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About this Blog

Welcome to the S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law Blog. This blog is a resource for the regulated community to stay current on new developments impacting the environmental, natural resources and energy sectors. It provides timely updates on a broad range of federal, state and local environmental topics — including proposed legislation and government rulemakings — that impact regulated industries throughout the southwest and the nation as a whole.

Fourth District Court of Appeal Rejects Citizen Group Spot Zoning Challenge to Orange County Senior Housing Project

by Rick McNeil and Colin Higgins The Foothill Communities case involved a “spot zoning” challenge to a senior residential housing project to be developed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. In this case, the trial court granted Foothill’s petition for a writ of mandate based on the contention that the “spot zoning” was impermissible. […]

| 7 min read | Tagged: , ,
Former Partner

“Takings” Decision Raises State Law Questions

Originally published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Alito, the U.S. Supreme Court last week expanded the scope of private property right protections in a takings case which held that a local land use authority must adhere to constitutional takings protections in cases in which a development permit […]

| 1 min read
Former Partner

CEQA Reform Update

[Originaly published in Developing News, March 19, 2013] In January of this year I offered some thoughts on sensible reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)—A Sensible Proposal for CEQA Reform (1/16/13). Now that the deadline has passed for the legislators to introduce their bills, we have a clearer picture of what Sacramento views […]

| 4 min read

California Scores Another Cap-and-Trade Victory

[Originaly published as a Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert, February 15, 2013] The California Air Resources Board (CARB) scored another victory in its ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 1990 levels under the mandate of AB 32 (the “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006”). In a decision by San Francisco […]

| 6 min read
Former Partner

Hope on the Horizon for Proposition 65 Reform?

by Colin Higgins Many Orange County businesses have experienced first-hand the frustration of receiving a 60-day (presuit) notice letter under Proposition 65 alleging that the business failed to provide legally-required warnings to its customers or the public. Recently introduced legislation hopes to alleviate much of that frustration. Everyone is familiar with Proposition 65 warning signage […]

| 5 min read