2011 Second Quarter CEQA Case Law Update

Source: CCN Quarterly CEQA Case Law Update

August 2011

There was substantial CEQA activity in the Courts of Appeal during the second quarter of 2011, with eight important decisions summarized in this Update. In a case arising out of the proposed new stadium for the 49ers, a Court of Appeal ruled that a city does not need to conduct a CEQA review before approving a "term sheet" for a proposed project. The decisions also include a ruling about whether an EIR must evaluate indirect impacts on school facilities, and a case holding that the emergence of climate change as a CEQA issue may not be sufficient information in itself to require a supplemental EIR for a project that was already reviewed under CEQA. There is an important procedural ruling that should restrict the ability of project opponents to litigate issues that are never presented until a last minute “data dump” at the final project hearing. There is also a significant decision on the scope of CEQA overall, confirming earlier court decisions to the effect that CEQA protects the environment from project impacts, but is not designed to protect proposed projects against pre-existing conditions.

CASES IN THIS ISSUE:

Cedar Fair L.P. v. City of Santa Clara

Chawanakee Unified School Dist. v. County of Madera

Santa Monica Baykeeper v. City of Malibu

Oakland Heritage Alliance v. City of Oakland

Latinos Unidos de Napa v. City of Napa

Center for Biological Diversity v Department of Fish & Game

Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development v. City of San Diego

South Orange County Wastewater Authority v. City of Dana Point

Download Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP's 2011 Second Quarter CEQA Case Law Update Newsletter.

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