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Save Tara v. West Hollywood, City of

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20272
Nos. No. S151402, (Cal., 10/30/2008) Rev'd

The Supreme Court of California held that under some circumstances, an agency's agreement allowing private development, conditioned on future compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), constitutes approval of the project that must be preceded by the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR). Here, a city's conditional agreement to sell land for private development, coupled with financial support, public statements, and other actions by its officials committing the city to the development, was, for purposes of CEQA, an approval of the project. An EIR, therefore, should have been prepared under California Public Resources Code §§21100 and 21151. The fact that the agreement was conditioned on future compliance with CEQA does not eliminate this requirement. Accordingly, the city must set aside its prior approval of the agreement and prepare a legally adequate EIR.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20051.]