Is It Finally Over?: Court Denies Appeal of Expo Phase II Environmental Documents (Updated, 3:00)
As excitement builds over the soon-to-be opening of Phase I of the Expo Line, it appears the legal challenges to Phase II may be at an end. Earlier today, the State of California Court of Appeals Second Appellate Division Eight formally rejected the appeal of an earlier decision that the Expo Construction Authority followed state environmental laws when completing the environmental review of Phase II of the Expo Line that will complete the light rail line from Culver City to Santa Monica.
The entire draft of the ruling can be found here, but here is the most relevant paragraph. Streetsblog will continue to update this story as people react to the ruling:
We find no merit in petitioner‟s contentions and affirm the judgment. Because we disagree with Sunnyvale and Madera, and hold that use of projected future conditions as a baseline for analyzing environmental impacts is proper in this case, we publish that portion of our opinion.
Update I, 3:00 P.M.: So, it’s probably not over. A lawyer familiar with CEQA cases and this case in particular notes some language makes an appeal to the California Supreme Court likely because the appeals court disagreed with existing case law from the Sunnyvale decision which said that CEQA studies should be based on existing conditions and not future ones.