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Maintain Our Desert Env't v. Apple Valley, Town of

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20044
Nos. No. E033904, (Cal. Ct. App., 07/02/2004)

A California appellate court held that a lower court did not err when it denied an environmental group's writ seeking to set aside approval of a development project because the town did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The group had standing to seek a writ because it exhausted its administrative remedies by objecting to approval of the project during the public comment period. Nevertheless, the town provided adequate notice of the project, indicated that significant environmental impacts may exist, and stated where the draft environmental impact report (EIR) could be reviewed. Further, since the CEQA does not require tenant-specific review of previously approved uses, the town was not obliged to identify the end user so long as the new owner's use was consistent with what had already been approved. And although the group properly raised issues of traffic, land use, noise, the Mojave ground squirrel, and air quality at the administrative level, its remaining objections were waived because it failed to raise them during public comment or in the writ petition. As for the merits, the EIR sufficiently complied with the CEQA in analyzing the environmental implications of the project and provided the public with knowledge of the impacts.