California Land Use & Development Law Report

Legal Commentary on Planning and Development

A California Court of Appeal held that CEQA’s issue exhaustion requirement did not preclude a challenge to Inyo County’s exemption determinations for condemnation proceedings and expanded operation of unlined landfills because the County failed to provide adequate notice that CEQA exemptions would be considered at its public meeting. As a matter of law, the Court also held that CEQA’s “existing

The Court of Appeal held that a CEQA challenge to a decision approving removal of trees adjacent to PG&E gas pipelines was time-barred because an agreement to toll the statute of limitations did not include PG&E, which was an indispensable party in the proceedings, and the suit was filed after the applicable 180-day limitations period had expired. Save Lafayette Trees

In a major decision, the California Court of Appeal rejected a city’s interpretation of what constitutes an “objective” standard under the Housing Accountability Act and upheld the constitutionality of the law and amendments that strengthened it. The decision represents the second time this year that the Court of Appeal has both rejected a charter city’s interpretation of a key state

The First Appellate District held that tribal sovereign immunity bars a quiet title action to establish a public easement for coastal access on property owned by an Indian tribe. Self v. Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community, 60 Cal. App. 5th 209 (2021).
The Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria is a federally recognized Indian tribe in Humboldt County, California.

A developer established a probability of prevailing on its claims for malicious prosecution where the evidence showed that the neighboring owner lacked probable cause for pursuing CEQA litigation and acted with malice. Dunning v. Johnson, 64 Cal. App. 5th 156 (2021).

Clews Horse Ranch sued to challenge a decision by the City of San Diego to approve Cal Coast’s construction

The U.S. Supreme Court held that property owners do not have to comply with state administrative processes to obtain a final decision before bringing a takings claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when the government’s position is clear. Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco, 594 U.S. __ (June 28, 2021).

Petitioners were partial owners of a multi-unit

A California Court of Appeal held that the Coastal Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development have concurrent jurisdiction over mobilehomes located in the coastal zone and that proper notice of a public hearing is sufficient to meet notice requirements for approval due to agency inaction under the Permit Streamlining Act.  Linovitz Capo Shores LLC v. California Coastal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently invalidated a 2016 rule that required a 30-day notice to affected state fish and wildlife agencies prior to filing a petition to list a species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Friends of Animals v. Haaland, 997 F.3d 1010 (9th Cir. 2021).

Section 4(b)(3) of the Endangered Species Act allows

Evidence about past wildfires and the risk of future wildfires impacting residents near a proposed project does not require the lead agency to prepare an environmental impact report unless there is substantial evidence supporting a fair argument that the project may exacerbate existing wildfire hazards. Newtown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado, No. C092069 (3rd Dist., June 16,

The California Court of Appeal held that 2016 amendments to the San Diego City Charter did not require the City to obtain voter approval prior to entering into a lease revenue bond transaction with the Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego.  San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San