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SB-1302 California Environmental Quality Act: housing development projects: judicial proceedings.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/01/2020 09:00 PM
SB1302:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1302


Introduced by Senator Morrell
(Principal coauthor: Senator Borgeas)

February 21, 2020


An act to add Section 21168.9.1 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1302, as amended, Morrell. California Environmental Quality Act: housing development projects: judicial proceedings.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment, or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA requires a court, in an action or proceeding brought challenging any determination, finding, or decision of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA and a finding by the court of such noncompliance, to enter an order that includes one or more of specified mandates, one of which may be a mandate to suspend any or all specific project activity or activities, as provided. CEQA provides that, except as otherwise specified, it is not intended to limit the equitable powers of the courts.
This bill would prohibit additional or subsequent CEQA actions or proceedings if an action or proceeding under CEQA has already been instituted against a housing development project, as defined, and a trial court has issued a peremptory writ of mandate, as prescribed. The bill would require that any claims regarding the lead agency’s noncompliance with the peremptory writ be raised during the public comment period provided in connection with the lead agency’s action to comply with the peremptory writ and when the lead agency makes a return to the peremptory writ. The bill would limit those claims to the adequacy of the lead agency’s remedial compliance efforts in response to the peremptory writ, and would prohibit the court from considering issues, claims, or complaints under CEQA that were not raised in the original action or proceeding or that were not resolved by the trial court in favor of the petitioners in the original action or proceeding from which the peremptory writ was issued. The bill would also prohibit subsequent actions or proceedings under CEQA against a housing development projects project if those projects have that project has already been subject to suit under CEQA. CEQA and a court has entered a final judgment in that action or proceeding. The bill would specify that it does not extend any statute of limitations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.9.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.9.1.
 (a) If an action or proceeding under this division has been instituted against a housing development project, as that term is defined in Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and a trial court issues a peremptory writ of mandate pursuant to Section 21168.9, no additional or subsequent legal action or proceeding under this division shall be initiated against that project. Any claims regarding the lead agency’s noncompliance with the peremptory writ must be raised during the public comment period provided in connection with the lead agency’s action to comply with the peremptory writ and when the lead agency makes a return to the peremptory writ. Those claims shall be limited to the adequacy of the lead agency’s remedial compliance efforts in response to the peremptory writ. Issues, claims, or complaints under this division that were not raised in the original action or proceeding, and any that were not resolved by the trial court in favor of the petitioners in the original action or proceeding from which the peremptory writ was issued, shall not be considered by a court in determining whether to discharge the peremptory writ.
(b) If an action or proceeding under this division has previously been instituted against a housing development project, as that term is defined in Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and a court has entered a final judgment in that action or proceeding, no subsequent action or proceeding under this division may be instituted against that project.
(c) Nothing in this section extends any statute of limitations.