California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

in: AIACC / 3 Comments
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gov-supremecourt-398Architects, and their clients, may find a recent California Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) encouraging. While not the absolute change we would like to see in the statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions, it is a step, albeit small, in the right direction.

Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that CEQA does not apply to a local voter initiative when the local government body directly adopts the initiative rather than placing it on the ballot for a special election. A brief write-up of Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court (Wal-Mart) can be found here: California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling.


Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA

Kurt T. Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, is the Director of Regulation and Practice. With experience in the profession and over 15 years as an advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, he is passionate about protecting and advancing the profession.

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  1. avatar
    Shelly Dildey

    What is AIACC’s position on revisions to CEQA?

  2. avatar
    Don Adams

    Kurt, when you say, “Architects, and their clients, may find…encouraging…” and having now read the very interesting article, are you implying architects would rather build a project, or build it faster, than to protect the environment? Not me. I’m an architect.

    And with, “…a step…in the right direction,” are you suggesting to the right direction is to eliminate CEQA? What is “the absolute change we would like to see”? Many times I see CEQA not enforced thoroughly enough.

    Since you are writing on an AIA sponsored public facing web site, and therefore promoting the profession, then I am probably reading your intro the wrong way. So sorry for that. Please clarify? You probably do mean something else, or you are referring to some current trend that I’m not aware of.

    Thanks for posting the article. It’s good to know.

  3. avatar
    Ian Merker

    This ruling reinforces the responsibility of local government to ensure that projects meet a General Plan, which is a document that has had environmental review. As citizens, we need to carefully observe the process to ensure that projects are objectively reviewed based on that criteria and not merely economic interest, and pressure communities that haven’t updated their plan for decades!

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