The court of appeal found that the California Coastal Commission erred by approving a coastal development permit for a residential development before environmental review for the project had been completed. Friends, Artists and Neighbors of Elkhorn Slough v. California Coastal Commission, 2021 WL 5905714 (No. H048088, 6th Dist., December 14, 2021).

The Commission’s staff

A trial court could not order a remedy that required preparation of an environmental impact report limited to the potentially significant impacts that led to invalidation of the project’s negative declaration — once the trial court found substantial evidence supported a fair argument that the project may have one significant environmental impact, it had no

The State Water Resources Control Board’s registrations of small water diversions are ministerial projects and hence exempt from CEQA. As such, allegedly erroneous registrations cannot be challenged under CEQA. Mission Peak Conservancy v. State Water Resources Control Board, No. A162564, 2021 WL 5917917 (1st Dist., Dec. 15, 2021).

The Water Rights Permitting Reform Act

In the first reported interpretation of a 2012 amendment to CEQA’s statute of limitations provisions, the First District Court of Appeal addressed “whether an action against a lead agency must be dismissed–despite being filed within the limitations period–because of a failure to [timely name and serve] necessary third parties.”  Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods v. The Regents

The City of San Diego’s approval of underground utility lines was incomplete because its Climate Action Plan checklist improperly allowed certain non-occupancy projects to avoid greenhouse gas emission (GHG) consistency analysis. To take advantage of streamlined GHG review, CEQA requires lead agencies analyze each project’s consistency with the Climate Action Plan, regardless of occupancy. McCann

The court rejected a claim that the city violated CEQA Guidelines section 15088.5(g) by failing to summarize each of the revisions to a draft EIR made by a revised and recirculated draft EIR. Save Civita Because Sudberry Won’t v. City of San Diego, 2021 WL 5937417 (No. D077591, 4th Dist. 1st Div., December. 16, 2021).

A California Court of Appeal held that special legislation providing fast-track judicial review to the Howard Terminal Project did not impose a deadline for the Governor to certify the project for streamlined environmental review under CEQA.  Pacific Merchant Shipping Association v. Newsom (Oakland Athletics Investment Group, LLC), 67 Cal. App. 5th 711 (2021).

The EIR for development of a new resort at Squaw Valley failed to meaningfully address Lake Tahoe as part of the environmental setting and was deficient in its analysis of water quality, air quality, and noise impacts. In a separate opinion, the court held that the County violated the Brown Act by placing a copy