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.
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.
Now that DOF has decided 240 redevelopment appeals, the next step shouldn't surprise anybody: The lawsuits are beginning to roll in:
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
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.
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.
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:
The holiday season continues to be a cruel time of year for California's redevelopment community. Last year, the state Supreme Court struck a blow on Dec. 29, allowing the state to abolish redevelopment agencies. And this year, on Dec. 18, the state Department of Finance denied funding to many of the 240 of the 400 successor agencies who had appealed earlier rejections.
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.
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.
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.
While perhaps not surprising news to LAFCO wonks like Peter Detwiler, two recent decisions illustrate the special role that local agency formation commissions play in influencing local government and special district activities.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal has struck down the environmental impact report for a large development project in Santee, saying the EIR failed to deal with several water supply issues, including a discrepancy between the EIR and the water supply assessment as to how much water the project would consume.
In case you missed the recent legal tremor, be advised that land-use lawyers are looking closely at a new appellate court ruling from Tuolomne County on the application of the California Environmental Quality Act to citizen initiatives. The new ruling is in direct conflict to a ruling from a different appellate district in 2004, possibly setting the stage for a showdown in front of the California Supreme Court.
Five years ago, the planning and development world in California was flush with money. With 20% of the nation’s planners and at least that percentage of real estate developers, the state was awash in plans. Big general plans were paid for by flush general funds. Redevelopment agencies had plenty of money to update their redevelopment plans and then subsidize the resulting projects. Ambitious specific plans to accommodate flashy new projects – both infill and greenfield – were paid for by developers itching to build.