California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

August 7, 2016, 11am PDT
A bill moving through the California Legislature, SB 734, would extend the reach of legislation from 2011 that benefitted the defunct Farmers Field football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times
July 1, 2016, 1pm PDT
Another "only-in-California" story.
Silicon Valley Business Journal
June 14, 2016, 6am PDT
It may seem understandable for developers to resort to the ballot box after encountering difficulty with a planning commission or city council, but in California it makes sense even for cities like Moreno Valley that are friendly to new development.
The New York Times
April 16, 2016, 7am PDT
Help is on the way. The law that requires the governor's planning office to devise an alternative method for measuring vehicle traffic for environmental compliance will also take up where an earlier law that exempted bike lanes from CEQA left off.
Los Angeles Times
March 19, 2016, 11am PDT
One of the largest, most influential regional governments in the state has asked for exemptions from changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that will measure Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) instead of Level of Service (LOS).
Streetsblog California
March 14, 2016, 8am PDT
With the help of housing experts, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson points to abuse of the California Environmental Quality Act by NIMBYs as one of the main reasons for the Bay Area's housing crisis. Ethan Elkind offers an opposing view.
San Francisco Chronicle
March 11, 2016, 2pm PST
The San Francisco Planning Commission took historic action earlier this month, voting to end the use of Level of Service in environmental review.
San Francisco Planning Department
January 20, 2016, 12pm PST
On the fringes of the built environment in Southern California, comes a turn of events much more common in the urban core: the California Environmental Quality Act has been invoked to put the brakes on a general plan update.
The Desert Sun
March 29, 2015, 11am PDT
Los Angeles home prices have long since skyrocketed above median income. A report by the Legislative Analyst's Office shows how difficult it would be to build L.A. out of its predicament.
Curbed LA
November 6, 2014, 1pm PST
Pasadena got out in front of the state of California this week by replacing "level of service" with a more holistic, less car-centric, set of standards for review under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Boyonabike!
October 16, 2014, 2pm PDT
There's a third dimension to sprawl: all those photons that emanate from street lights, houses, and vehicles. As author Paul Bogard discusses in The End of Night, light pollution is an overlooked menace that presents a new frontier for planners.
California Planning & Development Report
October 3, 2014, 8am PDT
Developers, public officials and others complain about the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). But the law doesn't change because everyone—even developers and public agencies—has something to gain from the leverage it offers.
California Planning & Development Report
September 6, 2014, 2pm PDT
The Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Switchboard blog chimes in on the potential benefits of California's ongoing reform of Level of Service (LOS) review.
NRDC Switchboard
July 9, 2014, 2pm PDT
A long read by Eric Jaffe serves as a primer on the "Level of Service" (LOS) requirement in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as predicting the large impact of LOS reform on planning in the state and around the country.
CityLab
April 19, 2013, 1pm PDT
As calls for reforming California's oft-abused environmental law increase, opponents are digging in their heels in anticipation of Governor Jerry Brown's effort to revise the law to ease approval processes, reports Evan Halper.
Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2013, 10am PST
Rick Cole, the former City Manager of Ventura, California, and a well-known civic leader in Southern California, defends the need for CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) while calling for returning to the law's key roots.
The Planning Report
September 25, 2012, 9am PDT
According to new figures from California's Annual Planning Survey, the state's environmental law is low on the list of barriers to infill development, writes Ethan Elkind.
Legal Planet
July 17, 2012, 7am PDT
Former California governors and Southern California Leadership Council members George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis discuss the necessity of modernizing one of the state's oldest environmental laws in order to protect the state's economy.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
April 8, 2012, 5am PDT
After a hard-won legal battle, Los Angeles' youngest coastal community can finally begin construction on its mixed-use downtown, report Roger Vincent and Martha Groves.
Los Angeles Times
Blog post
November 14, 2011, 4pm PST

After reading an article on the misuse of CEQA in California,* I took a short look at New York law.  In New York, city planners must prepare an environmental assessment when property is rezoned, and must prepare a more detailed environmental impact statement (EIS) if property has a significant effect on the environment.  

Michael Lewyn