• Land Use Attorney Capitola

Posts Tagged ‘Coastal Commission’

California Supreme Court Holds That Landowners Forfeited Their Right to Bring A Lawsuit Challenging Coastal Development Permit Conditions Imposed By The Coastal Commission By Accepting The Permit And Constructing The Project.

In Lynch v. Coastal Commission, 5 Cal.5th 470 (2017), the California Supreme Court held that California residents who began construction of a cliffside seawall and stairway project, for which they had obtained the requisite coastal development and building permits, forfeited their right to challenge conditions imposed on the coastal development.

In 2009, the City of Encinitas (City) granted to Plaintiffs, Frick and Lynch, who were neighbors, permits to build a new seawall and to replace the lower portion of the private wooden stairway leading from their respective homes down to the beach.  Final approval for the project required a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission (Commission).

In 2010, while Plaintiffs’ application for a coastal permit was pending, a powerful storm caused the bluff below the Lynch’s home to collapse, and destroyed part of the existing seawall and the lower portion of the existing stairway. 

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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.

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CASE UPDATE: There Are No ‘Comply Under Protest’ Provisions For Coastal Permit Applications.

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.

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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.  

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Miles J. Dolinger
Attorney at Law

314 Capitola Avenue Capitola, CA 95010
Phone: (831) 477-9193
FAX: (831) 477-9196
miles@dolingerlaw.com

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