Charity B. Schiller

Partner

charity.schiller@bbklaw.com

Tel: (951) 826-8223

Location(s)

At a Glance

Charity assists clients with all aspects of CEQA, NEPA and related environmental laws.

She is an experienced litigator.

Charity was named a Woman Worth Watching by the Profiles in Diversity Journal.
 

Charity Schiller helps public and private clients negotiate the maze of laws that apply to infrastructure and private development projects, so that those projects can be entitled and built. Specifically, Charity assists clients with all aspects of the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and related environmental laws. She has extensive experience with the preparation and adoption of environmental impact reports, environmental impact statements, negative declarations, addenda, exemptions and other environmental documents. Charity is also an experienced litigator, successfully defending her clients before administrative boards and trial and appellate courts throughout California.

Site-Specific Entitlements
Charity represents a wide array of private developer clients and assisted with the successful entitlement of many dozens of projects across California. She helped developers obtain approvals of numerous specific plans, securing development rights to thousands of acres of land. She assisted with acquiring land use approvals and entitlements for dozens of residential, commercial, mixed-use and warehouse projects across the state. She also assists several renewable energy developers with solar, wind, biogas and geothermal project siting and CEQA review. Charity successfully defended many of these projects from CEQA and land use litigation in both the trial and appellate courts, including negotiating complex multi-party settlements that resulted in the immediate dismissal of litigation while sparing her clients from litigation costs, time delays and business uncertainties.

Transportation/Linear Projects
Charity assists clients with the successful entitlement and construction of billions of dollars of transportation infrastructure, including commuter rail, freeway widening, car-pool lane additions and new highway projects. In that role, she regularly helps her clients work with federal and state transportation agencies to prepare joint CEQA/NEPA documents, secure funding for transportation projects and defend project approvals from litigation. Charity also assisted several federally designated metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation agencies with countywide and regional transportation plans and the adoption of Sustainable Communities Strategies under SB 375. Similarly, Charity has extensive experience with the unique permitting and CEQA issues posed by linear projects that span multiple jurisdictions. Charity used those skills to secure – and defend – approvals for transmission lines, pipelines, water transfer projects and other infrastructure projects.

Land Use Plans/Climate Action Plans
Charity assists the firm’s many municipal clients with CEQA review and adoption of their general plans, several of which have received awards for sustainability and innovation excellence. Similarly, Charity assisted several jurisdictions with CEQA review and adoption of climate action plans designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a jurisdiction-wide level.

Beyond her work for clients, Charity regularly teaches courses in environmental law at the University of California, Riverside and guest lectures at several other Southern California universities. She also frequently authors articles on environmental law and speaks on CEQA and related issues. Charity is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and is licensed to practice law in the State of California.

Education

  • Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D., with honors
  • University of California, Riverside, M.S., biochemistry and molecular biology
  • University of Oregon, B.S., biochemistry


Memberships and Community Involvement

  • Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court
  • Riverside County Philharmonic, board member
  • Riverside Downtown Partnership, board member
  • Riverside Public Library Foundation, board member
  • Leadership Riverside Program, Steering Committee member
CEQA Compliance for Businesses
Authored Articles & Publications Mar 18, 2019

CEQA Compliance for Businesses

BB&K’s Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams Warn Why Businesses Should Heed CEQA’s Changing Processes

Comprehensive Update to the State CEQA Guidelines
Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2019

Comprehensive Update to the State CEQA Guidelines

Approved by California Natural Resources Agency

California Supreme Court Addresses Standard of Review for EIRs and Air Quality Impact Analyses
Legal Alerts Jan 11, 2019

California Supreme Court Addresses Standard of Review for EIRs and Air Quality Impact Analyses

Decision in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno Case

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part II
Legal Alerts Jan 10, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part II

Housing and Land Use and Environmental Laws Saw Changes in 2019

Groundwater Extraction Permits Not Subject to CEQA in San Luis Obispo County
Legal Alerts Aug 06, 2018

Groundwater Extraction Permits Not Subject to CEQA in San Luis Obispo County

Approval is a Ministerial Action, not subject to CEQA, Appellate Court Finds

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow
Authored Articles & Publications May 23, 2018

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow

Legal Decisions and Pending Guideline Updates Have Effect on the CEQA Review Process Write BB&K Attorneys Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees
Legal Alerts Dec 11, 2017

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees

Filing Fees for CEQA Notices of Determination Increase Jan. 1

Proposed “Comprehensive Update” to the State CEQA Guidelines Released
Legal Alerts Dec 01, 2017

Proposed “Comprehensive Update” to the State CEQA Guidelines Released

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Proposal Also Addresses SB 743

Legislature May Expedite CEQA Review for Transportation Projects Connected to 2028 Olympic Games
Legal Alerts Sep 11, 2017

Legislature May Expedite CEQA Review for Transportation Projects Connected to 2028 Olympic Games

Bill Introduced in Advance of Los Angeles Being Awarded the Games This Week

Lead Agencies Need Not (Necessarily) Consider Governor’s Executive Orders When Analyzing Emissions
Legal Alerts Jul 14, 2017

Lead Agencies Need Not (Necessarily) Consider Governor’s Executive Orders When Analyzing Emissions

California Supreme Court Finding Serves as a Key Victory for Public Agencies

CEQA Review of Cannabis Regulations
Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2017

CEQA Review of Cannabis Regulations

Comment Period Opens on Draft Program Environmental Impact Report of MCRSA and AUMA

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase
Legal Alerts Dec 13, 2016

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase

Fee Increase for CEQA Notices of Determination Effective Jan. 1

Evaluating a Project’s “Exacerbation” on Existing Environmental Hazards
Legal Alerts Nov 10, 2016

Evaluating a Project’s “Exacerbation” on Existing Environmental Hazards

Substantial Evidence Proving “Exacerbation” Required, California Appellate Court Says

New Legislation Seeks to Expedite CEQA Administrative Record Process
Legal Alerts Sep 26, 2016

New Legislation Seeks to Expedite CEQA Administrative Record Process

Provides Opportunity to Streamline Litigation

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency
Legal Alerts Sep 21, 2016

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies

California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Subsequent Review Rules and Standard of Review
Legal Alerts Sep 20, 2016

California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Subsequent Review Rules and Standard of Review

Decision Issued After Years of Uncertainty

Legislature Passes Pair of Significant New Climate Change Bills
Legal Alerts Aug 29, 2016

Legislature Passes Pair of Significant New Climate Change Bills

Gov. Brown Expected to Sign Laws that Will Have CEQA Implications

Office of Planning and Research Proposes Revisions to State CEQA Guidelines
Legal Alerts Jan 25, 2016

Office of Planning and Research Proposes Revisions to State CEQA Guidelines

Comments Sought by Feb. 29 on the Transition from LOS to VMT

California Supreme Court Decision Regarding Newhall Ranch Development Could Significantly Impact Developments
Legal Alerts Dec 02, 2015

California Supreme Court Decision Regarding Newhall Ranch Development Could Significantly Impact Developments

California Supreme Court Overturns Environmental Impact Report Related to Proposed Residential Development

California Governor Signs Legislation Establishing Significant New Energy Goals
Legal Alerts Oct 07, 2015

California Governor Signs Legislation Establishing Significant New Energy Goals

Law Sets Standards Aimed at Addressing Climate Change

California Supreme Court Makes Critical CEQA Ruling Regarding Categorical Exemptions
Legal Alerts Mar 03, 2015

California Supreme Court Makes Critical CEQA Ruling Regarding Categorical Exemptions

Court Clarifies the Unusual Circumstances Exception

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees
Legal Alerts Dec 18, 2014

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees

Filing Fees for CEQA Notices of Determination Increase Effective Jan. 1

California Supreme Court Rules Local Governments Are Not Required to Comply With CEQA Before Adopting a Voter-Sponsored Initiative
Legal Alerts Aug 08, 2014

California Supreme Court Rules Local Governments Are Not Required to Comply With CEQA Before Adopting a Voter-Sponsored Initiative

Opinion Clarifies When CEQA Review is Required for Local Land Use Initiatives

Office of Planning and Research Issues Draft Update to State CEQA Guidelines for Analyzing Traffic Impacts
Legal Alerts Aug 07, 2014

Office of Planning and Research Issues Draft Update to State CEQA Guidelines for Analyzing Traffic Impacts

Deadline for Comments is 5 p.m. on October 10

  • "Newly Proposed CEQA Guidelines Are Coming to Your Town," Western City, Aug. 1, 2018
  • “Life After Paris: Global Change at a Local Level,” BBKnowledge, June 29, 2017
  • “Comments Sought on Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan,” BBKnowledge, Dec. 9, 2014
  • “Decision: Voter-Sponsored Local Land Use Initiatives Not Subject to Environmental Review,” BBKnowledge, Aug. 11, 2014
  • “[Video] Senate Bill 375 and Sustainable Communities Strategies,” BBKnowledge, March 3, 2014
  • “BB&K’s Charity Schiller Discusses CEQA Baseline (Video),” BBKnowledge, Jan. 23, 2014
  • “Resurrecting the Departed: Legal Implications of Reintroducing Revived Species,” JD Supra, Jan. 23, 2014
  • “[Video] CEQA Baseline,” BBKnowledge, Jan. 15, 2014
  • “Office of Planning and Research Seeks Input on Proposed Changes to State CEQA Guidelines,” JD Supra, Jan. 6, 2014
  • “California Department of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees,” BB&K Legal Alert, Dec.10, 2013
  • “Court of Appeal Rules on Lead Agencies’ Ability to Delegate CEQA Decision-Making Authority,” BB&K Legal Alert, Nov., 2013
  • “Senate Bill 375: Implementing a Framework for Greenhouse Gas Reduction,” 16.2 A.B.A. Climate Change, Sustainable Development, & Ecosystems Committee Newsletter, October 2013
  • “Court of Appeal Addresses Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Under CEQA,” BB&K Legal Alert, Aug. 20, 2013
  • “State Supreme Court Makes Key CEQA Ruling Involving Baseling Analyses,” BB&K Legal Alert, Aug. 5, 2013
  • “Court Finds Public Interest in Meeting Renewable Energy Goals in California Outweighs Efforts to Preserve Agricultural Lands,” BB&K Legal Alert, June 27, 2013
  • “Local Legislative Bodies Must Expressly Agendize CEQA Documents – County Planning Commission Failed to Include Project-Related…” BB&K Legal Alert, June 5, 2013

 

Contact Charity B. Schiller