February 2012, the Friends of Rattlesnake Island (Friends) filed a law suit against
Lake County, the Board of Supervisors, and John Nady alleging violations of the
California Environmental Quality Act.
The suit called for the court to issue a peremptory writ of mandamus vacating the
approval of the project and directing the preparation of an Environmental Impact
Report and staying any and all construction on the project. The suit claimed that:
1) The county did not fulfill its obligations under the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA) by approving permits for two homes and utility trenching based
on a Mitigated Negative Declaration and not requiring an Environmental Impact
2) There was not adequate mitigation studied or implemented for the project, and
3) The county failed to consider the whole project and improperly segmented the
required environmental review.
|RATTLESNAKE ISLAND COURT CASE
|History and Prehistory of Lake County
Friends made three attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop
construction until the case could be heard. All were denied. Meanwhile, though
winter grading restrictions were in effect, the County Community Development
Director granted the applicant an exemption, allowing grading on the island through
the rainy season.
By the time the case was heard (a year later), all construction related excavation had
been completed and any damage to archaeological resources had already taken place.
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|Due to the fact that the damage had already been done, the court ruled that the
Friends of Rattlesnake Island case against the county for CEQA violations was mute
(no longer valid as there was no longer the possibility of preventing the damage that
had already occurred to the cultural site)