CEQA

Here we go again…

Two more proposals to provide CEQA relief to sports stadiums

It’s another legislative season in Sacramento, so yet another opportunity for legislators to hand out regulatory goodies to large corporations and wealthy people, in the form of CEQA “streamlining” for the construction of sports stadiums.  There are two bills currently in the queue: AB 734 which would benefit the Oakland A’s and AB 987 which …

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SB 827 and the Concept of Deregulation

When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why

Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827.  Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number …

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Surveying the Landscape of Local Zoning and CEQA

First report from Berkeley/Columbia research project shows how Bay Area residential developments negotiate land-use and CEQA review

A group of interdisciplinary researchers from law and planning (which I am part of) just released its first report on how CEQA and land-use law shape the process of regulating and approving residential developments in five Bay Area cities.  (I first posted about our research here.)  I’ve included the Executive Summary below, and the full …

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Comprehensive New State Survey Shows California Environmental Quality Act Rarely Impedes New Projects

Study covered all state-led projects over a 5-year period

A constant complaint from many business leaders and their allies is the high cost of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state’s signature environmental law which requires environmental review for major new projects. But a new survey from the State of California shows that the law rarely affects most projects where the …

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Is CEQA the problem?

Developing a better understanding of how land-use law and housing production interact in California

On Friday, the Governor signed a package of housing bills intended to help address the soaring costs of housing in many metro areas in California. Follow-up coverage of that bill package has (rightly) indicated that those bills are a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing California’s housing crisis. One theme that emerges in …

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The CEQA Exemption that Ate LA

A bold attempt to get a huge exemption from state’s marquee environmental law

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a state law that requires full analysis, public disclosure, and where feasible, mitigation of environmental impacts from state and local government projects, including permits for private development.  I’ve written before about the problematic nature of exempting specific projects from CEQA.  In general, my concern is that once you …

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California Supreme Court Upholds Regional Planning Agency’s Greenhouse Gas CEQA Analysis, and Sets Out Principles to Ensure Better Analysis in the Future

Decision Will Help Ensure Development and Transportation Planning in California Supports GHG Reduction Efforts

In May, Rick Frank posted his reflections on the oral argument in the California Supreme Court on Cleveland National Forest Association v. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and predicted that SANDAG would win the case.  His prediction has proved correct with the release of the Court’s opinion last week – but SANDAG’s narrow win provides a …

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Understanding why California housing costs so much

Is the problem CEQA, local land-use regulations, both or neither?

Housing costs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles continue to get a lot of attention in the press and academic literature.  This New York Times article highlights this recent paper from Ed Glaeser at Harvard and Joe Gyourko at Penn – the paper’s analysis concludes that land-use regulations have significantly increased the price of …

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Oak woodlands and wine

A recent controversy highlights the impacts of wine industry on native California oak woodlands

A popular San Luis Obispo county winemarker is suffering a backlash in restaurants after press reports that the winemaker bulldozed oak woodlands to expand production—possibly in violation of a county land grading ordinance. The dispute (as this Wine Enthusiast piece makes clear) is not a novel one.  There is a long history of winemakers in …

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Ronald Reagan – Environmentalist Governor

Reagan’s record in California included major environmental achievements.

It may surprise you to learn this — it certainly surprised me. But Ronald Reagan has been called “the most environmental governor in California history — protecting wild rivers from dams, preserving a Sierra wilderness by blocking highway builders, creating an air resources board that led to the nation’s first auto smog controls.” This may …

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