July 2014

Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game, et al. (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1105, review granted and depublished (July 9, 2014), 2014 Cal.LEXIS 5032.

The California Supreme Court granted review and depublished the Court of Appeal opinion. (2014 Cal.LEXIS 5032.) The court agreed to hear the following questions: (1) Does the California Endangered Species Act (Fish & Game Code, § 2050 et seq.) supersede other California statutes that prohibit the taking of “fully protected” species, and allow such a taking if it is incidental to a mitigation plan under the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.)? (2) Does the California Environmental Quality Act restrict judicial review to the claims presented to an agency before the close of the public comment period on a draft environmental impact report? (3) May an agency deviate from the Act’s existing conditions baseline and instead determine the significance of a project’s greenhouse gas emissions by reference to a hypothetical higher “business as usual” baseline?

Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State ex rel. 14th Dist. Ag. Assn., S218240. (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1542, review granted and depublished (July 9, 2014), 2014 Cal.LEXIS 4992.

The California Supreme Court granted review and ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, S201116, which presents the following issue: Did the City of Berkeley properly conclude that a proposed project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) under the categorical exemptions set forth in California Code of Regulations, title 14, sections 15303, subdivision (a), and 15332, and that the “Significant Effects Exception” set forth in section 15300.2, subdivision (c), of the regulations did not operate to remove the project from the scope of those categorical exemptions?

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.

This course will discuss public-private partnerships and the legal and practical considerations impacting how cities, counties and private developers can collaborate on matters involving economic development Class starts August 8, 2014 – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sacramento: Sutter Square Galleria, 2901 K Street.

Instructors:

William Abbott, Steven Rudolph, & Harriet Steiner

For more info, or to enroll visit: http://bit.ly/1xiShNl

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

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2014 2nd Quarter CEQA update. Our thirst for guidance from the California Supreme Court remains unquenched as the court still has five CEQA cases under review. In terms of other interesting developments during the second quarter, two courts of appeal ground through three of highly detailed cases: California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game and Sierra Club v. County of Fresno. Read together, these cases cover much of CEQA’s fine parts. Thinking about impacts and mitigation is not the same as actual CEQA evaluation as the court observes in Lotus v. Department of Transportation. Finally, in terms of other developments the City of San Jose successfully defended its eighth addendum to the 1997 EIR for its airport master plan.

Continue Reading 2014 CEQA 2nd QUARTER REVIEW

William Abbott was selected in the practice areas of Land Use/Zoning and Real Estate and Kate Hart in the practice areas of Environmental, Environmental Litigation and Land Use/Zoning. More information is available at http://www.superlawyers.com/california-northern/. The firm is pleased to continue to serve private and public clients in Northern California on land use, environmental and real estate matters for more than 18 years.