Spaces are still available! William Abbott and Harriet Steiner will teach a joint virtual course on June 26, 2020 titled, “Vested Rights, Vesting Maps and Development Agreements.” The seminar is hosted by UC Davis Extension.

Class Description:

Development agreements are an effective avenue for a community and developer to come together and process a project. Both sides of the table need to carefully consider the terms of these contracts and explore questions of content and performance before completing such an agreement. Learn the legislative and judicial aspects of development agreements.

Examine the legal basis for development agreements and the overlap between agreements and vesting subdivision maps. Participants will learn the negotiation process, identify, and discuss the range of options available when negotiating a development agreement, and review the theoretically possible agreement. Consider the key points of an agreement, learn ways to assist in understanding the needs of the other side and select the players to conduct the negotiation.

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 following the expiration of an agreement

The instructors will also address the 2019 housing legislation which establishes forms of vesting impacting housing projects.

When: Friday, June 26, 2020

Where: Online Class

Cost: $360

Register with the following link: https://extension.ucdavis.edu/section/vested-rights-vesting-maps-and-development-agreements

 Questions, please contact UC Davis Extension at 530-757-8777 or cpeinfo@ucdavis.edu   

William W. Abbott is Of Counsel at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Willow Glen Trestle Conservancy v. City of San Jose, 2020 Cal.App. LEXIS 423 (May 18, 2020)

In a follow up case to the Friends of Willow Glen Trestle v. City of San Jose (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 457 (“Friends”), petitioners challenged the City’s action seeking a new Streambed Alteration Agreement (“SAA”) from the Department of Fish & Wildlife (“DFW”) after the original one had expired. In Friends, the City successfully defended its mitigated negative declaration (“MND”) adopted in support of the City’s trails plan which proposed to demolish the nearly 100 year-old wooden railroad trestle (see AK Blog https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2016/08/articles/ceqa/agencys-historical-resource-determinations-subject-to-deferential-substantial-evidence-review-standard/ ). The primary issue was whether the City had properly determined that the trestle, which was not listed on the California Register of Historical Resources (the “State Register”), was not a historical resource that would require additional environmental review.

A year after the appellate court decision was issued, the California State Historical Resources Commission approved the listing of the trestle on the State Register. That same year, the City’s original SAA approved for the project had expired, and the City now had to submit a new request to DFW. The City submitted the required Notification of Lake or Streambed Alteration for the project in early 2018, and the final SAA was issued in August 2018. Petitioners filed suit seeking an injunction to prevent the demolition of the trestle, arguing the City’s action was a new discretionary approval requiring additional environmental review under CEQA, which by necessity would require the City to now consider the trestle’s existence on the State Register. The trial court denied the petition and the petitioners appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. Petitioners argued that merely seeking and accepting the SAA was itself a discretionary action, because the City always “‘retain[s] discretion to reconsider or alter’ the project.” Thus, under this theory, the decision to seek another SAA was a subsequent discretionary decision to re-approve the project. Relying on the subsequent review principles set forth by the California Supreme Court in Friends of College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937 (see AK Blog https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2017/06/articles/ceqa/ceqa-better-second-time-around/), and CEQA Guidelines section 15162, the court held that the City’s action to seek a new SAA did not trigger new subsequent environmental review. It reasoned that petitioners’ argument was counter to the public policy of favoring finality and efficiency that is embodied in the CEQA Guidelines. (Id. §15162(c) [“Information appearing after an approval does not require reopening of that approval.”].) And because the original approval contemplated the need for the City to acquire an SAA in order to complete the project, the court concluded that the City’s action to seek a new SAA was nothing more than “simply implementing the project that it had already approved in 2014.” (emphasis in original.)

Daniel Cucchi is Senior Associate at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

William Abbott and Harriet Steiner will teach a joint virtual course on June 26, 2020 titled, “Vested Rights, Vesting Maps and Development Agreements.” The seminar is hosted by UC Davis Extension.

Class Description:

Development agreements are an effective avenue for a community and developer to come together and process a project. Both sides of the table need to carefully consider the terms of these contracts and explore questions of content and performance before completing such an agreement. Learn the legislative and judicial aspects of development agreements.

Examine the legal basis for development agreements and the overlap between agreements and vesting subdivision maps. Participants will learn the negotiation process, identify, and discuss the range of options available when negotiating a development agreement, and review the theoretically possible agreement. Consider the key points of an agreement, learn ways to assist in understanding the needs of the other side and select the players to conduct the negotiation.

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 following the expiration of an agreement

The instructors will also address the 2019 housing legislation which establishes forms of vesting impacting housing projects.

When: Friday, June 26, 2020

Where: Online Class

Cost: $360

Register with the following link: https://extension.ucdavis.edu/section/vested-rights-vesting-maps-and-development-agreements

Questions, please contact UC Davis Extension at 530-757-8777 or cpeinfo@ucdavis.edu   

William W. Abbott is Of Counsel at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.’s May Environmental Action News. This summary provides brief updates on recent environmental cases, legislation, and administrative actions beginning in January 2020.

1. PREVIOUS MONTH’S UPDATE

To read the April 2020 Environmental Action News post, click here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/04/articles/ak-news/land-use-law-blog-april-environmental-action-news/ .

2. CASES PENDING AT THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT

There is one case pending at the California Supreme Court. The case and the Court’s summary are as follows:

County of Butte v. Department of Water Resources, S258574. (C071785; 39 Cal.App.5th 708; Yolo County Superior Court; CVCV091258.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal in an action for writ of administrative mandate. This case presents the following issues: (1) To what extent does the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. § 791a et seq.) preempt application of the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) when the state is acting on its own behalf and exercising its discretion in deciding to pursue licensing for a hydroelectric dam project? (2) Does the Federal Power Act preempt state court challenges to an environmental impact report prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act in order to comply with the federal water quality certification under the federal Clean Water Act?

3. UPDATE

A. CALIFORNIA WATER RIGHTS AND SUPPLY

1. King & Gardiner Farms, LLC v. County of Kern (2020) 45 Cal.App.5th 814.

The trial court determined that an EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act for a permit ordinance for oil and gas wells was adequate in some respects and deficient in others. The Court of Appeal reversed and remanded. Instead, finding that an EIR for a permit ordinance for oil and gas wells lacked sufficient mitigation because it improperly deferred and delayed mitigation as to water supply, inadequately discussed uncertain impacts, and did not ensure conversion of agricultural land would be offset. Response to the public comments were lacking on the mitigation issue because there was insufficient reasoned analysis. A complete analysis of this issue was posted to the Abbott and Kindermann blog and located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/03/articles/ceqa/rethinking-the-use-of-ag-conservation-easements-to-the-extent-feasible-phrases-as-mitigation-after-sprawling-fifth-district-ceqa-opinion-on-kern-county-oil-gas-ordinance/ .

2. Coronavirus highlights link between health and clean water.

Even as the novel Coronavirus pandemic emerged, the first bit of advice was to wash your hands. But several studies since have come out highlighting the link between clean water, or lack thereof, and health. Over 40% of the world’s population face constant water scarcity, and everyday nearly 1,000 children die from preventable water/sanitation related diseases. That being said, taking up the first line of defense against COVID-19, washing your hands, has been a challenge in many developing countries. Even with increased efforts in many countries to improve access to water, access to clean water remains inadequate.

For more information see:
http://theconversation.com/coronavirus-spotlights-the-link-between-clean-water-and-health-132731
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51929598

B. WATER QUALITY

1. CA requiring stormwater runoff licenses for certain businesses.

Effective January 1, 2020, businesses are required to provide proof of coverage for operations where a stormwater permit is necessary. Any business that does not have the necessary stormwater permit will need to obtain a temporary license until it obtains full coverage before a standard business license will be granted. A temporary license lasts 90-days and business owners are expected to obtain the stormwater permit during the 90-day period. Businesses subject to a stormwater permit are those mentioned in the standard classification system in the government code. The State Water Resources Control Board implemented a series of resources aimed at guiding business owners through the permitting process.

For more information see:
https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/opinion/10808196-181/opinion-california-storm-water-permit-law
https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/stormwater/sb_205_business_license_requirements.html

2. Delta Stewardship Council Cases (2020) 2020 Cal.App.LEXIS 402.

An unpublished opinion in the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed the resource plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on twelve of thirteen causes of action alleged by plaintiffs. The Court held that the only argument that required further agency action was where the Delta Plan failed to promote options for new and improved infrastructure relating to water conveyance, storage systems, and operations. The Court remanded the case to the trial court to further evaluate whether a revised Delta Plan corrected the errors identified. The Court further held that the fees for prevailing parties under CCP Section 1021.5 required specific guidance. A complete analysis of the implications of this holding are posted to Abbott and Kindermann’s blog located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/05/articles/ak-news/i-lost-92-of-my-case-can-i-still-get-ccp-1021-5-attorneys-fees-a-case-study-from-the-third-appellate-district/ .

3. County of Maui v. Wildlife Fund, 139 S.Ct. 1164 (2020).

A complete analysis of this recent SCOTUS decision is posted to Abbott and Kindermann’s blog located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/05/articles/point-source-pollution-definition-further-expanded-by-u-s-supreme-court/ .

C. WETLANDS

1. Trump Administration’s New “Waters of the United States” Rule Published In The Federal Register On April 21, 2020.

On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers under the Trump Administration proposed a new definition of the “Waters of the United States.” Under the new “WOTUS” rule, the agencies exempt water features such as 1) seasonal ephemeral water features, 2) groundwater, 3) ditches, 4) roadside or farm ditches, 5) prior converted cropland, 6) stormwater control features, and waste treatment systems from that definition and, therefore, from U.S. jurisdiction. The agencies cite state and tribal definitions that adequately cover other waters not listed as a justification for creating so many exemptions. The Trump Administration’s WOTUS rule directs the federal government, states, and tribes to create a database to list bodies of water under the rule’s jurisdiction. Nearly every environmental organization and several states expressed their outrage for the proposed rule citing several sections where the rule does not comport with the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. President Trump’s WOTUS rule will replace the 2015 rule, and a final rule was published on April 21, 2020 with full implementation to occur on June 22, 2020.

For more information see:
https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/420308-epa-to-re-write-definition-to-shrink-pollution-protections-on
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-energy/2018/12/11/its-wotus-day-449593
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/long-awaited-wotus-rule-addresses-uncertainty-may-face-litigation-ahead
https://www.feedstuffs.com/news/epa-proposes-new-wotus-rule

2. Trump Administration Takes Executive Action On Federal Central Valley Water Allocations.

A complete analysis of the Trump Administration’s memorandum seeking additional water for the Central Valley Project was posted to the Abbott and Kindermann blog, and located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/04/articles/water-quality-wetlands-clean-water-act/trump-administration-takes-executive-action-on-federal-central-valley-water-allocations/ .

D. AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

1. Trump’s Administration on Clean Car Rollback.

On March 31, 2020, the EPA finalized the Safe Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) rule. The rule completes a two-part rollback of the Obama-Era clean car standards, which mandates a fuel economy increase by 5% annually. The SAFE rule mandates the automakers increase fuel standards by 1.5%. The first part of the SAFE rule removed California’s waiver of clean air emission standards, which allowed the state to set more stringent tailpipe pollution rules on all automobiles sold within the state. The second part of the SAFE rule implements the 1.5% increase in fuel economy for future auto manufacturing. The action by the Trump administration and EPA resulted in an immediate legal challenge by the State of California and several environmental groups nationwide.

For more information see:
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1062750601
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/31/trump-epa-obama-clean-car-rules-climate-change
https://www.forbes.com/sites/margooge/2020/03/31/trumps-clean-cars-rollback-a-first-test-of-our-post-coronavirus-society/#79918d567591
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/04/trumps-epa-clean-car-standards-rollback-lies.html

2. Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District (2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 588.

A complete analysis of this opinion related to approval of an EIR related to pollution emissions was posted to the Abbott and Kindermann blog, and located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/04/articles/ceqa/second-district-court-of-appeal-upholds-eir-for-revisions-to-operating-permit-of-oil-refinery-facility-finding-1-districts-consistency-with-federal-peak-baseline-was-sup/ .

3. United States v. California, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43422 (E.D. Cal., March 12, 2020).

A complete analysis of this opinion related California’s win in a partial summary judgment over California-Quebec’s Cap-and-Trade Program was posted to the Abbott and Kindermann blog, and located here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/03/articles/ak-news/california-wins-partial-summary-judgment-over-california-quebecs-cap-and-trade-agreement-buoying-californias-landmark-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction-program/ .

E. RENEWABLE ENERGY

1. California solar mandate not required.

California’s solar mandate, effective January 1, 2020, required most new single family homes or low-rise apartments to install solar panels on the rooftops. Seven weeks later, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) approved an application to allow an off-site “community solar” project to power single family homes. The approval essentially cancels out the need for builders to install solar on each new house and provides developers with a larger array of options to meet the solar mandate.

For more information see:
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2020-02-19/californias-solar-mandate-may-not-require-one-on-every-roof
https://www.archlighting.com/news/california-loosens-solar-panel-mandate-to-allow-off-site-installations_s
https://www.tdworld.com/grid-innovations/generation-and-renewables/article/20971261/california-becomes-first-state-to-order-solar-on-new-homes

F. ENDANGERED SPECIES

1. CDFW issues take permits for the endangered Delta Smelt.

As the Delta Smelt enters is second life cycle with zero reported sightings, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued an incidental take permit (take permit) for operations related to the State Water Project. The take permit covers four species of endangered fish including: Delta smelt, Longfin smelt, Winter-run Chinook salmon, and spring-run Chinook salmon. The Delta smelt is arguably one of the most controversial fish species on the ESA list. In a public statement, the CDFW stated that issuance of a take permit would strike a balance between the health of the Delta and necessary infrastructure projects. CDFW further stated that the permit provides an adaptive water management program where if the ecosystem is in jeopardy CDFW can adjust the strategy for infrastructure development.

For more information see:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/04/01/18832051.php

G. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND REMEDIATION

1. Where is all the wastewater going?

The solar power industry has experienced significant growth between 2015 and 2020, sparked by favorable incentives with the renewable portfolio standard targets and tax credits. Now, California is facing the rapid increase of end-of-life solar panels, despite SB 489’s passage which helps facilitate collection and processing of these materials. Part of the issue stems from an ambiguity in the law, making it uncertain whether photovoltaic panels are considered hazardous waste. Stakeholders are pushing for more definitive legal action and language to help them find means for disposing, recycling, or reusing older solar panel material.

For more information see:
https://www.waste360.com/solar/what-s-happening-growing-volume-wasted-solar-panels
https://www.waste360.com/solar/california-pushes-solar-panel-waste-policy
https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/solar-power-industry/

H. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (“NEPA”)

1. CEQ submits modifications to NEPA.

In January 2020, The Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking with extensive changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The changes include a new timeline for NEPA review, increased coordination between stakeholders and relevant agencies, and redefining the scope of NEPA. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were accepted until March 10, 2020. Significant changes to the act include: 1) redefining what constitutes a “major federal action” initiating NEPA review, 2) minimizing the range of alternatives a project needs to consider before deciding on the most technically and economically feasible option, 3) limiting identification of effects of a project to only direct effects on the environment from a project potentially excluding all climate change analysis, 4) provides vague guidance in defining mitigation as part of a complete mitigation plan, 5) adds page limits to environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, 6) shortens the timeframe for NEPA review from project implementation to approval, and 7) provides a series of exemptions for projects non-federal in nature or covered by other statutes among other things. The proposed rule also seeks to codify a series of documents including judicial interpretations, presidential directives, guidance documents, and non-active legislation. CEQ must now take the comments provided by the public, address them, and then codify a finalized rule.

For more information see:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq/nepa-modernization/
https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=31c9dab3-87fb-4a83-8abd-4bdd7bcd7468
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/trump-administration-proposes-sweeping-reforms-to-national-environmental-policy-act
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/trump-administration-proposes-unprecedented-and-comprehensive-revisions-to-nepa
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/revisions-to-nepa-proposed-to-unlock-american-investment

I. MINING, OIL, AND GAS

1. Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. BNSF Railway. Inc., 951 F.3d 1142 (9th Cir. Mar. 4, 2020).

In 2011, the Swinomish Indian Tribe learned that BNSF Railway Co. (“BNSF”) was violating a right-of-way agreement, issued to BNSF under the Indian Right of Way Act. The right-of-way incorporated terms of an easement agreement between the parties, which BNSF was violating by running more trains and cars across the reservation than permitted by its terms. BNSF also had failed to submit the required annual cargo reports to the Tribe, and as a result, the Swinomish brought suit in district court. The court of appeals granted interlocutory review and affirmed the district court’s holding, finding that summary judgement was properly granted to the Tribe in its action to enforce an easement. It reasoned that the Interstate Commerce commission Termination Act did not repeal the Indian Right of Way Act and did not defeat the Tribe’s right to enforce conditions in a right-of-way easement.

J. ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT

1. EPA suspends all enforcement actions during COVID pandemic.

In late March the EPA announced they would be suspending a number of environmental enforcement actions during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many state, local, and regional public officials expressed extreme concern about the EPA’s administrative action stating that the pandemic spotlights the need to prioritize public health and safety, of which environmental enforcement is key. The EPA’s reasoning for suspending enforcement stated industries were likely to experience difficulty complying with enforcement measures as a result of travel and social distancing restrictions. Many regional agencies throughout California have halted non-essential inspections and reporting requirements. However, the same agencies continue to enforce critical land use enforcement as well as appropriately respond to hazardous materials incidents. Among those industries requesting relaxation of reporting and compliance standards was the oil and gas industry citing staffing problems from illness and a lack of social distance assurances. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated the order was open ended and backdated to March 13th. The order further stated that the industries must take reasonable practical compliance measures and where businesses cannot comply with enforcement actions, they must demonstrate where there was an attempt to reduce the harm as well as tie the violations back to coronavirus impacts. The Agency also expects public water systems not to relax any water standards so as to ensure that public water supply remains at potable standards for consumption. EPA further stated that superfund and other hazardous and solid waste management reporting requirements are not exempt since enforcement in these areas is of critical importance.

In May, Administrator Wheeler appeared before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and defended the decision by the administration. During his time before the Senate, Administrator Wheeler also spoke of what he considered an “impressive list of more than 60 deregulatory actions” taken by the EPA during the Trump Administration. When pressed by various Senate Democrats as to why the agency did not seek additional information as to why industry stakeholders could not comply with enforcement during the pandemic, Administrator Wheeler stated that the action simply allows companies to cite the pandemic if they are unable to comply but does not allow for increased pollution. Prior to the hearing in the Senate Committee, ranking member Thomas Carper of Delaware released a report emphasizing the connection between air pollution, the COVID-19 infection and death rates and lower income and minority communities. At the conclusion of the hearing, Administrator Wheeler stated the EPA would further look into the connection between air pollution and the pandemic.

For more information see:
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-03-27/epa-suspends-enforcement-amid-coronavirus
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/politics/epa-coronavirus-pandemic/index.html
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/489753-epa-suspends-enforcement-of-environmental-laws-amid-coronavirus
https://www.rollcall.com/2020/05/20/epas-wheeler-defends-pandemic-moves-as-markey-demands-apology/ 

William Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Glen Hansen, and Dan Cucchi are attorneys at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

The Supreme Court further expanded the scope of permitting requirements for point source pollution under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) in a case involving discharge liability to the County of Maui, Hawaii. The County operated four water treatment wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility and used the wells as groundwater injection locations for treated effluent wastewater. The County operates all four wells at a treatment rate of 2 to 5 million gallons of treated effluent wastewater per day. The County admitted that at least two of its injection wells had a known release of treated effluent wastewater. The County further concurred that if the groundwater treatment wells were connected to a Water of the United States (“WOTUS”), a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit would be required to discharge it into the ocean, because discharge of pollutants from one-point source into a navigable WOTUS requires a NPDES permit under the CWA. However, the County failed to obtain a NPDES permit for the four wells. In the County’s opinion, because the treated wastewater filtered through an alleged series of indirect channels and pathways before reaching the ocean, there would be no discharge liability under the CWA.

The U.S. District Court held that under the CWA the County: (1) indirectly discharged into the ocean through a groundwater conduit; (2) the groundwater is a point source under the CWA; and (3) the groundwater is a navigable water under the CWA. The Court of Appeal affirmed the District Court’s adoption of the plurality view of the “Waters of the United States” in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006). Justice Scalia in Rapanos stated the CWA does not discern between direct and indirect point sources, and liability for both is clear under the statute. The justices of the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Scalia’s interpretation of liability for both indirect and direct point sources.

In the case at issue, the Ninth Circuit held that the County may not build an ocean outfall for an indirect point source without obtaining a NPDES permit to avoid CWA liability. “The appeals court wrote that a permit is required when ‘the pollutants are fairly traceable from the point source to a navigable water such that the discharge is the functional equivalent of a discharge into the navigable water.’” Hawai’i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, 886 F.3d 737, 749 (2018) (emphasis added).

On February 19, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted limited review of the case. The Court agreed only to hear the first cause of action: whether the County indirectly discharged into the ocean through a groundwater conduit. Oral argument took place on November 6, 2019, and the Court took arguments under submission. The Court considered competing arguments over whether the Ninth Circuit’s “fairly traceable” standard should apply before a point source reaches a navigable water or whether there is a “bright-line test” where one non-point source severs the continual connection to a navigable water. In a 6-3 opinion, the Court reasoned that a middle ground existed between the parties’ arguments. The statutory language allowed for a narrower interpretation than the Ninth Circuit’s ruling which is also significantly broader than “total exclusion of all discharges through groundwater.”

The opinion, written by Justice Breyer, likened the middle ground for regulating a discharge into groundwater that flows into a navigable water as a “functional equivalent of a direct discharge.” Under this reasoning, the Court held that a party who discharges pollutants into a groundwater table that directly flows into a navigable water needs to obtain a NPDES permit as outlined in the CWA. The Court’s expansion of the regulation of groundwater discharge was issued on the heels of the EPA’s finalized WOTUS rule which limited the definition of navigable waters to only surface waters and connected, free flowing streams, rivers, and tributaries that flow to the ocean. EPA clearly articulated its desire to exclude groundwater from the WOTUS rule. The County of Maui further argued this point to the Court to no avail. As the majority of the justices stated, allowing a limited scope for permitting discharge pollutants only connected by surface water would leave considerable backchannels for polluters to avoid liability not directly releasing into surface water. Justice Breyer left flexibility for the states to implement and regulate the issuance of permits under their authority.

As Justice Roberts articulated, the “functional equivalency” test requires further clarification to guide lower courts. As such, the Court remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit to further consider the parameters for a “functional equivalency” test and further executive branch rulemaking may follow. The Court’s decision upends the newly adopted WOTUS rule and definition, and now requires the Ninth Circuit to redefine the “functional equivalency” test to avoid a barrage of fact specific cases in the federal courts.

Diane Kindermann Henderson is a shareholder at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

 

Cty. of Maui v. Haw. Wildlife Fund_ 206 L. Ed. 2d 640

Delta Stewardship Council Cases (Cal.Ct.App., April 10, 2020, cases nos. C082944, C086199) 2020 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 2279.

In an unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s ruling that reduced the amount in attorney’s fees a plaintiff could collect under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 after prevailing on only 1 out of 13 issues presented by the plaintiff to the trial court. The unpublished case is instructive in that it addresses an issue that frequently occurs in writ of mandamus cases: How does a court consider and resolve the attorney’s fees request of a plaintiff that prevails on only a portion of the claims presented and argued?

The case concerned the management and resource availability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (“Delta”). As part of the case on the merits, the trial court rejected 12 of the 13 causes of action Plaintiff C-WIN alleged against Defendant The Delta Stewardship Council (“Council”) claiming that the Delta Plan was deficient. The only argument not rejected by the Court was that the Delta Plan failed to promote options for new and improved infrastructure relating to the water conveyance in the Delta, storage systems, and for the operation of both. The trial court stated that the Council could satisfy the requirements of Water Code section 85304 by either adopting regulations or recommendations.

After judgment was entered, C-WIN filed a motion under section 1021.5, seeking $1,440,713.00 in fees and costs, which included a request to apply a 2.0 multiplier to the lodestar. Council opposed the motion on the ground that C-WIN did not achieve its litigation objectives, as it was unsuccessful on 12 of its 13 arguments claiming the Delta Plan was deficient and only won a de minimis victory on its water conveyance claim. The Council also argued that a multiplier was not warranted, that C-WIN requested an unreasonable hourly rate of $600 per hour for two attorneys, that C-WIN was not entitled to recover fees for time spent on CEQA issues, and that C-WIN was improperly attempting to “qualify for fees” by claiming credit for work performed by other petitioners on a certain issue (the Council argued that C-WIN incorporated by reference the arguments made by other petitioners and did not contribute anything of substance to that issue). The trial court held that C-WIN was entitled to recovery under 1021.5, but that recovery was reduced to only those claims/arguments that C-WIN was successful on. The trial court agreed with the Council that the requested fee award should be reduced by 12/13ths to reflect that C-WIN was unsuccessful on the majority of its “arguments/claims.” The trial court further found that $600 an hour for two of C-WIN’s attorneys was unreasonable and because the court did not reach the merits of a single CEQA cause of action. Lastly, the trial court held that the multiplier was too excessive and reasoned that a 1.5 multiplier to the lodestar was more appropriate. In total, the trial court awarded C-WIN $94,698.33.

On appeal, C-WIN argued that the trial court erred in the fee award as several of its arguments were so “intertwined and intimately related” that it achieved “full success” on its objective to invalidate the Delta Plan. In counter to C-WIN’s argument, the Council argued that C-WIN achieved only a “technical win” since the ultimate objective for C-WIN was to require the Council to adopt a new plan and this objective was not met. The Council cross-appealed on the ground that the trial court erred in applying a 1.5 multiplier to the lodestar in calculating the fee award. The Court of Appeal found no error in the trial court’s ruling on the attorneys’ fees.

Under §1021.5, a party may be awarded attorney’s fees on claims of “public interest if: (a) a significant benefit, whether pecuniary or nonpecuniary, has been conferred on the general public or a large class of persons, (b) the necessity and financial burden of private enforcement . . . are such as to make the award appropriate, and (c) such fees should not in the interest of justice be paid out of the recovery, if any.” The lodestar and multiplier are reflective of the reasonable value of the representation and results obtained. The party seeking fees has the burden of proving what is a reasonable value.

On appeal, C-WIN argued that the trial court’s reduction of the award by 12/13ths was inconsistent with the substantive law of section 1021.5, and an abuse of discretion. The Court of Appeal disagreed. The appellate court recognized that the degree or extent of the prevailing party’s success in obtaining the results sought by that party “must be taken into consideration” in determining the extent of attorney’s fees which it would be reasonable for that party to recover.  The Court of Appeal applied a two-part analysis to assess whether a partial victory was reasonably consistent with the trial court’s recovery award. The first step includes evaluating what claims relate to party’s success and if there is “a common core of facts or are based on related legal theories.” If successful and unsuccessful claims are related, the court proceeds to the second step, which requires the trial court to evaluate the degree of significance of the overall relief obtained by the plaintiff in relation to the hours reasonably expended on the litigation. A court may identify specific hours that should be eliminated or simply reduce the award to account for the limited success of a claimant.

In applying this two-part process, the Court of Appeal determined that C-WIN failed to prove that the trial court erred in reducing the requested fee award based on limited success. The appellate court rejected C-WIN’s contention that its unsuccessful arguments for setting aside the Delta Plan were related to its successful argument. “The unsuccessful arguments were not merely different legal theories attempting to achieve the same result as the successful argument. Rather, the unsuccessful arguments intended to remedy alleged deficiencies in the Delta Plan entirely distinct and separate from the deficiency on which its successful argument was premised.” The Court also noted how C-WIN shifted in what it considered to be the “central objective” of its lawsuit. Also, the Court pointed out that “C-WIN devoted 34 pages of its merits brief to arguing that the Delta Plan was deficient,” and “[f]our of those pages discuss the issue of water conveyance, and nothing in the brief suggests that this issue was more important than any of the other 12 arguments claiming the Delta Plan was deficient. The Court was not persuaded by C-WIN’s contention that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to consider the litigation objectives disclosed in C-WIN’s petition.

The Council requested the Court of Appeal reject the multiplier to the lodestar since the trial court failed to “state a rational basis” for it. The Court rejected this argument since the Council did not raise the issue when the trial court released its tentative opinion. The court stated that the record established that the parties were aware of the factors the trial court used to justify the 1.5 multiplier and failed to object to the tentative opinion.

William Abbott is Of Counsel and Glen Hansen is Senior Counsel at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.’s Inaugural Real Estate Law Action News. This summary provides a follow-up to the Abbott & Kindermann Land Use Conference and Outline provided in January 2020 with new case summaries from 2020.

  1. PREVIOUS MONTH’S UPDATE

Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., will begin providing a monthly review for real estate law starting in May 2020. Check back next month for a summary of this month’s Real Estate Law Action News.

  1. CASES PENDING AT THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT

There is one case pending at the California Supreme Court. The case and the Court’s summary are as follows:

Weiss v. People ex rel. Dept. of Transportation, S248141.  (G052735; 20 Cal.App.5th 1156; Orange County Superior Court; 30-2012-00605637.)  Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action.  This case presents the following issue:  Can the procedure permitted by Code of Civil Procedure section 1260.040 be used in an inverse condemnation action to determine in advance of a bench trial whether a taking or damaging of private property has occurred?

  1. UPDATE

A. TAKINGS

  1. Ruiz v. County of San Diego (2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 504.

The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s determination that a homeowner could claim redress by inverse condemnation against a county if their private drainage system allowed for flow of public water. The Court of Appeal considered whether privately owned drainage on private property allows for homeowner remedies by inverse condemnation if the water in the private pipeline is for public use. Plaintiff/Appellee Ruiz (“Ruiz”), claimed that because the developer offered the County of San Diego (“County”) a dedicated easement to allow for public drainage in 1959 and the County turned down the easement, Ruiz could recover for water damage as a result in the pipeline leaking on Ruiz’s property. Ruiz claimed that the County’s use of the drainage system as part of the Valley drainage system constituted an acceptance of the drainage easement offered in 1959. The Court of Appeal, citing Locklin v. City of Lafayette,       7 Cal.4th 327 (1994), held that the County’s use of the Ruiz pipe did not meet the requirements for inverse condemnation since the County needed to exert minimal control and maintenance over the watercourse near the Ruiz property in order for the County to be held liable for damage caused by streamflow. The Court of Appeal found Ruiz’s arguments unpersuasive since there was no evidence that the County controlled or even owned any portion of the private pipeline. The Court, thus, held that Ruiz lacked substantial evidence to prove that the County had taken their private property for a public use. The Court reversed the award of attorney’s fees to Ruiz and held that each party should bear their own attorneys fees on appeal.

B. GENERAL REAL ESTATE

  1. Jeppson v. Ley (2020) 44 Cal.App.5th 845.

Among one of the more colorful neighbor disputes in 2020, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny redress to Appellant, Jeppson, since there was no issue of “public interest” involved in a neighborhood feud where appellant’s cat was killed by appellee’s dog. The Court evaluated whether Jeppson’s claims arose from protected activity and then measured the likelihood of success on each claim as part of Jeppson’s summary judgment motion. A protective activity would grant relief to plaintiff in connection with an issue within the public interest. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 425.16, subd. (e)(3).) The Court evaluated six criteria outlined in Rand Resources, LLC v. City of Carson (2019) 6 Cal.5th 610; Rivero v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 913; Weinberg v. Feisel (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1122; Workman v. Colichman (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 1039; Abuemeira v. Stephens (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 1291; and FilmOn.com Inc. v. DoubleVerify Inc. (2019) 7 Cal.5th 133, to determine if the Jeppson’s claims were in fact within the “public interest.” The criteria were as follows:

  • Statements or conduct concerning a person or entity in the public eye,
  • Conduct that could directly affect a large number of people,
  • A topic of widespread public interest,
  • Whether the issues affect only those directly involved,
  • Gathering ammunition for a private controversy, and
  • Where issues are too remotely connected to the public conversation to assert the issue within the public interest.

The Court reasoned that the claims at issue between Jeppson and Ley did not meet the criteria outlined in any of the above categories because, among other reasons, the use of a website to seek more ammunition to continue the clash did not otherwise inflate this private squabble amongst two neighbors into a matter of widespread public interest. The Court stated, “Feuds can metastasize into the Hatfields and McCoys or the Montagues and Capulets. This tiff, though bitter, remained strictly local: a private affair and not a matter of “public interest.” The Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of Lay and awarded costs on appeal to Jeppson.

  1. Kelly v. House (2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 384 (modified for partial publication, April 1, 2020).

The Court of Appeal awarded statutory attorneys fees to Appellant for the trespass and conversion on to Appellant’s agricultural property because the damaged land resulted in loss of organic certification status and prevention of prospective buyers’ right of first refusal. Plaintiffs, the Houses, appealed the decision of the trial court denying their claims for attorney’s fees against the Fosses for trespass and conversion of their property. The Court of Appeal considered: (1) whether the Fosses entering the Houses’ leased property and spraying pesticide jeopardized the fragile organic farming certification held by the Houses, and (2) whether such claims gave rise to an award of attorney’s fees. Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.9 provides: “In any action to recover damages to personal or real property resulting from trespassing on lands either under cultivation or intended or used for the raising of livestock, the prevailing plaintiff shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees in addition to other costs, and in addition to any liability for damages imposed by law.” Defendant argued that the Houses could not recover under Section 1021.9 for attorneys fees because the majority of their fees related back to other claims and did not represent the actual fees incurred for the trespass claims. The Court held that the Houses could recover attorneys fees under the statute because the statute was intended to protect farmers from illegal trespasses to their land and the other related claims may be sufficiently “intertwined, that it would be impracticable, if not impossible, to separate [the fees for each claim].” The Court remanded the case to the trial court to determine the amount of reasonableness of the Houses’ attorney’s fees under section 1021.9 as it relates to the trespass claim and determine whether apportionment is appropriate under the circumstances.

C. COMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENTS

  1. Aldea Dos Vientos v. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. (2020) 44 Cal.App.5th 1073.

In a construction defect case before the Second District Court of Appeal, the Court reversed the trial court’s confirmation of the arbitrator’s award for the project developer in a lawsuit with the condominium association (“association”). The Court of Appeal concluded that the requirement in the association’s governing documents that a majority vote of members must vote in favor of binding arbitration prior to beginning, and that the arbitrator’s rejection of a ratifying vote of the association constituted an “unreasonable servitude” under Code of Civil Procedure section 1286.2, subdivision (a)(4). As the Court reasoned, the arbitrator’s award violated the public policy embodied in the statute because it gives a developer standing to assert a clause intended to protect the association’s members as a bar to rights of the association. The Court reversed the trial court’s decision and awarded costs to the appellant.

D. REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS & TRANSACTIONS

  1. Victrola 89, LLC v. Jaman Properties 8 LLC (2020) 46 Cal.App.5th 337.

On appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court’s denial of Appellants’, Jaman Properties 8 LLC (“Jaman”), motion to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). Victrola 89, LLC (“Victrola”) brought suit against Jaman in superior court alleging undisclosed and unrepaired defects in a real property transaction. Under the real estate purchase agreement between the parties, Jaman moved for arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act, which the trial court denied finding that the California Arbitration Act (“CAA”) controls arbitration between the parties. The appellate court held that the FAA preempts procedural provisions otherwise controlled by the CAA if the purchase agreement between the parties incorporates the FAA on its face. The real estate purchase agreement between the parties expressly stated that the FAA would control. The Court held that Victrola’s piecemeal arguments of which sections of the CAA should control and which of the FAA should control in arbitration were unpersuasive. It reasoned that the lack of specificity in the contract for which claims should be arbitrated under the CAA and under the FAA was immaterial since the agreement’s incorporation of the FAA meant that the FAA preempts the CAA and controls. Thus, the Court held that Victrola must arbitrate its claims under the FAA unless the trial court is able to find that Jaman is estopped from doing so as a result of Jaman’s reliance on provisions of the CAA earlier in the litigation and remanded the case back to the trial court to make that determination.

E. EASEMENTS, ADVERSE POSSESSION, DEDICATIONS, & BOUNDARY DISPUTES

  1. Gamerberg v. 3000 E. 11th St., LLC (2020) 44 Cal.App.5th 424.

The Second District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court ruling holding that irrevocable licenses tied to a 1950 parking affidavit do not survive transfers of the property to different owners without notice. The dispute between parties arose when it became unclear who had a right to eight parking spaces on a lot between two commercial business owners. Plaintiff, Gamerberg, filed a complaint in the trial court alleging that he held an irrevocable license over eight spaces in the lot based on a 1950 parking affidavit grandfathering his use of the spaces. The Court examined whether the 1950 affidavit created an irrevocable license binding on subsequent purchasers who had no notice of the affidavit. The Court held that because the 1950 affidavit was not recorded meant that the document did not bind subsequent purchasers who had no actual notice of the provisions in the affidavit. The Court reversed the trial court’s ruling and awarded costs to 3000 E. 11st St., LLC.

  1. Madani v. Rabinowitz (2020) 45 Cal.App.5th 602.

In a suit based on claims of trespass and negligence when defendant, Rabinowitz, erected a fence and continually parked inoperable cars on plaintiff Madani’s property, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed that the fence and parked cars were continuing encroachments. It held that since the fence and parked cars were a continuing encroachment, the statute of limitations did not apply and the Court could review the case subject to independent review of the facts. The appellate court also agreed with the trial court that costs to move the fence were insufficient to warrant leaving the fence as a permanent structure. It noted that Rabinowitz replaced the fence in 2015 and could move the fence for a modest cost. The Court further held that Madani could not recover costs because they did not present sufficient evidence to justify a damages award. It reasoned that since the trial court granted injunctive relief, that was sufficient to deny an award of monetary damages and ruled both parties shall split costs.

William Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Glen Hansen, and Dan Cucchi are attorneys at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Daniel Cucchi was a panelist on the April 30, 2020, virtual brown bag webinar titled, “Planning through the COVID-19 crisis: How are we adapting in these uncertain times?”. The seminar was hosted by APACA – Sacramento Valley Section and can now be viewed by clicking here.

Webinar Description:

Join us for a free webinar hosted by Sacramento Valley Section and the APA California Chapter to hear how public, private, legal, and technology practitioners are adapting to the disruption associated with COVID-19 crisis. Learn about the tools, practices, and strategies that our panelists have deployed in working through the “temporary normal.” We will also discuss how the Governor’s executive orders and directives affect the legal requirements for planning timelines and public engagement. Curious about which technology platforms can help us perform our jobs and stay connected to our communities? We will learn about that too!

Thursday, April 30th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Panelists

Yassi Sarvian, Director, APA Sacramento Valley Section (Moderator)

Tom Pace, Interim Director, City of Sacramento, Community Development Department

Daniel Cucchi, JD, Senior Associate, Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.

Wendy Nowak, AICP, Principal, PlaceWorks

Daniel Friedman, PhD, Partner, Remotor Consulting Group

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuSWXdI-4VI&feature=youtu.be

Daniel Cucchi is a senior associate at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Daniel Cucchi will be a panelist on the April 30, 2020, virtual brown bag webinar titled, “Planning through the COVID-19 crisis: How are we adapting in these uncertain times?”. The seminar is hosted by APACA – Sacramento Valley Section and will take place from 1:00- 2:00pm.

Webinar Description:

Join us for a free webinar hosted by Sacramento Valley Section and the APA California Chapter to hear how public, private, legal, and technology practitioners are adapting to the disruption associated with COVID-19 crisis. Learn about the tools, practices, and strategies that our panelists have deployed in working through the “temporary normal.” We will also discuss how the Governor’s executive orders and directives affect the legal requirements for planning timelines and public engagement. Curious about which technology platforms can help us perform our jobs and stay connected to our communities? We will learn about that too!

Thursday, April 30th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Panelists

Yassi Sarvian, Director, APA Sacramento Valley Section (Moderator)

Tom Pace, Interim Director, City of Sacramento, Community Development Department

Daniel Cucchi, JD, Senior Associate, Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.

Wendy Nowak, AICP, Principal, PlaceWorks

Daniel Friedman, PhD, Partner, Remotor Consulting Group

APA Members have priority registration, and space is limited to the first 500 that register.

Non-APA Members may register on a space-available basis beginning at 9:00am Today.

REGISTER: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6135000411355909643

For questions, please contact Jeni Tickler at jeni@proeventsjt.com

For further information on the Sacramento Valley Section of APACA see link here: http://www.svsapa.org/. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions as well.

I look forward to meeting you there!

Daniel Cucchi is a senior associate at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Daniel Cucchi will be a panelist on the April 30, 2020, virtual brown bag webinar titled, “Planning through the COVID-19 crisis: How are we adapting in these uncertain times?”. The seminar is hosted by APACA – Sacramento Valley Section and will take place from 1:00- 2:00pm.

Webinar Description:

Join us for a free webinar hosted by Sacramento Valley Section and the APA California Chapter to hear how public, private, legal, and technology practitioners are adapting to the disruption associated with COVID-19 crisis. Learn about the tools, practices, and strategies that our panelists have deployed in working through the “temporary normal.” We will also discuss how the Governor’s executive orders and directives affect the legal requirements for planning timelines and public engagement. Curious about which technology platforms can help us perform our jobs and stay connected to our communities? We will learn about that too!

Thursday, April 30th

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Panelists

Yassi Sarvian, Director, APA Sacramento Valley Section (Moderator)

Tom Pace, Interim Director, City of Sacramento, Community Development Department

Daniel Cucchi, JD, Senior Associate, Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.

Wendy Nowak, AICP, Principal, PlaceWorks

Daniel Friedman, PhD, Partner, Remotor Consulting Group

APA Members have priority registration, and space is limited to the first 500 that register.

Non-APA Members may register on a space-available basis beginning at 9:00am on Thursday, April 30th.

REGISTER: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6135000411355909643

For questions, please contact Jeni Tickler at jeni@proeventsjt.com

For further information on the Sacramento Valley Section of APACA see link here: http://www.svsapa.org/. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions as well.

I look forward to meeting you there!

Daniel Cucchi is a senior associate at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.