July 2006

By William W. Abbott

There is no middle of the road for Wal-Mart Stores. People are passionate on both sides, which includes the lawyers and consultants caught in the debate as it appears that Wal-Mart, as a single entity, generates more CEQA litigation than any other California applicant. Perhaps Wal-Mart will open up an EIR preparation service, sandwiched between the in-store optometrist and bank, as it continues its meteoric climb as the Nation’s number-one retailer. Continue Reading The Importance of the Mundane in CEQA Litigation: It’s All in the Details

By William W. Abbott

Feasibility, or its Bizarro World counterpart (fn1) infeasibility, is an integral part of CEQA analysis. Feasibility is defined by the Guidelines as follows: “. . . capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, legal, social, and technological factors.” (Guidelines, § 15364) A mitigation measure may be determined by the lead agency to be infeasible and on that basis, would not be required as a condition of project approval. Unlike other areas of CEQA practice, there has been less frequent and less critical analysis of what constitutes a valid finding of infeasibility. A recent court decision begins to shed light on what is likely to be a new chapter of CEQA challenges. Continue Reading Mitigation Infeasibility: New Thinking on an Old Issue

By William W. Abbott

So what happens if you host an election party, and not enough people vote for an assessment? According to the California Attorney General, a community service district is not obligated to provide road maintenance services and snow removal to an existing zone within the district if the voters reject an increase in the assessments necessary to provide the services. In addition to termination of services, the district may also dissolve the zone. On a related issue, the city, county or district does not have any continuing obligation to maintain the road as long as the road has never been formally accepted into the road system. (Sts. & Hy. Code, § 831.1; Opinions of the Attorney General, 05-710.)

William W. Abbott is a partner with Abbott & Kindermann, LLP. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, environmental and planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann at (916) 456-9595.

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.