California – Governor Brown signed into law yesterday legislation fast tracking big project environmental review. Big projects, referred to as “Leadership Projects” by the law, are projects worth more than $100 million and that meet certain environmental and transportation criteria. Litigation for such projects would have to be concluded within 7 months and would start in the Appellate Court – thus skipping the trial court level. The law is named the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 (AB 900) and was authored by Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) and Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Minimum environmental criteria for such projects include LEED Silver certification and 10% greater transportation efficiency than “comparable projects” – “if applicable.” He also signed into law a similar bill specifically pertaining to Los Angeles’s stadium and convention center construction (SB 292 – Padilla). The new laws are intended to “fast-track the creation of thousands of jobs” but “these projects are not exempt from CEQA, but will go through a fast-track judicial review process in California’s Court of Appeal,” stated the Governor’s office.
About Bill Adams
Bill Adams is the founder and chief editor of UrbDeZine. He is also a partner in the San Diego law firm of Norton, Moore, & Adams, LLP. He has been involved with land use and urban renewal for nearly 25 years, both as a professional and as a personal passion. He currently sits on the boards or committees of ,The Public Interest Advocacy Collaborative, San Diego Historic Streetcars, The Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, and the Heal the Gash Committee (reconnecting communities divided by freeways).