- RCTC can appeal the judgment at a higher court.
- According to Len Nunney, the secretary for Friends of Riverside Hills, RCTC can engage in a settlement without having to recompile its EIR.
- RCTC can lobby the state legislature for CEQA reform
Just days before the meeting, RCTC Chairwoman Karen Spiegel, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, and City of Perris Mayor Daryl Busch met with members of the state legislature to lobby for an exemption of the rail line's trivial and construction-related environmental issues from the current legal loopholes in CEQA law. It is without question that the landmark law needs to be amended and made retroactive to counter abusive lawsuits; however, to be fair, fast-tracking projects by granting outright CEQA exemptions is very questionable. During settlement negotiations, RCTC must also ensure that the NIMBY party is not receiving any unnecessary "home improvements" paid for by county taxpayers.
Judicial appeals processes normally take several months from start to finish, but RCTC still predicts breaking ground later this July. It is still early to predict what will happen. This trivial lawsuit in general has one big message for the state: Close up the CEQA loopholes.