SUPREME COURT TAKES UP TWO CASES OF INTEREST

Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game, et al. (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1105, review granted and depublished (July 9, 2014), 2014 Cal.LEXIS 5032.

The California Supreme Court granted review and depublished the Court of Appeal opinion. (2014 Cal.LEXIS 5032.) The court agreed to hear the following questions: (1) Does the California Endangered Species Act (Fish & Game Code, § 2050 et seq.) supersede other California statutes that prohibit the taking of “fully protected” species, and allow such a taking if it is incidental to a mitigation plan under the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.)? (2) Does the California Environmental Quality Act restrict judicial review to the claims presented to an agency before the close of the public comment period on a draft environmental impact report? (3) May an agency deviate from the Act’s existing conditions baseline and instead determine the significance of a project’s greenhouse gas emissions by reference to a hypothetical higher “business as usual” baseline?

Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State ex rel. 14th Dist. Ag. Assn., S218240. (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1542, review granted and depublished (July 9, 2014), 2014 Cal.LEXIS 4992.

The California Supreme Court granted review and ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, S201116, which presents the following issue: Did the City of Berkeley properly conclude that a proposed project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) under the categorical exemptions set forth in California Code of Regulations, title 14, sections 15303, subdivision (a), and 15332, and that the “Significant Effects Exception” set forth in section 15300.2, subdivision (c), of the regulations did not operate to remove the project from the scope of those categorical exemptions?

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, LLP, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

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Please Join William Abbott on August 8, 2014 for UC Davis Extension's Development Agreements Public Private Partnerships & Redevelopment Class

This course will discuss public-private partnerships and the legal and practical considerations impacting how cities, counties and private developers can collaborate on matters involving economic development Class starts August 8, 2014 – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sacramento: Sutter Square Galleria, 2901 K Street.

Instructors:

William Abbott, Steven Rudolph, & Harriet Steiner

For more info, or to enroll visit: http://bit.ly/1xiShNl

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2014 MID-YEAR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW UPDATE

By Diane Kindermann, William W. Abbott, Glen Hansen and Katherine J. Hart

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2014 Mid-Year Environmental update. This update discusses selected litigation, regulations/administrative guidance and pending legislation, on both the federal and state levels, in the following general areas of environmental law: (A) Water Supply, (B) Water Quality, (C) Wetlands, (D) Air Quality, (E) Endangered Species, (F) NEPA, (G) Mining / Oil & Gas, (H) Cultural Resources, (I) Environmental Enforcement, and (J) Renewable Energy.

Click here to read the complete update.

If you have any questions about this article, contact Diane Kindermann, William Abbott, Glen Hansen or Katherine Hart. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, LLP, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Please Join William Abbott on August 8, 2014 for UC Davis Extension's Development Agreements Public Private Partnerships & Redevelopment Class.

For details click here to view the brochure.

August 8, 2014 – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sacramento: Sutter Square Galleria, 2901 K Street

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2014 CEQA 2nd QUARTER REVIEW

 By William W. Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Katherine J. Hart, Glen Hansen and Brian Russell

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2014 2nd Quarter CEQA update. Our thirst for guidance from the California Supreme Court remains unquenched as the court still has five CEQA cases under review. In terms of other interesting developments during the second quarter, two courts of appeal ground through three of highly detailed cases: California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game and Sierra Club v. County of Fresno. Read together, these cases cover much of CEQA’s fine parts. Thinking about impacts and mitigation is not the same as actual CEQA evaluation as the court observes in Lotus v. Department of Transportation. Finally, in terms of other developments the City of San Jose successfully defended its eighth addendum to the 1997 EIR for its airport master plan.

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Abbott & Kindermann, LLP Is Pleased To Announce That Two Of Its Attorneys Have Been Chosen For The 2014 Northern California Super Lawyers List

William Abbott was selected in the practice areas of Land Use/Zoning and Real Estate and Kate Hart in the practice areas of Environmental, Environmental Litigation and Land Use/Zoning. More information is available at http://www.superlawyers.com/california-northern/. The firm is pleased to continue to serve private and public clients in Northern California on land use, environmental and real estate matters for more than 18 years.

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CAWG Education Program

Abbott & Kindermann, LLP is pleased to announce that Diane Kindermann will be presenting for the California Association of Winegrape Growers and the San Joaquin Valley Winegrape Growers Association Grower Education Program, Thursday, July 10, at The Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission. Ms. Kindermann’s presentation will cover the following wine law topics: real property due diligence hot topics, including Phase I and II, land use considerations (borders, access and conservations easements); local land use update; and sustainability.

For more information click here.

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Just Because The Easement Says "For Public Road Purposes" Does Not Mean It's A Public Right-Of-Way

By Glen Hansen

In Schmidt v. Bank of America (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1489, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment against claims by a servient property owner that alleged that the dominant property owner went beyond the scope of the reserved private easement for ingress and egress when it graded the easement and installed subsurface infrastructure on the easement area for the benefit of the adjacent condominium project that was built on the dominant property.

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Up Zoning Creating Special Benefits Can Trigger Spot Zoning Claims

By William W. Abbott

Foothill Communities Coalition v. County of Orange (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 1302. In the minds of most local planners, spot zoning is typically associated with downzoning of a smaller parcel in circumstances in which the surrounding property is similar in character, but which retains a more intensive zoning designation. From the perspective of the California’s Fourth Appellate District, a rezoning which creates the converse result (that is the donut hole being rezoned to a more intensive classification) can also trigger a claim of spot zoning. In the facts of Foothill Communities Coalition v. County of Orange, the trial court invalidated the rezoning. On appeal however, the appellate court found the rezoning to be a valid exercise of the police power and upheld the rezoning.

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Is It A Public Or Private Improvement Project? Court Reviews The Differences With Millions In Claims On The Line.

By Natalie Kuffel and Glen Hansen

In R&R Pipeline, Inc. v. Bond Safeguard Insurance Company (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 438, the Court of Appeal for the Second District held that a contractor who provided infrastructure work on a subdivision could timely file a $1.2 million lawsuit to enforce a subdivision improvement bond because the project was private and not public, even though the work was required by a subdivision agreement between the developer and a public entity.

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