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If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

  • May 13, 2020

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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Governor Approves Online-only CEQA Notice During COVID-19

  • April 27, 2020

While uncertainty remains regarding the CEQA statute of limitations under the Judicial Council’s April 6th Emergency Order (available here), the Governor issued Executive Order N-54-20 (EO N-54-20) on April 23 to provide some clarity on noticing procedures under CEQA (available here) while physical distancing protocols are in effect. EO N-54-20 suspends certain public filing and notice requirements under CEQA for 60 days. Any materials that would normally be required to be publicly posted, filed with a county clerk, or made available to…

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Supreme Court Holds Clean Water Act Can Apply To Groundwater

  • April 25, 2020

In a 6-3 decision penned by Justice Breyer, the United States Supreme Court held on April 23 that discharges of pollutants to groundwater that reach surface water may require a Section 402 permit under the Clean Water Act. The decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (No. 18-260) resolved a split of the circuit courts and established  a new “functional equivalent” test to determine when a permit is required. However, the Court explicitly left defining “functional equivalent” to…

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Welcome Carlyn Drivdahl and Peter Landreth!

  • January 31, 2020

We are very excited to announce that Carlyn Drivdahl and Peter Landreth have joined our firm as Counsel and that Rob Taboada has been elevated to Partner. Carlyn practices in the areas of land use, public contracting, and public ethics, with an emphasis on land use entitlements. After working at Best Best & Krieger, Carlyn spent twelve years as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Tuolumne. Carlyn’s in-house county counsel experience gives Carlyn a deep understanding of the…

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Streamlined CEQA Review of Housing Project at Greater Height and Density than Allowed by Zoning Upheld in Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento

  • August 1, 2019

In the first published opinion to consider a Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA), the Third District upheld the City of Sacramento’s approval and streamlined CEQA review of a transit priority project that would build “significantly more housing” than otherwise allowed in the zoning code. The opinion strengthens charter city’sgeneral police powerto exceed density restrictions where “it is determined that the project provides a significant community benefit.” This will help cities seeking to densify their urban core beyond existing zoning and…

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