Key Takeaways From the Major Berkeley Victory

3 Takeaways From Berkeley's Recent CEQA Victory
– Law360

Law360 quoted Manatt’s Andrew Bassak, a partner in the firm’s litigation practice, for an article about his recent CEQA victory in the city of Berkeley, California. Winning approval for the Berkeley Plaza project, located near the downtown Berkeley BART station, is a major milestone due to the difficulty of building large Golden State developments under CEQA, which makes it easy to bring lawsuits.

"I don’t know that I’ve ever handled a case where we have been able to move it from the filing of the petitions to the issuance of an order in just about 9.5 months," said Bassak, who alongside Kristina Lawson represented Berkeley.

"This project has had probably as much or more environmental review as any I’ve been involved with. Years of scrutiny. Thirty-plus public hearings," Bassak added.

"When we got to our specific project, many of the environmental effects about which the petitioners took issue had previously been addressed in the policy-level EIR," he added. "There is going to be more interest by opponents of new housing in the environmental reviews that are conducted on the policy-level decisions."

Read the article here