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Tolumne County Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. Sonora, City of

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20253
Nos. No. F051508, (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., 10/02/2007)

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision denying a petition for writ of mandate challenging a city's approval of a home improvement center construction project. A citizens group argued that the realignment of a nearby road should have been considered as part of the same project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appellate court agreed. The construction of the home improvement center and the realignment of the road constitute a single CEQA project. The home improvement center project is dependent upon, not independent of, the road realignment because the opening of the home improvement center was conditioned upon the completion of the road realignment. The two acts, therefore, are part of a single project for purposes of the CEQA, and the city violated the CEQA by treating them as separate projects subject to separate environmental reviews.