“Regulatory Takings” Case From Ninth Circuit Gives Ammunition to Land Owners


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a recent ruling in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 2010 WL 5174984 (C.A.9 (Cal.)), which could have a far-reaching impact on future "regulatory takings" claims challenging governmental regulations as a " taking" of property for which an owner is entitled to compensation.

The Guggenheims bought the mobile home park in 1997, which was within unincorporated Santa Barbara County and subject to a County mobile home park rent control ordinance that had been adopted in 1979 and amended in 1987. The ordinance capped the rate of annual rent that the Guggenheims could charge for the mobile home lots, and provided for a maximum of 10 percent rent increases upon the sale of the mobile home to a new tenant. The ordinance provided no cap on the amount mobile home owners could charge when leasing or selling the actual mobile home. In 2002, the property was incorporated into the City of Goleta, which adopted the County's ordinance.

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