One Oak’s OK Challenged

: sfweekly – excerpt

An appeal has been filed against an enormous Van Ness and Market housing development.

Last year, construction workers broke ground on a $316 million project to speed up the buses that run along Van Ness Avenue — the vital north-south corridor that serves the center of the city. Dedicated bus lanes, improved boarding stations, and new vehicles will make getting from Russian Hill to Civic Center smoother, faster, and safer, when the project is completed in 2019.

“This marks a significant step forward in making transit faster and more reliable on Van Ness Avenue,” said Mayor Ed Lee when the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT) launched. “We will be improving a crucial travel corridor in San Francisco. When this project is completed, everyone can enjoy a safer, better Van Ness Avenue.”.

The project sounds great. But several residential developments coming to Van Ness Avenue and Market Street could derail the millions of dollars the city, state, and taxpayers have committed to speeding up this transit corridor, thanks to the impending arrival of hundreds of privately owned vehicles, which threaten to clog up this transit-rich artery. Or so claims Jason Henderson, who last month filed an appeal of the city’s decision to allow One Oak, a 304-unit luxury apartment building, to begin construction without a thorough review of the traffic impacts its 136 parking spots will have on the neighborhood… (more)

 

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Calif. court rules against appeal filed by Sierra Club, others over vineyard permit

by John Sammon : legalnewsline


Sonoma County Vineyard photo by Zrants

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Two Sonoma County vintners received a judgment in favor of their proposed wine making operation when an appeal by the Sierra Club was turned back by the state’s 1st Appellate District Court of Appeals.

The court found in favor of the defendants Ronald and Ernest Ohlson, operators of the Ohlson Ranch, who applied for a permit to turn grazing land on their property into a grape vineyard. The Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County (commissioner) issued the permit after making a determination the issuance was a “ministerial” act, and therefore exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) standards…

However, the court determined the permit was ministerial in nature because unless a public agency could shape the proposed project in some way that would respond to concerns raised in an EIR (Environmental Impact Report), the environmental review would be a “meaningless exercise.” CEQA customarily does not apply to non-discretionary (ministerial) projects. A ministerial approval simply involves a comparison of a project with specific standards or checklists(more)

 

California Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Salmon in Marin

by Joanna Nasar : indybay – excerpt

San Francisco (March 6, 2014) – Marin County Wide Plan Ruled Unlawful: CA Appeals Court Affirms SPAWN Position that County Failed to Analyze Cumulative Impacts and Provided Spurious Mitigation for Destruction of Salmon Habitat

Turtle Island Restoration Network ‘s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) won a legal battle with the County of Marin to protect the last population of wild California coho coastal salmon…The case will now move to back to the lower court with a clear mandate from the CA Appeals Court to adequately protect California’s endangered coho salmon…

Read the Court’s opinion here: http://bit.ly/1f9e4v3  …

Turtle Island Restoration Network (http://www.SeaTurtles.org) works to mobilize people and communities around the world to protect marine wildlife, the oceans and the inland waterways that sustain them. The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN http://www.spawnusa.org) is a project of Turtle Island that works to protect endangered salmon and their habitat in the Marin County, CA.  http://www.spawnusa.org