In 2018, Half Moon Bay voters consider five cannabis measures, including a first-of-its-kind cannabis nursery ordinance drafted by the firm. The nursery ordinance and related tax measure pass.
The firm and Earthjustice prevail in challenging an initiative that purported to approve a development agreement for the World Logistics Center, a massive warehouse project near low-income communities in Riverside County. The court of appeal holds that local initiatives may not be used to adopt development agreements. (Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. […]
The firm successfully defends the City of Berkeley’s Civic Center Historic District and protects the historic Berkeley Main Post Office from conversion to a commercial use. (U.S. Postal Service v. City of Berkeley (2018).) Photo: Image from Foursquare [ANDREW S. – NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION]
The Court rejected a billboard developer’s challenge to Alameda County’s sign ordinance, and upheld a rare award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing defendant, on the grounds the lawsuit was frivolous. Read the court’s opinion at https://www.smwlaw.com/files/Citizens_Free_Speech_v._County_of_Alameda.pdf Photo: Tim Evanson, Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
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In a previous edition of In the Public Interest, we provided a summary of the legislation enacted by the State in 2017 to address California’s growing housing crisis. Since then, a new, highly controversial housing bill—SB 827—has come and gone. Senator Scott Weiner introduced SB 827 in January of this year. If approved, the bill would have […]
The year 2017, probably like 2018 and years to come, was marked by legal conflict between the State of California and the federal government. Hidden amidst higher-profile state enactments was SB 50, a statute that looks on the surface like a mostly-procedural conservation measure but that will have substantial practical effects for many local agencies. […]
It is no secret that California is in the grips of a serious housing crisis. According to one study, less than 50% of households in the state can afford housing.* Real estate prices have risen 15% since 2009, while median incomes have risen just 5%. And California has well over 100,000 residents without homes; 25% […]