Developers often have to satisfy various conditions of approval in order to achieve the necessary approvals to move forward with a project. Sometimes these conditions include requirements to acquire land for public improvements, such as a new sewer line or road, and those improvements are often located on property not owned by the developer. When the developer is unable to acquire those rights through voluntary negotiations, the city imposing the conditions of approval is generally required to use eminent domain to acquire the rights for the developer …
In order for a property owner to successfully pursue a regulatory takings claim for inverse condemnation, the owner is typically required to pursue multiple different development options, and face multiple permit denials, before a claim will be ripe. However, a recent California Court of Appeal opinion, Felkay v. City of Santa Barbara, 2021 Cal.App. LEXIS 225, held that “multiple applications are not required where the permit denial makes clear that no development of the property would be allowed under any circumstance.”
In this case, a property owner applied to ...
In a recent published decision, the California Court of Appeal had the opportunity to address this issue when the property owners of a beachside residence in the City of Los Angeles challenged a setback condition that the California Coastal Commission imposed on their proposed home remodel. (See Greene v. Cal. Coastal Com. (Oct. 9, 2019) Case No. B293301.)
Under the Coastal Act, property owners are required to obtain a Coastal Development Permit for “development” within the coastal zone. “Development” is defined very broadly in the Coastal Act, and includes ...
A few months ago, we reported on a Court of Appeal decision, Bottini v. City of San Diego, where the Court held that delays resulting from a governmental agency's improper denial of a permit application for a new development did not result in a regulatory taking. The case involved a local agency's improper application of CEQA to a proposed residential development, and the property owner successfully securing a decision by the court to overturn the City's requirement to comply with CEQA where there was a clear exemption. The owner also sought damages due to a lengthy delay in ...
As we’ve seen all too many times in California, when local municipalities delay development approvals -- even improperly -- courts are reluctant to find liability under an inverse condemnation cause of action and award temporary damages. While there have been some successful cases (see Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 161), those results are the exception, not the rule. A recent court of appeal opinion, Mahon v. County of San Mateo 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1483, provides an example of the uphill battle a property owner faces in successfully ...
What happens when a property owner unknowingly pays the electricity bill on a city-owned parking lot for over 15 years? If you said nothing, then you get a gold star.
In Murphy v. City of Sierra Madre (pdf), a recent decision out of the Second Appellate District, the plaintiffs-appellants were the subsequent owners of a piece of property originally purchased from the City through a Disposition Development Agreement. When the City originally transferred the property, it also mistakenly transferred an adjacent electrical meter for a City-owned parking lot. As a result, from ...
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