Category: Public Agencies

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CEQA Lawsuit Fails to Slow High-Speed Rail

Several parties, including the San Francisco Peninsula communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto, challenged the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s decision on where to route trains travelling between the Central Valley and the Bay Area.  The court of appeal recently upheld the Authority’s program EIR for the routing, but rejected the Authority’s argument that … Continue Reading

Department of Water Resources Must File Condemnation Case Before Undertaking Geological and Environmental Testing on Private Property

In Property Reserve, Inc. v. Super. Ct. of San Joaquin County, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that if the State intends to acquire an interest in private property directly, “no matter how small an interest, the California Constitution requires it to initiate a condemnation suit that provides the affected landowner with all of … Continue Reading

Challenge To Annexation Dismissed Due To Failure To Comply With Required Procedures

CEQA and other claims challenging a completed annexation were dismissed because they had not been brought in a reverse validation proceeding.  Protect Agricultural Land v. Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission (No. F066544, 1/28/14) The Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission approved annexation of land into the City of Ceres, relying on an EIR the … Continue Reading

Under the Public Records Act, agencies must allow access to land use databases.

The California Supreme Court has unanimously held that a public agency must allow access to a database of information on land use parcels, rejecting the claim that such information is subject to the “computer software” exemption under the Public Records Act.  Sierra Club v. Superior Court, No.S194701 (July 8, 2013).  Section 6254.9(a) of the Public … Continue Reading

Under the Brown Act, a Planning Commission’s Adoption of a CEQA Document is a Distinct Item of Business that Must be Expressly Disclosed on the Agenda

The Ralph M. Brown Act requires a legislative body of a local agency to post, at least 72 hours before a regular meeting, an agenda containing a “brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting.”  A recent appellate court decision clarifies that a local agency seeking to … Continue Reading