A California Court of Appeal held that the Coastal Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development have concurrent jurisdiction over mobilehomes located in the coastal zone and that proper notice of a public hearing is sufficient to meet notice requirements for approval due to agency inaction under the Permit Streamlining Act.  Linovitz Capo

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation, Senate Bill No. 7, that reenacts a streamlined litigation process for certain “environmental leadership development projects” and extends eligibility to additional housing projects. Previous legislation offering similar benefits to a narrower range of developments expired on January 1.

To qualify for judicial streamlining under SB 7, a project

The State Density Bonus Law, Government Code section 65915, provides the opportunity to develop additional market-rate housing and receive other benefits in exchange for including affordable units in a project.  Governor Newsom recently signed legislation, Assembly Bill 2345, that makes several amendments to the Density Bonus Law, the most significant of which will increase how

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,

The court of appeal held that the City’s approval of mixed-used development projects was not an “artificial, arbitrary, or unnecessary barrier[]” to fair housing necessary to support disparate-impact claims under the FHA and FEHA.  AIDS Healthcare Foundation v. City of Los Angeles, No. B303308 (2nd Dist., June 15, 2020).

The City of Los Angeles

The Court of Appeal held that where a city councilmember’s actions evinced bias toward the project, the applicant did not receive a fair hearing and the City Council’s denial of a conditional use permit would be set aside. Petrovich Development Co. v. City of Sacramento, No. C087283 (3rd Dist., May 8, 2020).

Petrovich applied

A court of appeal upheld the City of Madera’s interpretation of a municipal code provision requiring “a five-sevenths vote of the whole of the [City] Council” as mandating the approval of five councilmembers, rather than a five-sevenths vote of the councilmembers voting on the matter. Lateef v. City of Madera, No. F076227 (5th Dist., Feb. 14, 2020).

Plaintiff appealed to the City Council after his application for a conditional use permit to sell alcohol at a convenience store was denied by the Planning Commission. The City has a seven-member City Council. At the time of the hearing on plaintiff’s application, one council seat was vacant, and one councilmember recused himself from voting.  Thus, only five councilmembers were present and eligible to vote. The City Council voted four to one to overturn the Planning Commission’s decision. The City Clerk initially announced that the motion had passed, but the City ultimately determined that the motion failed to meet the requirement in Municipal Code that “five-sevenths vote of the whole of the Council shall be required to grant, in whole or in part, any appealed application denied by the Commission.”

Plaintiff filed suit, arguing (1) the City was required to grant his appeal because the Municipal Code requires a five-sevenths vote of the councilmembers present and voting, and (2) he was denied a fair trial because the recused councilmember and vacant seat were improperly included in counting the number of votes needed to grant his appeal.
Continue Reading “Whole of the Council” Meant All City Councilmembers, Not Just Those Present and Voting

San Francisco voters have approved a Vacancy Tax Ordinance, which imposes a tax assessment on vacant commercial space beginning January 1, 2021. The tax applies to any commercial space that is “unoccupied, uninhabited, or unused for more than 182 days whether consecutive or non-consecutive in a tax year.” The tax is intended to help reinvigorate

A Riverside County zoning ordinance that removed religious assemblies as a permissible use in a particular zone did not violate the equal terms provision of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person’s Act (RLUIPA) because it prohibited both religious and secular institutions alike from staging events without charging a fee. Calvary Chapel Bible Fellowship v.