CEQA Exemptions Unlikely to Pass Amid Enviros' Outcries

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Michael Zischke, a partner with the firm, was quoted in an Aug. 15, 2012 article by Law360 about environmentalists' opposition to a proposal that would cut down on suits against developers' construction plans.

The proposal would make significant changes to the California Environmental Quality Act by exempting projects that comply with certain standards in a general plan or other use plan for which an environmental impact report has been done.

According to Michael Zischke, the proposal could give more meaning to local and state environmental standards, help to guide agencies that review development proposals, and offer more certainty to lead agencies and businesses.

“By providing more certainty, that would mean fewer lawsuits,” he said. “There is no question that there are some people that don't want to see more certainty because they think it will make it harder to challenge projects.”

Despite the opposition, Zischke told the publication that law makers may ultimately favor the proposal because they want to encourage new development.

“There is a sense in the business community that CEQA is a significant obstacle to new development in California,” he said. “Lawmakers seem to be showing a greater level of interest in providing some relief to businesses against litigation.”

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