On November 20, 2018, in response to a petition for review filed by the Target Superstore project’s opponent, plaintiff (and respondent on appeal) Citizens Coalition Los Angeles, the California Supreme Court denied review and ordered the Court of Appeal’s opinion depublished. My September 7, 2018 blog post analyzing and critiquing the Court of Appeal’s decision, which was previously published at Citizens Coalition Los Angeles v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 561, can be found here.

In brief, while the Court of Appeal’s opinion contained an interesting and helpful “spot-zoning” analysis, and reached a correct overall result in upholding the City’s EIR Addendum and revised project approval, portions of its CEQA analysis – involving CEQA’s “piecemealing,” “reasonable foreseeability” and “subsequent review” rules – were, in my view, unnecessarily confusing, convoluted and misleading. Accordingly, the Supreme Court’s denial of the petition (which sought review of certain of the case’s CEQA issues) and its order decertifying the opinion make sense. While officially an order to depublish is not an expression of the Court’s view, either as to the correctness of the decision or the law stated therein, the Supreme Court obviously saw something askew in the CEQA analysis that it considered inappropriate for publication, yet not worthy of a grant of review. The depublication order has the effect of rendering the opinion non-precedential and unciteable.