An appellate court has upheld a CEQA exemption for the 2011 deputy sheriffs' charity rodeo at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds in Watsonville. Although it was the first rodeo held there in a generation, the court held a categorical exemption was proper for the event on the grounds that, environmentally speaking, the rodeo was much a "normal operation" as any other livestock or equestrian event at that venue.
An appellate court has set aside the City of Watsonville's general plan on grounds that it is incompatible with the State Aeronautics Act, and because the city failed to consider a lower growth alternative in the general plan's environmental impact report. The ruling is the latest development in Watsonville growth wars that extend back to the 1980s.
This case is another instance in which the supposed primacy of a general plan has, on a selected basis, been subverted to other special purposes, such as coastal planning, preservation of San Francisco Bay and Lake Tahoe and, as in Watsonville, airport planning.
he Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals continues to crack open the door to property owners seeking compensation for what they claim is a government taking. In its most recent decision, the court ruled that the owner of a rent-controlled mobile home park in Capitola should have its day in federal District Court. This despite the fact that the U.S. District Court and two state courts ruled that a state court decision against the property owner should have settled the matter.
A city may determine that project alternatives once considered potentially feasible for California Environmental Quality Act analysis are infeasible as actual projects, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
A case involving Santa Cruz County's second unit ordinance has been returned to the Sixth District Court of Appeal by the state Supreme Court because the county has amended the ordinance.
The county has asked the court to dismiss the case entirely because the county has eliminated the ordinance provisions in question, Deputy County Counsel Dwight Herr said. Those provisions dictate rent levels and who may occupy a second unit.
Expansion plans for Santa Cruz's beach boardwalk amusement park have been on a roller coaster ride for months, with election results in November's city council races expected to offer a public referendum on the city council's recent decision to limit the huge plan.