Planning and Environmental Law

Gain a comprehensive understanding of planning and environmental law, policy and institutions at the federal, state and local levels. Learn to read and understand a judicial opinion, work with lawyers and develop an integrated land use/environmental permitting strategy. 

Students will receive both the knowledge and practical skills to successfully navigate the legal framework in their chosen planning and environmental careers. The course first reviews the various sources of planning and environmental law, including common law, statutes and regulations, the public trust doctrine and judicial case law. It then provides students with a working understanding of:

  • Land use law requirements, including statutory and case law requirements for the General Plan, zoning and subdivisions
  • Constraints on land use regulation, including vested rights, takings and other constitutional constraints
  • The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Requirements of selected environmental/natural resource programs, including water quality, wetlands regulation, air quality, and fish and wildlife regulation 
  • The latest developments in climate change law and policy and how they affect planning
  • Effective land use and environmental permitting

Approximately 20 hours of project work and regular attendance are required. 

Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Classroom + extended classroom


One Capitol Mall

1 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA, 95814

One Capitol Mall

One Capitol Mall 1 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA, 95814

One Capitol Mall

One Capitol Mall 1 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA, 95814

Enrollment Policies

Drop requests (withdraw with a refund) will be approved, less a $30 processing fee, if the request is received seven calendar days before the course begins. Click here to view complete enrollment policy information including details on withdrawals and transfers.

Technical Requirements

To ensure your success in this course, please review our technical requirements page here.