West Hollywood|Violated CEQA

     (CN) – The City of West Hollywood violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it agreed to convert a cultural center into a low-income senior housing development before preparing an environmental impact report, the California Supreme Court ruled.

     Judge Werdegar found that the city’s announcement that it intended to proceed with the project, its actions to relocate tenants, its financial contributions, and its willingness to bind itself to draft agreements all indicate that the city committed itself to the project before fully evaluating its environmental effects.
     The decision affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that the city must void draft agreements for the project. But the Supreme Court reversed the appeals court’s ruling that the city must prepare a new environmental impact report.
     The city completed a report during the appeals proceedings.
     After the City Council approved a loan and plans to execute the project before providing an environmental report, Save Tara, an organization of city residents who opposed the “1343 Laurel Project,” filed a CEQA complaint, on July 12, 2004.
     The California Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals.

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