Latest from Land Use Law Blog

Mojave Pistachio, LLC v. Superior Court (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 605.

In Mojave Pistachio, LLC v. Superior Court (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 605, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that the “pay first, litigate later” rule applies to fees imposed by a local groundwater sustainability agency under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”). (Wat. Code, § 10720 et seq.) This is the first case to

Sam v. Kwan (2024) 101 Cal. App. 5th 556.

The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District reversed a trial court’s decision in a real estate case of breach of fiduciary duty between two partners of an LLC. The case demonstrates that the bona fide purchaser doctrine will not protect a third-party buying the property when the buyer negligently ignored

In AIDS Healthcare Foundation v. Bonta (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 73, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the power of local governments to override housing density caps, including caps adopted by voter initiative.

Legal Background

Under Senate Bill 10 (“SB 10”), passed in 2021, the Legislature granted counties and cities discretion on a parcel-by-parcel basis to supersede local housing

In Move Eden Housing v. City of Livermore (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 263, the First District Court of Appeal held the Livermore City Council’s adoption of a resolution approving a development agreement was a legislative act subject to the referendum power.  This case is the latest iteration of a multi-year litigation battle targeting an affordable housing development proposed for downtown

In Discovery Builders, Inc. v. City of Oakland (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 799, the First District Court of Appeal held an agreement between a developer and the City of Oakland was unenforceable to the extent it prevented the city from imposing new impact fees in the future. The court reasoned such a provision constituted an impermissible contracting away of the

The Claremont Canyon Conservancy v. Regents of the University of California (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 474.

The Regents certified an EIR for a project aimed at reducing wildfire risk at UC Berkeley’s Hill Campus, located in the East Bay Hills.  Environmental organizations filed suit, contending, relevant here, that the EIR included an inadequate project description.  The groups generally contended that the

(United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles v. City of Los Angeles (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1074)

CEQA’s infill exemption (Guidelines section 15332) is a very useful tool in the toolbox for streamlining CEQA review.  This Guideline applies in cities and can be applied to sites up to five acres in size if substantially surrounded by urban development.  (Note to the California Legislature:

(Anderson v. County of Santa Barbara (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 554.)

It is not unusual in the non-urban parts of California for a property owner to install landscaping within a county right-of-way without ever securing an encroachment permit.  In Santa Barbara County, like many jurisdictions, installing these improvements without County approval can be treated as a misdemeanor.  Such work can also