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Tips to Ensure You Exhaust Your Administrative Remedies and Don’t Get Ensnared by Res Judicata. CEQA is a common tool used to oppose development by interested parties. For example, environmental groups may comment on a project through the CEQA process to ensure impacts are avoided and adequately mitigated.  NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) may use CEQA to stop development or decrease the magnitude of development by citing traffic impacts, inconsistency with a City’s Land Use Plan,…
1. Does the City or County’s Zoning allow for the improvement or development intended for the Opportunity Zone?  The current zoning and general plan requirements of the property should be analyzed prior to acquisition. Any planned general plan or community plan updates by the City or County should be evaluated given the ten-year time span required to hold the opportunity fund zone investment to reach forgiveness for additional capital gains. A change to the general…
1. Does the City or County’s Zoning allow for the improvement or development intended for the Opportunity Zone?  The current zoning and general plan requirements of the property should be analyzed prior to acquisition. Any planned general plan or community plan updates by the City or County should be evaluated given the ten-year time span required to hold the opportunity fund zone investment to reach forgiveness for additional capital gains. A change to the general…
Private parties who plan to jump into a real property transaction with a public agency should be aware that their deal could be impacted or held up by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  If not fully informed of the recent legal developments pertaining to CEQA compliance and real property, parties may find themselves unable to close the deal on time or caught up in lengthy and costly litigation.  The important takeaway from this article…
Last month, the Supreme Court, in the case Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (2018) 6 Cal. 5th 502, clarified that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) must disclose and inform the public of the human health effects associated with a project’s impacts to air quality and emissions. The court wasn’t swayed by the County’s argument made during legal briefing (not in the EIR) that there isn’t enough scientific…
In other words, right now, most Mariculture or Marine Aquaculture projects being proposed in California are subject to review under CEQA. While some of these projects may find an applicable exemption from CEQA, most will have to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), or Negative Declaration (ND).  All of these options carry a risk of litigation and can be extremely time consuming and costly. In short, the process isn’t worth the…
In other words, right now, most Mariculture or Marine Aquaculture projects being proposed in California are subject to review under CEQA. While some of these projects may find an applicable exemption from CEQA, most will have to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), or Negative Declaration (ND).  All of these options carry a risk of litigation and can be extremely time consuming and costly. In short, the process isn’t worth the…
In coming to this decision, the court gave us two useful takeaways: (1) the bifurcated standard of review that applies to the “Unusual Circumstances” exception to a categorical exemption also applies to the “Location” exception; and (2) a mapped earthquake zone, such as the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone (APEFZ) or being in an earthquake-induced landslide area mapped by the California Geologic Survey on the Seismic Hazard Mapping Act map does not trigger the “Location” exception…