Calif. High Court Humbles Itself Over CEQA Case

September 8, 2015


The Supreme Court of California recently released its second California Environmental Quality Act decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation. In City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University (Aug. 3, 2015; SC Case No. S199557), the court clarified that a state agency may not reject as infeasible off-site mitigation via fair-share payment solely due to the lack of appropriations earmarked for that purpose by the California Legislature. As a result, it affirmed the court of appeal’s decision directing the board of trustees of the California State University to vacate its certification of an environmental impact report for a major expansion of the San Diego State University. In doing so, the court admitted that unnecessary — and incorrect — language in its own prior decision was the culprit, and thereby fixed a problem of its own making.

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