New Statutory Requirements if Local Agencies Want to Continue Teleconferenced Public Meetings with Social Distance Modifications

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom authorized local agencies to conduct teleconference meetings without complying with certain Brown Act requirements to allow for social distancing during COVID-19, i.e., the following “Social Distance Modifications”: Agenda not required to be posted at each teleconference location Each teleconference location not required to be listed on the agenda Each teleconference location not required to be open and accessible to the public Quorum of the legislative body not required to participate within the jurisdiction’s boundaries…

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Fast Track Opportunity for Battery Storage Projects In California

On July 31, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Emergency Order (“EO”) to address the strains on the energy grid from climate-change related weather events (see our prior analysis here).  The EO included a directive for the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) to create an expedited permitting process for new or expanded battery storage projects that (a) add at least 20 megawatts of power, (b) can discharge for at least for 2 hours, and (c) can deliver net peak energy…

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Keeping the Lights On

CA Emergency Proclamation to Quickly Increase Energy Generation, Suspend Certain Environmental Requirements On Friday, July 30, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency (Emergency Order or EO) stating that climate-change related weather events including drought, extreme heat and wildfires have caused reductions in the availability of power generation from hydroelectric resources and grid interconnections.  Due to these trends, the EO predicts a 3,500 megawatt (MW) shortfall during peak periods this summer and fall, and potentially…

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Judicial Counsel Clarifies Emergency Statutes of Limitations for CEQA and Land Use Challenges

As part of the California Judicial Council’s April 6th response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Judicial Council adopted Emergency Rule 9 which tolled statutes of limitations for civil causes of action from April 6th until 90 days after the Governor declares an end to the state of emergency. While most civil claims must be brought within a period of years, land use practitioners were quick to point out that this Emergency Rule effectively added an additional three times the statute…

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If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

On May 8, 2020, the Third Appellate District certified for publication its decision in Petrovich Development Company, LLC et al. v. City of Sacramento et al. (opinion can be found here). The Petrovich court held the developer did not receive a fair hearing because “concrete facts” established that a City Councilmember was biased and took affirmative steps to assist project opponents and organize the opposition at the hearing.  Text messages and email correspondence provided the majority of the evidence. Although…

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