California Land Use & Development Law Report

Legal Commentary on Planning and Development

A hotel owner brought a lawsuit against a county transportation authority and a general contractor for nuisance and inverse condemnation alleging that the construction of an underground subway line disrupted the operation of the hotel and caused various problems, such as noise and dust, which interfered with the use and enjoyment of the property and resulted in monetary damages. The

The EIR for a residential project has been struck down because its discussion of project alternatives did not analyze the possibility that public funds might be used to acquire the land for open space. Save the Hill Group v. City of Livermore, 76 Cal. App. 5th 1092 (2022).

The project site was zoned residential and was the last remaining undeveloped

A court of appeal has denied CEQA challenges to the EIR for an apartment project, holding that analysis of biological impacts need not be based on surveys conducted in the same year the city issued its notice of preparation of the EIR. Save North Petaluma River and Wetlands v. City of Petaluma, 86 Cal.App.5th 207 (2022). The court also upheld

In a high-profile CEQA case involving renovation of the State Capitol grounds, the Third District Court of Appeal found the EIR deficient for lack of a stable project description, insufficient analysis of impacts on historic resources and aesthetics, and failure to analyze a reasonable range of alternatives. Save Our Capitol! v. Department of General Services, 85 Cal.App.5th 1101 (2022).

In

The First District Court of Appeal overturned the City of San Francisco’s decision that Saint Ignatius High School’s project to install four permanent 90-foot-tall athletic field lights was exempt from CEQA.  Saint Ignatius Neighborhood Association v. City and County of San Francisco, No. A164629 (1st Dist., Dec. 5, 2022).

The City approved the lighting project without environmental review concluding the

A suit seeking to set aside land-use approvals based on an alleged bribery scheme in violation of the Political Reform Act was subject to the 90-day statute of limitations for actions challenging land-use decisions. AIDS Healthcare Foundation v. City of Los Angeles, No. B311144 (2nd Dist., Dec. 14, 2022).

A federal criminal investigation revealed that two former Los Angeles City

The City of Thousand Oaks violated the Ralph M. Brown Act by adopting a CEQA exemption without having listed the exemption as an item on its agenda for at least 72 hours before the meeting. G.I. Industries v. City of Thousand Oaks 84 Cal. App. 5th 814 (2022).     

Petitioner challenged a decision by the City to approve an exclusive solid

Under the Housing Accountability Act, a proposed residential development should be evaluated under the land-use standards that applied when the original application was deemed complete, not those at the time of the final decision on the project. Save Lafayette v. City of Lafayette, 85 Cal.App.5th 842 (2022).

In 2011, a developer applied for approval of a 315-unit apartment project on

The City did not abuse its discretion in finding a residential project to be consistent with the City’s development standards since the project qualified for exemption from those standards under the Density Bonus Law. Bankers Hill 150 v. City of San Diego 74 Cal. App. 5th 755 (2022).

Petitioner, a community association, challenged a decision by the City of San

A claim of disparate impact based on gentrification in predominantly minority communities is not cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. Crenshaw Subway Coalition v. City of Los Angeles, 75 Cal.App.5th 917 (2022). 

A development project in the “Crenshaw Corridor” of South Los Angeles was approved by the Los Angeles City Council.  The 43-acre project proposed increasing, among other things, the