Not long ago, when California's economy was booming and concerns about rising seas were mounting, California tapped into its environmentalist traditions to pass popular laws that promised to lead the nation in greenhouse gas mitigation. While there are no sure signs that the global climate has cooled, the same cannot be said for the state's support of anti-climate change legislation.
Since Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement a few weeks ago, he has been hailed - and reviled - as the Court's "great liberal voice" of the past couple of decades. But especially in land use, Stevens' legacy rests with not only his ardent support of government regulatory power, but also his skill in mustering five votes, on a pretty conservative court, in favor of aggressive use of land use regulation.
One of the least scenic ways to visit Napa Valley is to enter from the south, through the industrial zone between the cities of American Canyon and Napa. The congested traffic and office parks near Highway 221 are a long ways from the idyllic pastoral stretches to the north.
In supporting the City of Stockton's refusal to accept a lawsuit filed by a citizens group against a proposed big-box store, the California Supreme Court has, for the second time in two months, made clear that if a public agency provides notice of a California Environmental Quality Act decision, legal challenges to that decision may be barred by the shortest statute of limitations, among several that the CEQA statute provides for, applies to legal challenges regardless of the context of the challenge.