Insights
Firm News

Farella Represents Marin County Bicycle Coalition in Successful Pro Bono Appeal to Permit Bicycle Access to Existing Trail Network

January 29, 2020 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, January 29, 2020: With assistance from Farella Braun + Martel, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) participated as amicus curiae in a successful appeal of a lawsuit challenging the Marin County Open Space District’s approval of MCBC’s proposal to open the Bob Middagh Trail in Mill Valley, Calif. to bicycle use. In a significant CEQA decision, the California Court of Appeal held on Jan. 24 that the “social effects” of bike use on trails falls outside the scope of the CEQA review. According to the court, government agencies deciding whether to provide bicycle access to existing trails are not required to analyze social effects such as perceived user conflict with hikers as part of the environmental effects analysis under CEQA.

Farella Partner David Lazerwitz represented MCBC pro bono as amicus curiae in the appeal, filing an appellate brief addressing the important CEQA issues raised in the case. “The trial court’s ‘social concerns’ ruling represented a significant expansion of the type of environmental effects analyzed pursuant to CEQA and could have vastly complicated the process for agencies to increase bike access to existing trails,” said Lazerwitz. “The Court of Appeal decision reversed the trial court’s ruling while maintaining the focus of projects like this on potential effects to the natural environment under CEQA, which the court held the county properly analyzed in this instance.”

The case represents a significant victory for MCBC because it establishes precedent as the first bicycle-access trail approval occurring under the county’s 2014 Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) which, among other things, established a process for increasing bicycle access to the county’s large-scale trail network. Founded in 1998, MCBC promotes safe bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation and expanding Marin's network of bike lanes, pathways, bridges, tunnels and trails.

The case is Community Venture Partners v. Marin County Open Space District, Appeal No. A154867 (California Court of Appeal, First District).

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain offices in the Napa Valley that are focused on the wine industry.

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433 / [email protected]

Firm Highlights

Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

Read More
News

Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line

Mary McCutcheon was quote in the Claims Journal article,"Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line." Link to read the full article .

Read More
Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

Read More
News

Daily Journal Names Farella Lawyers Among Top IP Lawyers in California

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partners Jeffrey M. Fisher and James L. Day were named to the 2020 list of “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal...

Read More
Publication

Wine Businesses, Lenders, and Difficult Conversations

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health efforts to combat it will impact different wine businesses in different ways. Those that depend on on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, such as restaurant, hospitality, and tasting room...

Read More
Publication

CARES Act Money for Wineries?

Beginning tomorrow morning, April 3 rd , the Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the new CARES Act. Amid the flurry of news, small winery owners may...

Read More
Event

Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure? (Webinar)

Join speakers, Matt Lewis and Janice Reicher, on the webinar discussing "Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure?"

Read More
News

Farella Advises on Sale of Diamond Creek Winery to Maison Louis Roederer

SAN FRANCISCO/ST. HELENA, March 16, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel represented the family of the late Boots Brounstein on the sale of their Diamond Creek Winery in Calistoga, Calf. to French Champagne producer Maison...

Read More
News

Farella COVID-19 Update: A Message From the Managing Partner

To our clients, alumni and friends, During these unsettling times, Farella Braun + Martel is focused on protecting the health and safety of our firm members, clients, and communities and doing our part to...

Read More
Publication

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law (the full 880-page text of the CARES Act passed by the Senate is available here...

Read More