A City municipal transit agency did not violate equal protection, substantive due process or state anti-age discrimination laws when it disfavored some taxi cab medallion holders from accessing lucrative airport pickups because, among other things, the law was rationally related to legitimate government interests. San Francisco Taxi Coal. v. City & Cty. of San Francisco

The state was required to reimburse municipalities for the cost of state-mandated trash receptacles at transit stops because local governments lacked authority under Proposition 218 to impose fees either on transit agencies or on owners of adjacent property to recover such costs. Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates, No. B292446 (2nd Dist.,

The Court of Appeal held that a landowner’s petition for “exclusion” under the Subdivision Map Act seeking orders declaring a parcel map void and restoring the historical lot lines was barred under the doctrine of laches. Decea v. City. of Ventura, 59 Cal. App. 5th 1097 (2021).

Decea bought a house in the Lake

Plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies because they did not appeal the challenged CEQA decision by the Historic Preservation Commission to the Board of Supervisors. Schmid v. City and County of San Francisco, 60 Cal. App. 5th 470 (2021).

The plaintiffs sued San Francisco asserting a “potpourri of claims” challenging removal of a bronze sculpture

An anti-SLAPP motion was properly denied because the claims for damages arose from breach of contract and tort actions, not from any protected First Amendment activity.  Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, LLC v City of Oakland, 54 Cal.App.5th 738 (2020).

This case arose from an ongoing dispute between the City of Oakland and Oakland Bulk

A private landowner prevailed over a community association’s efforts to obtain a public recreational easement over trails because substantial evidence showed the landowner took bona fide steps to deter unauthorized users on the trails. Tiburon-Belvedere Residents United to Support the Trails v. Martha Company, No. A157073 (1st Dist., Oct. 23, 2020).

Before 1972, when

The Ninth Circuit held that a 2012 Environmental Impact Statement that provided a programmatic-level analysis for management of lands in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve could also be used as the site-specific analysis for oil and gas lease sales. Northern Alaska Environmental Center v. U.S. Department of Interior, No.19-35008 (9th Cir., July 9, 2020).

The Sixth District Court of Appeal held that a medical marijuana dispensary could recover its marijuana plants seized by law enforcement, finding that violation of the ordinance did not render medical marijuana plants “contraband” per se and subject to seizure.  Granny Purps, Inc. v County of Santa Cruz, 53 Cal.App.5th 1 (2020).

Under established caselaw,

An action for breach of a statutory development agreement should be reviewed as a breach-of-contract case, not as an administrative law proceeding in which the court gives deference to the City’s findings. Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal, LLC v. City of Oakland, No. 18-16105 (9th Cir., May 26, 2020).

The City of Oakland entered into a statutory development agreement with the plaintiff to redevelop a portion of the decommissioned Oakland Army Base as a commercial shipping terminal. While development agreements generally freeze existing regulations in place, this agreement provided that the city could adopt and apply new regulations if the City determined “based on substantial evidence and after a public hearing that a failure to do so would place existing or future occupants or users . . . neighbors, in a condition substantially dangerous to health or safety.”

Subsequently, in response to public opposition to shipping coal through the terminal, the City Council held public hearings, analyzed evidence presented by experts, and approved an ordinance prohibiting coal shipping. The City Council adopted factual findings in support of its determination that shipment of coal created a substantially dangerous health or safety condition.

The appeal turned on whether the case should be treated as a breach-of-contract action (in which the trial court makes factual findings based on the evidence presented at trial, which are accorded deference on appeal) or as an administrative law proceeding (in which the evidence is limited to the record before the agency and the agency’s factual findings upheld if supported by substantial evidence). The court concluded that administrative law principles should not apply in a breach-of-contract action because, among other things, deferring to the government agency’s findings would “effectively create an escape hatch for the government to walk away from contractual obligations” through “self-serving regulatory findings insulated by judicial deference . . . .”  The court therefore concluded that the trial court owed no deference to the City’s factual determinations and did not err in considering evidence not presented at the public hearings to “shed light on the adequacy of the evidence that was actually before the City Council.”
Continue Reading Suit for Breach of Development Agreement Should Be Treated as a Breach-of-Contract Action, Not an Administrative Law Proceeding

The court of appeal rejected a claim that a Coastal Development Permit should be invalidated because it was based on intentional misrepresentations, finding that even if accurate and complete information had been submitted, this would not have caused the Coastal Commission to deny the application or require additional or different conditions. Hubbard v. California Coastal