In Real v. City of Long Beach, (9th Cir. 2017) 852 F.3d 929, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the owner of a California tattoo shop, Mr. James Real (“Real”), may rightfully bring an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the City of Long Beach’s (“City”) zoning restrictions violate the First Amendment by unreasonably restricting Real’s ability to open and operate a tattoo shop in the City.
In San Jose Unified School District v. Santa Clara County Office of Education, (6th Dist. 2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 967, the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth District (San Jose) held that county boards of education lack the statutory authority under CA Government Code section 53094 to issue zoning exemptions for charter schools.
At the May 10, 2016 Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors meeting, County staff presented their recommendations for a new commercial cannabis cultivation ordinance. Those recommendations were informed by a report of the Board-appointed Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee (“C4”), with follow up input by some of the Supervisors. The staff report can be found at: http://santacruzcountyca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1189&Inline=True
(See page 459 to the end, which is agenda item 53.)
The staff report is fairly complicated. (For example, it states that the C4 group voted on 84 different issues.) The main subjects of the proposed ordinance will include: minimum parcel sizes, maximum permitted canopy sizes, and zoning; setbacks; exceptions; taxes and fees; and license and registration requirements.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel recently reported on the Santa Cruz City Council’s approval of a new 32-unit condominium project to be constructed at 1800 Soquel Avenue at the intersection of Hagemann Avenue, which is the current site of May’s Sushi Bar & Grill. (Santa Cruz Council Green Lights New Condo Development, 4/13/16.) The article described this project as, “a test case for the city’s in-development “Corridor Plan,” calling for increased density of residential and commercial growth along major city roads….” The project consists primarily of one-bedroom and studio units, and will provide much needed relatively affordable housing in the City.
The Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors have already decided, as a matter of land use policy, that the best places to add the substantial amount of new housing that is needed in Santa Cruz are along the four main thoroughfares – Mission Street, Water Street, Soquel Avenue/Soquel Drive, and Ocean Street. The basic idea is to site new, dense residential development near bikeways and public transportation routes in hopes that a significant amount (10%? 20%?) of new residents will bike and/or take the bus instead of driving (at least some of the time), in order to minimize traffic and other impacts in the urban boundary area overall.
In Foothill Communities v. County of Orange (4th Dist. 2014), 2014 WL 108975, the County of Orange approved a 153-unit senior housing development on 7 acres in the middle of a neighborhood zoned residential single-family by creating a new ‘senior residential housing land use’ zoning district and then rezoning the subject property to that designation. The legal issue was whether this constituted illegal “spot zoning”.