land use regulation
Newly-accepted case pits private property rights against government land use authority
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear and decide an important “regulatory takings” case from California that has major implications for federal, state and local governments nationwide. The case is Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, Docket No. 22-1074. Even before the justices granted review in the Sheetz case last Friday, the Court’s 2023-24 …CONTINUE READING
State court concludes that state does have the authority to intervene in local regulation of land-use
A big court ruling in California land-use law happened last month – and it has really large implications for the state’s efforts to address California’s housing crisis. The lawsuit is a challenge by a pro-housing advocacy group (California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CARLA)) to a decision by the City of San Mateo to …CONTINUE READING
Local control over land-use regulation means local governments focus more on the harms than the benefits of housing
As governments in California and across the United States wrestle with how to address soaring housing costs, a significant flashpoint has been the issue of local control. Most land-use regulation in the United States is done by local governments: cities, counties, towns, villages. In California, much of the legislation intended to increase housing production has …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
Why expanding CEQA to cover socioeconomic impacts might harm equity goals
Today I continue my series of blog posts on the CEQA lawsuit over UC Berkeley’s enrollment. My first post provided an introduction to the case and its background; my second post examined the risks of expanding environmental review to small-scale, individual decisions like the enrollment decisions at issue in this case. Today’s post will address …CONTINUE READING
Is admitting a student to a university the kind of project requiring CEQA analysis?
Yesterday, I introduced the CEQA lawsuits over UC Berkeley’s expanding enrollment and its potential impacts on the surrounding neighbor. Today, in my second post, I want to explore the implications of applying environmental review statutes such as CEQA to individual, small-scale decisions like university enrollment. The legal question at issue in the case was whether …CONTINUE READING
A recent court order freezing UC Berkeley enrollment highlights key issues in CEQA
A recent court order, freezing UC Berkeley’s student enrollment at 2021-22 levels, has earned some press attention and notoriety. Commentators on Twitter have accused the lead plaintiffs (residents in the Berkeley area) of being exclusionary NIMBYs. The court’s decision was premised on violations by UC Berkeley of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a law …CONTINUE READING
Nothing is as it seems, when the issue is whether a regulation is a “taking” of property.
For the last century, the Supreme Court has tried to operationalize the idea that a government regulation can be so burdensome that it amounts to a seizure of property. In the process, it has created a house of mirrors, a maze in which nothing is as it seems. Rules that appear crisp and clear turn …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING