The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) allows 30 days from the filing of the project’s approval to file a lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the EIR. The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the project on June 2, 2015 and paperwork was filed on June 3. Thirty days from the filing is: July 3, 2015.
Protect Our Homes and Hills team members, our CEQA/land use attorney Kevin Johnson and experts we hired provided substantive comments on the EIR for inclusion in the public record during the several years of project consideration. All of our testimony, PowerPoints and letters are now part of the administrative record on this project and can be used in a lawsuit, as well as comments submitted by other individuals, organizations, and agencies.
By our estimation, we have submitted over 150 valid concerns related to the adequacy of the EIR. However, moving forward with a lawsuit means we must narrow down those concerns to a small handful that represent our strongest claims. The Petition is being drafted and when it is filed we will post it on our website.
This entire legal process would likely take at least a year to go through. During this time, our side (the Petitioner) will submit an Opening Brief. The parties of interest (Respondents) that we sue would submit a Brief in Opposition and we would close with a Reply Brief. Then the case would be heard by a judge during oral arguments.
This judge will be the one individual to review the case, the evidence and make a decision. After a decision is complete, regardless of whose favor it is in (ours or the parties we sue), there would likely be an appeal to the Appellate Court. This process would likely take an additional six to nine months.
Please let us know if you have any questions on this process.