CEQA’s statute of limitations begins when the project is approved, not 35 days after a Notice of Exemption is filed when the filing occurs before the approval.

Coalition for Clean Air v. City of Visalia. No. F062983 (2012 DJDAR 13043) (5th Dist.)(September 14, 2012)

Visalia approved a large facility without environmental review after filing a notice that the project was exempt from CEQA. Petitioners challenged such claim, and the trial court ruled they were barred by the statute of limitations because it was filed more than 35-days after the NOE was filed.

The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that when a NOE is filed before a project is approved, the filing date does not start the statute of limitations. The approval of the project marks the date, and Petitioners had timely filed their action.

Prepared by John Reaves

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