The California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, in Sunnyvale West Neighborhood Assn. v. City of Sunnyvale City Council, recently invalidated an environmental impact report (EIR) for using an inappropriate baseline.
For the traffic and traffic-related impact analyses, the EIR in question used a baseline consisting of future, post-project approval conditions to analyze a project’s potential traffic impacts. In its holding, the Court determined that existing physical conditions at the time of the issuance of the Notice of Preparation was the appropriate baseline under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when analyzing traffic impacts.
Putting some finality to the precedential effect of the Sunnyvale case, on April 27, 2011, the California Supreme Court denied requests to depublish the Sunnyvale decision. This white paper provides a summary of the Sunnyvale case and the Court’s ruling.
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