Save the Hill Group v. City of LivermoreAnnotate this Case
In 2011, Lafferty sought to develop 76 homes on a 31.7-acre Garaventa Hills site in Livermore. A 2012 draft environmental impact report recognized that any alterations to existing drainage patterns may affect the quantity, timing, and quality of precipitation needed to maintain a functioning ecosystem. There was considerable opposition to Lafferty’s proposal. Lafferty reduced the number of residential units to 47, eliminated a vehicular bridge over Altamont Creek, and preserved a large rock outcropping. The final environmental impact report (FEIR) was released in 2014. The planning commission recommended that the city reject Lafferty’s second proposal. The city council declined to certify the FEIR. In 2017, Lafferty proposed a smaller-scale project with 44 new residences. According to the reissued FEIR (RFEIR), the project would result in the permanent removal of 31.78 acres of grasslands with an additional 1.18 acres being temporarily disturbed for construction; various mitigation measures were proposed, including the acquisition of an 85-acre compensatory mitigation site. The city certified the RFEIR and approved the Project.
Opponents filed suit under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code 2100). The court of appeal reversed and remanded. Opponents raised a challenge to the adequacy of the RFEIR’s analysis of the “no project” alternative that is both preserved for appeal and meritorious.