City of Los Angeles Outsources Defense of CEQA/Land Use Lawsuits To Private Law Firms – Developers To Foot The Bill

City of Los Angeles Outsources Defense of CEQA/Land Use Lawsuits To Private Law Firms – Developers To Foot The Bill

By Jack H. Rubens : natlawreview – excerpt

On December 16, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously authorized the City Attorney to establish a Land Use/CEQA Panel, which will consist of five municipal law firms, to defend the City in CEQA and land use lawsuits that challenge the entitlements for private development projects, and to require that the project applicant reimburse the City for its legal costs and fees.

This is a significant change in City policy.  For many years, most entitlement approvals for development projects have included a pro-forma condition that requires the project applicant to defend and indemnify the City respect to litigation challenging the entitlements, either on CEQA or other grounds.  However, the City has rarely enforced that condition and the City Attorney has normally defended the City in such litigation.

That will now change.  Based on the Council-approved recommendations in the report prepared by the City Attorney, in the event a lawsuit is filed, the developer will be required to execute a reimbursement agreement pursuant to which it agrees to pay all reasonable costs and fees charged by the firm retained by the City.  The developer will still have the right to retain its own law firm to defend the litigation, but in that case it will be forced to pay two law firms.

This action by the City Council imposes yet another (potential) burden on development in Los Angeles, particularly for the developers of small or mid-sized projects, who can ill-afford any litigation delay, much less having to pay a second law firm… (more)

San Francisco could explore possibility of mandating solar systems on developments

San Francisco could explore possibility of mandating solar systems on developments

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

After two smaller California cities mandated that new developments install solar-energy systems, San Francisco officials are beginning to discuss a similar requirement.
The effort could build on The City’s 2008 Green Building Ordinance and also advance the goal of ensuring 100 percent of San Francisco’s electricity needs come from renewable sources.
“I think that requiring solar panels on new development is a great way to help green our city and create more good-paying clean-energy jobs for San Franciscans,” said Joshua Arce, chairman of the Commission on the Environment.
At an upcoming meeting, Arce intends to ask the commission, which sets policy direction for the Board of Supervisors, to recommend The City adopt a solar installation mandate.
Reserving judgment, board President David Chiu called it an “intriguing idea” and welcomed the conversation to determine if it was something that made sense for The City… (more)

Great idea, but solar installations need a lot of sun to produce enough power to make the system viable. The Plan Bay Area’s highrise stack and pack dense housing projects, will overshadow the solar panels on the rooftops unless someone in Sacramento puts together legislation to protect them. The sunny Eastern neighborhoods are the perfect place to generate solar power. But, only if you limit the building height to 4 or 5 stories . Anything higher can’t produce enough energy to supply the needs of the residents. Tell the supervisors and state legislators that you want to protect the sun on your roof so you can take advantage of all the new government deals on solar. Contact SF Supervisors

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