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Tomlinson v. Alameda, County of

Citation: 40 ELR 20263
No. No. A125471, (Cal. App. 1st, 10/06/2010) Opinion following rehearing on court's own motion

A California appellate court reversed and remanded a lower court decision that a proposed development project approved by a county was categorically exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The county determined that the categorical exemption for in-fill development applied to the project. But the project will not take place "within city limits" and, thus, the county used the wrong legal standard in applying the exemption. Contrary to the county's assertions, a policy of encouraging urban in-fill does not overcome the requirements of CEQA and does not expand the exemption to projects that clearly lie outside the legal criteria. Because the unlawful omission of information from the environmental review process constitutes prejudicial error, the lower court's order was vacated and remanded.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 40 ELR 20166.]