Public BLAWG Blog

California Supreme Court to Rule on Inclusionary Housing

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On April 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument on the California Building Industry Association challenge to San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance.   The ordinance required residential developments proposing 20 units or more to set aside 15% as below market units.  Alternate compliance methods were also allowed, such as dedications of land or in-lieu fees.  These requirements are pretty typical of many local inclusionary ordinances.  The trial court upheld the challenge, but the appellate court reversed and found for the City.  At the appellate level, the CBIA claimed that the inclusionary ordinance imposes an exaction on the developer, while the City claimed the ordinance was permissible as a land use regulation under its police power, needing only a reasonable relation to the public welfare. 

Public Agencies Not Required to Disclose Attorney Billing Invoices Under CPRA; Attorney-Client Privilege Applies to Entire Invoice

The California Court of Appeal recently held that billing invoices sent by an attorney to a public agency client are protected by the attorney-client privilege and are not required to be disclosed by the  public agency, even in redacted form, under the California Public Records Act ("CPRA," Government Code §§ 6250

Governor’s Drought Executive Order Will Impact Local Agency Water Suppliers and Water Users (and Lawns)

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On April 2, Governor Brown issued the third and most significant in a series of Executive Orders addressing the ongoing drought. They followed his 2014 proclamation of a State of Emergency resulting from drought conditions. The Executive Orders direct various state agencies to implement various actions. They also suspend laws and regulations, using the Governor’s statutory authority to do so where the law or regulation will hinder the State’s ability to cope with the emergency.

Contaminated Sediment: Appellate Court Muddies the Water for TMDLs

On March 30, a short opinion from California’s Second Appellate District raised a long list of unanswered questions in a case concerning a Regional Water Quality Control Board’s authority to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”) for contaminated sediment.  (A TMDL is a regulation that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant an impaired water body can receive and still meet water quality standards, and allocates the loading among the various sources of that pollutant.)  In

California Supreme Court Clarifies That Pitchess Procedure May Be Used In Administrative Officer Discipline Proceedings

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The well-established Pitchess motion procedure, codified in sections 1040-1047 of the Evidence Code, governs the manner in which peace officer personnel records may be produced to others.  Peace officer personnel records are subject to strong confidentiality protections, but are sometimes relevant to issues in criminal and civil court proceedings.  Those same records can also have relevance in peace officer discipline proceedings, but those proceedings are administrative and do not occur in the courts.

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