Third District Court of Appeal Upholds State Air Resources Board’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program

In a 2-1 opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the auction-sale component of the cap-and-trade program created by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 …

Sixth District Rules County of Santa Cruz Did Not Engage in Piecemeal Review of Zoning Ordinances and Upholds Negative Declaration

In Aptos Council v. County of Santa Cruz (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 266, the Sixth District held that the County of Santa Cruz did not engage in piecemeal review when it separately adopted three different zoning …

California Supreme Court Holds that CEQA Requires EIRs for Projects Located within Coastal Zones to Identify Potential “Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas” as Defined by the California Coastal Act.

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (2017) 2 Cal.5th 918, the California Supreme Court held that CEQA requires an EIR for a project located within a coastal zone to identify which areas …

Fourth District Upholds EIR for Master-Planned Community and Concludes That County Not Required to Recirculate

On March 15, 2017 the Fourth District certified for publication its February 4, 2017 decision in Residents Against Specific Plan 380 v. County of Riverside (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 941, upholding the EIR for a master- …

Legislative Analyst’s Office Concludes State Government Has Limited Ability to Increase Housing Supply; the Solution Lies with Local Governments

On March 8, 2017, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released its report Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?, which considers whether the housing elements of city and county general plans achieve their objective of …

California Supreme Court Rules Personal Emails May Be Considered Public Records Subject to Disclosure Under the Public Records Act

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (2017) 2 Cal.5th 608, the City of San Jose argued that messages communicated through personal accounts of city employees were not public records …

High Court Reverses Appellate Decision Limiting Use of Delisting Petitions under the California Endangered Species Act, But Avoids Reaching Merits of Fish and Game Commission’s Decision Denying Delisting Petition for Coho Salmon

On February 27, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in Central Coast Forest Association v. Fish and Game Commission (2017) 2 Cal.5th 594, reversing an appellate decision holding that Plaintiff’s petition to …

California Air Resources Board 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update Issued

In January 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the Draft 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. The Proposed Scoping Plan identifies the overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent …

The First Appellate District Applies Supreme Court’s Decision in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District in Upholding Muni’s Approval of a Contract to Install Remaining 900 Feet of Light-Rail Line

On December 20, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal ordered published its decision in The Committee for Re-Evaluation of the T-Line Loop v. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (2016)  6 Cal.App.5th 1237. The court upheld …

California Supreme Court Rules that Land Use Designation Made by Decades-Old Resolution, but Not Referenced in General Plan Is Not Part of the General Plan

In Orange Citizens for Parks and Recreation et al. v. Superior Court of Orange County (2016) 2 Cal.5th 141, the City of Orange approved a proposed 39-unit residential development on a former golf course. The …

Fourth District Holds Substantial Conformance Review Is Not Subject to Administrative Appeal to the City Council under Public Resources Code Section 21151, subdivision (c).

In San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1306, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the City of San Diego’s denial of an administrative appeal of the City Planning …

Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds Trial Court’s Ruling that Enactment of Medical Marijuana Ordinance was Not a ‘Project’ Under CEQA

In Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 103, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of a challenge to the City of San …

Ninth Circuit Upholds EIS for TRPA’s Regional Plan Update

On November 2, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s 2012 Regional Plan Update (RPU). TRPA adopted the RPU as the general governing …

California Continues its Leadership in the Fight Against Climate Change

Governor Brown recently signed Senate Bill 32 and Assembly Bill 197 continuing California’s leadership on climate change. SB 32 and AB 197 were inextricably linked—each bill requiring the passage of the other. SB 32 significantly …