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City's Violation of the State Aeronautics Act and the CEQA Upheld

By FindLaw Staff on April 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Watsonville Pilots Ass'n v. City of Watsonville, No. H033097, concerned a plaintiffs' mandamus petition challenging the City of Watsonville's certification of a final environmental impact report (FEIR) and its approval of the 2030 General Plan (Plan), claiming that the Plan violated the State Aeronautics Act (SAA) and the city's certification of the FEIR violated the CEQA. 

In affirming the trial court's ruling, the court held that Plan violated the SAA as the city did not have the discretion to modify the criteria to suit itself based on its own determination that a particular runway is a low-activity runway.  The court also affirmed that trial court's ruling that the city violated the CEQA by certifying and FEIR that failed to adequately analyze impacts on aviation and failed to analyze a reasonably range of alternatives.  Lastly, the court agreed with the trial court that the FEIR did not inadequately analyze the impact of the Plan on the water supply.

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