California Land Use & Development Law Report

Legal Commentary on Planning and Development

The Court of Appeal held that absent a distinction between short- and long-term rentals, both are permitted under city zoning ordinances, and any ban on short-term rentals that changes the status quo is an amendment that requires Coastal Commission approval. Darby T. Keen v. City of Manhattan Beach 77 Cal. App. 5th 142 (2022).

The City of Manhattan Beach enacted

The Court of Appeal held that a ruling denying a petition for writ of mandate constitutes the final judgment in the case and triggers the 60-day period for filing an appeal. Meinhardt v. City of Sunnyvale, 76 Cal.App.5th 43 (2022).

Plaintiff sought a writ of administrative mandamus challenging his suspension for engaging in speech critical of policies implemented by a

The Court of Appeal ruled that a suit concerning an affordable housing fee that plaintiff had agreed to pay two decades earlier was still timely because the 90-day limitations period under the Subdivision Map Act did not begin to run until a dispute arose over the interpretation of provisions in the affordable housing agreement. Schmeir v. City of Berkeley, 76

The court of appeal held that, in an action against the State Water Resources Control Board and regional water quality control boards for violations of the State Board’s Nonpoint Source (NPS) Policy and the public trust doctrine for failure to protect against agricultural water pollution from crop irrigation, plaintiffs failed to state claims for which either declaratory or mandamus relief

In a lengthy opinion tackling several of CEQA’s hot topics, a court of appeal has rejected the EIR for the Martis Valley West project, finding its Lake Tahoe water quality analysis, GHG and traffic mitigation measures, and energy analysis inadequate. League to Save Lake Tahoe Mountain Area Preservation Foundation v. County of Placer, 75 Cal.App.5th 63 (2022). The court upheld

The EIR for a water ditch to underground pipeline conversion project withstood challenges to the project description and impacts analysis. The Third Appellate District held that the project description sufficiently disclosed the importance of the existing ditch to stormwater runoff and the EIR adequately analyzed impacts to hydrology, biological resources, and wildfire risks.  Save the El Dorado Canal v. El

The Court of Appeal held that an action to set aside an ordinance restricting short-term vacation rentals on the ground of failure to obtain a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) was barred by the 90-day statute of limitations for challenges to adoption or amendment of zoning ordinances. Coastal Act Protectors v. City of Los Angeles, No. B308306 (4th Dist., Feb.

The Court of Appeal found that a development project that was consistent with a previously approved specific plan was not required to prepare a new EIR because no changes significantly increased impacts on endangered species. Citizens’ Committee to Complete the Refuge v. City of Newark, No. A162045 (1st Dist., Dec. 29, 2021).
In 2010, the City of Newark certified

On January 19, 2022, attorneys from Perkins Coie presented the 32nd Annual Land Use and Development Law Briefing.
Topics included:

    • Developments in Land Use Law
    • Housing Legislation Update
    • Real Estate Due Diligence
    • CEQA — Cases, Legislation and Trends
    • Regulatory Compliance, Investigations and Enforcement
    • Wetlands, Species and Federal Environmental Review

A full set of the written materials, in pdf form, is

Below are summaries of the key California and Ninth Circuit land use and development law cases decided in 2021.
1.  Planning and Zoning
CHEVRON v. COUNTY OF MONTEREY70 Cal. App. 5th 153 (2021)
A county ordinance enacted by initiative effectively banned new oil and gas wells and use of wastewater injection (“fracking”) as part of extraction operations. The court held