In a case that would appear on its face to conflict with a different appellate ruling filed just two weeks ago, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled that a groundwater pump charge is a property-related charge subject to Proposition 218.
However, the court also ruled that the pump charge issued by the Santa Clara Valley Water District is also a fee and therefore is exempt from some of Proposition 218's requirements. The facts are very case-specific and the underlying statute is different from the one considered in City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District, which ruled that a groundwater pump charge is a fee and not a property-related charge.
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.
In Pfeiffer v. City of Sunnyvale City Council, the Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, upheld the city's certification of an environmental impact report and approval of an expansion of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's medical campus. The court found that the city properly deemed the project consistent with its general plan; used the correct baseline for the traffic analysis in the EIR; used the correct baseline for the traffic noise analysis in the EIR; and contained a sufficient discussion of traffic noise impacts in the EIR.
When the City of Morgan Hill annexed an 80-acre plot of land over public outcry, city residents fought back by approving ballot measures limiting the development that could take place on that parcel. With a recent appeals court ruling – 31 years after the initial annexation -- a developer's project is high and dry, with the court ruling that the city's actions did not amount to inverse condemnation or illegal spot zoning.
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.
Thanks to the recession and various iterations of the dot-com boom and bust, Silicon Valley has a large, stagnant pool of empty office and light industrial space. The same region is woefully underbuilt with housing. Unsurprisingly, homebuilders are making inroads into the underused office parks and industrial sites in Santa Clara County.
The City of Sunnyvale's analysis of a road improvement project's traffic and related impacts based on predicted conditions in 2020 violated the California Environmental Quality Act's requirement to compare a proposed project with existing conditions.
A state appellate court has found that a provision of the Palo Alto municipal code requiring a 60-day delay prior to the issuance of a demolition permit did not render the permit approval a discretionary act requiring environmental review. The city properly treated the demolition permit as ministerial and exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled.