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

Street Sign

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

Modern Apartment Buildings

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!

Monchamp Meldrum Team Photo 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

New Construction Homes

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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Fourth District Rejects City’s Retroactive CEQA Baseline but Holds that Error did not Violate Constitutional Rights

In a case published on September 18, 2018 the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that CEQA does not apply to the lawful demolition of a potential historic resource prior to application for a development permit.  In Bottini v. City of San Diego, No. D071670 (4th Dist., Sep. 18, 2018), --- Cal.Rptr.3d ---- ,  the court affirmed that the proper baseline for CEQA analysis is the environmental condition at the time an application for development is submitted.  However, while the…

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