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Client Alerts



Land Use

Labor and Employment

Environmental Law

Land Use and Environmental Law

  • Significant CEQA Streamlining Reform Bills EnactedOctober 24, 2011Three important reform bills designed to streamline California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) processing and review for certain classes of projects have been enacted and will take effect January 1, 2012.  SB 226 creates a new exemption for urban infill and renewable energy projects.  It also makes a variety of amendments to both CEQA and SB 375, the landmark 2008 legislation designed to ... read more
  • City Approval Of Preliminary Terms for New Football Stadium Was Not A Project Approval And Did Not Violate CEQAMay 26, 2011In Cedar Fair, L.P. v. City of Santa Clara, the latest case interpreting Save Tara, the Sixth District Court of Appeal found that the City of Santa Clara did not violate CEQA when it approved preliminary terms for a new football stadium. The City had adopted a 39-page Stadium Term Sheet which detailed proposed construction, financing and other provisions for development of a ... read more
  • The Williamson Act: Agricultural Land Conservation and Solar DevelopmentMarch 23, 2011On March 11, the California Department of Conservation (“Department”) issued an opinion entitled “Considerations in Citing Solar Facilities on Land Enrolled in the Williamson Act” (“Opinion”). This provides suggestions to cities and counties for permitting solar development on agricultural land under contract in the California Land Conservation Act (“Williamson Act”). The ... read more

Public Finance

  • Governor Signs AB 506 (Wieckowski) Affecting Chapter 9 Bankruptcy FilingsOctober 14, 2011On October 9, 2011, Governor Brown signed legislation that creates new requirements for local government entities considering Chapter 9 bankruptcy filings. The final bill allows a local government entity to file a bankruptcy petition so long as it has either declared a fiscal emergency or engaged in a specified mediation process with its major creditors. This legislation was promoted by public ... read more

Public Contracts

  • Project Thresholds Change Under Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting ActSeptember 27, 2011Public entities that utilize the UPCCAA should take note that the monetary thresholds for bidding on public projects has changed as follows: (a) Public projects of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) or less may be performed by the employees of a public agency by force account, by negotiated contract, or by purchase order. (b) Public projects of one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ... read more
  • Local Agencies Now Required to Provide Electronic Copies of Project Documents to Contractor Plan RoomsFebruary 16, 2011The California State legislature recently passed AB 2036, codified as Section 20103.7 of the Public Contract Code, which provides that "[a] local agency taking bids for the construction of a public work project or improvement, upon request from a contractor plan room service, must provide an electronic copy of a project's contract documents at no charge to the contractor plan room."  Section ... read more

Municipal and Special District Law

  • Ninth Circuit Finds Anti-Solicitation Ordinance Aimed at Day Laborers Violates First AmendmentSeptember 26, 2011The Ninth Circuit invalidated a City of Redondo Beach ordinance that prohibits solicitation between day laborers and occupants of motor vehicles on streets and highways. In Comite De Jornaleros De Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, Ninth Circuit Case No. 06-55750, No. 06-56869, the Ninth Circuit en banc opinion reversed the prior ... read more
  • Non-elected members of public agency boards beware!February 1, 2011Under the broad language of proposed rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), intended to implement provisions of Section 975 (“Section 975”) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), non-elected members of the governing board of a municipal entity may fall under the definition of “municipal advisor” and thereby ... read more

Climate Change and Green Initiatives

  • Court Rejects CEQA Challenge to GHG and Water Analysis in Addendum to 1994 EIRJune 23, 2011In Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development (CREED) v. City of San Diego, the Court upheld the use of an Addendum to a 1994 environmental impact report (EIR) to approve a revised Project.  The Court rejected two challenges: (1) that the Addendum failed to include an analysis of the impacts of greenhouse gases which was not addressed in the 1994 EIR; and (2) that the City ... read more
  • Executive Summary: Bills to WatchJune 8, 2011Various labor-related bills are currently making their way through the California Legislature.  This executive summary provides a brief description of these bills and how each could potentially effect cities, counties and special districts around California. Assembly Bill 646                  Under the authority granted to local governments by the MMBA, many ... read more