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Murr Epilogue: Wisconsin Lawmakers Pass “Homeowners Bill of Rights,” Effectively Reversing Flawed U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Early last summer the U.S. Supreme Court released its long-awaited, and deeply flawed decision in Murr v. Wisconsin, __ U.S. __ (2017). We wrote about this unfortunate new takings case here and in “Missed Opportunity In...more

U.S. Supreme Court Again Declines to Consider Important Property Rights Issue Regarding the Unconstitutional Conditions Doctrine

The United States Supreme Court has had numerous opportunities in recent years to address an important and unsettled issue under the Takings Clause: whether heightened scrutiny under Nollan, Dolan, and Koontz applies in cases...more

Court Rejects Regulatory Takings and Pre-Condemnation Misconduct Claims Based on Airport Land Use Commission’s Reclassification of...

In Dryden Oaks, LLC v. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, __ Cal.App.5th __ (October 19, 2017), the Fourth District Court of Appeal published a previously unpublished opinion addressing both regulatory takings and...more

Affirming Local Control of Land Use Regulation, Court Holds That Ex Post Facto Laws do Not Apply to Ordinances Regulating...

Although the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits the use, possession, manufacture, and sale of marijuana for all purposes, numerous states have loosened their own marijuana laws. For example, California’s Proposition...more

Court Rejects Labor Union’s Referendum Petition to Thwart City’s Sale of Land to Private Hotel Developer Whose Project Would Not...

The use and abuse of the California Environmental Quality Act and the elections laws by special interests such as business competitors and labor unions is a pervasive and problematic feature of the California development...more

The Opposite of CEQA Reform: Legally Flawed AB 890 Would Expand Opportunities for CEQA Litigation Abuse While Abridging...

AB 890 (Medina – D), recently sent to Governor Brown for action by October 15, seeks to amend Government Code § 65867.5 and to add §§ 65363 and 65850.10 to prevent development agreements and certain types of land use planning...more

Court of Appeal Rules That Subdivision Map Act Does Not Require City to Determine Legal Status of Lots Created by Older Map Before...

Since 1907, the Subdivision Map Act has “grandfathered” older subdivisions and the parcels they created if they were properly recorded under any law (including a local ordinance), regulating the design and improvement of...more

California Supreme Court Decision Makes it Far Easier to Raise Taxes

Since California voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978 to limit property taxes, raising taxes to fund infrastructure, facilities, and services has required a vote at a general election. In subsequent years, Propositions 62,...more

The Takings Tree?

In 2011, Pasadena was hit by a powerful storm carrying hurricane force winds that injured more than 5,000 City-owned trees, 2,000 of which were uprooted. During the course of the storm, an approximately 110 foot tall Canary...more

Petitioner is Prevailing Party Entitled to Attorney Fees Where Undisputed Evidence Proves that Writ Petition Motivated City to...

The California Public Records Act provides for public inspection of records maintained by state and local agencies and declares that “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and...more

California Court of Appeal Again Rules in Favor of Public Against Billionaire Owner of Martins Beach

Martins Beach, near Half Moon Bay in the County of San Mateo, is the subject of protracted litigation on various fronts stemming from tech billionaire Vinod Khosla’s 2009, decision to change the public’s access to and use of...more

California Supreme Court Holds that Landowners Forfeited Right to Challenge Conditions of Permit to Build New Seawall by...

On July 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, __ Cal.5th __ (Case No. S221980), holding that the owners of two coastal bluff properties in Encinitas forfeited...more

SCOTUS Announces New Multi-Factor Test to Determine the Relevant Parcel in Regulatory Takings Cases

On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States finally decided Murr v. Wisconsin, __ U.S. __ (2017) (Case No. 15-214), a case that addressed land use regulations that “merged” adjacent parcels (the first of which...more

What’s Ironic?

We’ve come a long way since 1911, when the initiative and referendum processes were enshrined in the state constitution to address corruption in state government caused by special interests. For some reason that reality...more

Findings May be Legally Adequate Even if They Merely Recite the Language of the Ordinance

On April 4, 2017, in Young v. City of Coronado, __ Cal. App. 5th __ (2017) (Case No. D070210), the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed a trial court decision denying a challenge to the City of...more

Courts Will Not Second-Guess Development Decisions When the Findings are Supported by Substantial Evidence

On May 23,2017, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District granted a request to publish Kutzke v. City of San Diego, __ Cal. App. 5th __ (2017) (Case No. D070288), another opinion that shows the deference courts...more

Court Holds that Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Environmental Consultants Hired by an Attorney on Behalf of a Client, but...

The attorney-client privilege protects communications made in confidence by a client to its attorney for the purpose of obtaining legal advice. The privilege can extent to consultants and experts hired by the attorney on...more

Court Rejects Late Challenge to Permits for New Lifeguard Station on San Diego’s Mission Beach

California provides relatively short statutes of limitations for challenges in the land use context. For example, Government Code section 65009(c)(1) provides that “no action or proceeding shall be maintained [for a wide...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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