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Martin v. San Francisco, City & County of

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20003
Nos. No. A107768, (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 12/29/2006)

A court holds that a municipality may not lawfully require the owner of a private single-family residence who proposes to modify a portion of the interior of his residence, in an area not visible to the general public, to undergo a review of the proposed project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Although a municipality has very broad statutory discretion to grant or deny a required building permit, that authority does not extend to imposing CEQA review upon such an interior home project, even where the residence is listed as a city landmark and is located within an area registered as a state and a national historic district. What an owner plans to do to the private interior of his or her home does not implicate a significant adverse effect on the environment, which is the predicate for requiring CEQA review by a municipality.