County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark

The state formed BBGHAD to restore 46 acres of Malibu's Broad Beach. The project requires 300,000 cubic yards of sand initially, with subsequent deposits at five-year intervals, and supplemental deposits as needed. Each of the five major deposits will generate 44,000 one-way truck trips, primarily from quarries adjacent to State Highway 23 between Fillmore and Moorpark. Moorpark officials expressed concern that truck traffic would negatively impact residents. A settlement prohibited sand trucks from using certain roads and from stopping in specific areas. The Coastal Commission approved a coastal development permit, including the settlement agreement. The trial court found the project exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code, 21000(a) but that BBGHAD improperly contracted away to Moorpark its police power in prohibiting BBGHAD from modifying haul routes in response to changed circumstances. The court of appeal held that the beach restoration, including the agreement, is a single “project” that is exempt from CEQA review as an “improvement” (section 26505) undertaken by a geologic hazard abatement district “necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency.” The agreement's traffic restrictions are not preempted by the Vehicle Code, nor do they constitute extraterritorial regulations; they represent a valid exercise of Moorpark’s contracting authority. The court agreed that BBGHAD abdicated its police power in portions of the agreement. View "County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark" on Justia Law