Blogs

CEQA Developments

Miller Starr Regalia has been at the forefront of recent developments in cutting edge fields such as air quality and climate change-related laws, and its attorneys are established experts in environmental impact review of projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Miller Starr Regalia’s first blog, CEQA Developments, was created to highlight the firm’s expertise in the area of CEQA law.

Land Use Developments

Miller Starr Regalia’s Land Use Practice Group has broad and deep experience obtaining and defending approvals required to successfully develop real property throughout California. The firm’s Land Use Developments blog was created to provide practical information, judicial, legislative, and regulatory updates, tips, and guidelines on cutting edge issues to those in the land use industry, including property owners, developers, public agencies, and technical consultants.

August 22, 2019

Not A CEQA “Project”? Not So Fast, Lead Agency! Supreme Court Reverses Fourth District’s Decision That San Diego’s Adoption of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance Was Not A Project Requiring CEQA Review

By: Arthur F. Coon

Introduction And Overview

On August 19, 2019, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous 38-page opinion, authored by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, in the CEQA “project definition” case we’ve been tracking with interest.  Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (California Coastal Commission, Real Party in Interest) (2019) ____ Cal.5th ____, Case ...

August 19, 2019

CEQA Wars: The Developer Strikes Back (In Federal Court)

By: Arthur F. Coon

Background

A long time ago, in a legal galaxy far, far away, Emperor Reagan signed the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) into law.  For many years, the “dark forces” that had wrought the adverse environmental impacts giving rise to CEQA – land developers and the public agencies granting their approvals – labored under its ever-expanding ...

July 29, 2019

“Baseline” Basics: Second District Rejects CEQA Challenge To Hollywood Hotel Project MND Alleging Unanalyzed Human/Housing Displacement Impacts Because Plaintiffs Relied On Incorrect Environmental Baseline

By: Arthur F. Coon

In an opinion originally filed June 28, and later certified for partial publication on July 22, 2019 (upon the request of the California Building Industry Association), the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging a project converting a vacant former apartment building into a boutique hotel in Los ...

July 24, 2019

Court Rejects Land Use Consistency Challenge to Sacramento Mixed-Use Project Providing “Significant Community Benefits”

By: Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

On July 18, 2019, in Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento, __ Cal.App.5th __ (2019), the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court decision denying a “vertical” consistency challenge filed by “Sacramentans for Fair Planning” after the City of Sacramento approved a15-story “high-rise” condominium building—known as the “Yamanee” project—in the ...

July 19, 2019

Third District Upholds Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA) Used Instead Of Traditional CEQA Document To Approve High-Rise, High-Density Mixed-Use Condo Housing Project In Sacramento’s Midtown

By: Arthur F. Coon

In a 30-page opinion originally filed July 3, and certified for publication on July 18, 2019, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging, on zoning law and CEQA grounds, the City of Sacramento’s approval of a high-rise infill housing project in its midtown area.  Sacramentans for ...