“Dan Wu and Shiloh Ballard: Why state’s CEQA laws needs update”

August 25, 2012

“For nearly 40 years, the California Environmental Quality Act has served as an important law to ensure that any proposed project receives adequate environmental review, community input and that any potential impacts on the environment are adequately evaluated and mitigated.

However, CEQA now is being abused by project opponents to file lawsuits to delay or kill projects — not to further the interests of the environment. While many of us hoped that important reforms would have been adopted this month, pledges Thursday by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Michael Rubio to work with a coalition co-chaired by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for substantive CEQA modernization is a hopeful sign.

Locally, several good projects have been held up by CEQA challenges that have little to do with the environment and more to do with plain-old project opposition. A Netflix plan to expand in Los Gatos and create close to 800 new jobs in an existing office park is being challenged by some who say the building will be too tall.”

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