In a follow-up to an item on this last week, the Coastal Commission voted 8-4 on a decision that could establish a policy that would allow the Coastal Commission to merge separate parcels into one “economic” parcel. Under this novel and unprecedented theory advanced by Coastal Commission staff, an owner of a parcel of land could be denied all use of their property without compensation. The theory is that separately-owned contiguous parcels may be treated as one ownership if they are “related” for reasons such as cooperation among property owners, common access, common design features, and any type of relationship between the owners (business, personal or otherwise).
Alternatively, the decision asserts that the Commission may declare that the various owners be treated as a partnership and their land be treated as property of the partnership, leaving the owners to go to Court and litigate their interests in the government-declared partnership. If the Commission adopts this approach, it would establish a precedent that would create incredible uncertainty regarding ownership of land.
This decision was adopted over the vociferous objection of business groups who tried to warn about the negative consequences this policy will have to property rights and its threat to the stability of land ownership in our state.
Click here to read a story about the decision, which involves U2 guitarist The Edge’s plan to develop some homes in Malibu.
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