January 2013

By Glen C. Hansen

In Wooster v. Department of Fish & Game (2012) 211Cal.App.4th 1020, 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 1250, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District, held that a conservation easement recorded over 30 years ago is not extinguished or rescinded because the California Department of Fish and Game (“Department”) failed to post no hunting and no trespassing signs on the property as required by the conservation easement; nor is the grant of hunting rights to the Department (which allowed the Department to prohibit all hunting in the easement area) inconsistent with the statutes governing conservation easements.

Continue Reading Court Holds That A Hunting Ban Is Unquestionably A Legitimate Aspect And Aim Of A Conservation Easement Granted To The Department Of Fish And Game

Abbott & Kindermann’s 12th Annual Land Use, Real Estate, and Environmental Law Update

Reserve your seat for one of three seminars taking place in 2013.

In January and February 2013 Abbott & Kindermann, LLP will present its 12th annual complimentary educational program for clients and colleagues interested in current land use, environmental, and real estate issues affecting commercial and residential development, agriculture, real estate transactions, easements, mining and the construction materials production industry.

A summary of 2012 case law and legislative updates includes the following hot topics for 2013:

Air Quality and Climate Change: including CEQA Guidelines and Mandatory Reporting
Subdivision Map Extensions
Interpreting Development Agreements
Endangered Species
Water Quality and Wetlands
Water Rights and Supply
Cultural Resources
Renewable Energy
Environmental Enforcement
Hazardous Substance Control and Cleanup
Timber Resources
CEQA Litigation: Baseline, Alternatives Analysis, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies and SB 226 Update

Abbott & Kindermann, LLP will present its annual program at three locations: Sacramento, Modesto and Redding. Details for the seminars are below. We hope you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.

Modesto Conference

Date: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Location: Double Tree Hotel Modesto, 1150 Ninth Street
Registration: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Program: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Redding Conference

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Redding, 5050 Bechelli Lane
Registration: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Program: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sacramento Conference

Date: Friday, February 8, 2013
Location: Sacramento Hilton Arden West, 2200 Harvard Street
Registration: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. with continental breakfast
Program: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

There is no charge for the programs and MCLE and AICP CM credits are available.
*Please note that the hotel does charge for parking.*

An RSVP will be required as space is limited. To reserve a spot, call our office at (916) 456-9595. When calling, please specify which conference you will be attending.

By William W. Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Elizabeth Strahlstrom, Katherine J. Hart, Glen Hansen, and Daniel Cucchi

We are pleased to present our cumulative Fourth Quarter CEQA Review for 2012. In addition to being italicized and bolded, the newest decisions issued in this fourth quarter are underlined and preceded by asterisks (***).

In terms of new developments, OPR is moving forward with its CEQA Guidelines implementing SB 226 (infill streamlining). Will cities embrace these new streamlining provisions?

Continue Reading 2012 CEQA 4th QUARTER REVIEW

By Katherine J. Hart

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (2012) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, considered whether the City of Newport Beach’s (City) proposal to develop the Sunset Ridge Park was reviewed in a piecemeal fashion (separate and apart from the adjacent proposed Banning Ranch project), and whether the environmental impacts of the park (e.g., cumulative traffic and biological resources impacts, growth-inducing impacts, habitat impacts) were sufficiently considered and mitigated by the City in its EIR. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and denial of the writ.

Continue Reading Neither A Shared Access Road Nor The Gnatcatcher Stop Sunset Ridge Park Project Under CEQA

By William W. Abbott

Central Basin Municipal Water District v. Water Replenishment District Of Southern California(2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 943. Notwithstanding CEQA’s pervasive application, there are-on rare occasions-circumstances in which agency action is exempt from CEQA compliance. The most recent example involves a declaration of water emergency approved by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) in the Central Basin in Southern California. WRD manages groundwater for approximately 4,000,000 residents and 43 cities. In 1991, a trial court entered judgment pertaining to groundwater management in the basin. The judgment authorized WRD to declare a water emergency in circumstances in which the basin resources risked degradation. The judgment also included a “physical solution”, a phrase of art in water law, describing a comprehensive program for groundwater management. A consequence of the declaration of emergency is that the time period for extractors to remove and replenish water would be extended into later years.

Continue Reading Declaration of Water Emergency in Furtherance of a Judgment Was Exempt From CEQA

By William W. Abbott

Summit Media LLC v. City of Los Angeles (December 10, 2012, B220198) ___Cal.App.4th ___.

In many situations, the settlement of a lawsuit is a flexible tool to resolve disagreements between parties and allow the participants to move on with their lives. A settlement with a public agency invokes slightly different considerations then a matter resolved exclusively through private parties. As previously noted in Trancas Property Owners Association v. City of Malibu (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 172 , a public agency cannot rely upon a settlement agreement to bypass a required land use approval step.

Continue Reading When A Deal Is Not A Deal