Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Newsom seeks to change in enviromental law used by wealthy to block development

Governor Gavin Newsom has pledged to reform California's landmark environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which he believes has been used by wealthy homeowners to block housing development for students at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The announcement comes in response to a state appeals court ruling that found the university had not assessed potential noise impacts from loud student parties in nearby residential neighbourhoods as required by CEQA. The ruling could delay the building of a complex at Berkeley's People's Park for years or even decades. 

The project has faced opposition from local groups citing CEQA and stating that the university's environmental impact report had not considered the noise the housing complex would bring. Critics argue that CEQA has been used by opponents of development to block housing and public transit projects. 

Governor Newsom said the law was "broken" and pledged to work with lawmakers to make changes to allow more housing to be built in the state.

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