The California Air Resources Board's long-awaited greenhouse gas emissions targets probably are not perfect, to say the least. But they may be the closest thing California has to a consensus these days.
The entire California planning world now seems to revolve around combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Proposition 23 – a long-term suspension of the state's climate-change law – is on the ballot this fall. The proposition is behind at the polls – but if it passes – will that be the end of SB 375, Sustainable Communities Strategies, greenhouse gas emissions analyses in environmental impact reports, and the whole industry that has been built up around climate change planning?
For all of the Legislature's fretting this year, the consensus in Sacramento is that among the state's overwhelming crises, land use ranked as a low priority this past legislative session. The legislative session that ended Aug. 30 included relatively few land use bills and, of those, they were of relatively minor import.
California appellate courts have recently published two opinions regarding attorney's fees in land use cases. Not surprisingly, the party that won on the merits in the first case also won attorney's fees, while, in the second case, the party that lost on the merits was not awarded attorney's fees even though the losing party argued that it deserved the fees.
The Cal Bears scored a victory in a recent legal challenge to a planned expansion of athletic facilities near the historic University of California football stadium in Berkeley.
The project opponents' playbook included a long list of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violations allegedly committed by the University of California (UC) Board of Regents. The blue and gold had a solid game plan. The regents used a tiered Environmental Impact Report (EIR), carrying forward relevant CEQA analysis from the first tier to a later document and providing detailed, site-specific analysis in the later tier.