Description: Challenge to certification of environmental impact report for resort development concerning, among other things, GHG emissions; petitioners sought attorneys fees as prevailing party.
Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions v. City of Healdsburg
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/04/2012 Opinion Download Opinion issued. A California state court awarded attorneys fees to a citizens group after the court granted in part its petition for a writ of mandate challenging an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act of a resort development. In particular, the court found that the EIR was defective for failing to study the water demand associated with vegetation to be planted as part of the mitigation measures, failing to consider the project’s aesthetic effects on local vista points and trails, and failing to consider a sufficient range of viable alternatives. However, the court rejected the group’s challenge to the EIR’s analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, among other things. The group moved for attorney’s fees under state law, which the trial court partially granted on the grounds that the action had enforced an important right affecting the public, had conferred benefits on a large group, and the necessity of the action and the financial burden made the award appropriate. On appeal, the California Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the award of $382,189.73 was appropriate.