Larsen, Willis & Woodard Score Significant CEQA Win

Creating new law, Larsen, Willis & Woodard prevailed at the California Court of Appeal.  Finding that the City of Sacramento violated the law in approving a 336-unit residential project surrounded by a freeway and railroad tracks without adequate review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), the California Third District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court decision upholding the approval.  In pertinent part, the Court found:

“ESPLC contends the City failed to properly adjudge the significance of the traffic impacts of the project. In particular, ESPLC faults the EIR for relying on general plan traffic policies, which ESPLC categorizes as non-CEQA standards, to find that LOS E and LOS F conditions on City streets are not significant impacts.

. . .

Because the EIR fails to explain or provide substantial evidence to support the finding of no significant traffic impact at these intersections, we must reverse the trial court’s denial of ESPLC’s petition for a writ of mandate and remand the case for issuance of a writ directing the City to set aside its certification of the final EIR and to take the action necessary to bring the transportation and circulation section of the EIR into compliance with CEQA.”