Neil Hyytinen Hyytinen: “The bad news is that the court prefaced its ‘solutions’ by noting that it could not ‘guarantee’ that the use of either approach would actually result in a legally adequate CEQA document.”

SAN DIEGO—Local developers are facing two new stringent and onerous regulations regarding greenhouse-gas emissions and storm-water management, Neil Hyytinen, a partner at Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP, tells The California Supreme Court’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which dealt with the Newhall Ranch project in Los Angeles, eliminated procedures that jurisdictions had previously used to determine the level of greenhouse-gas emissions. And this year, the State Water Board adopted its Storm Water Strategy to further develop regulatory and management approaches to maximize opportunities to use storm water as a resource. This, in essence, requires developers to capture local storm-water runoff and use it for local landscape and agriculture irrigation and groundwater recharge.

We spoke exclusively with Hyytinen, who specializes in land use, planning and entitlements, including environmental and municipal law, about how various jurisdictions in San Diego County are responding to these mandates and how developers can be proactive about the new requirements to avoid delays.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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