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Published Court Decisions 

(Partial List)

California Supreme Court:

Sunset Skyranch Pilots Ass’n v. County of Sacramento, et al. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 902.  Plaintiffs challenged the County of Sacramento’s decision not to renew a conditional use permit for a private airport.  Plaintiffs argued, amongst other things, that the County’s decision required environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  Taylor & Wiley, representing the real-party-in-interest, successfully defended the County’s decision by arguing that CEQA does not apply to projects which a public agency refuses or denies.  This decision resulted in a published opinion by the California Supreme Court.

Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District:

Old East Davis Neighborhood Assn. v. City of Davis (2021) 73 Cal.App.5th 895. Plaintiffs, a neighborhood association, challenged the city council’ approval of a mixed-use residential development project. The court held that the city council’s decision to approve the development project was supported by substantial evidence and that the city council did not abuse its discretion in determining that the project complied with the city’s design guidelines. Taylor & Wiley represented the project’s developer in this action.  

Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento (2019) 37 Cal.App.5th 698. In this case of first impression, the Court upheld the City of Sacramento’s use of a Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA), instead of a traditional CEQA document, to approve a high-density, mixed-use condominium housing project in midtown Sacramento. The court further upheld the City’s reliance on a provision of its general plan which allows the approval of a project which deviates from the City’s height and density standards where such project will provide “significant community benefits,” such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the provision of affordable housing. Taylor & Wiley represented the project’s developer in this action.

Western Placer Citizens for an Agricultural and Rural Environment v. County of Placer, et al. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 890.  This action involved a challenge, under CEQA, to the County of Placer’s environmental impact report for an aggregate mine.  Plaintiffs argued that the EIR failed to adequately analyze the project’s water supply needs. Taylor & Wiley, representing the mining operator, successfully argued that the EIR’s analysis of water supply was adequate and complete.

El Dorado County Taxpayers for Quality Growth v. County of El Dorado, et al. (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1591.  In this important CEQA decision, Taylor & Wiley defended the County of El Dorado’s decision to prepare a negative declaration, as opposed to an EIR, for a reclamation plan prepared for an aggregate mining operation.  Representing the mining company, Taylor & Wiley successfully argued that an EIR was not required under CEQA because the project at issue involved only reclamation and not mining as urged by plaintiffs.

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District:

Frieman v. San Rafael Rock Quarry, Inc. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 29. In this case, the First District upheld the denial of a neighborhood group’s motion for class certification in an action against a quarry operator. Taylor & Wiley represented the quarry, successfully arguing that class certification was inappropriate for several reasons.

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