Description: Challenge to environmental review for the Guenoc Valley Mixed Use Planned Development Project.
People v. County of Lake
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/11/2023 Request Download Request for dismissal of appeal filed by California Attorney General. California Attorney General Dropped Challenge to Lake County Project After Developer Agreed to Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures and Steps to Address Wildfire Risk. On January 11, 2023, the California Attorney General requested the dismissal of its appeal of a California Superior Court decision in a case challenging the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and approval for a mixed-use development project in southeast Lake County that as originally proposed would have added 4,000 residents to an area with a population of 10,000. The Superior Court ordered the County to conduct additional studies of the project’s impacts on community evacuation routes during wildfires but upheld other aspects of the CEQA review. The Attorney General requested dismissal of its appeal after reaching a settlement with the project’s developer. The settlement specifies modifications and measures that the developer must incorporate into any future request for approval of the project, including measures to reduce wildfire risk and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The emission reduction measures include requirements for photovoltaic systems, battery energy storage systems, and heat pumps in residential buildings; a prohibition on the use and extension of natural gas infrastructure in the project site; requirements for sufficient on-site renewable energy generation to produce electricity to supply energy for non-residential structures; electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and purchase of greenhouse gas offset credits for 30 years to offset the project’s actual emissions in each year. 11/28/2022 Settlement Agreement Download California Attorney General and developer executed settlement agreement.
Center for Biological Diversity v. County of Lake
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/04/2022 Ruling Download Peremptory writ of mandate granted. California Court Ordered Additional Study of Resort’s Impact on Wildfire Evacuation Routes, Upheld Other Aspects of CEQA Review. A California Superior Court found that the County of Lake failed to support its findings regarding a proposed resort development’s impacts on community emergency evacuation routes during wildfires. The court therefore ordered that the County set aside its approval of the project. The court rejected other claims that the CEQA review was inadequate, including with respect to the project’s impact on wildfire risk, which was an issue identified by the People of the State of California when intervening as a petitioner to challenge the project. (The People had cited the area’s “high susceptibility” to wildfire risk and the increasing frequency, scale, and severity of wildfires exacerbated by climate change and development at the wildland-urban interface.) The court also found that a carbon credit program added in an errata to the final EIR was not a mitigation measure upon which the County relied to make any findings in the EIR; therefore, to the extent the carbon credit program did not comply with CEQA, the court found no prejudicial error. The court also was not persuaded by the People’s argument that the County should have considered alternative locations closer to a transit stop because such locations would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The court stated: “The Project consists of high-end residential, resort, and recreational facilities. It is speculative to conclude consumers of the project will travel from out of the area by public transit.” 02/01/2021 Motion to Intervene Download Motion for leave to intervene filed by People of the State of California ex rel. Xavier Becerra. California Attorney General Sought to Intervene to Oppose Residential Project in Area Vulnerable to Wildfire. The California Attorney General filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the People of the State of California in a lawsuit challenging a residential and resort development in Lake County that the Attorney General argued would result in adverse environmental effects that could affect the public generally. In the case challenging a proposed residential and resort development in Lake County, the petition attached to the attorney general’s motion alleged that the project would be located in an area where the “frequency, scale, and severity of … wildfires has increased in recent years, exacerbated by climate change and by high-risk development and human activity encroaching into the wildland-urban interface.” The petition also alleged that the environmental impact report for the project failed to adequately analyze and disclose the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the Project on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. 08/21/2020 Petition for Writ of Mandate Download Verified petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief filed.