December 2009

By Cori Badgley

In Sunset Sky Ranch Pilots Association v. County of Sacramento (2009) ___ Cal.4th ___  the California Supreme Court reversed the decision of the appellate court, which held that the denial of a conditional use permit renewal was a project under CEQA.  Although project denials are generally exempted from CEQA review, the appellate court reasoned that in this case the result of denying renewal of the permit constituted the whole of the action, and therefore, CEQA applied.  (See “Court Holds that County Has Power to Deny Conditional Use Permit Renewal, but CEQA Applies”.)  The California Supreme Court disagreed.

Continue Reading Project Denial Means Project Denial, Regardless of the Consequences

By Cori Badgley

There are many different types of fees, taxes and assessments that a local agency may impose. For each type, there are specific procedures and requirements, and if the agency does not use the correct procedure and meet the correct requirements, a court may invalidate the fee. In California Building Industry Association v. San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 120, the agency got it right, and the court held that the agency’s indirect source review fees were valid regulatory fees.

Continue Reading It’s the Type of Fee that Makes All the Difference: Regulatory Fee Upheld by Court of Appeal

By Cori M. Badgley and William W. Abbott

In 2004, SB 1818 amended section 65915 of the Government Code, pertaining to the density bonus law. The purpose of SB 1818 was to encourage developers to build affordable housing by requiring local governments to provide meaningful incentives. There was confusion in understanding the new provisions in Government Code section 65915 and the legislature clarified the density bonus law a year later with the enactment of SB 435. The legislature has made minor revisions since SB 435 that further the purpose of the 2004 amendments. (See “Overview of Density Bonus Law” below for an outline of the current requirements.)

Continue Reading Density Bonus Law Update: Statutory Refinements and Recent Cases

By Cori Badgley

The preliminary question in any inquiry under the California Environmental Quality Act is: does the action being approved by the agency constitute a project? While CEQA’s scope touches a significant array of actions, sometimes the answer to the question is “No.” In Sustainable Transportation Advocates of Santa Barbara v. Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 113, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District was faced with this preliminary question in relation to a measure imposing a retail sales and use tax and establishing a Transportation Investment Plan. The court held that the measure did not constitute a project, and therefore, the agency did not have to engage in environmental review before approving the measure.

Continue Reading Measure Including Transportation Investment Plan Held Not to Be a Project Under CEQA

By Leslie Z. Walker

In California Native Plant Society v. City of Santa Cruz (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 957, the Sixth District Court of Appeals upheld an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the master plan of a greenbelt, against appellant’s attack on the range of alternatives and findings of infeasibility.

Continue Reading Petitioners Fail to Demonstrate that the City Failed at the Two-Step

Abbott & Kindermann’s Annual Land Use, Real Estate, and Environmental Law Update

Reserve your seat for one of three seminars taking place in 2010!

In January and February 2010 Abbott & Kindermann, LLP will present its annual complimentary educational program for clients and colleagues interested in current land use, environmental, and real estate issues affecting commercial and residential development, real estate acquisition, easements, leasing and property acquisition, and mining.  In addition, the following hot topics for 2010 will be discussed:

  • Global Warming: CEQA Guidelines, Mandatory Reporting
  • Water Supply Legislation
  • CEQA Litigation: Alternative Analysis & Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
  • Subdivision Map Extension
  • Interpreting Development Agreements
  • Endangered Species Act

Abbott & Kindermann, LLP will be presenting its annual program at three California locations: Sacramento, Modesto and Redding. Details for the seminars are below. We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you there.

Modesto Conference

  • Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010
  • Location: Double Tree Hotel Modesto, 1150 Ninth Street
  • Registration: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Program: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Redding Conference 

  • Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
  • Location: Hilton Garden Inn Redding , 5050 Bechelli Lane
  • Registration: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Program: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sacramento Conference

  • Date: Friday, February 12, 2010
  • Location: Sacramento Hilton Arden West, 2200 Harvard Street
  • Registration: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. with continental breakfast
  • Program: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

There is no charge for the programs and MCLE and AICP CM credits are available.

An RSVP will be required as space is limited. To reserve a spot, call our office at (916) 456-9595. When calling, please specify which conference you will be attending.