With FPPC Enforcement on the Rise, Public Agencies Navigate Gray Area in Use of Public Funds for Election Communications
Local agencies walk a fine line when producing effective informative materials for ballot measures without inadvertently ‘campaigning’. This article reviews current FPPC rules around spending public money to inform the electorate, how to steer clear of enforcement gray areas, and opportunities for the Legislature to authorize limited public agency electoral campaigns.
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 2018, on behalf of the City of San Jose, the firm drafts and defends a first-of-its kind charter amendment to prevent a developer-sponsored initiative from gutting the City’s General Plan.
In 2018 voters in Pacific Grove pass an initiative, drafted by the firm, that prohibits short-term rentals in most residential neighborhoods in the City.
The firm prevails in a landmark case before the California Supreme Court that upholds the people’s right of referendum and confirms the primacy of the city’s General Plan. (Orange Citizens for Parks & Recreation v. Superior Court, 2 Cal.5th 141 (2016).)
In 2014, voters approve a parcel tax measure sponsored by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority and drafted by the firm.
In 2014 the firm drafts initiatives in Santa Barbara and San Benito Counties that ban the use of land for fracking. The San Benito measure passes, and subsequent litigation challenging the measure fails. In 2016, Monterey County voters pass an anti-fracking measure drafted by the firm. The firm is defending the Monterey measure from multiple […]
Blue-gray gnatcatcher, a closely related species to the California gnatcatcher. Photo credit: Becky Matsubara, Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Voters in Fullerton pass a referendum, drafted by the firm, that overturns the City’s approval of a development agreement for a sprawling subdivision in the West Coyote Hills, home to the threatened California gnatcatcher. Following subsequent litigation […]