Monthly Archives: November 2012

U.C. Santa Cruz Expansion Plan EIR Overturned

In Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz, the court of appeal set aside the EIR for long-term development of the U.C. Santa Cruz campus. The city and the University of California had settled litigation challenging the University’s development plan.   A key provision of the agreement required the city to seek Local Agency … Continue Reading

Water Discharge Permit for Dairies Invalidated Under State’s Antidegradation Policy

In 2007, after decades of allowing most dairies in the Central Valley Region to operate without a water quality discharge permit, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a general, region-wide permit regulating wastewater discharges from existing diaries.  Environmental groups sued, claiming the permit’s protections for groundwater were inadequate.  The court of appeal … Continue Reading

90-Day Limitations Period Under Government Code § 65009 Applies to Zoning Administrator Decisions.

Round two of a citizen group’s challenge to approval of a WalMart ended with a decisive knock-out by the City of Stockton.  The appellate court ruled that the petitioners’ planning and zoning law claims were barred by the 90-day statute of limitations in Government Code § 65009, rejecting petitioners’ argument that the statute did not … Continue Reading

City Has Time to Make General Plan Consistent with Housing Element Revisions

A court of appeal has confirmed that after a city updates its general plan housing element, the city has additional time to amend other general plan elements to restore the general plan’s internal consistency—as long as the city adopts a timeline for making the necessary amendments. Every five years, a city must update its general … Continue Reading

Water Supply Uncertainty Sinks Another EIR

After wading through a detailed discussion relating to biological impacts (see Perkins Coie Update), the court in Preserve Wild Santee v. City of Santee dove into issues surrounding an EIR’s analysis of water supplies.  The court found the EIR invalid in part because it failed to consider the uncertainty of State Water Project water supplies. … Continue Reading

Court Rules City Council Can’t Skip CEQA By Adopting Voter-Proposed Legislation

Project proponents often ask whether there is a way to shortcut the CEQA timeline or head off litigation.  In Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, the court of appeal squelched what had looked like a potential path around CEQA:  use of the initiative process to adopt voter-initiated legislation, without placing the legislation … Continue Reading

California Court Sidesteps Jurisdictional Question Under The Clean Water Act

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Rapanos case in 2006, federal courts have grappled with the question of what qualifies under the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United States.”  Last week in Garland v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, a California court sidestepped the question.  The Regional Board issued an … Continue Reading