Monthly Archives: August 2012

Can a Developer Unilaterally Impose an Arbitration Clause on a Condo Homeowners Association?

The answer is yes, as long as the arbitration clause is not unreasonable, according to the California Supreme Court in Pinnacle Museum Tower Association v. Pinnacle Market Development (July 16, 2012). In Pinnacle, the developer recorded CC&Rs before the condo project homeowners association was formed.  The CC&Rs contained a mandatory procedure for resolution of construction … Continue Reading

No Harm, No Foul—Petitioners Claiming Procedural Errors Must Prove Prejudice

It’s not enough that litigants challenging planning and zoning actions prove that the city or county committed a procedural error.  They also have to show the error was prejudicial, that it led to substantial injury, and that if the error had not occurred, a different result would have been likely. In Rialto Citizens for Responsible … Continue Reading

Decision on use of Future CEQA Baseline to be Reviewed by the Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court has decided to review the court of appeal decision in the Los Angeles Metro Line EIR case, the widely publicized decision in which the court of appeal upheld an EIR that used projected future conditions as the baseline for guaging the project’s environmental impacts. The court of appeal decision is the latest in a series dealing with the question … Continue Reading

EIR Required for Oak Woodland Management Plan

Public agencies generally prefer not to prepare EIRs – at least for their own plans and projects – unless they have to.  And CEQA attempts to avoid redundancy by encouraging reliance, to the extent possible, on a previously certified EIR to support the approval of a subsequent action.  So, in 2008, when El Dorado County … Continue Reading

ACLU Files Brief in Support of Building Industry Association

It’s not every day that the American Civil Liberties Union and the Building Industry Association find themselves on the same side of an appellate case.  But it can happen, as shown by an amicus curaie brief the ACLU filed today in support of an attorneys fees award to BIA for its successful challenge to a city ordinance. The case, currently … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds Analysis of Narrow Range of Alternatives in EIS

An alternatives analysis under NEPA may be valid even though only two very similar alternatives to the project are considered.  In League of Wilderness Defenders-Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project v. United States Forest Service, the Ninth Circuit upheld an Environmental Impact Statement for an experimental forest thinning project in Oregon.  The court rejected the claim that … Continue Reading