Tomlinson v. Co. of AlamedaAnnotate this Case
This case stemmed from the county's determination that a proposed building project was categorically exempt from compliance with environmental law requirements. At issue was a statutory provision stating that a public agency's approval of a proposed project could be challenged in court only on grounds that were "presented to the public agency orally or in writing by any person during the public comment period...or prior to the close of the public hearing on the project before the issuance of the notice of determination." Pub. Resources Code, 21177, subd.(a). The court held that this exhaustion-of-administrative-remedies provision applied to a public agency's decision that a project was categorically exempt from environmental law requirements. Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Appeal was reversed, and the matter was remanded to that court so it could address petitioners' remaining contentions that, although raised by petitioners, were not resolved by that court because of its conclusion that section 21177's exhaustion-of-administrative remedies requirement was inapplicable.