Governor Signs CEQA Reform into Law
By Jeffrey S. Haber, Mitchell B. Menzer, Edgar Khalatian & Sherry E. Jackman
On September 27, 2011, Governor Brown signed two bills into law that amend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in an attempt to help improve the states economy. These bills aim to curtail delays attributed to CEQA litigation and to produce much-needed economic growth, jobs and tax revenues for the state. Its time for big thinking and big projects that put Californians back to work, said Governor Brown.
The most significant change comes from Assembly Bill 900 (AB 900), which expedites judicial review for development projects that incorporate various environmental features. More narrowly, Senate Bill 292 (SB 292) establishes administrative and judicial review procedures specifically tailored for the proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The Governor, however, has not signed Senate Bill 226 (SB 226), which would create CEQA exemptions and/or limited review for qualified green projects, such as urban infill developments and rooftop solar projects.