The Sunnyvale West v City of Sunnyvale Council Appellate CEQA win is causing an immediate impact and rippling effect throughout the state of California courtrooms. In Southern California, for example, attorneys for both sides are using the Sunnyvale decision as arguments for the Expo Line Phase 2 lawsuit.
Published Dec 22, 2010 “The Sunnyvale Decision” and Phase II of Expo: Game Changer or Footnote? Damien Newton writes “After NFSR lawyer John Bowman introduced case-law that was decided five days ago, Sunnyvale West Neighborhood Association v. City of Sunnyvale City Council, things changed. In Sunnyvale, a state superior court ruled that the city’s environmental review of a road extension violated state law because it based it’s review on traffic projections for 2020 instead of current conditions. The mitigation plan for Expo are based on traffic projections for 2030.”
Judge Thomas McKnew gave both sides a chance to present briefs on Sunnyvale explaining their side’s view on the ruling. Here is a fascinating discussion of both sides usage of the City of Sunnyvale relating to Expo Line, downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
Currently under construction, the 15.2 mile Expo Line will bring light rail to the Exposition Corridor, with 19 stations serving popular destinations like USC, Exposition Park, the Mid-City Communities, the Crenshaw District, Culver City, and West Los Angeles.
When The City of Sunnyvale included Amicus Curiae from “California Cities and California State Association of Counties” and the “Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority” VTA in support of their side we knew this CEQA Ruling was going to have a huge impact.
Amicus Curiae is Latin for “friend of the court.” It is advice formally offered to the court in a brief filed by an entity interested in, but not a party to, the case. Both parties retained their own attorneys to contribute additional information to communicate their opinions to the court. You see, the verdict of this CEQA ruling sets precedence throughout the entire state of California.
If you google sunnyvale eir appeal you will find a growing list of law blogs, court cases and interested parties already using and discussing the effects of the Sunnyvale CEQA verdict.