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Cedar Fair, L.P. v. City of Santa Clara

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20167
Nos. No. H035619, (Cal. , 04/06/2011)

A California appellate court held that a city's approval of a "term sheet" setting forth the basic plans for building a stadium for the San Francisco 49ers does not constitute a project or project approval under the California Environmental Quality Act. The current lessee of the site filed a petition challenging the approval, arguing that it should be set aside since the city failed to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR). But the term sheet does not constitute a project or a project approval. It simply memorializes the preliminary terms that have been negotiated among the parties and mandates that the parties use the term sheet as the "general framework" for "good faith negotiations." Although the term sheet is extremely detailed, it expressly binds the parties to only continue negotiating in good faith. Preparation of an EIR, therefore, is not required. The court, therefore, affirmed a lower court's denial of the petition.