News

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ENCOURAGING MINERAL EXTRACTIONS ON MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES

On April 6, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13914 (the “Order”). In the Order, President Trump declares that “Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.” President Trump further declared that “it shall be the policy of the United States […]

CalEPA Addresses Deadlines Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 15, 2020, the California Environmental Protection Agency (“CalEPA”) issued a Statement on Compliance with Regulatory Requirements During the COVID-19 Emergency (the “Statement”). The Statement reiterated CalEPA’s continued dedication to controlling pollution in communities with high rates of respiratory disease and multiple environmental burdens, especially given the correlation between these factors and COVID-19 susceptibility. […]

Governor Addresses CEQA Requirements Amid COVID-19 Pandemic in Executive Order

On April 23, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-54-20 (the “Order”), which addressed impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). The Order finds that current physical distancing protocols implemented in response to COVID-19 pandemic have made it impossible or impractical for lead agencies, responsible agencies, and project […]

Legislature Proposes New Legislation to Combat Homelessness in California

New legislation (Senate Bill 902) to supposedly solve the State’s massive homelessness problem was introduced in early March 2020 after the State Senate rejected Senator Scott Wiener’s effort to force California communities into adding more housing units in single-family neighborhoods proposals, former Senate Bill 50, in January 2020. Senate Bill 902 would allow construction of […]

Developer Sues Over Sacramento County EIR

The Mather South Project final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) was challenged by Tsakopoulos Investments in late February 2020. The Mather South project would be an 848-acre project on undeveloped land with up to 3,522 residential units, a 28-acre environmental education campus with 200 multifamily units, a 21-acre research and development park, and 21 acres of […]

APPELLATE COURT FURTHER BURIES THE USE OF MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATIONS, RELIES ON “EXPERT” WHO NEVER VISITED THE SITE, AND FORGETS THAT PETITIONERS CAN’T SUE IF THEY DON’T GIVE NOTICE.

On February 24, 2020, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District (“Court”) upheld a lower court’s finding that the City of Agoura Hills (the “City”) violated CEQA and the City’s Oak Tree Ordinance when the City issued approved a mixed-use development. Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll v. City of Agoura Hills (2020) – […]

Ridiculous CEQA Challenge to Development of 1,436 Square Foot Residence on 1.04-acre Parcel did not Vindicate Important Right for Purpose of Awarding Attorney Fees

In this firm’s view, there is no question that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) has been pushed far beyond its statutory scope to the detriment of efficient development in the State. It’s too easy for the law to be abused by project opponents with concerns other than information regarding potential environmental impacts. For example, […]

Third District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Master Planned Community Project

The Third District Court of Appeal upheld an EIR for a master planned community in the case Environmental Council of Sacramento v. County of Sacramento (2020, Case No. C076888). The County of Sacramento prepared an EIR for the master planned community project, located on about 2,669 acres in southeastern Sacramento County. The project proposed 8,000 […]

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Wage War on Oil and Gas Industry by Proposing Nationwide Ban on Fracking

On January 31, 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), together with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representative Darren Soto (D-Fla.) unveiled a bill (the “Bill”) that, if passed, would prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) nationwide. Specifically, the Bill would immediately prohibit any federal agency from approving any federal permit for fracking.  The […]

COVID-19 Will Impact The Construction Industry

Businesses in the construction industry are concerned about how the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact planned and future construction projects. Since no one can predict the full impact from the effects, the advice for contractors is to continue like normal. Chinese government containment efforts and quarantines have slowed or shut down factories in dozens […]

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