Land Use

A Late Objector Can Stop a Project. In this case, the Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether a party who had not objected to a project or the environmental impact report (EIR) prepared in connection with the project until after the final EIR had been published but before the notice of determination had been certified, had adequately exhausted that party’s administrative remedies and, thus, could pursue judicial review of the approved project. Based upon the express language of Public Resources Code section 21777, which states that only those persons who "objected to the approval of the project orally or in writing during the public comment period provided by this division or prior to the close of the public hearing on the project before the issuance of the notice of determination" can maintain an action, the Court of Appeal held that the plaintiffs, each of whom had objected to the adequacy of the EIR before its certification, had sufficiently exhausted their administrative remedies and, hence, were entitled to bring an action to challenge the approval of the project. (Galante Vineyards v. Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1109.)

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