Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

By Holland and Knight LLP : lexology – excerpt

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • California’s First District Court of Appeal has held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County was a ministerial act not subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • The opinion in Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. provides helpful guidance on the distinction between ministerial acts exempt from CEQA and discretionary acts subject to CEQA.
  • The court used the “functional test” to determine whether ordinance provisions applicable to the permit were ministerial or discretionary. Under the “functional test,” CEQA compliance is required where discretion provides a local agency with the ability and authority to mitigate environmental damage… (more)
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