CEQA Lawsuits Challenged Nearly 48,000 Homes in California in 2020, Study Finds
Holland & Knight Partner and leader of the firm's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group Jennifer Hernandez was quoted in a San Francisco Business Times article about an industry report she authored for The Center for Jobs & The Economy. The report shows that roughly 39 percent of the homes approved in California were challenged by lawsuits alleging environmental harm under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The article also discusses a study prepared by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that tracked residential projects with more than five units in 16 different jurisdictions across California. Researchers found that 3 percent of tracked projects — approximately 7 percent of the units tracked — faced legal challenges from CEQA. Ms. Hernandez commented that the CARB study doesn’t accurately reflect CEQA’s impact in part because it included projects that were considered by-right approvals.
"This idea that CEQA lawsuits are really rare, that they only challenge 3 percent of projects — that doesn't make sense based on our practice at Holland & Knight," she said. "We are ourselves dealing with more than 3 percent of housing projects."
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