Steep Lot Justified Grant Of A Variance For The Replacement Single Family Home

By William W. Abbott

Eskeland v. City of Del Mar (February 19, 2014) ___Cal.App.4th.___. While most land use debates involve projects of physical substance, even the single family home is capable of generating appellate opinions. The most recent case involves a grant, by the City of Del Mar, of a variance from a front yard setback requirement. The variance was granted so that the owners could construct a new single family home in the footprint of the existing single family home. The history suggested that the existing home was constructed before the current setback standard was adopted. The owner proposed to reconstruct in the same footprint, but would expand the footprint parallel to the front property line. As a result, there would be a linear expansion of the building including new additional square footage to be built within the setback restriction, but no additional perpendicular intrusion into the front yard setback area. The building lot included areas with a 25% slope, and buildable area was limited.

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When Common Sense Is Just Plain CEQA Horse Sense

By William A. Abbott  

Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v State of California (March 26, 2014, C070836) ___ Cal.App.4th ___.

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2014 CEQA 1st QUARTER REVIEW

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

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2014 1st Quarter CEQA update. It has been a quiet first quarter. One decision, Lotus v. Department of Transportation includes an interesting analysis on the use of construction commitments as part of the project description or as mitigation measures.

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Appellate Court Shuts Out Trial Court in CEQA/ESA Double Header under Deferential Standard of Review

By Diane G. Kindermann

In a lengthy and unanimous reversal of the trial court on ESA and CEQA issues in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game, et al. (March 20, 2014, BS131347) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, the second appellate district, Division Five, roundly upheld the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (“department”) certification of an environmental impact report (“EIR”) assessing the effects of a resource management plan, conservation plan, streambed alteration agreement and two incidental take permits, in tandem with approval of each plan and issuance of the associated incidental take permits. The EIR related to general planning and conservation steps resulting from Los Angeles County’s prior approval of a 12,000 acre specific plan and neighboring 1500 acre conservation area in Ventura County. In its textured opinion, the appellate court relied heavily on facts in the trial court record to perforate all arguments raised by the Plaintiffs and Respondents Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, California Native Plant Society, and Wishtoyo Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper.

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2nd Annual Class - Proactive Land Use Entitlement Strategies For Raw Land And Updates To Existing Entitlements

Join William Abbott and Kate Hart of Abbott & Kindermann in a new class which ties together best practices for land development projects. This is an advanced class aimed primarily at project managers, engineers, and development consultants. This intense, three hour class interprets and applies:

·       CEQA

·       Permit Streamlining Act

·       Subdivision Map Act

·       Clean Water Act

·       Endangered Species Act

·       Updating Existing Entitlements

MCLE and American Planning Association continuing education credits offered, pending approval.

MCLE 3.0       CM 3.0

William Abbott is a long time practitioner in land use and CEQA law at Abbott & Kindermann, LLP. Kate Hart is senior counsel at Abbott & Kindermann and a practitioner in land use and CEQA law, and has served as a member and chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Central Valley.

 Cost $85.00

Locations and Times

Lodi – April 17, 2014, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (To Register for the Lodi Location Click Here)

Hampton Inn & Suites – Lodi, 1337 S. Beckman Road, Lodi, CA 95240

Modesto - April 17, 2014, 1:30-4:30 p.m. (To Register for the Modesto Location Click Here)

Double Tree by Hilton – Modesto, 1150 Ninth Street, Modesto, CA 95354

Woodland - April 22, 2014, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (To Register for the Woodland Location Click Here)

Hampton Inn & Suites – Woodland, 2060 Freeway Drive, Woodland, CA 95776

Fairfield - April 22, 2014, 1:30-4:30 p.m. (To Register for the Fairfield Location Click Here)

Hilton Garden Inn – Fairfield, 2200 Gateway Court, Fairfield, CA 94533

 

"Pro-Plastic Bag Initiatives Headed to the Ballot? Possible End Run to Pending Legislation."

By William W. Abbott

The debate over local regulation of plastic bags has triggered three published appellate court decisions. Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach (2011) 52 Cal.4th 155, Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. County of Marin (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 209 and Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City and County of San Francisco (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 863. The current state of environmental politics in Sacramento indicate that an accord has been reached on plastic bags, the result will likely be a set of uniform laws statewide to level the playing field (SB 270). However, an unexpected backlash has developed. With an almost Tea Party like fervor, a series of loose knit groups, callings themselves the Friends of Plastic Bags have surfaced around the state with purpose of qualifying local initiatives preserving the right to use non-reusable plastic bags free from state regulation (and state imposed expense.) A professor specializing in California politics, H. W. Johnson (coincidentally the great grandson of California’s champion of the initiative process, Hiram Johnson) of the University of California Riverside, has been studying this latest political movement. "The motives behind this are very mixed. There is no one simple explanation for what is driving this. For some, the thought of having vegetables in close contact with fruits strikes people as unhealthy, almost like some exotic foreign custom. They just can't get their heads around it. For others, it’s a backlash against an all-knowing government. For a very small but measureable minority, they think Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are behind the state legislation, which in my opinion puts them in the same league as the Flat Earth Society. However, this is not some wack job movement running rampant in California's hinterlands, but it is happening in well educated, high income communities like Playa Blanco, Park Terrace, and San Remo. It defies conventional political wisdom. We may be witnessing a significant political sea change in California."

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Please Join Diane Kindermann on April 25, 2014, for a Seminar on Proactive Subdivision Map and Entitlement Strategies Post-Recession in California

Abbott & Kindermann, LLP is pleased to announce that Diane Kindermann will be a member of the faculty for “Proactive Subdivision Map and Entitlement Strategies Post-Recession in California,” a continuing education seminar to be held in Palm Desert, CA by Lorman Education Services. As Ms. Kindermann’s guest, you are eligible for 20% off the registration fee!

Proactive Subdivision Map and Entitlement Strategies Post-Recession in California
April 25, 2014
Palm Desert, CA
Best Western Plus, Palm Desert Resort

Click here to view the brochure and for more details.

Register online: http://www.lorman.com/383027?discount_code=G1610572&p=13389

Call: 866-352-9539
Discount code: G1610572

 

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City Subdivision Regulations Do Not Apply To Family Compound On Existing Lots

By William W. Abbott

Tower Lane Properties v. City of Los Angeles (February 28, 2014, B244092) ___ Cal.App.4th ___. This one is not complicated. Facing an applicant’s request for a grading permit on a hillside to construct three homes and accessory uses on three existing parcels, the city required the property owner to obtain a tentative map. The requirement stemmed from the city’s ordinance which specified that a map was required if grading activity involved a hillside site of 60,000 square feet or more. The city offered a waiver of the map requirement, conditioned upon completion of CEQA documentation. Passing on the waiver option, the applicant filed suit to set aside the requirement to process the tentative map as no subdivision was involved.

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Register Today - Proactive Land Use Entitlement Strategies For Raw Land And Updates To Existing Entitlements Class

Join William Abbott and Kate Hart of Abbott & Kindermann, LLP in a new class which ties together best practices for land development projects. This is an advanced class aimed primarily at project managers, engineers, and development consultants. This intense, three hour class interprets and applies:

  • CEQA
  • Permit Streamlining Act
  •  Subdivision Map Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Updating Existing Entitlements
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So Your Neighbor Wants To Build An Ornate Wall Between Your Adjoining Properties - In The Absence Of An Agreement, Who Pays?

By Glen Hansen

Your neighbor builds (or wants to build) an ornate wall between your two properties. Then your neighbor emails to you the invoice, and asks you to contribute one-half the cost of the edifice. Do you have to pay if the cost of the wall is excessive in your opinion? What if you can barely afford half the cost of a chain link fence, let alone THAT wall? Prior to January 1, 2014, the law was not too helpful in answering those questions.

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