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City Not Liable for Flood Damage to Private Property After Court Determines City Acted Reasonably

In Biron v. City of Redding (April 30, 2014, C071094) --- Cal.App. 4th ----, the Court of Appeal declined to hold the City of Redding ("City") liable for flood damages caused to private property owned by Philip Biron, et al....more

5/6/2014 - Flooding Property Damage Severe Weather

Developer's Subdivision Project for County Deemed Private Work of Improvement for Purposes of Subcontractor's Claim, Extending...

The California Court of Appeal recently held that where a developer hires a subcontractor to perform work in connection with a subdivision agreement with a public entity, the project may be considered a private work of...more

4/25/2014 - Housing Developers Mechanics Lien Public-Private Partnerships Statute of Limitations Subcontractors Subdivision

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

3/24/2014 - Eminent Domain Private Property Takings

Bona Fide Lease of Illegally Converted Garage May Survive Foreclosure of Real Property Through End of Lease Term

Even a lease of an illegally converted garage is protected from foreclosure through the end of the lease term under the federal Protecting Tenants Against Foreclosure Act of 2009 (“PTFA”), except where the purchaser of the...more

2/11/2014 - Banking Sector Foreclosure Leases Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act Real Estate Market Survival Clauses

Requirement That Landowners Give Aircraft Overflight Easement Before Obtaining Building Permit Did Not Constitute a Taking of...

Landowners assert a requirement that they provide an aircraft overflight easement before obtaining a building permit constitutes a taking of their property without just compensation. The court of appeal held that the...more

2/3/2014 - Building Permits Easements Land Owners Takings

“Spot Zoning” Found Permissible Where Small Parcel Given Greater Rights than Surrounding Properties and New Zoning Served the...

The Orange County Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approved a proposed senior citizen living community (“Project”) on a seven-acre parcel, creating a new zoning definition for senior residential housing and rezoning the parcel...more

1/27/2014 - Land Developers Municipalities Public Interest Real Estate Market Urban Planning & Development

County Application for Jail Expansion State Funding Not a “Project” Requiring CEQA Review

In 2011, after the state legislature approved realignment legislation and funds to shift low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails, Orange County (“County”) applied for state funding to expand its jail facility...more

12/18/2013 - CEQA Environmental Policies Public Projects

Mitigation Fee Act Applies to Developer’s Challenge of City’s Affordable Housing Set Aside Requirements

As required under its “inclusionary housing” ordinance, Palo Alto required a developer to set aside 10 condominium units as below market rate housing and make a cash payment to the City as a condition of obtaining a tentative...more

10/22/2013 - Affordable Housing Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Mitigation

Change in Legal Title From Joint Tenancy to Tenancy in Common was a Change of Ownership Within the Meaning of Proposition 13

A taxpayer challenged a county assessor’s reassessment of real property after the taxpayer transferred his joint tenancy interest to himself as a tenant in common. A court of appeal held that the property was subject to...more

10/17/2013 - Change of Ownership Joint Tenancy Land Titles Proposition 13 Tenancy-in-Common

Update: Attorney Fees Provision in Government Code Section 65589.5(k) is Limited to Affordable Housing Developments

An applicant who wanted to subdivide a parcel of land into residential lots sought an award of attorney fees after he sued a county’s board of supervisors and won approval of his application. The court of appeal held that...more

9/10/2013 - Affordable Housing Attorney's Fees Subdivision

Construction Defect Litigation: Right to Repair Act (SB 800) Does Not Eliminate Common Law Remedies for Actual Damage to...

California’s Right to Repair Act (also known as SB 800) provides court remedies for a homeowner when construction defects diminish the economic value of a home, even though no personal injuries or actual property damage have...more

9/5/2013 - Construction Defects Damages Homeowner's Insurance Loss in Economic Value Repairs

A Jury in an Eminent Domain Action Must Decide if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that Government Will Require Dedication of Land...

A city planned to realign a truck route and offered the landowners compensation that valued the property as undevelopable agricultural land instead of its current zoning of light industrial. The city reasoned that the...more

8/30/2013 - Condemnation Eminent Domain Jury Trial Land Developers Redevelopment Rough Proportionality Test

Owners of Condemned Property are Not Entitled to Precondemnation Damages When Decline in Property Value is Not Caused by Actions...

In People v. McNamara (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 6 Dist., August 14, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether the owners of property condemned by a state agency were entitled to precondemnation damages due...more

8/29/2013 - Condemnation Damages Department of Transportation Property Valuation

School District Cannot Levy Fee on Preexisting Development Where No Increase in Student Generation is Shown

The owner of an apartment complex challenged a school district’s imposition of school impact fees that were based on the entire square footage of the owner’s new, larger apartment complex built after the demolition of an...more

8/28/2013 - Fees Public Schools School Districts

Public Employees Ruled Immune From Liability When Acting In Legislative Or Discretionary Capacity, Even If Fraud, Corruption, Or...

After landowners spent three years securing planning commission approval for a proposed senior living facility project, the city council rejected the project in the face of community opposition. The landowners sued, alleging...more

8/15/2013 - Corruption Fraud Governmental Immunity Governmental Liability Immunity Legislative Immunity Legislative Process Misrepresentation Permits Public Employees Tort Claims Act Variances

Proposition 26 Does Not Apply Retroactively to Existing Local Assessments, Fees, or Charges

Proposition 26 expanded the definition of the term “tax” for purposes of article XIII C of the California Constitution in order to halt evasions of Proposition 218. A Court of Appeal recently addressed whether Proposition 26...more

8/15/2013 - New Legislation Tax Reform

U.S. Supreme Court: Federal Nexus And Proportionality Analysis Applies To Land Use Permitting Fees And To Both Denial And Granting...

A Florida landowner seeking a permit to develop part of a wetlands property offered a conservation easement on the undeveloped portion of the parcel to the local water management district. The district indicated it would not...more

7/15/2013 - Dolan v City of Tigard Fifth Amendment Koontz v St John's River Water Management Land Developers Nexus Nollan v California Coastal Commission Permits Rough Proportionality Test SCOTUS Takings Wetlands

UPDATE: School District’s Share Of Diverted ERAF Revenue Must Be Included When Calculating Its Property Allocation Base

A superior court required a county to include in its calculation of a school district’s property tax allocation base the property tax revenue that the school district actually received from local Educational Revenue...more

7/10/2013 - Education Budget Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds LAUSD Property Tax Property Valuation Public Schools School Districts

County’s Interpretation Of General Plan Amendment Amounted To Regulatory Taking

A county interpreted a voter-enacted amendment to its general plan to prohibit the completion of a self-storage facility on property owned by Lockaway Storage, a project that was in the works before the amendment went into...more

5/30/2013 - Attorney's Fees Ballot Measures Condemnation Fifth Amendment Takings

Court Upholds Zoning Ordinance That Restricts Location Of Medical Marijuana Collectives And Cooperatives

An owner of a medical marijuana collective challenged a county zoning ordinance that restricts the location of medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives to commercial and manufacturing zones. The court of appeals...more

5/15/2013 - Compassionate Use Act Local Ordinance Medical Marijuana

Public Agency May Begin Eminent Domain Proceedings Before Completing CEQA Review, But May Not Actually Acquire The Property Until...

A racetrack landowner challenged a regional park district’s plan to condemn part of the property for construction of a bayside trail, asserting that the park district was required under eminent domain law and the California...more

5/13/2013 - CEQA Compliance Eminent Domain Environmental Impact Report Environmental Review

City May Not Use “Anti-SLAPP” Motion to Dismiss Claim That City Employee Falsely Told Potential Tenants That Property Owner Was...

Property owners often bristle at statements that local government staff make to prospective tenants or purchasers of their property, concerned that they will be scared away by overly harsh or inaccurate speech. When those...more

4/24/2013 - Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss Property Owners Public Employees Tenants

Housing Development With Optional Retail Component Qualifies For CEQA Exemption For Residential Projects Consistent With...

A group of citizens challenged a city’s determination that a proposed residential development qualifies for an exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) as a residential project that is consistent with...more

4/24/2013

Adverse Possessor Of Religious Nonprofit’s Land Does Not Need To Pay Property Taxes To Obtain Title To Land

The law of adverse possession allows persons to obtain legal title to property by occupying the property for at least five years, and satisfying other requirements such as the payment of taxes on the property. In practice,...more

4/17/2013 - Adverse Possession Land Titles Legal Title Property Tax Religion Religious Institutions Tax Exemptions

Homeowners May Sue Design Professionals For Construction Defects

In Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 1 Dist., December 13, 2012), a California court of appeal found that a homeowners association could seek damages...more

1/22/2013 - Architects Construction Defects Engineering Homeowners' Association

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