On Tuesday, October 4th, 2016, Parker & Covert LLP attorney Meghan Covert Russell will be presenting a roundtable discussion on hot topics surrounding athletic facilities, including health and safety issues.
The informational event, including attorneys and architects discussing issues related to school athletic facilities, will precede a Fiesta Fundraiser presented by CASH and AFE Sports in support of Proposition 51.
School district staff are invited to attend the informational discussion, located in Signal Hill, from 4-5:30, with the Fiesta Fundraiser commencing at 5:30.
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpg00Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-09-29 16:22:452017-05-16 19:17:35Attorney Meghan Covert Russell to present at 'Yes on Prop 51' Event
The California Supreme Court handed down its latest California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) decision, Friends of the College v. San Mateo Community College District, on September 19, 2016. The decision is a major victory for agencies, including K-12 and community college districts, considering changes to a previously approved project that required environmental review.
Friends of the College arose from changes in the San Mateo Community College District’s 10-year-old plan to modernize its campuses by renovating some existing buildings, constructing new ones, and demolishing others. The District had determined, years before the case arose, that the environmental impacts of the original modernization plan could be mitigated to insignificance and adopted a declaration to that effect, i.e., a mitigated negative declaration (MND). Because of funding issues arising years after the District’s adoption of the MND, the District decided to demolish a building originally slated for renovation and renovate two other buildings initially slated for demolition.
The District concluded that these changes to the original plan would have no greater environmental impact than the original plan itself and that the changes did not require the preparation of a supplemental environmental impact report (EIR), which calls for a public review and comment period. Therefore, the District approved an addendum to the original MND, a process that does not require a public review and comment period.
The trial court and the Court of Appeal held that the changes to the original plan constituted a new project under CEQA. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned this conclusion. The Supreme Court ruled that an agency that proposes changes to a previously approved project that required CEQA review must determine whether the previous environmental document retains any relevance in light of the proposed changes and, if so, whether the changes are substantial and will require major revisions to the previous environmental document due to the involvement of new significant environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously identified significant effects. The agency, and not the courts, makes these determinations. The courts’ job is not to weigh conflicting evidence and determine which party has the better argument. Courts are limited to deciding whether an agency’s determination is supported by substantial evidence.
The California Supreme Court unequivocally stated that it expects occasions when a court finds no substantial evidence to support an agency’s decision to proceed under CEQA’s subsequent review provisions – i.e., occasions when a court finds no substantial evidence to support an agency’s decision that the previous environmental document retains some relevance in light of the proposed changes – will be rare. Finally, the Supreme Court found that CEQA establishes a presumption against requiring supplemental review of a previously approved project, whether that approval is based on an EIR or a negative declaration.
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpg00Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-09-19 12:37:452017-05-16 19:17:35Friends of the College v. San Mateo Community College District: A Major CEQA Victory for Districts
On May 25, 2016 the State Allocation Board (“SAB”) voted to authorize Level III Developer Fees, consistent with Government Code section 65995.7. Shortly thereafter the California Building Industry Association (“CBIA”) filed a lawsuit in the Sacramento Superior Court challenging the action of the SAB, in a case entitled California Building Industry Association v. State Allocation Board. The court subsequently issued a temporary restraining order to temporarily halt the action of the SAB, and then later issued a tentative ruling in SAB’s favor. The case was heard on July 22, 2016. On August 22, the Court issued a final ruling denying CBIA’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Court’s conclusion, which mirrors its July tentative ruling in support of Level III Developer Fees, is that CBIA failed to prove any likelihood of success on the merits of its case. In addition to denying the preliminary injunction, the Court also terminated the previously issued temporary restraining order.
SAB argued that when funds are not available for new construction projects, pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 17072.20 of the Education Code), that Level III Developer Fees may then be authorized. Conversely, CBIA argued that there were funds available, including Hardship Application and seismic repair funds, and the fact that any amount was available, however small, meant that funds were still available.
The Court examined whether funds available for new construction were based solely on Article 5 funds, or whether the SAB should consider alternative sources of funds. The Court concluded that authorization of Level III Developer Fees are appropriate “when Article 5 funds are insufficient to allow for continued apportionment for new construction.” Additionally, the Court concluded that although there are $2.2 million in Article 5 funds remaining, the next project in line for funding was Fresno Unified School District’s approved application for over $15 million, and that project alone would deplete remaining Article 5 funds. The Court found that SAB was “not approving apportionments as the funds provided fall far short of that needed for the ‘next in line’ approved application.”
The Court also noted that “the statute does not require [SAB] to wait for additional funds that may become available at some point in the future.” Although Proposition 51, regarding the statewide school bond, has been placed on the November ballot, SAB is not required to take a “wait-and-see” approach for funding new construction projects in the meantime.
In its August 22 ruling, the Court also directed SAB to prepare a final order incorporating the Court’s ruling to be entered by the Court and to finalize this matter, pending any appeals by CBIA.
SAB’s earlier finding that state funds for new construction are no longer available and that SAB is no longer approving apportionments for new construction due to lack of funds, which led it to authorize the implementation of Level III Developer Fees, has thus far withstood the legal challenge by CBIA.
We have previously covered the authorization of Level III fees and this legal challenge in our May 27 and July 21 Legal Updates, which can be accessed at http://parkercovert.com/blog/, and we will continue to monitor the status of this case. Should you have any follow-up questions or comments on this information, please feel free to contact either our Southern California office at (714) 573-0900 or our Northern California office at (916) 245-8677 or visit our website at http://parkercovert.com/
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/services1.png4131000Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-08-25 15:20:472017-05-16 19:17:35Court Issues Ruling in Favor of State Allocation Board in Lawsuit Regarding Level III Developer Fees
As you will recall, on May 25, 2016 the State Allocation Board (“SAB”) voted to authorize Level III Developer Fees, consistent with Government Code section 65995.7. Shortly thereafter the California Building Industry Association (“CBIA”) filed a lawsuit in the Sacramento Superior Court challenging the action of the SAB, in a case entitled California Building Industry Association v. State Allocation Board.
Today the Court issued a tentative ruling denying CBIA’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Court’s tentative conclusion, in support of Level III fees, is that SAB may make a finding that state funds for new construction are no longer available and that SAB is no longer approving apportionments for new construction due to lack of funds.
This is a tentative ruling that is scheduled to be argued before the Court tomorrow. A final decision will be issued at a later date.
We will continue to provide ongoing updates on this important case.
Should you have any follow-up questions or comments on this information, please feel free to contact either our Southern California office at (714) 573-0900 or our Northern California office at (916) 245-8677 or visit our website at www.parkercovert.com
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpg00Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-07-21 04:00:162017-05-16 19:17:36Sacramento Superior Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Favor of State Allocation Board in Lawsuit Regarding Level III Developer Fees
The Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association (“OC LERA”) is holding its 34th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference on July 27, 2016 at the Anaheim Sheraton Park Hotel.
This annual conference is co-sponsored by the National Labor Relations Board, OCLERA, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The conference will provide practical information on current labor and employment law issues and legislation affecting the workplace. It is designed for labor and management representatives in both the private and public sectors, including attorneys, human resource professionals, in-house counsel, business agents, union representatives, mediators, arbitrators, and academics.
Parker & Covert LLP Attorney, Michael T. Travis, will be a panelist at the workshop entitled “Preparing for and Dealing with Violence Issues in the Workplace” from 2:oo p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Other workshops in the full-day conference include:
Hot Topics in the Workplace – Immigration and Human Trafficking; Pay Equity; and the New Minimum Wage
“Medical Miracles” – How Labor and Management Can Work Together
“Dependent” Contractors and the “Gig” Economy – New Challenges for Employers, Employees, and Unions
Ask the Arbitrators
For further information on the annual conference, please contact Ami Silverman at (213) 894-5223 or at ami.silverman@NLRB.gov. More information about OC LERA can be found on its web site, accessible through this link.
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpg00Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-07-08 10:00:492017-05-16 19:17:36Attorney Michael T. Travis to Appear as Panelist at 34th Annual OC LERA Labor and Employment Law Conference
The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (“CASH”) will be presenting a workshop on July 26 (Sacramento) and July 28 (Ontario) on preparing for local school bond elections.
The workshop will provide information on:
The type of consultants needed for either an advocacy or public information bond campaign
Building the local bond team for pre and post-election services
Legal requirements for placing a Proposition 39 school bond on the ballot and appointing bond oversight committees as well as the proper role for bond oversight committees
Selling your bond and determining school bond maturities for bond proceeds
Addison Covert of the firm’s Northern California office will be speaking at the Sacramento workshop on July 26, and at the Ontario workshop on July 28, 2016. School district staff and others may register at the CASH website at www.cashnet.org.
http://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/header1.jpg125745Michael Travishttp://parkercovert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo_large_new-300x94.jpgMichael Travis2016-07-07 23:34:542017-05-16 19:17:36Addison Covert to Speak at Coalition for Adequate School Housing Workshop on July 26