November 2008

By Glen Hansen

In Romoland School District v. Inland Empire Energy Center, LLC (9th Cir.Cal., Nov. 18, 2008, No. 06-56632) U.S.App. 23854, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit examined when the citizen suit provision of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) may be used to halt construction of a power plant that was granted an integrated permit.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Clarifies When A Citizen Suit Under The Clean Air Act May Be Brought To Challenge The Construction Of A New Power Plant

By Glen C. Hansen

The recent decision by the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three in Hines v. Lukes (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1174 describes how a judgment entered pursuant to a settlement agreement under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 must include all of the material terms of the settlement.

Continue Reading When Settling Easement Disputes, Don’t Skimp on the Details

By Cori Badgley

In Gray v. County of Madera (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1099, the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District grappled with several issues related to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) along with the Senate Bill 610 water supply analysis, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, and general plan consistency. Among the court’s various holdings, the court found examples of improper deferral of mitigation under CEQA. Additionally, the court refined the definition of a “probable future project” for purposes of cumulative impacts. The project at issue involved the development of an aggregate mining operation in the unincorporated area of Madera County ("County").

Continue Reading Court Discusses Improper Deferral of CEQA Mitigation and Provides Definition for “Probable Future Projects”

By William W. Abbott and Nathan Jones

While much is written about takings claims in the field of land use practice, the reality has been that for a number of reasons, it is extremely difficult for a California property owner to make a successful legal claim. In the context of a regulatory (as opposed to a physical) taking, the fact pattern to support a regulatory taking has to be extreme. The recent case of Monks v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 263, vividly illustrates the types of extraordinary facts that must exist for a property owner to cross the finish line first.

Continue Reading Court Answers Monk’s Prayers: City, Thou Shall Not Take!

By Leslie Z. Walker and Cori M. Badgley

California’s land use planning structure has long been governed by a philosophy of home rule. Periodically, the legislature has identified specific typical areas for state intrusion: housing policy and airport land use planning are two examples. Among other provisions, SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes 2008) reflects a new area of state intervention, brought on by the rising concern over global warming. This time, it is through the regional transportation planning process, with the apparent thinking that once you control the purse strings, local governments will fall into line. SB 375’s major elements are:

Continue Reading SB 375: A Subtle Shift in the State-Local Long Range Planning Paradigm