July 2011

By Leslie Z. Walker

In Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development v. City of Chula Vista (July 8, 2011, D057779) ____ Cal.App.4th ____, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District found substantial evidence of a fair argument that the development of a Target store would have a significant environmental impact by disturbing contaminated soil, but rejected challenges based on air pollution and greenhouse gas impacts.

Continue Reading Implicit Approval of Using AB 32 Reduction Goals to Establish GHG Thresholds

By William W. Abbott

A new decision from the Third Appellate District illustrates that the drafters and voters in favor of Proposition 218 achieved what they were after: further restrictions on the ability of public agencies to raise new revenue irrespective of the salutary purposes or modesty of the imposition. The case involves a fire protection assessment approved by 61.8% of the vote cast in a 218 election proceeding.Concerned Citizens for Responsible Government v. West Point Fire Protection District (2011) 196 Cal.App. 4th 1427.

Continue Reading Fire Protection Assessments Fail Prop. 218 Challenge

By Katherine J. Hart

In the recent opinion of CREED v. City of San Diego (2011 Cal. App. LEXIS 720, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District) petitioners are cautioned not to rely on massive, unorganized, last minute submittals of documents and data without clarifying and outlining their specific concerns in order to provide an agency with an opportunity to respond. The court of appeal also held that water supply assessments (WSAs) can be approved by a CEQA lead agency that also serves as the water supplier for the project area by including the WSA analysis in the environmental document and certifying that environmental document (e.g., no separate WSA approval is necessary).

Continue Reading Petitioners Be Forewarned: Massive Document “Dumps” May Not Suffice To Exhaust Administrative Remedies; Water Supply Assessments May Be Approved Via Certification Of An EIR.

By Leslie Walker

On July 13, 2011, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 208, granting a two-year extension to certain tentative maps. To qualify, the maps must have been approved and not yet expired as of July 15, 2011 and must expire before January 1, 2014. The terms of the extension are similar to a similar bill passed in 2009 (Assembly Bill 333, see How Many Lawyers Does it Take to Extend a Tentative Map?). Assembly Bill 208 extensions are in addition to extensions provided for in the following Government Code sections:

Continue Reading Tentative Maps Receive Third Extension

By Leslie Walker

The Supreme Court reviewed a decision by the Court of Appeal for the Second District granting an industry association’s petition for writ of mandate challenging the city of Manhattan Beach’s ban on point-of-sale plastic bag use. In Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach (July 14, 2011, S180720) __Cal.4th__, the Supreme Court (“Court”) overturned the rule that corporations must make a heightened showing to demonstrate public interest standing, urged the use of common sense at all stages in the CEQA process, and held that an EIR was not required to adopt a plastic bag ordinance.

Continue Reading California Supreme Court Rejects Need for EIR and Supports Use of Common Sense

Please join William W. Abbott and Steven Rudolph on August 18, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM for an in depth look at the art of crafting development agreements in their UC Davis Extension course, Vested Rights, Vesting Maps and Development Agreements.

Development agreements are an effective avenue for a community and a developer to work together to process projects. Both sides need to carefully consider the terms of these contracts and look at questions of content and performance before completing such agreements. Review the legislative and judicial aspects of development agreements. Examine the legal basis for development agreements and the overlap between agreements and vesting subdivision maps.

Gain an understanding of the negotiating process, identify and discuss the range of options available when negotiating a development agreement, and review the "theoretically" possible agreement. Review the key points to an agreement and learn ways to assist in understanding the needs of the "other side." Learn how to strategically pick the players to conduct the negotiation. An in-depth discussion will look at techniques and concepts that are likely to work, those that do not, and why most attempts at development agreements are doomed to failure.

Topics include:

  • Common Law Vested Rights
  • Legal Review
  • Development Agreements vs. Vested Maps
  • The Development Agreement Statute
  • Key Terms and Alternative Approaches
  • Considerations in Negotiating the Agreement
  • Contents of an Agreement
  • Testing the Waters
  • Paper Control—Who Drafts the Document?
  • Enforceability
  • How to Implement Agreements
  • What Happens After the Life of an Agreement?

Register at:



The Sac Valley Section is holding its 1st Annual Summer Scholarship Fundraiser—join hosts John Dangberg, Larry Mintier, Jim Harnish, Janet Ruggiero, and David Mogavero in supporting the next generation of planners. Two scholarships will be given to outstanding planning students this year—the annual California Planning Foundation scholarship and our first LEGACY Scholarship, in honor of 2010 LEGACY Award winner Mike Notestine.


  • Midtown office of Mintier Harnish
  • 1415 20th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814


  • July 28, 2011, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm


  • $20 in advance (by July 20, 2011)
  • $25 at the door

Raffle tickets are—5 for $10 │ 10 for $15 │ 20 for $20

Raffle items include gift cards at local restaurants, lunches with planning professionals, and bottles of award-winning wine.

The SVS must raise $2,000—please bring your check book! Credit will be given on the SVS website for those who give $50 or more.

Make checks payable to “SVS-APA” and mail to:

  • Abbott & Kindermann, LLP
  • c/o: Desiree Delonia
  • 2100 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95818

Email your RSVP to ddelonia@aklandlaw.com or phone (916) 456-9595.

If you know you cannot attend, please still consider giving to the SVS scholarship fund by sending in a donation check.

We thank you for your support!

By Cori M. Badgley

The court in Chawanakee Unified School District v. County of Madera (2011, No. F059382) ____ Cal.App.4th ____ faced the difficult task of interpreting an amendment to the School Facilities Act and how it interacts with CEQA as an issue of first impression. The specific provision at issue restricts the “methods of considering and mitigating impacts on school facilities” to the fees provided in the School Facilities Act. (Gov. Code, § 65996(a).) The court held that although this provision obviated the need to discuss direct impacts on school facilities in the CEQA document, the provision did not apply to indirect impacts, such as traffic or construction.

Continue Reading The Devil is in the Details… At Least When it Comes to Interpreting the School Facilities Act