Archives: August 2011

Sixth District Court of Appeal Finds City’s Residential Development Restriction Did Not Violate Developer’s Right to Equal Protection and Was Not “Spot Zoning”

On August 5, 2011, the Sixth District Court of Appeal in Arcadia Development Co. v. City of Morgan Hill (2011) __Cal.App.4th__, affirmed a judgment denying the property owner’s challenge to a city ordinance restricting residential development. The appellate court held the ordinance was valid because the city had conceivable rational reasons for the restriction, even if the ordinance only applied to one property within the city’s urban service area. Therefore, the city had not violated the developer’s right to equal protection and had not engaged in discriminatory spot zoning. Continue reading

Sixth District Court of Appeal Allows Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees for Participation in Administrative Process; A Party May Not Be Disqualified From Receiving Attorney’s Fees Because of Personal Stake in the Litigation

On August 2, 2011, in Edna Valley Watch v. County of San Luis Obispo (2011) ___Cal.App.4th___ (Case No. B223653), the Sixth District Court of Appeal overturned a trial court’s ruling that a petitioner is not entitled to attorneys’ fees for work performed in an administrative hearing. The Court of Appeal also overturned the trial court’s determination that a petitioner may be disqualified from receiving fees based on his personal stake in the litigation. The court remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings to determine the amount of fees that should be awarded consistent with the court’s opinion. Continue reading

Fourth District Court of Appeal Finds Adverse Effects of Preexisting Environmental Conditions on Residents of Future Developments Do Not Trigger Requirement to Complete an EIR

On June 30, 2011, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in South Orange County Wastewater Authority v. City of Dana Point (2011) __Cal.App.4th__, affirmed a decision denying a petition for writ of mandate under CEQA. The court found that the City of Dana Point (City) had properly adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was not required in order to address the impact of odor from an existing sewage treatment plant on residents of future developments. The court concluded that the CEQA objections were precluded by the legislative intent and statutory language of CEQA because the petition sought to challenge the project on the basis of preexisting environmental conditions and not the project’s adverse effects on the environment. Continue reading