SMW partner Andrew Schwartz is once again teaching Land Use Law at Stanford Law School for the fall quarter 2021-2022. The course focuses on the pragmatic (more than theoretical) aspects of contemporary land use law and policy, including the tools and historical/legal foundation of modern land use law; zoning and General Plans; the process of land development; affordable housing; growth […]
In 2016 the firm successfully represents Rodeo residents in opposing the expansion of the Phillips 66 refinery for failure to adequately evaluate and mitigate the air quality impacts of the project. (Rodeo Citizens Ass’n. v. Contra Costa County.) In 2020, Phillips 66 announces plans to shift production away from petroleum products to renewable fuels.
From the district court to the U.S. Supreme Court, the firm defends the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s innovative “Clean Fleet Rules” against a challenge by industry. SCAQMD ultimately wins a final judgment that upholds the bulk of the rules. (Engine Mfrs. Assn. v. SCAQMD, 541 U.S. 246 (2004); 498 F.4d 1031 (9th Cir. […]
The firm prevails in litigation challenging Sonoma County’s environmental review of a rock quarry expansion project near the small town of Forestville. (Forestville Citizens for Sensible Growth v. County of Sonoma (2009).)
The firm represents Orange County Communities for Responsible Development, a community-labor alliance, in a challenge to the City of Santa Ana’s sale of public lands. While the challenge is underway, the state legislature adopts new Surplus Land Act provisions protecting the public’s interest in such lands. Many of the Santa Ana sales are halted, giving […]
The Ninth Circuit rejects a billboard developer’s challenge to Alameda County’s sign ordinance and upholds a rare award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing defendant on the grounds that the lawsuit was frivolous. (Citizens for Free Speech, LLC v. County of Alameda, 953 F.3d 655 (9th Cir. 2020).)
The firm successfully challenges San Diego County’s 2019 approval of the Harmony Grove Village South Project, which would have brought sprawl development to a fire-prone, rural area of the County. Photo by ClassicallyPrinted, Pixabay.
The firm prevails in a landmark case to enforce a conservation easement protecting sensitive lands in Bennett Valley (Sonoma County) on behalf of the Sonoma Land Trust. After a 19-day trial, the court orders the violators to pay to restore the property. (Sonoma Land Trust v. Thompson.) Image by SMW
On behalf of the City of Half Moon Bay, the firm successfully settled a construction defect litigation case regarding a cracked pedestrian trail/bike path. The City recovered close to $500,000 from its public works and construction management contractor and its construction contractor’s surety to fund repair and reconstruction of the trail.
After the firm files a CEQA lawsuit challenging the City of Fresno’s approval of a large warehouse distribution center across the street from a residential community, the City rescinds the approval in 2019. (Southern Central Neighbors United v. City of Fresno.)