Why No Lawsuit Will be Filed, Yet

Many supporters have been requesting information about a potential lawsuit on the Esperanza Hills Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Contrary to what the Yorba Linda City Council stated last week, telling us that we need to file a lawsuit, simply proves our Councilmembers don’t understand the environmental review process. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has clear direction about the process when a project gets approved. Under normal circumstances, the agency approves both the project and the EIR. The agency’s next step is to file a “Notice of Determination” (NOD). This document starts the clock ticking in terms of filing a lawsuit—it’s a 30 day window. In our situation, however, ONLY the EIR was approved, NOT the project. As Supervisor Spitzer said, the EIR requirements, by law, were met—that does NOT mean that there aren’t deficiencies in the document. Indications from the County are that they will not file the NOD because there was no project approval. Therefore, there is no clock ticking. To be safe, we are checking the County notifications each week to ensure we don’t miss a window to file a lawsuit. If the project is approved, and we are not sure that it will be approved, we would challenge the project and EIR when the NOD is officially filed. If we filed suit now, the court would have to dismiss it.