Banning Ranch EIR Upheld by Appellate Court

The Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Newport Beach’s environmental impact report for the Banning Ranch development, rejecting a challenge by a local conservancy which asserted piecemeal environmental review and the adequacy of the impacts of a park the city is building adjacent to Banning Ranch. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and denial of the writ.

Validation Lawsuit Doesn’t Always Immunize Plaintiff From Attack

In many situations, the settlement of a lawsuit is a flexible tool to resolve disagreements between parties and allow the participants to move on with their lives. A settlement with a public agency invokes slightly different considerations then a matter resolved exclusively through private parties. As previously noted in Trancas Property Owners Association v.

Infill Projects Survive CEQA Challenge More Often

Two weeks ago, CP&DR reported on a study by the law firm of Holland  & Knight that broke down 95 legal challenges to projects under the California Environmental Quality Act over the past 15 years. The study provided a comprehensive look for the firs ttime – finding, for example, that 60% of the cases challenged “infill” development projects as opposed to “greenfield”, and over 70% of the cases were brought forth by local organizations. 

Is Jerry Saying, You'll Get Your Redevelopment When I Get All My Money?

All last year, local government nerds throughout California -- this one included  -- assumed that Jerry Brown would sign a bill to bring back redevelopment if one landed on his desk. So we were all shocked -- shocked! -- when he vetoed every substantive bill the Legislature gave him. (You can read about my surprise here. And based on the comments of some people at the UCLA land use conference on Friday, some of us are still shocked.

But maybe we shouldn't have been. Maybe it's pretty simple. 

Deal: CEQA Streamlining for Ballona Wetlands?

Here's a deal for you: 

Enviros agree to a variety of reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act -- especially constraints on the ability to sue, including possibly limiting standing and prohibiting lawsuits if the umbrella state or federal environmental law has been complied with.

Big CEQA Year Ahead For Cal Supremes

The California Environmental Quality Act has long been driven more by the courts than by the Legislature. And 2013 is likely to be a big year in court for EQA. Five pending cases before the California Supreme Court -- and a sixth that might be heard -- could significantly affect how both localities and colleges apply the California Environmental Quality Act.

Redevelopment Roundup, January 17, 2013

End of Redevelopment Helps Balance Budget

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor has described Governor Brown’s budget proposal as “roughly” balanced. Brown was able to save money from major cut backs- like last year’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies, and voter-approved tax increases, like Prop 30. 

Redevelopment Roundup: Lawsuits Start Rolling In

Now that DOF has decided 240 redevelopment appeals, the next step shouldn't surprise anybody: The lawsuits are beginning to roll in:

Murietta sues over affordable housing, city loan

Murrieta has sued DOF over its decision to invalidate two payments – one a $3 million payment to the city from the RDA and the second a $1.2 million payment to developers on an affordable housing project called Monte Vista

60% of EIR Challenges Involve Infill Projects

Almost 60% of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act challenge environmental review projects in infill locations as opposed to greenfield locations, according to a new analysis of 95 recent cases by two lawyers at Holland & Knight.

The new analysis comes on the heels of three other recent studies concluding that CEQA actions are struck down by courts between 40-60% of the time, compared to virtually zero for NEPA.

L.A. Considers Using Post-Redevelopment Funds for Economic Development

A couple of months ago, we reported on four post-redevelopment models emerging in California, based on a presentation by Paul Silvern of HR&A: Alhambra, Oakland, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Now Silvern and his colleagues at HR&A -- along with ICF and Renata Zimril -- have proposed a whole new post-redevelopment economic development structure for Los Angeles.

Redevelopment Roundup, January 7, 2013

As cities around the state are still stinging from the state's decision to deny many of their 240 redevelopment appeals, redevelopment skirmishes still continue around the state -- often about affordable housing projects that cities claim are nearing completion. Here's a sampling:


Santa Ana sues DOF over affordable housing project


EPA: 33% of California housing is built in infill locations


Approximately one-third of new housing units constructed in California’s metropolitan counties between 2000 and 2009 were built in infill locations, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency

Redevelopment Roundup: Dec 12, 2012

There's been a lot of redevelopment news around the state this week:

DOF at your service:

Santa Barbara ordered to sell parking lots and train depot.


Modesto can't use redevelopment funds to pay off bonds for downtown projects.

Judge's Rejection of San Diego SCS EIR Could Spell Trouble Statewide

Exploiting a subtle difference between AB 32 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2005 Executive Order that preceded the bill, environmentalists have successfully persuaded a San Diego Superior Court judge to strike down the environmental impact report for the sustainable communities strategy adopted by the San Diego Association of Governments.

Will Villaraigosa Replace LaHood At DOT?

Now that Ray LaHood has finally announced he is stepping down as President Obama's Secretary of Transportation, speculation has immediately focused on whether outgoing L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will succeed him.