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Posts Tagged ‘EIR’

NEW CEQA CASE: Court Upholds Environmental Review For New Golden State Warriors Arena Complex In S.F.

In Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 160, the court upheld the environmental review conducted for the new basketball arena for the Golden State Warriors (and related development), in what is known as the Mission Bay South Redevelopment Plan Area in San Francisco.  (See http://www.chasecenter.com/.)

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NEW CEQA CASES

Railroad Trestle/Historical Resource.  In Friends of the Willow Glen Trestle v. City of San Jose, (6th Dist. 2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 457, petitioners challenged the City of San Jose’s decision to not to prepare a full environmental impact report (EIR) for a project to replace an old wooden trestle with a new steel bridge.  The trestle is a wooden railroad bridge that was built in 1922 as part of a “spur line” to provide “rail freight access” to “canning districts” near downtown San Jose.  The trial court struck down the City’s approval of the project, holding that petitioners had demonstrated that there was a “fair argument” that the project would have significant environmental impacts (thereby requiring an EIR), because there was a fair argument that the bridge was a historical resource.  However, the appellate court reversed, holding that the more deferential “substantial evidence” standard of judicial review applied to the City’s determination that the bridge was not a historical resource.

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CASE UPDATE: EIR For Redevelopment Of Treasure Island Complied With CEQA As A Planning-Level EIR Even Though It Was Called A “Project EIR”.

In Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island v. City of County of San Francisco, (1st Dist. 2014) 2014 WL 3057986, the court affirmed the City and County of San Francisco’s approval of a new, 20-year master plan for the total redevelopment of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. Petitioner’s main argument on appeal was that the City prejudicially abused its discretion by preparing a project EIR instead of aprogram EIR; the subject EIR characterized itself as a “project EIR” that analyzed all phases of the Project at maximum build out.

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New CEQA Cases

In Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, (2014) 59 Cal.4th 1029, the California Supreme Court held that CEQA review is not required when a local government entity adopts a voter submitted land use initiative directly (and without the need for a public vote), just as CEQA review is not required before voters adopt an initiative at an election.

In Rominger v. County of Colusa, (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 690, the court held that the approval of a tentative subdivision map was subject to CEQA review categorically – even if a specific development project was yet to be planned. The court further held that CEQA procedural errors (in this case, failure to post public notice of the County’s intent to adopt a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for the full 30 days) constituted abuse of discretions, but such errors are not grounds for reversal unless they are shown to be prejudicial. The court held that the 27-day notice period in this case was not prejudicial. Also, the court rejected arguments that an EIR (as opposed to an MND) was required to address potential agricultural, odor, noise, air quality, greenhouse gas and water supply impacts, but the court agreed that an EIR was required to address potential traffic issues.

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NEW CEQA CASES: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, “Piecemealing” And Other Issues.

In Sierra Club v. County of San Diego, (2014) WL 6657169, the court held that the County violated CEQA by failing to implement measures to mitigate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions that would occur as a result of the County’s 2011 General Plan Update.

The County adopted its General Plan Update based on a Program Environmental Impact Report (“PEIR”). The PEIR included Mitigation Measure CC-1.2, under which the County committed to preparing a climate action plan (“CAP”) with “more detailed greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets and deadlines” and “comprehensive and enforceable GHG emissions reduction measures that will achieve” specified quantities of GHG reductions by the year 2020.  However, the court held that the CAP that the County later adopted did not meet the requirements of Mitigation Measure CC-1.2.  It found that the County admitted that the CAP would not ensure the required reductions, that many of the emissions reduction measures were unfunded, that the County was not making meaningful efforts to implement or fund transit-related measures, and that the CAP had no deadlines. 

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CASE UPDATE: Court Affirms Reduced Attorneys’ Fees Award in CEQA Case Involving MND For Community Center..

In Save Our Uniquely Rural Community Environment v. County San Bernardino, (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 1179, the trial court granted an environmental group’s petition for a writ of mandate concerning  a proposed community center and mosque, for which the county planning board had adopted a mitigated negative declaration (MND) and issued a conditional use permit (CUP), and the court ordered the MND and CUP be set aside solely for purposes of obtaining further CEQA review on the single issue of waste water treatment. 

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CASE UPDATE: CEQA Did Not Require Supplemental EIR For New Amendments To San Jose International Airport Master Plan.

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose, (6th Dist. 2014) 173 Cal.Rptr.3d 794, the court affirmed the City of San Jose’s approval of the eighth addendum to the San Jose International Airport Master Plan EIR, adopted in 2007 (“Master Plan”), which was prepared Master Plan amendments that the City adopted in 2010. The amendments included changes to the size and location of cargo facilities, the replacement of air cargo with general aviation facilities, and the modification of two taxiways. The petitioners first argued that a new EIR was required because these changes constituted a new project, but the court rejected this argument.

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CASE UPDATE: First District Court of Appeal Affirms the Use of Off-Site Conservation Easements to Mitigate the Loss of Prime Farmland Under CEQA

In Masonite Corporation v. County of Mendocino, (1st Dist. 2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 230, the First District Court of Appeal struck down the County of Mendocino’s certification of an environmental impact report (“EIR”) prepared for a use permit for Granite Construction’s Kunzler Terrace Mines project, which will be a sand and gravel quarry on 65 acres of land north of Ukiah near the Russian River (“Project”). Forty-five out of 65 acres of the Project site was vineyard land that the California Department of Conservation had designated as “prime farmland,” which would be lost as a result of the Project.

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CASE UPDATES: CEQA, Attorney-Client Privilege and Parking); and the Public Nuisance Exception to Coastal Commission Jurisdiction

This month’s Land Use Update features: 1) a CEQA case clarifying several issues about what must be included in an administrative record, including attorney-client privilege issues; 2) a CEQA case focused on parking issues; 3) an unusual case involving the public nuisance exception to Coastal Commission jurisdiction under the Coastal Act.

1. In Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County (2013) (5th 2013) Case No. F065690, –Cal.Rptr.2d–, a case challenging an EIR prepared for a shopping center and Wal-Mart store under the California Environmental Quality Act,

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Miles J. Dolinger
Attorney at Law

314 Capitola Avenue Capitola, CA 95010
Phone: (831) 477-9193
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miles@dolingerlaw.com

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