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Vapor Intrusion in California – Still Up in the Air

  • April 19, 2019

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Human and Ecological Risk Office (HERO) released an update to its Human Health Risk Assessment Note (referred to as HERO Note 3 and available here) this week but did not provide more clarity on which soil vapor intrusion screening levels should be used to evaluate redevelopment of brownfield sites in California. In short, HERO Note 3 now recommends comparing soil vapor concentrations to both DTSC’s current screening levels (based on building specific attenuation factors)…

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California Supreme Court Declines to Consider Limited Applicability of CEQA to Design Review

  • April 18, 2019

The Supreme Court yesterday denied a petition for review and request for depublication of McCorkle Eastside Neighborhood Group v. City of St. Helena (2018) 31 Cal.App.5th 80 (see our previous post here). This affirms theFirst District Court of Appeal’s holding that discretionary design review of an otherwise permitted use is not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In practice, most design review and site plan approvals are similar to St. Helena’s Design Review Ordinance at issue in McCorkle. In…

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The Governor’s Plan to Convert Vacant State-Owned Lands to Housing Begins to Take Shape

  • April 15, 2019

On Thursday April 11, the California Department of General Services (DGS) released its initial inventory of vacant state-owned lands that are potentially available for the development of affordable housing. This January, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-06-19 which directed DGS to create an inventory of all state-owned properties that are in excess of the State’s foreseeable needs and could be available for potential development to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.  The Excess Property plan further directed DGS, along with the…

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Welcome Real Estate Partner Janice Kim!

  • January 18, 2019

We are very excited to announce that Janice Kim has joined our firm as a partner.  Janice’s practice focuses on real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, development and related business matters for commercial real estate of all types and sizes.  Janice’s clients appreciate her thorough, timely and practical approach to all transactions.  Janice’s diverse transactional experience will complement our existing land use and environmental practice so that we can assist our clients throughout the entire life cycle of development…

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Design Review of By-Right Development Does Not Trigger CEQA Review

  • January 15, 2019

In McCorkle Eastside Neighborhood v. City of St. Helena, certified for publication on January 10, 2019, the First District Court of Appeal held that discretionary design review of an otherwise permitted use did not give the City the authority to mitigate environmental impacts and thus the project was not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Amanda Monchamp and Joey Meldrum (representing the developer) worked with the City of St. Helena to defend its approval of an 8-unit residential…

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