July 2004

by William W. Abbott and Robert T. Yamachika

California landowners frequently live under two sets of land use regulations: one public and one private. Private land use restrictions may be as simple as reciprocal easements, or increasingly, multi-page covenants, conditions and restrictions (“CC&Rs”). Common interest subdivisions, with extensive private land use restrictions are becoming more commonplace in the development landscape. With that growth comes the natural increase in legal issues triggered by private land use control disputes. Continue Reading California Supreme Court Affirms the Authority of Homeowner Associations to Amend CC&Rs and Apply New Use Restrictions to Existing Residents

by William W. Abbott

Readers of this firm’s publications likely remember the efforts of the Wilson administration to create an impetus in the 1998 CEQA Guidelines amendments for the use of thresholds of significance as a means of reducing EIRs. While well intentioned, this effort was tanked by the superior court, whose invalidation of a selection 1998 amendments was then largely affirmed by the Third District Court of Appeal in Communities for a Better Environment v. California Resources Agency (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 98. In the recent decision of Protect the Historic Amador Waterways v. Amador Water Agency (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 1099 (March 12, 2004, modified April 9, 2004), the same appellate court had another opportunity to weigh in on the use of thresholds of significance, this time focusing on Appendix G of the Guidelines. Continue Reading CEQA’s Thresholds of Significance v. Thresholds of Pain: Sometimes It’s Hard to Tell the Difference