A Run on the Banks? (Mitigation banks that is.)

By William W. Abbott

On March 15, 2012, California Department of Fish and Game announced it was suspending work on new proposals for mitigation banks, due to state budgetary constraints. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/conplan/mitbank/

Despite the state’s own recognition of the benefits of mitigation or conservation banks, that recognition only goes so far. This poses a challenge to agencies and developers operating in areas in which the banks are limited or closing. It may be that acquiring remaining credits will take on a new priority while projects are being re-positioned during the market slump. Another implication is that it may become imperative to challenge a CEQA characterization of habitat loss or impairment given that options for satisfying compensation may be more limited in the future. Here is the state’s list of approved banks as of January, 2012. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/conplan/mitbank/catalogue/catalogue.html

William W. Abbott is a partner at Abbott & Kindermann, LLP. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, LLP 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.

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