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  • Archive for the ‘CEQA’ Category

    Sep 16


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In the waning days of the session, three bills dealing with CEQA were written/re-written and passed onto the Governor. Although business groups have been pushing for a wide-variety of reforms to CEQA throughout the previous eight months of session, none of these measures represented any of those reforms, though some concepts contained in some of the bills are seen as very small, but positive steps in the right direction.

    The bills are SB 226 (Simitian; D-Palo Alto), SB 292 (Padilla; D-Los Angeles), and AB 900 (Buchanan; D-San Ramon).

    SB 226 allows benefits to certain urban infill projects deemed “green.” SB 292 applies specifically to the Los Angeles Downtown stadium project, providing expedited judicial review. And AB 900 purports to be a streamlining bill that will provide similar benefits to any project that meet certain criteria.

    Since all of these bills pertain to complicated subject matter hastily written at the end of session, we are still reviewing them and have yet to urge the governor to sign or veto them.

    Our industry has been begging for CEQA reform for years, however there is concern that these bills provide benefits to a very limited number of projects and could actually stall real change with thin veneer of reform. There are also concerns that the criteria under AB 900 are so convoluted that very few, if any, projects would ever see any benefit. Finally, the latter bill also applies Prevailing Wage to privately funded projects, and codified LEED certification as ways to get the benefit. These are both very troubling policy issues that need to be carefully reviewed.

    Aug 13


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    ARB staff has released its proposed regional greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for automobiles and light trucks pursuant to Senate Bill 375.   The report and its associated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Functional Equivalent Document are now available online for a 45-day public review period.  These proposed targets will be considered by ARB at its September 23, 2010 meeting and can be accessed here.

    Aug 13


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    A bill strongly supported by industry, AB 1846 (M. Pérez; D-Coachella),  which amends the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to expand the authorized use of a “focused” environmental impact report (EIR) for installation of mandated pollution control  equipment also to include a project that reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to comply with the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).  California is aggressively working to meet its ambitious environmental goals set forth by AB 32.  As regulations are being adopted to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emission levels, companies subject to compliance with these regulations must make significant modifications to existing facilities in order to reduce emissions in compliance with the law, and it makes sense to assure that CEQA is updated in a way to facilitate these efforts.

    May 6

    Court Upholds Charging Fees To Project Opponents

    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    Our friends at CBIA bring us the following legal update: The Second District Court of Appeal has approved a city’s right to charge a fee to a project opponent who appeals its CEQA decision from a planning commission to a city council.

    In Friends of Glendora v. City of Glendora, the City’s approval of a negative declaration (ND) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for a 125-bed assisted-living facility was challenged by neighbors of the project. After the planning commission approved the CEQA document, the opponents filed an appeal to the City Council. The City charged them $2,000 for the administrative costs of the appeal. The opponents paid the fee under protest. MORE