March 2008

By Leslie Z. Walker

The California Attorney General and the Local Government Commission hosted the first of five statewide workshops, CEQA and Climate Change: Partnering with Local Agencies to Combat Global Warming, on Thursday, March 20, 2008. In his invitation to cities and counties across the state, the Attorney General explained that planning for Climate Change should not await the 2012 implementation of binding Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emission limits and emission reduction measures required by AB 32. At the workshop, the Attorney General reiterated his position that CEQA requires GHG analysis. The line-up of morning speakers, who discussed thresholds, modeling emissions and mitigation measures, suggested that since tools exist to measure and mitigate GHGs, agencies are required to do so.

Continue Reading Attorney General’s Conference on Climate Change: Many Methods, No Answers

By Janell M. Bogue

In the case of Citizens for Responsible and Open Government v. City of Grand Terrace (February 21, 2008) 2008 Cal.App.Lexis 359 the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District held that a mitigated negative declaration (“MND”) approved for a senior residential project was inadequate under CEQA. In doing so, the court discussed density calculations and the weighing of evidence under the fair argument test.

Continue Reading Court of Appeal Applies Fair Argument Test in Appeal of Senior Housing Project

By Cori Badgley

In 2004, a jury awarded Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. (“ABFI”) over $5 million in civil damages. The trial court assessed these damages against individual County officials as well as the County of Santa Barbara (“County”). On March 4, 2008, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District overturned the award of damages in an unpublished opinion, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. v. County of Santa Barbara (Docket No. B180880, 2008). The appellate court held that Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. lacked standing to bring its constitutional claims and the claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Therefore, the civil damages had to be overturned.

Continue Reading $5 Million Judgment Against Santa Barbara County Overturned by Appellate Court

By Leslie Z. Walker

In February of 2008, the state Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District held in Douda v. California Coastal Commission (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 1181, that the Commission, when issuing a coastal development permit, may designate environmentally sensitive habitat area if a local coastal plan (“LCP”) for the area has not been certified.

Continue Reading Coastal Commission May Designate Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area

By Glen C. Hansen

Only in California can you (1) pay taxes to create and support an unconstitutional agency, (2) pay taxes so that the unconstitutional agency defends itself, (3) win a ruling on the unconstitutionality, (4) force a legislative change, and (5) retain the privilege of paying for your own attorneys fees. Who says government is broken? Continue Reading Making Change, But Losing The Dollars

By Rob Hofmann

Each Sale Transaction is Unique

Real property purchase and sale transactions are so common place that it may be hard to justify paying a lawyer to review, let alone prepare, the applicable documentation. This is especially true when the transaction appears straightforward and the broker is taking a healthy cut off the top. Why pay an attorney when boilerplate agreements are readily available for little or no cost from the broker/agent, online, or even the local stationary store? Given that the broker or agent is precluded from giving legal advice, there are any numbers of reasons.      

Continue Reading SELLER BEWARE!! – What You See Isn’t Necessarily What You Get!