Hewlett v. Squaw Valley Ski Corp.

(1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 499

The Court of Appeal upheld a trial court decision imposing civil penalties and a permanent injunction on Squaw Valley Ski Corporation for cutting down trees without necessary permits. The decision was the culmination of a long-running dispute over Squaw Valley’s efforts to develop Shirley Canyon, a wilderness area just north of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The appellate court as follows: (i) violations of conditions in a use permit can form the basis for an unfair competition claim under Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq.; (ii) where a developer commits multiple violations of its use permit or of other permit requirements, these violations can establish an “unlawful business practice,” even if all of the violations occurred in the context of a single project; and (iii) a trial court has broad discretion to impose civil penalties and to craft injunctive relief to prevent further violations. Injunctive relief may go so far as to preclude future development. [RMM Counsel of record: Michael H. Remy]