Fourth District Court of Appeal Holds Wal-Mart Project Inconsistent with General Plan Renewable Energy Requirements; CEQA Required City to Recirculate the EIR based on 350-Pages of New Analysis

In Spring Valley Lake Association v. City of Victorville (2016) 248 Cal.App.4th 91, Division One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the San Bernardino County Superior Court’s decision in part, agreeing with the …

Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Groundwater Pumping Project

In Center for Biological Diversity v. County of San Bernardino (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 326, the Fourth District upheld the Santa Margarita Water District’s certification of a final EIR and approval of a plan to pump …

Fourth District Court of Appeal Finds CEQA Review was not Required Prior to County Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding

In Delaware Tetra Technologies, Inc. v. County of San Bernardino (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 352, the Fourth District upheld the County of San Bernardino’s approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the county, the Santa Margarita …

Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds Mitigated Negative Declaration for Small Residential Project, Finding that Evidence of Psychological and Social Impacts is Insufficient to Require the Preparation of an EIR

On March 9, 2016, the Fourth District issued a decision in Preserve Poway v. City of Poway (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 560, upholding the City’s use of a mitigated negative declaration (MND) in its approval of …

Court Rejects EIR for Pest Program, Finding Objectives Too Narrowly Defined, and Thus No Reasonable Range of Alternatives

The Third District Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the trial court and held that a programmatic EIR for a seven-year program to control an invasive pest violated CEQA. (North Coast Rivers Alliance v. …

California Supreme Court Issues Decision in CBIA v. BAAQMD

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) __Cal.4th__ (Case No. S213478). In one of the most closely-watched CEQA cases of the year, the …

California Supreme Court Issues Major CEQA Decision in Newhall Ranch Case

The California Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The case, which involved a challenge to an EIR prepared for the Newhall Ranch development …

Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Commercial Sand Mining Project but Remands for Failure to Comply With the Public Trust Doctrine

The First District Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s determination in part and reversed in part, finding the State Lands Commission’s EIR for a sand mining project adequate, but holding that the Commission did …

Sixth District Court of Appeal Finds Amendments to Tree Ordinance Not Exempt from CEQA

The court held the City of Santa Cruz failed to demonstrate with substantial evidence that amendments to its Heritage Tree Ordinance and Heritage Tree Removal Resolution fell within a categorical exemption to CEQA. (Save Our …

Beverly Hills Unified School District v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Beverly Hills Unified School Dist. v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 627 The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the Beverly Hills Unified School District’s (“School District”) and City of …

On Remand, Court of Appeal Finds Berkeley Hillside Home Exempt from CEQA

The First District Court of Appeal reversed its prior holding and, under the substantial evidence standard established by the Supreme Court, upheld the City of Berkeley’s determination that exemptions applied to a single-family home project, …

Governor Signs Planning and Zoning Law Bill

On October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law a number of “hot” bills covering a range of topics. One bill was relevant to planning and zoning practice: AB 744 (Chau) is a density bonus …

Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds Traffic Baseline Derived from Historical Occupancy of Shopping Center as Opposed to the “Existing Conditions”

On October 9, 2015, the Fourth District ordered partial publication of North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (Sept. 10, 2015) ___Cal.App.4th___, Case No. D066488), excluding Sections III, IV, and V. The published section of …

First District Rules that State Lands Commission’s Approval of a Land Exchange Agreement Not Exempt from CEQA; Exhaustion Requirement Did Not Apply.

The First District, in Defend Our Waterfront v. California State Lands Commission (Sept. 17, 2015) ___Cal.App.4th___, Case Nos. A1496 & 141697,  upheld the trial court’s grant of a petition for writ of mandate challenging a …