In Kalnel Gardens, LLC v. City of Los Angeles, (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 927, the court of appeal held that affordable housing requirements set forth in the Density Bonus Act (Gov. Code § 65915 et seq.) and the Mello Act (Gov. Code § 65590 et seq.) were superseded by development restrictions set forth in the California Coastal Act (Pub. Resources Code § 30001 et seq.). The subject project included five new duplexes and five new single family homes in an old neighborhood in Venice comprised mostly of single-story 1920s-era bungalows. The project also included density bonus concessions under the City’s density bonus ordinance, including higher rooflines and shorter setbacks. Plaintiffs argued that the project violated the Coastal Act because its height, density, setbacks and other visual and physical characteristics were out of character of the existing neighborhood.
CASE UPDATE: Court Affirms Coastal Commission’s Authority to Issue Cease, Desist and Restoration Orders Regarding Extensive Development in the Coastal Zone Conducted Without Coastal Development Permits..
Hagopian v. State (2nd Dist. 2014), 2014 WL 265517, involved a challenge to Coastal Commission permitting and enforcement authority brought by egregious Coastal Act violators. The plaintiffs purchased undeveloped coastal zone property in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County (“Parcel 24”). At the time, L.A. County did not have a certified Local Coastal Program, and so the Coastal Commission was the coastal development permit issuing authority.
In Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 658, the court of appeal held that a coastal permit applicant could not submit to coastal permit conditions of approval and reserve the right to challenge them in court later. The plaintiffs owned neighboring bluff-top homes in Encinitas, and they applied to the City and the Coastal Commission for permits to reconstruct a seawall, a mid-bluff geogrid protection structure, and a private stairway.
While the application was pending, a severe storm caused the bluff below one of the owner’s houses to collapse and destroyed portions of the existing structures. The Commission granted the permit but with special conditions that precluded building the lower part of the stairway, limited the permit to 20 years, and required the owners to record deed restrictions consistent with these conditions. Instead of challenging the permit conditions right away, the owners submitted to the conditions and recorded the deed restriction.
CASE UPDATE: Coastal Permit Condition Requiring Beach/Coastal Access Easement Lacked Rational Nexus With Inland Construction Project.
In Bowman v. California Coastal Commission, (2014) —Cal.Rptr.3d– (2014 WL 5390057), the court held that the Coastal Commission and the trial court erred in imposing a lateral coastal access easement as a condition of approval of a coastal development permit (CDP) for the reconstruction of a barn, the remodel of a house, and installation of a new septic system. This case involved two, successive CDP applications to make certain improvements at a single, 400-acre coastal property in San Luis Obispo County.
CASE UPDATES: CEQA, Attorney-Client Privilege and Parking); and the Public Nuisance Exception to Coastal Commission Jurisdiction
This month’s Land Use Update features: 1) a CEQA case clarifying several issues about what must be included in an administrative record, including attorney-client privilege issues; 2) a CEQA case focused on parking issues; 3) an unusual case involving the public nuisance exception to Coastal Commission jurisdiction under the Coastal Act.
1. In Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County (2013) (5th 2013) Case No. F065690, –Cal.Rptr.2d–, a case challenging an EIR prepared for a shopping center and Wal-Mart store under the California Environmental Quality Act,