California Environmental Quality Act
You think this is going to be another piece about the shortcomings and backfires of the California Environmental Quality Act. It’s not.
CEQA's future has been in holding patterns across all California's branches of government this summer. But while big things are expected any day in the administrative or judicial branch, CEQA is a sore and sour subject in the Legislature.
California's Fifth District Court of Appeal has issued a partial publication order for its June 30 decision upholding the EIR for a wind turbine farm in Kern County's Tehachapi Wind Resource Area.
CP&DR News Summary, June 4, 2014: Clearlake General Plan revision; a GHG quandary, "Landbridge" woes, romancing Tesla, and moreBy Martha Bridegam on 4 June 2014 - 1:56am
Clearlake posts General Plan revision for review
The draft EIR to update Clearlake's 1983 General Plan is up for review. Prepared by a team at Cal Poly, the draft runs to almost 500 pages. A local news report at http://bit.ly/1kkSbRP describes the plan as preparing for population growth from the present through 2040. The plan also seeks to "Protect the City's rural character and maintain the small town atmosphere."
An appellate court has upheld a CEQA exemption for the 2011 deputy sheriffs' charity rodeo at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds in Watsonville. Although it was the first rodeo held there in a generation, the court held a categorical exemption was proper for the event on the grounds that, environmentally speaking, the rodeo was much a "normal operation" as any other livestock or equestrian event at that venue.
In a new case from Humboldt County, the First District Court of Appeals has ruled that Caltrans must see the trees as well as the forest -- at least in the environmental impact report for a controversial road widening.
In an unpublished opinion, the First District Court of Appeal has rejected an attack on San Francisco’s single-use plastic-bag ban, saying that the city did not violate the California Environmental Quality Act and that local plastic-bag bans are not overridden by the state’s Retail Food Code.
In a new opinion, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has unraveled a confusing set of events surrounding the certification of the environmental impact report for San Jose’s new general plan, concluding that an environmental group exhausted all administrative remedies and can sue over the EIR.
The California Clean Energy Committee sued over the certification of the EIR, saying that it should not be penalized because of the confusing way San Jose certified the EIR. The Sixth District agreed.
The First District Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Napa’s decision to rely on its 1998 general plan environmental impact report in adopting its 2009 housing element.
Latinos Unidos De Napa sued the city, claiming a new environmental impact report should have been prepared for the housing element. But the First District disagreed, essentially concluding that the land use changes contained in the housing element were so minor that they did not trigger the need for a new EIR.
In the pantheon of developer complaints about the California Environmental Quality Act, perhaps the most common one is that it’s too easy to use it to file crazy lawsuits purely for the purposes of gumming up the works.
Which is maybe why the building industry and property rights advocates have spent so much time lately filing CEQA lawsuits apparently designed to gum up the works.