CA Supreme Court Decision Favorable to Citizens and Environmental Law

On March 20, 2017, the Banning Ranch Conservancy (BRC) announced a win for citizens throughout California who are fighting to get their elected officials to abide by environmental law. The Supreme Court of California published its ruling in the BRC case, making it clear that the environmental review process is more than just a checkbox to mark to approve a project.

Rural Communities United (RCU) attorney Tom Infusino shared the outcome of this case and its importance, with the El Dorado County Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors, in a letter dated April 26, 2017. As the decision makers for development in El Dorado County, Commissioners and Supervisors need to understand the impact of this recent court ruling. The court ruling dictates that decision makers have a duty to determine if meaningful environmental review of projects has actually occurred, prior to making any land use decision. It is not ‘ok’ to disregard public comments that question development impacts: full disclosure and fully reasoned analysis must be in evidence, or their decisions will be overturned.

“The preparation and circulation of an EIR [Environmental Impact Report] is more than a set of technical hurdles for agencies and developers to overcome. The EIR’s function is to ensure that government officials who decide to build or approve a project do so with a full understanding of the environmental consequences and, equally important, that the public is assured those consequences have been taken into account.”

Click here to read a copy of the April 26, 2017 letter that attorney Tom Infusino sent to the Commissioners and Supervisors.
Click here to read the California Supreme Court ruling in the Banning Ranch Conservancy lawsuit.

RCU needs your help to restore the 2004 voter approved General Plan and the 37,000 parcels that were rezoned without notification to the property owners or surrounding neighbors.  When the Board of Supervisors approved their overhaul of the voter-approved 2004 General Plan, RCU immediately sprang into action and filed a lawsuit to reverse the Board’s decision.  At this time, RCU is almost half way to raising the funds needed to complete the court case.

If the quality of life that we all enjoy in El Dorado County is important to you, then please join us in protecting that lifestyle with a tax-deductible donation to RCU.

Help us hold our elected officials accountable. Donate to the LEGAL FUND.

Donations are tax deductible through Planning & Conservation League (PCL) Foundation’s fiscal sponsorship under their 501(c)(3).

To Donate by Check (preferred to save online fees):

Make check payable to: PCLF Legal Fund
Memo line:  RCU-EDC

Mail to:
P.O. Box 1332
Placerville, CA 95667

To Donate Online:

Link to online donation page:

About Planning & Conservation League (PCL) and Planning & Conservation League Foundation (PCLF):

PCL ( is a nonprofit organization that has been around since 1965, and helped draft the critically important California Environmental Quality Act.  PCLF is their sister organization. Formed in 1972 they work at the Community level to assist groups like ours to better participate in the environmental review process. (


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