CEQA

"Environmentall sensitive area" sign on rustic wooden fence with tall green grass in background.

Misuse of Environmental Laws Betrays Their Intent

How laws written to protect natural resources and biodiversity are being reinterpreted by NIMBY groups to block development.

October 24, 2023 - Governing

Aerial view of UC Berkeley campus with Campanile tower

New California Law Alters CEQA in Favor of Student Housing

Following a heated legal battle over new student housing in Berkeley, Governor Newsom signed a new law removing ‘social noise’ as an environmental impact.

September 11, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Brick "USC University of Southenr California"  sign at entrance to campus

Berkeley Noise Pollution Precedent Blocks Los Angeles Housing

Opponents to a new university housing project cited a recent Berkeley case in which noise pollution was successfully used to deny an exemption from environmental review.

August 17, 2023 - The Daily Californian

Aerial view at dusk of UC Berkeley campus with tall tower in foreground and San Francisco Bay in the background

Opinion: How California’s Environmental Law Empowers NIMBYs

Critics of a new provision calling “social noise” an environmental impact say the law can too easily be co-opted by anti-housing groups to block new development.

March 27, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

A broad valley with two tall peaks in the background. In the foregound, but far below the view from the hill where the photo was taken, large freeways are visible.

Infamous 315-Unit Lafayette Housing Development Finally Approved

In a dramatic sign of how far zoning reform has come in the state of California, CEQA wasn’t enough to stop a 315-unit apartment development first proposed 12 years ago in the city of Lafayette.

March 17, 2023 - San Francisco Chronicle

Rendering of red seven-story student housing building with students walking in open grassy plaza in front of building

L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform

The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.

January 31, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

The Interstate 10 freeway cuts through residential neighborhoods in the city of Alhambra. Downtown Los Angeles is visible in the background,

Report: CEQA Lawsuits Challenge Almost Half of All Housing Development in California

A new report details the reach of California’s controversial environmental regulation, and warns of more consequences to come.

August 25, 2022 - Center for Jobs & the Economy

Crowd Community Meeting

The Problem With Public Input

The current community input process often amplifies the voices of already powerful groups who act to stop valuable projects for their own benefit.

April 28, 2022 - The Atlantic

A group of cyclists rides on a green painted bike line on the Embarcadero in Sa Francisco.

Report: Sustainable Transportation Proposals Face Costly, ‘Time-Consuming’ Environmental Studies

In another blow to California’s Environmental Quality Act, a new analysis shows that many green transportation projects are delayed or halted by an expensive, onerous review process and the threat of lawsuits.

April 14, 2022 - San Francisco Examiner

Wastewater California

What Is CEQA?

Designed to assess the environmental impacts of new projects and provide mitigation measures, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has a controversial history, sometimes serving as a convenient tool for groups intent on stopping or slowing development.

March 16, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

UC Berkeley

U.C. Berkeley To Reduce Enrollment by Thousands, Court Decides

The California Supreme Court ruled against the university in a battle over a proposed enrollment cap, forcing the school to reject thousands of potential new students.

March 3, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Berkeley Hills Bay Area

State Bill Seeks CEQA Exemption for California Universities

A bill introduced in the California legislature would allow public universities to bypass environmental review regulations for student housing projects.

February 27, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Metro Train Station

Lawmaker Proposes Permanent Environmental Review Exemptions for Transit Projects

A 2020 law that exempts transit, bike, and pedestrian projects from California's strict environmental review process could become permanent.

February 15, 2022 - SFBay

Highway Construction

How the Environmental Review Process Privileges Highway Construction Over Transit

U.S. transit projects have a much harder time getting environmental approval than road projects, perpetuating the dominance of cars in U.S. transportation policy.

August 25, 2021 - Slate

Vineyard, Napa Valley, California

Lawsuit by Malibu Wineries Challenges Ban on New Vineyards

A coalition of winemakers claims that the county ignored CEQA requirements in instituting a blanket ban on new vineyards in the Santa Monica Mountains.

June 18, 2021 - LAist

Lakeview Gusher, Kern County, 1910

California's Kern County Weighs Proposal to Approve Thousands of New Oil Wells

The oil-rich county hopes to boost its economy with a revised plan for new drilling after a state court struck down a 2015 ordinance.

March 14, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

California State Capital

Evaluating CEQA: The Controversial Law Turns 50

The California Environmental Quality Act, commonly referred to as CEQA for short, has been influencing planning and development in California for 50 years, creating a constant source of controversy and criticisms from both sides of the debate.

December 8, 2020 - California Planning & Development Report

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Two Signs of Approval Process Failure Finally to Proceed in Los Angeles

Neighborhood groups blocked the construction and completion of a Target-anchored retail complex and a 22-story residential high rise for years. Developers and the city have finally moved forward.

December 21, 2018 - Urbanize.LA

BART Train

BART's Transit-Oriented Development Bill Sets Disturbing Precedent, Says APA

AB 2923, which would allow the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to rezone their properties near stations for transit-oriented development, passed its first committee. The California chapter of APA objects to the preemption of local land use authority.

April 23, 2018 - California Chapter of American Planning Association

San Francisco Street

Is CEQA the Main Impediment to Housing Construction in California?

According to a new study by UC Berkeley and Columbia University, local land use processes, specifically the approval process, rather than the California Environmental Quality Act, is the main impediment to housing production in California.

February 24, 2018 - Los Angeles Times

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