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The CEQA Guidelines (Revisited): A Follow-Up on the Proposed Amendments and Their Potential Impact on Environmental Review

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 64 minutes
Recorded Date: January 30, 2018
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  • Background and Context
  • CEQA Exemptions
  • Traffic Impacts
  • Remedies & Remand
  • Project Objective
  • Within the Scope of a Program EIR
  • Baseline
  • Water Supply
  • Pre-Approval Agreements
  • Changes to the Appendix G Checklist - Aesthetics
  • Deferred Mitigation
  • Thresholds of Significance
  • Greenhouse Gas Impacts
  • Energy Impacts
  • Changes to the Appendix G Checklist - Population/Housing
  • Discretionary Projects
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: January 30, 2018


In November 2017, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research released comprehensive amendments to the CEQA Guidelines that will now go through the formal rulemaking process with the Natural Resources Agency. This release follows up on a preliminary draft of amendments to the Guidelines made public in 2015. This panel convened in late 2015 to discuss that preliminary draft, and is reuniting now as a follow-up lunch program to discuss the proposed amendments (as further amended over the past 2 years) and how they will impact the land use planning and environmental review process.

This program was recorded on January 30th, 2018.

Provided By

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Winston P. Stromberg

Latham & Watkins

Winston Stromberg is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins, and is a member of the firm’s Environmental, Land & Resources Department. Mr. Stromberg’s practice focuses on obtaining and defending land use entitlements and environmental approvals for major real estate development, energy, and infrastructure projects. Mr. Stromberg advises clients and litigates controversial matters involving planning and zoning regulations and related environmental issues, as well as state and federal land use and environmental laws.

Mr. Stromberg’s clients include private developers, corporations, land owners, institutions, public utilities, and nonprofit organizations. He has helped clients obtain and defend approvals for numerous projects across California, including film and TV studios and theme parks, desalination facilities and related infrastructure, mixed-use and multi-family developments, hotels, master planned communities, private schools, and power plants and other industrial projects. He has extensive experience in handling litigation concerning compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), local planning and zoning laws, the California Coastal Act, and air quality and water quality laws in jurisdictions throughout California.

Mr. Stromberg’s areas of expertise include CEQA, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, state and local planning and zoning laws, federal and state air quality and water quality laws, historic preservation laws, hazardous waste and contaminated property laws, endangered species preservation, California’s “Prop. 65,” municipal law, and public contracting. Mr. Stromberg advises clients in various industries throughout California regarding land use entitlements and approvals from local, state, and federal agencies. He also has substantial experience negotiating easement, construction, structural, and other real estate-related agreements with governmental agencies to implement development projects. In addition, he practices in the field of charter school law, advising on and litigating facilities-related issues for charter school membership organizations and schools.

Mr. Stromberg is a board member of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Environmental Law section, and the Board of Governors of the Valley Economic Alliance.

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Jack H. Rubens


Jack H. Rubens is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He has also served as Chairman of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Mr. Rubens has a diverse land use, land use litigation and real estate transactional practice. Over his 30 years at Sheppard Mullin, he has helped urban and retail developers, homebuilders and many other clients secure land use and zoning entitlements for a broad spectrum of residential, mixed-use, commercial, coastal and industrial projects throughout Southern California. Mr. Rubens is a leading authority on CEQA and has supervised the preparation of numerous EIRs and other CEQA documents. He represents clients on matters involving all aspects of historic preservation law, including rehabilitation tax credits and conservation easements. He has investigated the status of entitlements and undertaken complex land use due diligence on behalf of prospective purchasers and institutional investors and lenders with respect to real property located throughout California.

Mr. Rubens also is a seasoned land use litigator and has successfully prosecuted and defended numerous land use lawsuits on behalf of developers, property owners and municipalities. Many of those lawsuits have involved CEQA and NEPA claims, as well as takings and other constitutional issues, general plan and zoning consistency, interference with vested rights and historic preservation issues.

Mr. Rubens has negotiated and drafted the documentation for numerous purchase and sale, real property exchange and donation transactions, and a broad range of documentation for residential and commercial projects, including development agreements and easement, infrastructure reimbursement and cost-sharing, signage and parking agreements.

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Duncan J. Moore

Latham & Watkins

DJ Moore is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Department. Mr. Moore's practice focuses on obtaining and defending project-siting and environmental approvals for major infrastructure, energy and development projects. Mr. Moore provides advice and litigates claims regarding planning and zoning regulations and related environmental matters, as well as state and federal land use and environmental laws.

Mr. Moore represents developers, land owners, institutions and utilities before local, state, and federal agencies, and he defends project approvals in court. He has helped clients obtain and defend approvals for numerous projects across the development spectrum.

Mr. Moore's practice also involves regularly advising clients regarding land use entitlements and administrative approvals in jurisdictions throughout California. He also has experience negotiating and litigating construction and real estate disputes.

Mr. Moore is a board member of AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City College Foundation. He is also actively involved in Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's Los Angeles Leadership Committee, and has served on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. At Latham, Mr. Moore serves as the Global Chair of the firm’s Mentoring Committee, and is the Los Angeles office’s Hiring Partner.

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Rosslyn Hummer

Laurence L. Hummer, A Law Corporation

Rosslyn Hummer, who goes by Beth, is an attorney with Laurence L. Hummer, A Law Corporation. She joined her husband Larry in his practice in the summer of 2014 following a long career in private practice at large national and international firms.

Ms. Hummer is the Chair of the Land Use Planning and Environmental Sub-committee of the Real Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

In September 2017, Ms. Hummer moderated a County Bar lunchtime program in which Los Angeles Planning Department and private experts discussed the City’s current efforts to update the City’s zoning code.

Last February, Ms. Hummer moderated a panel discussion regarding proposed Measure S at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies at UCLA. Three planning professors and a law professor talked about housing, development, traffic, and legislating via the ballot box.

Ms. Hummer has tried cases in the Superior Court and the federal District Court in Los Angeles. She has appeared on behalf of a client before the International Trade Commission and has also represented a client in arbitration proceedings before the American Arbitration Association. In July 2017, Ms. Hummer assisted a client secure a judgment for breach of promissory note following a two-day bench trial in the Superior Court. In October 2017, Ms. Hummer completed successful negotiations on behalf of client selling a commercial property in Beverly Hills for $3.9 million.

Ms. Hummer is an experienced litigator, representing a range of businesses and individuals in controversies relating to commercial and residential real property unlawful detainer (eviction), breach of contract claims, partnership dissolutions, unfair competition claims, breach of warranty and Consumer Legal Remedies Act claims, wage and hour disputes, environmental pollution claims, real estate disputes, and intellectual property disputes. Since joining Larry in practice, she has focused primarily on real estate related matters, including an elder abuse claim alleged against a family member who shared in ownership of an apartment building located in Culver City, California, fraudulent transfer claims against insiders involving real estate located all over the greater Los Angeles, California area, and a boundary dispute.

She has successfully resolved most of the disputes she has handled short of trial, through successful law and motion practice, private negotiation, formal and informal mediation, and mandatory settlement conferences.

Ms. Hummer grew up overseas and speaks German fluently. She is a member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and its Government Affairs Committee. Ms. Hummer is a member of Bruin Professionals, where she serves on the Executive Committee of the Santa Monica Chapter. She is a member of the The Esquire Network and is also a member of GABA – the German American Business Association. She has assisted the Vestry of All Saints’ Parish, Beverly Hills in revising and updating its corporate formation documents.

Ms. Hummer earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Pace University, located in Pleasantville, New York in 1987. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1997. While at the University of Oregon, Ms. Hummer was both an Executive Editor of the Oregon Law Review and president of the Student Bar Association.

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Michelle Black

Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP

Michelle Black is an associate with Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP. Since 2008, she has litigated extensively under the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Coastal Act, representing national and local environmental organizations and community groups to ensure that development projects are adequately reviewed and mitigated. At CBC, Michelle has litigated in both the trial courts and Court of Appeal. Michelle has written articles on CEQA and the Los Angeles River and has lectured on CEQA and other land use issues. Most recently, Michelle has represented environmental and community groups in successful litigation to prevent the destruction of coastal wetlands in north San Diego County and suburban sprawl developments east of Los Angeles.

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