Notable Cases


ICON at Panorama

AGD partner Damon Mamalakis successfully defended a challenge to the ICON at Panorama, mixed use development project with 422 residences and 200,000 sf of commercial development. Like many recent projects, the construction unions challenged the Icon at Panorama project under CEQA. The main issue there was the addition of a new alternative to the Final EIR to reduce air quality and traffic impacts. The unions sued, claiming that the EIR’s project description was unstable because of the adoption of the new alternative. While the trial court agreed with the unions, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court, holding that (i) the Draft EIR project description met all of CEQA’s requirements, and (ii) CEQA allows for consideration and approval of a new alternative even if that alternative was added to the Final EIR. The Court of Appeal published its opinion: Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters v. City of Los Angeles (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 1154.


Tustin Costco Gas Station Addition

AGD represented Costco for the addition of a Costco gas station at its existing Tustin warehouse. Local citizens brought a CEQA challenge to the use of a Class 32 infill exemption, focusing on site size as the Costco warehouse is part of a larger outdoor mall. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeal agreed that the area that counts for the Infill Exemption is only the area that will be physically disturbed by the construction. The Court of Appeal opinion was published: Protect Tustin Ranch v. City of Tustin (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 951.