Bryan Wenter, AICP

Bryan Wenter, AICP

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New Cert Petition Asks SCOTUS if Legislatively Mandated Permit Conditions are Subject to Heightened Scrutiny

Last September we wrote about 616 Croft Ave., LLC v. City of West Hollywood, an opinion from the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upholding a nearly $555,000 in-lieu fee on an 11-unit residential infill...more

3/24/2017 - Affordable Housing Fifth Amendment Takings

The Case of the Missing $10M Oxford Comma

Vampire Weekend may not “give a f— about an Oxford comma,” but I certainly do. And so, too, does the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which opened a recent opinion, in a class action lawsuit about...more

3/21/2017 - Delivery Drivers Employee Rights Exemptions Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

California Supreme Court Holds that Communications Related to Public Business do not Cease to be Public Records Just Because They...

On March 2, 2017, in what is easily the sunniest day in this long, wet winter, the Supreme Court of California issued a landmark ruling regarding the California Public Records Act (Cal. Govt. Code § 6250 et seq.), holding...more

3/3/2017 - CA Supreme Court Disclosure Public Records Public Records Act

Court of Appeal Clarifies Meaning of “Full Text” Requirement for Ballot Initiatives

On February 28, 2017, just six days after oral argument in Wilson v. County of Napa, __ Cal.App.5th __ (2016) (Case No. A149153), the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision in favor...more

3/2/2017 - Appeals General Plan Land Developers

Annoyance and Discomfort Damages Resulting from Injury to Trees are Subject to the Statutory Damage Multiplier

Boundary disputes are one of the most actively litigated areas of real property law. One common category of such disputes involves the trimming of a neighbor’s tree, either to remove branches that have grown over a property...more

2/1/2017 - Land Owners Statutory Damages

County Boards of Education Cannot be Exempted from Local Zoning Requirements

On January 24, 2017, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District interpreted Government Code section 53094 and held that, unlike school districts, county boards of education cannot be exempted from local zoning...more

1/25/2017 - Local Ordinance School Districts Zoning Laws

Agenda with Superficial Description Violated Brown Act but Related Land Use Initiative for a Walmart Store did not Violate...

On January 5, 2017, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District partially published Hernandez v. Town of Apple Valley, __ Cal.App.5th __ (2016) (Case No. E063721). The published portion of the opinion addresses...more

1/16/2017 - Commercial Development Memorandum of Understanding Ralph M. Brown Act Wal-Mart

California Supreme Court Overturns City’s General Plan Consistency Determination, Holding that 1973 Resolution is Not Part of its...

Attorneys are undoubtedly familiar with the adage that “bad facts make bad law.” When an agency makes a general plan consistency determination, bad facts can also result in a court concluding that the deference typically...more

12/20/2016 - CA Supreme Court City Planning Departments General Plan Urban Planning & Development

Court Upholds Golden State Warriors’ Mission Bay Event Center and Mixed-Use Development Project

On November 29, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District rejected a challenge to the sufficiency of the San Francisco’s environmental analysis and upheld the City’s approval of an arena to house the Golden...more

12/7/2016 - Construction Industry Construction Project Infrastructure Urban Planning & Development

HUD and DOJ Release Updated Joint Statement on “State and Local Land Use Laws and Practices and the Application of the Fair...

On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Justice released a “Joint Statement” providing updated guidance on the application of the federal Fair Housing Act to state...more

12/1/2016 - Discrimination DOJ Fair Housing Act (FHA) HUD State and Local Government

Kelo Gives a Reasonable and Long-Accepted Reading of the Fifth Amendment, but it Remains one of the Supreme Court’s Worst...

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), that the Constitution allows the government to take private property through eminent domain for the purpose of “economic...more

11/15/2016 - Eminent Domain Fifth Amendment Private Property Public Use Takings

Court Rules that California Coastal Commission Staff Members who Participate in Enforcement Proceedings Before the Agency May Also...

California’s courts have frequently addressed a party’s due process rights to a fair and impartial decision maker in quasi-judicial proceedings, holding that during such proceedings there must be separation of prosecutorial...more

11/14/2016 - Administrative Proceedings Appeals Due Process Preliminary Injunctions

Court Defers to City’s General Plan Consistency Findings, Upholding Infill Residential Development Project

On November 7, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District reversed and remanded a trial court decision addressing a neighborhood group’s challenge to a 328-unit infill residential project in the City of...more

11/9/2016 - Construction Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) General Plan Land Use Restrictions

Court Upholds City’s Communities Facilities District and Related Special Tax

The question of who should pay the cost of municipal services for new residential development is a vexing question. The answer is critically important to the developers and homebuilders who must finance and market their...more

10/26/2016 - Housing Developers Land Developers Real Estate Development Urban Planning & Development

Gubernatorial Action that has Land Use Consequences is not a an Illegal Exercise of Legislative Power

On October 13, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer filed on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown following his concurrence with the Secretary of the...more

10/17/2016 - Land Use Restrictions Tribal Lands Zoning Laws

Recent Reports Highlight Negative Consequences of Local Barriers to New Housing Development, Call for State-Level Solutions

California’s housing crisis is well-understood and documented. A chief culprit is the fact that the state’s coastal urban areas, for various reasons, do not approve enough new housing to accommodate everyone who seeks to...more

10/14/2016 - Affordable Housing Housing Developers Real Estate Development Urban Planning & Development

Court Resolves Tensions Between Housing Laws and Coastal Act in Favor of Coastal Act

On September 29, 2016, in a case of first impression, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District addressed the tensions between the requirements of the Housing Accountability Act, Density Bonus Law, and Mello Law...more

10/3/2016 - Affordable Housing Density Bonus Housing Developers Zoning Laws

Court Affirms Trial Court’s Denial of Writ of Administrative Mandamus Challenging City’s Revocation of Nude Entertainment Permit

On September 28, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a petition for writ of administrative mandamus filed by the owner of a nude entertainment business to...more

9/30/2016 - Appeals Permits Writ of Mandamus

Court Rejects Takings Challenge to City’s Imposition of $600,000 in Fees for 11-Unit Infill Project

On September 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a petition for writ of mandate filed by a developer challenging various fees—totaling nearly $600,000—in...more

9/27/2016 - Dolan v City of Tigard Fifth Amendment Koontz v St John's River Water Management Nollan v California Coastal Commission Permits Takings

Court Declines to Reweigh Conflicting Evidence, Holds that County Fully Considered its Land Use Policies and Extent to Which...

On August 31, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a petition for writ of mandate filed by a citizens group challenging the third in a series of master use permits...more

9/8/2016 - Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Permits

Court Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Collective

On August 30, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a preliminary injunction in a nuisance abatement action brought on behalf of the People of the State of California against a Los Angeles-based...more

8/31/2016 - Marijuana Marijuana Related Businesses Medical Marijuana Preliminary Injunctions

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction and Terminates Temporary Restraining Order, Allowing Imposition of Level 3 School Impact Fees

On May 26, 2016, the California Building Industry Association successful obtained a temporary restraining order from the Sacramento Superior Court preventing the State Allocation Board—and all others acting in concert with...more

8/29/2016 - California Building Industry Association (CBIA) Impact Fees Irreparable Harm Preliminary Injunctions Restraining Orders

Accidental Disclosure Of Public Records Does Not Waive The Attorney-Client And Attorney Work Product Privileges

On March 17, 2016, the California Supreme Court resolved an important case regarding the California Public Records Act, ruling unanimously that the inadvertent release of confidential documents does not waive the...more

8/23/2016 - Attorney-Client Privilege Inadvertent Disclosure Public Records Public Records Act Work Product Privilege

Enacting and Enforcing Local Ordinances to Prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – Up in Smoke?

California’s cities and counties have a long and growing track record successfully defending challenges to their land use authority filed on behalf of medical marijuana dispensaries. These successes are largely a product of...more

8/5/2016 - Compassionate Use Act Controlled Substances Act Dispensaries Fifth Amendment Local Ordinance Marijuana Related Businesses Medical Marijuana State and Local Government

Prevailing Parties in Land Use Litigation May Recover Attorney’s Fees for Preparation of Administrative Record

On July 28, 2016, in a case of first impression, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District held that labor costs for attorneys and paralegals to prepare the administrative record in a land use case are recoverable...more

7/29/2016 - Attorney's Fees CEQA Prevailing Party

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