Kern County’s efforts to increase drilling could jeopardize the survival of the Temblor legless lizard. The case demonstrates why environmental review must keep pace with emerging science and new information.
The UCLA Environmental Law Clinic has submitted an amicus brief in a case that challenges Kern County’s (the “County”) repeated efforts to streamline oil and gas development without proper regard for myriad environmental harms. The Clinic filed its amicus brief on behalf of Professor H. Bradley Shaffer, Ph. D., one of California’s leading experts on …CONTINUE READING
State Watchdog Agency’s Scheduled CEQA Hearings Could Prompt Major Changes to California’s Most Important Environmental Law
Beginning today, California’s “Little Hoover Commission” will convene a series of three public hearings to consider how well–or poorly–the state’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is currently working. A special focus of the Commission’s deliberations will be whether and to what extent California’s most important and overarching environmental law is impeding efforts by the Legislature …CONTINUE READING
The decision blocking student housing hardly represents new NIMBY weaponization.
Lots of screaming and yelling about last week’s Court of Appeal CEQA decision concerning student housing at UC Berkeley. The Court struck down the university’s plan for more student housing on the grounds that the final Environmental Impact Report did not adequately assess noise impacts from students. “The campus is dismayed by this unprecedented …CONTINUE READING
A recent case shows why the law is so important – and how it can be abused
Even the best and conscientious developers gnash their teeth at CEQA, California’s environmental review law, and one can see why: it can allow NIMBYs to block useful housing and supercharge exclusion. But there’s a reason why the law was passed and why it has persisted, and we saw it three days ago: Trees of Los …CONTINUE READING
How can California reconcile the dual needs of managing for fire risk and producing more housing?
This is the last in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state. In this blog post, we’ll discuss …CONTINUE READING
What our data says about development in the WUI in California
This is the third in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state. In this blog post, we summarize …CONTINUE READING
California’s legal framework for development in the wildland-urban interface
This is the second in a series of four blog posts discussing the issue of development in the wildland-urban interface in California, the current legal structures addressing the issue, and our research on how those legal frameworks are being applied on the ground in key counties in the state. These blog posts summarize our recent …CONTINUE READING
Examining whether California law facilitates development in fire-prone areas
All too many Californians have lost their homes, and even their lives, as fires have raced through exurbs, suburbs, and even portions of towns and cities over the past several years. A key issue that policymakers are wrestling with is the extent to which new development has increased the risk to people and property from …CONTINUE READING
CLEE report proposes banking and exchange strategies for CEQA mitigation
When Caltrans and other state and local agencies build or approve projects that increase car traffic, state law requires them to mitigate those impacts. A new report from CLEE proposes development of state and regional programs that would allow these agencies to mitigate by investing in offsite bike lanes, bus-only lanes, transit passes, and other …CONTINUE READING
Court order freezing UC Berkeley enrollment raises critical questions about how California provides for equitable growth in the state
This is my final post on the CEQA litigation over UC Berkeley enrollment. For earlier posts, see here (providing background information), here (discussing the implications of considering enrollment decisions to be within the scope of CEQA), and here (discussing whether to expand CEQA to cover socioeconomic impacts). In this final post, I want to explore …CONTINUE READING