Replay available from our video archive

16th Annual Advanced Seminar on


Critical updates on major developments for attorneys, environmental and real estate professionals, planners, and agency officials

Presented on September 21, 2020

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, real estate, land use, and environmental professionals, corporate managers, and governmental representatives

Why You will Benefit from the Replay

Unquestionably, 2020 has brought new challenges and changes to the field of CEQA law and policy.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and various federal, state, and local responses to it, have created new complications layered on top of already complex planning and development backgrounds.

While the pandemic effects were ongoing, new regulatory requirements for transportation analysis are kicking into effect. We will examine this year's changes to transportation planning in terms of Vehicle Miles Traveled analysis. At the same time, recent developments in caselaw have raised questions about whether VMT analysis is required.

Intertwined with these changes in land use planning have been the challenges created by varying responses to COVID-19 among various jurisdictions and agencies at the federal, state, and local level. We will delve into how agencies have been handling project processing and review hearings, the effects of various orders issued by the Governor, the Judicial Council, and elected officials in local jurisdictions, and how project proponents and the public have navigated the strange new waters.

As always, while much has changed, much continues as it was as courts have been issuing opinions and developing case law all year. Our distinguished panelists will provide highlights and analysis of crucial decisions in the past year. We will have a specific discussion of general plan documents and possible exemptions.

Also continuing, and deepening, is California's housing affordability crisis so we will examine if and how gentrification and displacement may be viewed through the prism of CEQA.

Finally, as the Legislature has swung into action about various crises, we will examine the solutions that have been adopted and some that have been tried but failed.

Please join us and our esteemed presenters on what will without a doubt be a unique, timely, and informative seminar.

~ James L. Arnone, Esq. of Latham & Watkins and Douglas Carstens, Esq. of Chatten-Brown Carstens & Minteer, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Practical VMT tips for transportation analyses
  • Impact of Citizens for Positive Growth on projects approved during the transition from LOS
  • Project approval processing with physical distancing
  • Emergency Rule 9 and statutes of limitations during the pandemic
  • Special Rules for "posting" CEQA notices
  • New developments in CEQA case law
  • Fair housing: Is gentrification and displacement a CEQA issue?
  • San Diego Navy Broadway Case and exemptions to general plans
  • SB 950 ("CEQA 2.0"), AB 3279 (CEQA modification), and other legislative developments

What Participants Said

  • "Overall great group of speakers."
  • "Good timing, questions will return next year."
  • Panelists represented a good range of fields and intrests. Well moderated session."
  • "Impressive collection of presenters!
  • "This was one of the best seminars Iíve ever been to, and I look forward to the others."

Monday, September 21, 2020

8:30 am

Registration Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

James L. Arnone, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Latham & Watkins / Los Angeles, CA

Douglas Carstens, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Chatten-Brown Carstens & Minteer / Hermosa Beach, CA

9:15 am

VMT is Here! Practical Tips for Your Transportation Analyses

How to perform an analysis and apply significance thresholds

Patrick A. Gibson, P.E. , President
Gibson Transportation Consulting, Inc. / Los Angeles, CA

9:45 am

Do We have a Transportation No Man's Land?

What to make of Citizens for Positive Growth for projects approved during the transition from LOS to VMT

Adrian Martinez, Esq. , Staff Attorney
Earthjustice / Los Angeles, CA

Charity B. Schiller, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger / Riverside, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Project Approval Processing with Physical Distancing

How lead agencies are handling hearings and how advocates are being heard: How do people access CEQA documents? How do people comment?

Christi Hogin, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger / Manhattan Beach, CA

Sean B. Hecht, Esq. , Co-Executive Director
Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment / Los Angeles, CA

11:15 am

Statutes of Limitations During a Pandemic

A discussion of Emergency Rule 9, AB 3366, and access to courts

Benjamin J. Hanelin, Esq.
Latham & Watkins / Los Angeles, CA

Richard Toshiyuki Drury, Esq.
Lozeau Drury / Oakland, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

NODs and NOEs in the Time of Covid-19: Navigating the Special Rules for "Posting" CEQA Notices

What are the ramifications of having done it wrong?

Steven G. Martin, Esq. , Deputy City Attorney
City of Los Angeles / Los Angeles, CA

1:45 pm

New Developments in CEQA Case Law

Sabrina Vansteenki Teller, Esq.
Remy Moose Manley / Sacramento, CA

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Fair Housing and CEQA

Is gentrification and displacement a CEQA issue? Can you use the Fair Housing Act to block projects?

Jennifer K. Tobkin, Esq. , Deputy City Attorney
City of Los Angeles / Los Angeles, CA

Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq.
Strumwasser & Woocher / Los Angeles, CA

3:45 pm

San Diego Navy Broadway Case: Exemptions and the General Plan

Implications for using an exemption for a project that isn't completely compliant with the General Plan: When do you need to modify the General Plan?

Ryan Michael Leaderman, Esq.
Holland & Knight / Los Angeles, CA

4:15 pm

Legislation 2020: Updates from Sacramento

SB 950 ("CEQA 2.0"), AB 3279 (CEQA modification), and more!

Matthew Baker , Policy Director
Planning and Conservation League / Sacramento, CA

Adam J. Regele, Esq. , Policy Advocate
California Chamber of Commerce / Sacramento, CA

5:00 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn

Faculty Bios

James L. Arnone, James L. Arnone, Program Co-Chair, is the Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department at Latham & Watkins. He has particular experience in the following areas: Compliance with state and federal environmental laws; infrastructure, energy, and real estate development projects; litigation over the legal obligations of local, state, and federal governmental bodies.

Douglas Carstens, Douglas Carstens, Program Co-Chair, is the managing partner for Chatten-Brown Carstens & Minteer. He has extensive experience in environmental, land use, municipal and natural resource matters.

Matthew Baker Matthew Baker is Policy Director for the Planning and Conservation League. His work focuses on planning policy development that seeks to provide joint solutions to California's environmental and social equity challenges.

Richard Toshiyuki Drury Richard Toshiyuki Drury represents environmental organizations, individuals and workers in environmental mattersat Lozeau Drury. He was Chair of the US EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee Pollution Trading Work Group. He also has served on the Boards of Directors of the Center on Race Poverty & the Environment.

Patrick A. Gibson, P.E., Patrick A. Gibson, P.E., is President of Gibson Transportation Consulting, Inc. Current and recent projects include Angel Stadium, The Disneyland Resort, Dodger Stadium, The Honda Center, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Universal Studios Hollywood. He also currently serves as the City Traffic Engineer for Monrovia, California.

Benjamin J. Hanelin Benjamin J. Hanelin is of counsel to Latham & Watkins. He provides advice to private developers, corporations, institutions and non-profit organizations regarding local planning and zoning regulations and related environmental matters; and state land use regulations, including CEQA and the California Coastal Act.

Sean B. Hecht Sean B. Hecht is Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. His research includes developing legal and policy tools for building resilience to climate change's projected impacts; analyzing insurance and finance sector roles; examining the relationship between environmental justice and mainstream environmental advocacy; analyzing the role of environmental impact analysis under CEQA and NEPA.

Christi Hogin Christi Hogin is of counsel to Best Best & Krieger. She serves as City Attorney for the cities of Lomita, Malibu and Palos Verdes Estates. She also serves as Assistant City Attorney to West Hollywood and provides a variety of legal services to other city clients.

Ryan Michael Leaderman Ryan Michael Leaderman is a partner at Holland & Knight. He focuses on obtaining and negotiating land use entitlements for complex land use planning and mixed-use developments. He also handles securing project approvals for all types of major developments in California.

Steven G. Martin Steven G. Martin is a Deputy City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Real Property and Environment Division. He litigates and advises on matters related to CEQA, California Coastal Act, hazardous sites, and endangered species.

Adrian Martinez Adrian Martinez is a Staff Attorney at Earthjustice. He works on clean air, clean energy and environmental justice issues. Prior to joining Earthjustice, he worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council as a smog and environmental justice attorney.

Beverly Grossman Palmer Beverly Grossman Palmer is a partner at Strumwasser & Woocher. Before entering the legal profession, she was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

Adam J. Regele Adam J. Regele is a Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce. He specializes in environmental policy, housing and land use, and product regulation issues.

Charity B. Schiller Charity B. Schiller is a partner at Best Best & Krieger. She helps public and private clients negotiate the maze of laws that apply to infrastructure and private development projects so that those projects can be entitled and built. She also has assisted several federally designated metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation agencies with countywide and regional transportation plans.

Sabrina Vansteenki Teller Sabrina Vansteenki Teller is a partner at Remy Moose Manley. She represents public agencies, private applicants, and citizens' groups in a wide variety of land use and environmental law matters.

Jennifer Tobkin is Jennifer Tobkin is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, where she focuses on land use and CEQA advice and litigation.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 6.25 California MCLE, 6.0 AICP planner, and 6.O ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.