April 2013

By Katherine J. Hart

Senate Bill No. 731, Introduced by Senator Darrell Steinberg in February 22, 2013, as amended on April 23, 2013.

I’m the first person to doubt all the chatter about significant CEQA reform. In fact, for reasons I’ll spare you, I’m a complete pessimist when it comes right down to it. But in reviewing Darrell Steinberg’s amended bill, and despite our Governor’s comments in China on the subject last week, I saw a glimmer of hope for some reform.

Continue Reading Steinberg’s Amended CEQA Bill – SB 731-May Have A Chance

Join William Abbott and Kate Hart of Abbott & Kindermann in a new class which ties together best practices for land development projects. This is an advanced class aimed primarily at project managers, engineers, and development consultants. This intense, three hour class interprets and applies: 

  • CEQA
  • Permit Streamlining Act
  • Subdivision Map Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Updating Existing Entitlements

This class is offered pending approval for MCLE and American Planning Association continuing education credits.

William Abbott is a long time practitioner in land use and CEQA law at Abbott & Kindermann, LLP. Kate Hart is senior counsel at Abbott & Kindermann and a practitioner in land use and CEQA law, and has served as a member and chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Central Valley. 

Click here to complete the registration form or call (916) 456-9595 to make your reservation. 

Cost $75.00

 Locations and Times 

Roseville – June 5, 2013, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Courtyard Marriott – Roseville, 401 Creekside Ridge Court, Roseville, CA 95678


Fairfield – June 5, 2013, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Courtyard by Marriott – Fairfield, 1350 Holiday Lane, Fairfield, CA 94534


Manteca – June 12, 2012, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Hampton Inn & Suites – Manteca, 1461 Bass Pro Drive, Manteca, CA 95336


Pleasanton – June 12, 2013, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Residence Inn by Marriott – Pleasanton, 11920 Dublin Canyon Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

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

It is hard to believe that after a tsunami of CEQA decisions in 2012 that there are only three published CEQA cases in the first quarter of 2013. Our advice is to rest up and enjoy the break as there are five cases pending before the California Supreme Court. These include the unusual circumstances limitation on exemptions (Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley); setting the baseline (Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority); application of CEQA to council enactment of measures which qualify as initiatives on local ballots (Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court); and mitigation requirements (City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees, and City of Hayward v. Board of Trustees.)

Continue Reading 2013 CEQA 1st QUARTER REVIEW

By Katherine J. Hart

In Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment v. County of Placer (April 2, 2013, C067961) ___Cal.App.4th ___, the Third District Appellate Court held that California Code of Civil Procedure section 473 does not provide relief from a petitioner’s mistake that resulted in the late filing of a CEQA petition. While the provisions of section 473 are to be liberally construed, the statute cannot be construed to offer relief from mandatory deadlines deemed jurisdictional in nature such as Public Resources Code section 21167.

Continue Reading CCP 473 Does Not Provide Relief For Late Filing Of CEQA Petition

By William W. Abbott

County of Los Angeles v. City of Los Angeles (March 14, 2013, B236732) ___Cal.App.4th ___. The latest illustration of intergovernmental non-cooperation examines the circumstances in which cities can route sewer lines through county rights of way, all without county approval. The facts involve the City of Los Angeles upgrading the capacity of its line to its Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa Del Rey. Serving the coastal portions of the City, the existing 48 inch line was installed in 1958 but lacked the capacity to serve major storm events. The City studied various options for installing a new 54 inch diameter line. Most of the routing would take place in City streets, but one route involved use of public streets and a public parking lot located in the jurisdiction of the County. For environmental reasons, the City ultimately approved the alignment which involved County streets. The County filed a petition for writ of mandate, alleging violations of the Public Utilities Code and CEQA. The trial court rejected the CEQA claim, but granted relief pursuant to the Public Utilities Code claims, effectively holding that County approval was required. The City appealed. The appellate court reversed the trial court.

Continue Reading City May Install Sewer Line in County Right Of Way Without County Permission

By William W. Abbott

Local governments are stunned to learn that over the weekend they were thrown under the bus by the President and Speaker John Boehner. Hidden in the fine language of the new draft federal budget compromise was a presidential suspension of billboard regulation along federal interstate highways. “The result”, said a spokeswoman for the National Association of Counties, Cities and Towns, “is a advertising free fire zone snaking throughout the country on both sides of federally supported highways. The bottom line is that no agency will be able to control the size, type or number of billboard displays. It’s a disgrace. How many billboards does society really need which advertise hair implants for men going bald?”

Continue Reading Breaking Local Government Land Use News: Obama suspends billboard regulations along interstate highways.