CEQA Suits a Major Holdup for Calif. Housing, Study Finds
West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group Leader Jennifer Hernandez was quoted in a Law360 article about a recent Holland & Knight study that found California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuits continue to be a major threat to housing production in the Golden State. Passed in 1970, CEQA generally requires state and local government agencies to inform the public about the environmental consequences of proposed agency actions, to consider public comments and to also minimize any significant, avoidable environmental damage. Ms. Hernandez authored a roughly 100-page study that was published in Chapman Law Review about how the unpredictability of CEQA case' outcomes has turned the law into a tool used by opponents of housing developments to block projects through litigation. In the study she examined the role that the state judiciary played in creating that unpredictability.
"CEQA has become a land use decision-making tool instead of an environmental protection tool," Ms. Hernandez said.
The study is the third in a series explaining how CEQA is litigated. All three studies conclude that the most common target of CEQA lawsuits is housing that city officials approved for construction in existing communities.
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