The Third District Court of Appeal has ruled that two "re-entry agreements" between Sonoma County and its former redevelopment agency are valid under the redevelopment wind-down law. The case marks the second time this year that the Third District has upheld re-entry agreements, suggesting that local governments are beginning to get the upper hand against the state Department of Finance in post-redevelopment litigation.
The case involves the county's desire to retain $14 million in tax-increment funds for two projects: street and sidewalk upgrades on Highway 12 north of Sonoma, and a mixed-use project on the site of an abandoned shopping center in the Roseland neighborhood of Santa Rosa.
As with the other recent case from Emeryville, the case turned in part on whether AB 1484, a 2012 law which eliminated re-entry agreements, should somehow be used to invalidate reentry agreements made before the law took effect. In addition, DOF made a series of narrow legal arguments that the Third District did not buy.
How many mitigated negative declarations are required for a lead agency to avoid preparing an EIR? In Sonoma County the answer is five. While the portion of Schenck v. County of Sonoma devoted to the "fair argument" analysis remains unpublished, the court's published ruling that certain procedural errors are not prejudicial is helpful, as well as the appellate court's affirmation that the trial court can fashion a tailored remedy to cure a California Environmental Quality Act error and is not compelled to set aside the approval.
A lawsuit challenging Sonoma County's ordinance regulating the location and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries has been dismissed because it was not brought within the 90-day statute of limitations.
News from around the state: Sonoma County drops plans to take more water from the Russian River, angering cities; CSU Monterey Bay agrees to mitigate some of its off-campus impacts; Lake County may get a fourth Indian casino.
In a budget-cutting move, the City of Petaluma is disbanding its Community Development Department. After slashing the department from 23 to 11 employees in September 2008, the City Council more recently voted 4-2 to lay off all remaining planners, including the community development director.