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Case, Environmental Law: Nollan Versus The California Coastal Commission

830 words - 3 pages

Environmental LawNollan vs. CCCAbstract of:483 U.S. 825, 97 L. Ed.2d 677James Patrick Nollan, et ux., Appellant v. California Coastal Commission.Case Definition:The case is Nollan versus the California Coastal Commission. TheNollans were the appellates against a decision made by the CaliforniaCoastal Commission (CCC).The Nollans had been leasing a property on the California coast withwhich they had an option to buy. The property lies directly at the footof the Pacific Ocean and is a prime piece of real estate on theCalifornia Coast. The property had been used by the Nollans to rent outduring the summer months to vacationers. At the end of the Nollans'lease they took the option to purchase the land and began preparing forthe terms of purchase by the previous land owner. Among those terms wasthe demolishing of the small deteriorating bungalow that the Nollans hadbeen leasing. The Nollans had planned to expand the structure from thesmall bungalow that it was to a three bedroom house more complimentaryto the surrounding homes and their needs. In order to begin destructionof the property and begin rebuilding the site the Nollans had to securea permit from the California Coastal Commission. Upon submitting thepermit application, the CCC found that the permit should be granted onthe condition that the Nollans provide public access to the beach and tothe local county park, which lay adjacent to the property. Thisprovision called for the Nollans to use a portion of their land to beused as a public walkway to the beach and park. The Nollans protestedto the condition, but the CCC overruled the objection and granted thepermit with the condition intact.Case Decision:The Nollans filed a petition to the Ventura County Superior Courtasking that the condition to supply easement be removed from theirpermit. The Nollans' argument was that there was not enough evidence tosupport the developments limiting of public access to the beach. Theargument was agreed upon by the court and the case was remanded to theCalifornia Coastal Commission for a full evidentiary hearing on theissue of public access to the beach.The CCC held a public hearing which led to further factual findingswhich reaffirmed the need for the condition. The CCC's argument wasthat the building of the new structure would limit view of the ocean,and therefore limit access to the public who had full rights to use thebeach. To compensate for the limitations on the public the Nollanswould have to provide access to the beach from their property. The CCCalso noted that all of the other...

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