In 616 Croft Ave., LLC v. City of West Hollywood, (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 621, the court of appeal held that the City’s in-lieu affordable housing fee was not subject to the reasonable relationship test under the Nollan/Dolan line of cases. The subject project, an 11-unit condominium development on two combined lots, was approved in 2005, but because of the economic downturn the developer did not request building permits until 2011. During that time, the City’s in-lieu housing fee under its 2011 fee schedule had increased to $540,000.00. The developer paid under protest, and then sued the City for a refund in 2012, arguing that the fee was an illegal “exaction”.
Case Update: Appellate Court Holds That Coastal Act Protections Supersede State Affordable Housing and Density Bonus Rules.
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 were superseded by development restrictions set forth in the California Coastal Act (Pub.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: California Supreme Court Upholds City Of San Jose’s Affordable Housing / Inclusionary Housing / Affordable Housing Ordinance.
In California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (2015), the California Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeal’s ruling and upheld the City of San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance. In order to address state policies and goals intended to encourage more affordable housing units, hundreds of California municipalities have adopted what are commonly referred to as “inclusionary zoning”, “inclusionary housing” or “affordable housing” programs, which typically require or encourage developers to set aside a certain percentage of housing units in new or rehabilitated projects for low- and moderate-income residents.
CASE UPDATE: Court Rules That Tiered Water Rates Must Be Based On Actual Usage and Costs Of Providing Services.
In Capistrano Taxpayers Assoc., Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano, (2015) 2015 WL 1798898, the court of appeal struck down a city water provider’s rate structure as violating Proposition 218. Prop. 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, was intended to limit the methods by which local governments exact revenue from taxpayers without their consent. Among other things, Prop. 218 requires that fees and assessments imposed by local government agencies against property owners in order to pay for public services must be correlated with the actual, proportional costs of providing those services to a parcel.