In Whose Backyard?

By: Michael M. Berger
– Daily Journal

In his latest Daily Journal column, Manatt Appellate Senior Counsel Michael Berger discussed a recent Los Angeles Superior Court ruling in which a property owner obtained permission to construct a 67-unit apartment building on a single family lot despite a conflict between the general planning designation and the city zoning.  

In the article, Berger examined a planning and zoning discrepancy in Yes in My Backyard, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, in which the owner was denied a permit to build a development because the plan designated the property for commercial and multi-family residential use, while the zoning simultaneously prohibiting commercial development and multi-family housing. This inconsistency between the zoning and the proposed development spurred the suit, Berger explained, and resulted in the Superior Court granting the owner permission to build, as the zoning—which prevented the initial permit approval—was inconsistent with the general plan. “In this case,” Berger noted, “the court merely looked at a statute that said that the zoning must be ‘consistent’ with the general plan and that, in the event of conflict, the plan (which is superior in the hierarchy) prevails over the zoning.”  

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here



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