California Environmental Quality Act
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In a feat of chronological gymnastics regarding a proposed development in the City of Napa, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District held that a Notice of Determination posted over the course of 31 calendar days was not posted long enough to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act’s requirement that it be posted for 30 days.
By now, most CEQA practitioners have faced the problem of what to do when a project opponent submits the attorney general’s 18-page list of potential greenhouse gas mitigation measures, when many of the measures in the list may not be appropriate for a particular project. On June 30, 2011, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that the lead agency is not required to explain why each of the proposed measures is inappropriate for the project at issue.
Jurisdictions across California have slowly come to accept that their environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act now must address greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, relatively few rulings exist to help jurisdictions establish thresholds by which to analyze a project’s GHG impact. A recent case suggests that Assembly Bill 32, California’s 2006 climate change law, may provide a reasonable guide.
A thorough analysis of building codes and local ordinances applicable to seismic hazards provides the substantial evidence necessary to uphold a city’s revised environmental impact report, the First District Court of Appeal ruled in Oakland Heritage Alliance v. City of Oakland.
How much can one park do? That is the implicit question that environmental advocacy group Santa Monica Baykeeper posed regarding a combination passive recreation area and storm water retention facility planned in the City of Malibu. Sited near the iconic Surfrider Beach, the 15-acre Legacy Park would include a detention basin designed to capture three days’ worth of storm water before diverting it to a treatment plant.
As one of the most prominent organizations lobbying on environmental and land use issues in Sacramento, the Planning and Conservation League has led campaigns on everything from global warming to public health to local dam removal. Its history includes the promotion of such landmark measures as the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Act, and Prop 12, the 2000 Parks Bond measure.
A state appellate court has ruled that a city and its redevelopment agency’s approval of a term sheet for the development of a professional football stadium was not a “project approval” that required review under the California Environmental Quality Act
Although the term sheet was detailed, and substantial sums had been spent on consultants leading up to that agreement, it did not commit the city to a definite course of action, the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled.
In Triumph of the City, Ed Glaeser has written a love letter to his lifelong object of study, the global metropoles in which a majority of the world’s population now resides.
An appellate court has upheld the City of Berkeley’s application of the density bonus law and the California Environmental Quality Act exemption for an infill project.
In 2007, then-Attorney General Jerry Brown established a new paradigm for planning in California. With his settlement in a lawsuit against San Bernardino County, he clearly signaled that cities, counties, and county subregions would have to account for, and attempt to mitigate, greenhouse gas emissions in their general plans under the California Environmental Quality Act and AB 32. In fact, Brown went so far as to vow to sue any city that failed to account for its greenhouse gas emissions.