April 2014

Abbott & Kindermann, LLP is pleased to announce that Diane Kindermann will be a member of the faculty for “Wetland Regulation in California,” a continuing education seminar to be held in Sacramento, CA by Lorman Education Services.  As Ms. Kindermann’s guest, you are eligible for 20% off the registration fee!

Continue Reading Please Join Diane Kindermann on May 7, 2014, for a Seminar on Wetland Regulation in California

What: American Planning Association’s 2014 National Planning Conference

When: April 28, 2014 – Takings Law Day
            April 26-30, 2014 – Entire Conference

Where:            Georgia World Congress Center
            285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
            Atlanta, GA 30313

The Takings Law Day (April 28) is for planners, attorneys, and local government officials and covers recent developments, best practices, and the takings big picture. Based on Mr. Hansen’s special expertise in the development of post-Nollan and Dolan case law, he will focus on the development, status, and future of the ‘legislative exception.’

For more information, go to:  http://planning.org/conference/


By William W. Abbott

Eskeland v. City of Del Mar (February 19, 2014) ___Cal.App.4th.___. While most land use debates involve projects of physical substance, even the single family home is capable of generating appellate opinions. The most recent case involves a grant, by the City of Del Mar, of a variance from a front yard setback requirement. The variance was granted so that the owners could construct a new single family home in the footprint of the existing single family home. The history suggested that the existing home was constructed before the current setback standard was adopted. The owner proposed to reconstruct in the same footprint, but would expand the footprint parallel to the front property line. As a result, there would be a linear expansion of the building including new additional square footage to be built within the setback restriction, but no additional perpendicular intrusion into the front yard setback area. The building lot included areas with a 25% slope, and buildable area was limited.

Continue Reading Steep Lot Justified Grant Of A Variance For The Replacement Single Family Home

By William Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Katherine Hart, Glen Hansen, and Brian Russell

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2014 1st Quarter CEQA update. It has been a quiet first quarter. One decision, Lotus v. Department of Transportation includes an interesting analysis on the use of construction commitments as part of the project description or as mitigation measures.

Continue Reading 2014 CEQA 1st QUARTER REVIEW

By Diane G. Kindermann

In a lengthy and unanimous reversal of the trial court on ESA and CEQA issues in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Game, et al. (March 20, 2014, BS131347) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, the second appellate district, Division Five, roundly upheld the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (“department”) certification of an environmental impact report (“EIR”) assessing the effects of a resource management plan, conservation plan, streambed alteration agreement and two incidental take permits, in tandem with approval of each plan and issuance of the associated incidental take permits. The EIR related to general planning and conservation steps resulting from Los Angeles County’s prior approval of a 12,000 acre specific plan and neighboring 1500 acre conservation area in Ventura County. In its textured opinion, the appellate court relied heavily on facts in the trial court record to perforate all arguments raised by the Plaintiffs and Respondents Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, California Native Plant Society, and Wishtoyo Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper.

Continue Reading Appellate Court Shuts Out Trial Court in CEQA/ESA Double Header under Deferential Standard of Review

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

MCLE and American Planning Association continuing education credits offered, pending approval.

MCLE 3.0       CM 3.0

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.

 Cost $85.00

Locations and Times

Lodi – April 17, 2014, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (To Register for the Lodi Location Click Here)

Hampton Inn & Suites – Lodi, 1337 S. Beckman Road, Lodi, CA 95240

Modesto – April 17, 2014, 1:30-4:30 p.m. (To Register for the Modesto Location Click Here)

Double Tree by Hilton – Modesto, 1150 Ninth Street, Modesto, CA 95354

Woodland – April 22, 2014, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (To Register for the Woodland Location Click Here)

Hampton Inn & Suites – Woodland, 2060 Freeway Drive, Woodland, CA 95776

Fairfield – April 22, 2014, 1:30-4:30 p.m. (To Register for the Fairfield Location Click Here)

Hilton Garden Inn – Fairfield, 2200 Gateway Court, Fairfield, CA 94533


By William W. Abbott

The debate over local regulation of plastic bags has triggered three published appellate court decisions. Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach (2011) 52 Cal.4th 155, Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. County of Marin (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 209 and Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City and County of San Francisco (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 863. The current state of environmental politics in Sacramento indicate that an accord has been reached on plastic bags, the result will likely be a set of uniform laws statewide to level the playing field (SB 270). However, an unexpected backlash has developed. With an almost Tea Party like fervor, a series of loose knit groups, callings themselves the Friends of Plastic Bags have surfaced around the state with purpose of qualifying local initiatives preserving the right to use non-reusable plastic bags free from state regulation (and state imposed expense.) A professor specializing in California politics, H. W. Johnson (coincidentally the great grandson of California’s champion of the initiative process, Hiram Johnson) of the University of California Riverside, has been studying this latest political movement. "The motives behind this are very mixed. There is no one simple explanation for what is driving this. For some, the thought of having vegetables in close contact with fruits strikes people as unhealthy, almost like some exotic foreign custom. They just can’t get their heads around it. For others, it’s a backlash against an all-knowing government. For a very small but measureable minority, they think Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are behind the state legislation, which in my opinion puts them in the same league as the Flat Earth Society. However, this is not some wack job movement running rampant in California’s hinterlands, but it is happening in well educated, high income communities like Playa Blanco, Park Terrace, and San Remo. It defies conventional political wisdom. We may be witnessing a significant political sea change in California."

Continue Reading “Pro-Plastic Bag Initiatives Headed to the Ballot? Possible End Run to Pending Legislation.”