Environmental and Land Use
Strumwasser & Woocher regularly represents a wide range of environmental
organizations, homeowner groups, and public agencies in environmental
and land‑use litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act,
the Clean Air Act, California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement
Act (Proposition 65), the Subdivision Map Act, historic‑preservation laws,
and various local planning laws.
Environmental Protection and Public Health
Strumwasser & Woocher represents several nonprofit community organizations
in a legal challenge to state agencies' handling of the remediation
of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a polluted former nuclear research
facility located near Simi Valley. The firm prevailed in obtaining a preliminary
injunction to halt the remediation, which was proceeding without compliance
with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The firm represented the County of Santa Barbara when it was sued by Exxon,
challenging, on Commerce Clause grounds, a county ordinance seeking to
prevent oil spill damage to county beaches by requiring the use of pipelines,
rather than oil tankers, to transport oil to a Santa Barbara refinery.
The firm represented the Senate Rules Committee in a challenge to the Senate's
power to require a gubernatorial appointee seeking confirmation to hold
hearings before licensing a nuclear‑waste dump.
California Radioactive Materials Management Forum v. Department of Health Services, 15 Cal. App. 4th 841 (1993).
The firm successfully prosecuted a plumbing fixtures manufacturer, under
California's Proposition 65, for failing to warn its employees of
lead‑poisoning, securing compliance with the Act's notice requirements
and a substantial settlement for injured employees.
The firm serves as counsel to the Hearing Board of the South Coast Air
Quality Management District, the air‑pollution control agency for the
16 million people living in the Southern California air basin. Strumwasser
& Woocher advises the Hearing Board on administrative, constitutional,
and environmental law, and represents the board in state and federal litigation.
On behalf of nonprofit Fix the City, the firm successfully challenged the
City of Los Angeles' approval of the Hollywood Community Plan Update
for failure to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental
Quality Act and for inconsistency with the General Plan.
Strumwasser & Woocher represents Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable
City in connection with the City of Santa Monica's approval of the
Bergamot Transit Village, a mixed use office and residential project on
a seven acre site in eastern Santa Monica.
The firm represents several Los Angeles area homeowner associations in
actions against private developers and local governmental bodies alleging
non‑compliance with land use and environmental laws. On behalf of these
organizations, Strumwasser & Woocher has successfully challenged a
number of proposed developments in the Century City area and the Westside
of Los Angeles, and recently prevailed in a CEQA and general plan challenge
to the City of Los Angeles' hastily drafted plan to convert two local
streets into one‑way thoroughfares without any mitigation for the affected
The firm successfully represented a group of Native Americans to block
construction of a parking lot and strip‑mall on a sacred site located
on a state‑college campus.
Native American Heritage Com. v. Board of Trustees, 51 Cal. App. 4th 675 (1996).
In a series of cases spanning almost half a decade, Strumwasser & Woocher
represented a number of parties supporting the development of the abandoned
El Toro Marine Air Station as a commercial airport in lieu of further
expansion of existing airports in urban centers. The representation included
a successful legal challenge to a ballot measure that would have prohibited
the redevelopment of the El Toro property as an airport and litigation
over proposed amendments to the Orange County General Plan, compliance
with federal environmental statutes, and the annexation of the property
into the City of Irvine.
Citizens for Jobs and the Economy v. County of Orange, 94 Cal.App.4th 1311 (2002);
Songstad v. Superior Court, 93 Cal.App.4th 1202 (2001).
Strumwasser & Woocher represented the proponents of a local ballot
initiative to preserve open space at the former Fort Ord in Monterey County,
defeating two separate lawsuits attempting to remove the measure from
the ballot prior to the November 2013 election.
The firm successfully challenged a county's refusal to connect a photovoltaic
generating facility to the utility grid and obtained monetary compensation
for the owner, enforcing state laws enacted to encourage solar development.
Arterberry v. Cnty. of San Diego, 182 Cal. App. 4th 1528 (2010).