Defending Agricultural Land Against Sprawl
The firm wins a victory in the court of appeal under the Subdivision Map Act. The court invalidates the approval of the Hoskings Ranch project, a luxury development disguised as an agricultural project in rural San Diego County. (Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. County of San Diego, 37 Cal.App.5th 1021 (2019).)
Truckee Workforce Housing Support
The firm assists the Martis Fund in an innovative 2019 grant supporting development of 77 units of affordable housing in Truckee.
SMW Drafts State Legislation to Facilitate Land Conservation and Restoration
Photo Credit: West Marin Environmental Action Committee from “Parks Are For Everyone” In 2019 the firm drafts and helps secure passage of state legislation enabling public agencies to acquire threatened lands and prepare an environmental review for restoration efforts after first protecting the land from development.
Limits on Lead and Cadmium in Chocolate
In 2018, on behalf of As You Sow, the firm settles its Proposition 65 case against the leading chocolate companies over lead and cadmium in chocolate products. The settlement establishes limits on the amount of lead and cadmium in these products and convened an expert panel to identify methods for reducing these levels.
Land Exchange Agreement Allows Pier 70 Project to Move Forward
Representing the Port of San Francisco, SMW in 2018 successfully negotiates an agreement with the state for a trust land exchange to allow for the rehabilitation of historic industrial buildings and the development of a new urban neighborhood on the city’s waterfront. The firm drafted the state legislation authorizing the exchange (AB 418).
SMW Thwarts Developer Attempt to Circumvent General Plan Policies for Historic Town Center
On behalf of Save Our Historic Town Center, the firm successfully challenges a massive development in the heart of downtown San Juan Capistrano that is flatly inconsistent with the City’s general plan policies for that historic area. (Save Our Historic Town Center v. City of San Juan Capistrano (2016).)
Legislation Passes Authorizing Mission Rock Project on Giants Parking Lot Site
In 2016 the state legislature enacts legislation (AB 2797), drafted by the firm for the Port of San Francisco, authorizing the development of the Mission Rock project on the site of a surface parking lot. The project includes 40% affordable housing and a five-acre waterfront park on China Basin Park.
Court Overturns End-Run to Subdivision Map Act
The firm prevails in the court of appeal in a case of first impression challenging Contra Costa County’s approval of a subdivision on agricultural land adjacent to Marsh Creek State Park without Subdivision Map Act compliance. (Save Mount Diablo v. Contra Costa County, 240 Cal.App.4th 1368 (2015).)
Landmark Settlement Agreement Ends Decades of Dispute over Mono Basin Streams
Assisted by the firm, the Mono Lake Committee negotiates a settlement agreement requiring the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to restore habitat and fisheries in four tributaries to Mono Lake.
Critical Wildlife Corridor Established
The firm advises Laguna Greenbelt in successful negotiations leading to the 2019 opening of the Orange County Great Park Wildlife Corridor in Irvine to connect the Cleveland National Forest to the coast.