When the City of Morgan Hill annexed an 80-acre plot of land over public outcry, city residents fought back by approving ballot measures limiting the development that could take place on that parcel. With a recent appeals court ruling – 31 years after the initial annexation -- a developer's project is high and dry, with the court ruling that the city's actions did not amount to inverse condemnation or illegal spot zoning.
By now, most CEQA practitioners have faced the problem of what to do when a project opponent submits the attorney general's 18-page list of potential greenhouse gas mitigation measures, when many of the measures in the list may not be appropriate for a particular project. On June 30, 2011, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that the lead agency is not required to explain why each of the proposed measures is inappropriate for the project at issue.
According to some Fresno locals, it was 30 years ago -- perhaps because of Proposition 13, perhaps because of the falling price of grapes -- that the city at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley went into decline. Since then, accusations of corruption, dismal economics, and nearly unmitigated low-density development have made the city both the butt of jokes and one of the nation's most forlorn urban areas. It has not suffered the spectacular fall of, say, Detroit -- but only because it never rose to Detroit's industrial prominence in the first place.