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.

February 18, 2020

Rough Justice: 4-1 Supermajority Vote of City Council Not Enough to Grant Appeal of Planning Commission’s Denial of Conditional Use Permit Applications Because 80% < 71%

By: Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

It is usually easy to understand when a local legislative body approves a given motion.  Indeed, a simply majority vote is all that is required for a motion to pass in most communities.  Thus, obtaining a four to one vote of a city council granting an appeal of a planning commission denial of a given ...

February 11, 2020

Court Holds That City Violated Ralph M. Brown Act by Discussing Threatened Litigation Over Development Project in Closed Sessions, but Concludes Project is Not Null and Void Because There Was No Prejudice

By: Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

On February 10, 2020, in Fowler v. City of Lafayette, __ Cal.App.5th __ (2020), the First District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court decision challenging the City of Lafayette’s approval of a tennis cabana on a residential property.  The petition alleged that the City violated the Ralph M. Brown Act by discussing the ...

February 5, 2020

Ninth Circuit Rejects “Equal Terms” RLUIPA Challenge to Riverside Zoning Ordinance

By: Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, known as “RLUIPA,” is a federal civil rights law that protects individuals and religious assemblies and institutions from discriminatory and unduly burdensome land use regulations.  Among several key parts of the statute, RLUIPA contains an “equal terms” provision that prohibits any government entity from imposing ...

January 16, 2020

Fourth District Upholds CEQA Class 32 Infill Exemption For Small Residential Condo Project On Environmentally Sensitive Lands As Consistent With San Diego’s General Plan Despite Failure To Meet Recommended Minimum Density

By: Arthur F. Coon

CEQA’s Class 32 categorical exemption for “infill development” applies to proposed developments within city limits on sites of five or fewer acres substantially surrounded by urban uses, where the site has no habitat value for special status species, can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services, and the project would not have ...

January 15, 2020

Establishing Vested Rights Through SB 330’s Preliminary Application: Understanding the Key Differences Between “Deemed Complete” and “Determined to be Complete” in the “Housing Crisis Act of 2019”

By: Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

Senate Bill 330, referred to as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, contains two major parts intended to accelerate housing production over the next five years by streamlining permitting and ensuring no net loss in housing capacity.  Governor Newsom signed SB 330 into law on October 9, 2019, and it will be in effect from ...