The zeitgeist of pandemic-era American politics has been ugly. Really ugly. In an environment where civil disobedience skews uncivil, how do we balance the quintessentially American freedom of speech with the public participation requirements in the Ralph M. Brown Act (“Brown Act.”)? Senate Bill 1100 provides some guidance.
Sara Atsbaha is an associate in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.
At the end of the 2020 legislative session, California Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 288 (Wiener) (SB 288) into law. SB 288, amends the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), streamlining the environmental review process for: (i) specific transportation-related projects, including bus rapid transit projects, light rail service projects, construction or maintenance of charging or refueling stations for zero-emission buses; (ii) projects that improve customer information and wayfinding for transit riders, bicyclists, or pedestrians; (iii) city or county projects designed to minimize parking requirements; and (iv) similar transportation oriented projects. Specifically, SB 288 designates these projects necessary to facilitate development of sustainable transportation alternatives and related infrastructure, encouraging broader use of sustainable transit throughout the state. Due to this designation, SB 288 exempts these projects from CEQA review as categorical exemptions beginning January 1, 2021. SB 288 is slated to sunset on January 1, 2030. In addition, SB 288 extends the existing exemption for bicycle transportation plans (including restriping of streets and highways, bicycle parking and storage, signage, and related improvements to intersection operations) from the existing sunset date to January 1, 2030. …
Continue Reading SB 288: Sustainable Transportation and the “Road to Recovery” for Post-COVID Air Pollution and Unemployment Concerns
In Anderson v. City of San Jose (2019), the Sixth District Court of Appeal held that California’s charter cities must comply with the Surplus Land Act (Govt. Code § 54220 et seq.). This decision, essentially, ruled that the statewide housing crisis is of paramount importance, and that all cities – even charter cities – must yield to the state law processes governing surplus land disposition and give affordable housing preference when building on surplus city land.
Continue Reading Appellate Court Holds Charter Cities Are Bound By State Housing Objectives, Signaling Erosion of Local Discretion