petition for writ of mandate to overturn the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) certification of a final environmental impact report (FEIR) prepared for a high school. The Second District Court … 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

Newly Published Appellate Decision Holds Analysis of Parkland Impacts for Campus Master Plan Fails to Comply with CEQA

The City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 761, publication status was recently changed from unpublished to published on June 28, 2012. The Board of Trustees of the California State University (Trustees) approved a master plan to guide the expansion of the Hayward campus. The City … Continue Reading

CSU Board of Trustees’ EIR for Campus Expansion was Held as Sufficient, with the Exception of its Analysis on Impacts to Surrounding Parklands

In an unpublished decision, City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4097, the Board of Trustees of the California State University (Trustees) wished to expand its Hayward campus in order to meet its assigned enrollment ceiling.  In 2009, the Trustees approved a master plan to … Continue Reading

Pfeiffer v. City of Sunnyvale City Council (2011) 200 Cal. App. 4th 1552

After the Sunnyvale City Council (City) approved the expansion of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s medical campus and certified the project’s EIR, Petitioner filed a challenge arguing (1) The project was inconsistent with the City’s general plan; (2) The EIR failed to use a proper baseline for traffic analysis; and (3) The EIR improperly analyzed … Continue Reading

Madera Oversight Coalition, Inc. v. County of Madera (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 48

Petitioner claimed the County of Madera’s (County) approval of a development project failed to comply with CEQA, Planning and Zoning Law, and the California Water Code. The Superior Court found for the Petitioner, holding that the EIR’s discussion of the water supply was inadequate. The Petitioner appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal claiming … Continue Reading

Clover Valley Foundation v. City of Rocklin (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 200

The City of Rocklin (City) certified an EIR for a developer to build a 622-acre residential project. Petitioners sued, claiming the EIR was insufficient. The trial court found for the City. The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision, upholding the City’s approval of the project and the EIR. In challenging the … Continue Reading

Chawanakee Unified School Dist. v. County of Madera (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1016

The Chawanakee Unified School District (Petitioner) filed a petition for writ of mandate against the County of Madera’s (County) approval of an EIR for a development project, arguing that the approval did not comply with CEQA. The trial court denied the petition. Petitioner appealed the ruling to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which reversed … Continue Reading
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