The ancient public trust doctrine is as relevant as ever in today’s California, with implications for how local governments make decisions that could directly or indirectly affect water resources.
In 2019 the firm represents the SPHERE Institute in defeating a waterfront hotel proposal on state public trust land and wins state approval for Burlingame Shoreline Park in its place.
The firm assists the Office of the San Francisco City Attorney in successfully defending the San Francisco Port’s 2019 approval of the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center, a high-service shelter for adults experiencing homelessness. (Safe Embarcadero for All v. State of California (2019).)
The firm assists Midpen Housing Corporation in 2019 to secure land exchange agreements between the state, Redwood City, and private owners necessary to develop the Arroyo Green project, bringing 117 affordable senior housing units to downtown Redwood City.
The firm represents the City of Oxnard in 2018 before the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission in its successful opposition to the location of a natural gas-fired power plant on the beach in Oxnard. This effort sets the stage for California’s adoption of energy storage and other preferred resources as a […]
The California Public Utilities Commission approves a desalination plant required to provide water to the Monterey Peninsula without overdrawing the Carmel River. Project proponents wanted an oversized plant, discharging excessive, harmful brine into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. If the plant is ever built, the firm’s work will ensure the plant is a more […]
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).
Residents move into 306 units of affordable housing at the Alice Griffith Community at Candlestick Point, on land the Firm helps acquire and entitle, including the prosecution of quiet title litigation that successfully defends the public ownership of the site. (Successor Agency v. All Persons (2017).)
After years of challenging the 16-mile Foothill-South Toll Road in court and administrative proceedings, including the largest public hearing in the Coastal Commission’s history, the firm helps a dozen environmental groups negotiate a settlement that permanently protects San Onofre State Beach and adjoining open space. (Calif. State Parks Fdn. v. Transportation Corridor Agency, 150 Cal.App.4th […]
The firm wins a landmark case before the California Supreme Court holding that the North Coast Rail Authority must comply with CEQA when reopening tracks running from Novato to Humboldt County. Subsequently, the state passes legislation to convert the rail line to the Great Redwood Trail. (Friends of the Eel River v. NCRA, 3 Cal.5th […]