CEQA: How it Really Works

Adopted in 1970, the California Environmental Quality Act is a critical tool for protecting the state’s historic resources. All projects undertaken by a public agency, and many projects undertaken by private parties, are subject to CEQA review. Despite its widespread and effective use as a preservation tool, it is frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted. This workshop will explore CEQA from different perspectives: historic preservation professionals, City staff members, and preservation advocates. Through a series of case studies, participants will discuss the strengths and limitations of CEQA in evaluating project impacts on historic resources, implementing appropriate mitigation measures, and advocating for historic properties.

Documents & Downloads

Learning Objectives

  1. Develop a working knowledge of CEQA guidelines and its applicability in historic preservation.
  2. Understand the CEQA process and thresholds.
  3. Review recent case studies to understand how CEQA is applied and how project impacts are identified and analyzed.
  4. Understand the most frequently applied mitigation measures and the enforcement of mitigation.


  • Adrian Fine, Director of Advocacy, Los Angeles Conservancy
  • Amy Forbes, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Erik Krause, Senior Planner, City of Glendale
  • Christine Lazzaretto, Principal, Historic Resources Group
  • Paul Travis, AICP, Principal, Historic Resources Group.