Manhattan Beach won in the California Supreme Court!

The City of Manhattan Beach won on the merits of the case (that an EIR was not required for Manhattan Beach’s ordinance), but lost on the standing issue.

Congratulations to Manhattan Beach (and Mayor Montgomery) and everyone that’s been working on this issue!

Initial impressions:

The Court officially acknowledged the application of “common sense” reasoning in CEQA to apply outside of the specific categorical exemption, and arguably by implication condoned a broadened use of “common sense” in CEQA reasoning generally.  Specifically, the Court found that “common sense leads us to the conclusion that the environmental impacts discernible from the ‘life cycles’ of plastic and paper bags are not significantly implicated by a plastic bag ban in Manhattan Beach.”

Unfortunately, broadened “common sense” thinking regarding CEQA projects might have detrimental effects when environmental groups are the plaintiffs – which is much more conventional – let’s just hope that common sense doesn’t get stretched too far.

California Supreme Court Case No. S180720

Disclaimer:  This is the personal opinion of the author, not legal advice.