March 2012 Archives

Following up on Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente: Judges' reluctance to issue a writ prior to final judgment demonstrates need for clarification of Palma footnote

March 8, 2012

By Matthew Hinks

In an earlier article on the California Land Use Blog, I wrote about the recent decision in Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente, 201 Cal.App.4th 1256 (2011), in which the court of appeal affirmed in large part a verdict in favor of a developer granting a writ of mandate and awarding damages as a result of a finding of a partial regulatory taking given what the court viewed as the "spot-zoning" of plaintiff's property. I noted there that the trial court conducted its proceedings in two phases: the writ of mandate phase and the damages trial on the inverse condemnation claim. I also noted that the trial court issued the writ of mandate while the damages claim remained pending and before a final judgment was entered.


Though the Avenida San Juan Partnership court did not discuss this aspect of the case, I mentioned that trial courts are often reluctant to issue writs of mandate before a final judgment is entered. This can have a dramatic impact on a developer's case against a local agency or city.

Continue reading "Following up on Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente: Judges' reluctance to issue a writ prior to final judgment demonstrates need for clarification of Palma footnote" »

Heads Up Property Owners and Developers! Local challenges implicating Subdivision Map Act may impose 90-day statute of limitations - Aiuto v. City and County of San Francisco

March 7, 2012

By Matthew Hinks

In most instances, causes of action for inverse condemnation and regulatory takings in California are governed by the 5-year statute of limitations of Civil Procedure Code §§ 318 and 319. Preemption claims are governed by the 3-year statute of limitations of Civil Procedure Code § 338(a). Section 1983 claims in California state courts are governed by the 2-year personal injury statute of limitations of Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1. However, according to the court in Aiuto v. City and County of San Francisco, 201 Cal. App. 4th 1347 (2011), where such claims are brought in connection with a facial challenge to a local ordinance or administrative action enacted or taken pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act, the 90-day statute of limitations of Government Code § 66499.37 applies.

Continue reading "Heads Up Property Owners and Developers! Local challenges implicating Subdivision Map Act may impose 90-day statute of limitations - Aiuto v. City and County of San Francisco " »

Spot-Zoning and Regulatory Takings: Developer Succeeds in California Court of Appeal - Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente

March 7, 2012

by Matthew Hinks

Court judgments finding a regulatory taking are relatively rare. So too are decisions upholding the oft-heard complaint of "spot zoning". In the recent case of Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente, 201 Cal.App.4th 1256 (2011), the court (and the plaintiff) hit the daily double.

Continue reading "Spot-Zoning and Regulatory Takings: Developer Succeeds in California Court of Appeal - Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente " »

The Williamson Act: A Growing Obstacle for Solar and Wind Development In California

March 5, 2012

by Jon Welner

California's rural landscapes are some of the most productive farmlands in the world. However, some of the qualities that make these lands suitable for farming--sunshine and wide open spaces--also make them attractive for another kind of "farming": solar and wind farms. In recent years, the conflict between farming and renewable energy production has grown more pronounced in California. Central to this conflict is the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, generally known as the Williamson Act (Gov't Code §§ 51200-51297.4).

Continue reading "The Williamson Act: A Growing Obstacle for Solar and Wind Development In California" »