Companies Use CEQA as a Weapon

When a student housing firm faced competition in the form of a proposed new building at USC, it filed a lawsuit against them using CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act). Then they sued the developer's other projects too.

Is CEQA a savior of California's environment, or regulation gone wild? Nicholas Riccardi of The Los Angeles Times reports:

"...as state politicians scramble to assure voters they are trying to create jobs, they have turned on the 40-year-old law and the cottage industry of litigation it has spawned."

Gov. Jerry Brown has said that there are "too many damn regulations" when it comes to new development, and has signed a number of bills to bypass CEQA, including one "that would ease the requirements for some urban projects that otherwise meet planning standards."

Riccardi explains the history of CEQA, and points to a number of other cases where it was used more as a weapon than for its intended use:

"In Glendale, the owners of the Glendale Galleria mall filed a CEQA lawsuit against a proposed new mall, losing the litigation but delaying the project by several months."

Full Story: Firms turning to environmental law to combat rivals

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