On June 16, 2011, the Coastal Commission will be making 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, Commission staff 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.
CBPA urges its members to attend the hearing, provide testimony and submit letters to the Commission opposing this new policy. It is critical that property owners and business interests throughout California alert the Coastal Commission about the negative consequences this policy will have to property rights and its threat to the stability of land ownership in our state.
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