California Environmental Quality Act

 

CP&DR News Summary, June 4, 2014: Clearlake General Plan revision; a GHG quandary, "Landbridge" woes, romancing Tesla, and more

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."

Rodeo's CEQA exemption allowed despite alleged creek pollution risk

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.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Seeing Forest Rather Than Trees Not Good Enough for CEQA, Appellate Court Rules

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.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

First District Upholds Categorical Exemption for S.F. Plastic-Bag Ban

In an unpublished opinion, the First District Court of Appeal has rejected an attack on San Francisco’s single-use plastic-bag ban, saying that the city did not violate the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.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Environmental Group Can Sue Over San Jose General Plan EIR

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.

Napa Not Required To Do New EIR On Housing Element

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.

Insight: Kill CEQA Before I Use It Again

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.

Santa Barbara River Mining EIR Upheld

The Court of Appeal has upheld an environmental impact report dealing with mining in a dry riverbed in Santa Barbara County.

Troesh Materials, Inc. submitted an application to the County of Santa Barbara (“County”) to operate a new mine within the dry bed of the Cayuma River. The mine would be positioned away from the active streambed and roughly 1,500 feet upstream from an existing, active mine. Potential excavation could proceed to a maximum depth of 90 feet, with an average production of 500,000 cubic yards per year.

Insight: Enviros Use Power of CEQA To Poke Hole In SANDAG's SB 375 Effort

Love’ em or hate ‘em, those litigators at the Center for Biological Diversity are the best in the business. Seems like they always find a way to win.

Attorney Fee Award Depends on Pecuinary Interests, Even for Public Agencies

When deciding whether to award a public litigant its attorneys’ fees against another public entity under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, the trial court may only consider the public litigant’s “pecuniary interests and the pecuniary interests of its constituents” in determining the third requirement of that statute.  The court may not consider the nonpecuniary motives of the public litigant in bringing the lawsuit.