Because the regulatory guidelines for the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") contain an exemption for "the submittal of proposals to a vote of the people," both projects avoided environmental analysis after the board of supervisors and the electorate had given a green light for the projects. In this article, we will examine the possibility that the ballot measure exemption functions as a loophole that weakens the goal of early meaningful, analysis that is at the heart of CEQA. To. put the exemption in a specific environmental and political context, we will look at some of the environmental impacts of the two San Francisco stadium development projects as well as the campaigns for the stadiums. For historical context, we will also describe the origins of the ballot measure exemption and the case law surrounding it. Finally, we will briefly propose suggestions for reform.
Jon Rainwater and Susan Stephenson,
Too Late in the Game: How Ballot Measures Undercut CEQA, 28 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.