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Friends of the Sierra R.R. v. Tuolumne Park & Recreation Dist.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20041
Nos. No. F050117, (Cal. App. 5th Dist., 01/12/2007)

A California appellate court affirmed a lower court's denial of a petition for a writ of mandamus to reverse a public agency's sale of land to the Tuolumne Board of Me-Wuk Indians. The land contained a disused but historic railroad right-of-way. A community group argued that the transfer fell within the California Environmental Quality Act's (CEQA's) definition of a "project" and therefore required environmental review under the Act because it was reasonably foreseeable that the land would be developed and that the development would have an adverse impact on the historical resource. But the transfer was not a project requiring CEQA review because, although some development of the property surrounding the historical resource was reasonably foreseeable, review of conceivable impacts on the historical resource itself would have been premature in the absence of any concrete development proposals. Nor does the CEQA compel the agency to force property owners to create or disclose development plans for the purpose of accelerating environmental review.