Meyers Nave Argues Landmark CEQA Case Before CA Supreme Court
On December 2, Amrit Kulkarni presented oral argument before the California Supreme Court on a case that Law360 calls the “biggest CEQA case” and members of the state’s land use legal community describe as a “landmark” case that will result in a “blockbuster decision.”
Amrit and Julia Bond are handling the high-profile matter of Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley on behalf of Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor-Klein, which addresses whether a full environmental impact report is required for their proposed single-family home on a hillside lot. The California Supreme Court granted the City of Berkeley’s petition for review after a lower court required that an environmental impact report be prepared for the home despite the fact that CEQA categorically exempts single family homes from that requirement.
The case will have profound implications for courts, private landowners and project developers, and all government agencies that regularly rely on categorical exemptions. If the Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s decision, it will be more difficult to qualify for the exemptions that legislatures provided in the CEQA guidelines to help streamline and shorten the review process for minor projects.
The Court’s ruling in this case is expected by March 2, 2015. Below are examples of the extensive media coverage of this precedent-setting case.