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09
May

Efforts to Modernize CEQA Advance with Proposed Amendments to Senate Bill 731

Efforts to Modernize CEQA Advance with Proposed Amendments to Senate Bill 731 By Andrea A. Matarazzo Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, recently proposed amendments to SB 731, keeping alive hope that efforts to reform CEQA will make some meaningful progress in the Legislature this year.  One important highlight is that the bill would strike existing CEQA provisions that give opponents the ability to delay certain projects over aesthetic impacts – typically a highly subjective and sometimes ...

06
Sep

SB 189 Substantially Revamps California’s Mechanics’ Lien Law Effective July 1, 2012.

By Jeffrey L. Anderson California’s laws regarding mechanics’ liens, stop notices and payment bonds have been substantially modified and revised pursuant to Senate Bill No. 189 (“SB 189”).  Although some provisions of SB 189 went into effect earlier this year, the majority of the changes and the most significant changes became effective on July 1, 201 As of July 1st, all of the mechanics’ lien laws and related laws were deleted from Civil Code Sections 3081.1 through ...

31
Aug

An agency’s annual implementation of statutory criteria is not a “major federal action” or “agency action” pursuant to NEPA or the ESA.

Grand Canyon Trust v. United States Bureau of Reclamation ___ F.3d ___ (2012) [United States Court of Appeals, Ninth District District Court of Appeal No. 11-16326, filed Aug. 13, 2012] By Jeffrey K. Dorso, Esq. The Grand Canyon Trust (“Trust”) filed suit in federal court in the District of Arizona alleging that the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) violated the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and the National ...

24
Aug

Urban Land Institute Sacramento California Redeveloping the Railyards to Strengthen the Urban Core

At the August Sacramento City Council meeting, Fran Halbakken, City Railyard Development Manager, presented highlights from the final report, "Redeveloping the Railyards to Strengthen the Urban Core," published by the Urban Land Institute's Daniel Rose Fellowship Program. Sacramento was selected as one of four cities in the country to take part in this year-long program with a specific land use challenge of the Railyards as the focus.  City of Sacramento received technical assistance and expertise over ...

23
Aug

A CEQA Litigant’s Non-Pecuniary Personal Interests Are Not Relevant in Evaluating the “Financial Burden” Element of Fee Awards Under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5.

City of Maywood v. Los Angeles Unified School District [Second District Court of Appeal Nos. B233739, B236408, filed 7/18/12] By Andrea A. Matarazzo The City of Maywood filed a petition for writ of mandate seeking to overturn a decision by the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) to certify a final environmental impact report (“FEIR”) analyzing the environmental consequences of constructing a high school.  The City argued that the FEIR did not satisfy CEQA because it failed ...

23
Aug

Forest Service’s EIS for Experimental Forest Thinning, Fuels Reduction, and Research Project Satisfied NEPA.

League of Wilderness Defenders – Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project v. United States Forest Service [Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals No. 11-35451, filed 7/30/12] By Andrea A. Matarazzo The U.S. Forest Service adopted an “Experimental Forest Thinning, Fuels Reduction, and Research Project” in the Deschutes National Forest in the eastern Cascades of central Oregon.  The project allows logging and controlled burning on roughly 2,500 acres of the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest.  The purposes of the project are to ...

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