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To learn more about CEQA Litigation Abuse, read the following publication:

 

 

CEQA Litigation Abuse Q & A

What is CEQA?

CEQA is a law created to protect the environment.  It grants developers permission to build prior to breaking ground.

Why is The Two Hundred against CEQA?

We are not against CEQA, but we would like to improve its effectiveness and eliminate the way it encourages litigation abuse.

What is litigation abuse?

Litigation Abuse is the misuse of CEQA to protect special interest groups like NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) organizations or Building Trades Unions. NIMBYs use CEQA to stop construction of projects out of fear of the depreciation of their homes or socioeconomic change in their communities. Building Trades Unions use CEQA to extort prevailing wage contracts and are some of the biggest abusers of these laws.

How does CEQA litigation abuse harm Californians?

Litigation abuse raises the price of housing due to the costs of the delays.  Developers often abandon projects because NIMBYs will keep them in court for as long as possible. A 2015 study estimated that land use restrictions costs the United States upwards of $1.5 trillion in lost productivity.

CEQA abuse also undermines the state’s environmental, climate, social equity and economic priorities by making it impossible to complete affordable housing projects, new forms of transit and even community parks.   It harms the poor, working class and the young, and obstructs environmental priorities.

Is The Two Hundred Opposed to environmental protections?

The Two Hundred is not anti-environment or opposed to CEQA. In fact the environment is one of our top priorities.  Many low-income minorities live in some of the most polluted areas.  We need CEQA the most because the communities we represent are in greatest need of their protection.

However, we are opposed to how NIMBYs use CEQA to camouflage their interests behind environmental concerns.  CEQA has great intentions but the unintended consequences have hurt low-income communities of color.  We want to make CEQA stronger by getting rid of those parts that people misuse when they engage in CEQA litigation abuse.

What are the immediate benefits to ending CEQA litigation abuse?
Ending litigation abuse will result in the timely construction of more housing developments at a lesser cost, the creation of more jobs to build these projects, and proof to skeptical taxpayers that California can complete important public projects on time.

How can we end CEQA Litigation Abuse?

We recommend these three reforms to curtail CEQA litigation abuse:

  • Require those filling CEQA lawsuits to disclose their identity.
    The legislature can and should require full transparency for any litigation under CEQA. Interest groups should not be able to hide behind CEQA anonymity.
  • Eliminate duplicative lawsuits aimed at derailing plans and projects that have already completed the CEQA process.
    Some projects have been sued more than 20 times.
  • Restrict the effects of a lawsuit on a given project.
    The simple act of filing a CEQA lawsuit can choke off funding and stop a project even if the lawsuit has no merit and is filed for non-environmental purposes.

What does the future hold for The Two Hundred’s Relationship with CEQA?

Without the abuse of this important law, The Two Hundred maintains that CEQA is vital to the future of our state.  Our goal is to work with the environmental community to improve CEQA by removing those elements that allow NIMBYs and unions to misuse it, while keeping those that continue to protect the environment. In the future The Two Hundred expects to work side by side with CEQA to fulfill our goals of protecting the environment and providing affordable housing for low income California residents.

This conference completes the series of leadership conferences held across the state.  Its purpose is to educate and add up to five hundred more minority and other community leaders into our housing policy and advocacy organization.  The conference features policy experts that discuss the impact of the housing shortage on California’s economy and its residents.  It details the obstacles to housing construction and how working together we can produce practical policy solutions to overcome them.

If you would like to attend the conference or need more information please contact  scoto@ccbuilders.org.

 

California Community Builders and housing advocates CA YIMBY, YIMBY Action, California Coalition for Rural Housing, California Forward, CAREB, Community Housing Opportunities Corporation, Ventura County Community Development Corporation, Korean Churches for Community Development/Faith and Community Empowerment, Capital Direct Funding, California Journal for Filipino Americans, Latino Builders Industry Association, Community Development Corporation, and the Inland Empire Latino Coalition are hosting a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on housing and homeownership on January 25, 2018 at the City Club in Los Angeles. 200 community leaders will hear directly from the candidates what plans and ideas they have to address the housing crisis endangering California’s future economy.

The event will be on Facebook Live. Check out the Two Hundred’s Facebook page for more information:  https://www.facebook.com/thetwohundred/

This 14 minute video exposes how loopholes, in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), are utilized to obstruct or block private and public projects. These loopholes are often used by Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBYS) to block unwanted developments in their neighborhood like affordable housing or public schools, veterans homes, etc., sometimes with racial and class overtones.

CEQA is all too often used by a few unions to extort project labor agreements on housing developments thereby increasing construction costs.

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REALIZING THE AMERICAN DREAM FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR