The judge today ruled against the petitioners who had challenged the County's finding that the apartments project did not require any environmental analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Every law school in California teaches that the public's right to full environmental disclosure is the reason for CEQA. The law was structured to be enforced via citizen suit, hence the petitioners were doing their civic duty. For more information about CEQA, see our post from April 23, 2015.
The petitioners believe that public distrust in politicians and insider developers can only be addressed if judges and courts assure impacts are assessed. They note that the judge has failed the public and CEQA because the decision allowed the County to approve yet another large apartment complex in the community without disclosing the environmental impacts and, therefore, enabling the County to avoid mitigation of impacts of concern. The ruling has yet to be formally issued, which will start a time period within which an appeal may be filed.
The Advocates for Arden Arcade were not a party to the citizens' suit. However, the Advocates for Arden Arcade are willing to receive questions from the community and pass them along to the petitioners. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.