“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common Law (1881)
“CEQA discourse has become increasingly abstract, almost medieval in its scholasticism.” – former California Governor Edmund G. (“Jerry”) Brown, Jr.
by Arthur F. Coon
On November 24, 2020, the Fifth District Court of Appeal filed its partially published opinion in the latest installment of the long-running CEQA litigation over Fresno County’s approval of the Friant Ranch project. Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Friant Ranch, L.P., Real Party in Interest) (2020) 57 Cal.App.5th 979. The litigation involves a 942-acre mixed-use development project (2500 residential units, 250,000 square feet of commercial space, 460 acres of open space) for which the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of the EIR was issued in 2007; it has generated an earlier appellate opinion (see my 6/16/14 post here) and a Supreme Court opinion (see my 12/28/18 post here) addressing important standard of review issues centered on the adequacy of the project EIR’s air quality impacts discussion.
Continue Reading Remedial Legal Logic: Fifth District Doubles Down On Split with Other Districts in Holding CEQA Doesn’t Allow Limited Writ Remedy of Partial EIR Decertification – But Does It Really Matter?