Susan Jennifer Booth, Karl J. Lott, Douglas A.
"Doug" Praw are Partners, Ashley K. Jason, Paul J. Park,
Daniel D. Dow are Associates and Geoffrey M. Geddes is a Public
Finance Project Manager all in our
Los Angeles office, Stacie Andra Goeddel, Robert M. Haight Jr.
are Partners in our
San Francisco office.
San Francisco Ordinance Invalidated in Victory for
In Coyne v. City and County of San Francisco, No.
A145044 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2017), the California Court of
Appeal invalidated a San Francisco ordinance that required
landlords of residential properties to provide a monetary
"relocation benefit" to displaced tenants any time the
landlord exits the rental market pursuant to the Ellis Act. The
Ellis Act is a state statute that prohibits a city or county from
"compelling the owner of any residential real property to
offer, or to continue to offer, accommodations in the property for
rent or lease. ..." The essential purpose of the Ellis Act is
to allow a landlord to withdraw a unit from the rental market
without excessive interference by a city or county.
In 2014, San Francisco enacted an ordinance requiring, among
other things, landlords to provide a monetary relocation benefit to
displaced tenants in an amount equal to 24 times the difference
between the unit's current rental rate and the fair market
value of the unit, as determined by a prescribed schedule. The
relocation benefit was intended to compensate displaced tenants of
rent-controlled units for two years' worth of the difference
between what the tenant was paying and what the tenant assumedly
would pay after being displaced. Although the ordinance was amended
in 2015 to comply with the result of a 2014 lawsuit that challenged
the ordinance, the amount of the relocation benefit was not
The court decided that the relocation benefit imposed a
prohibitive price on the exercise of landlords' rights under
the Ellis Act and was therefore pre-empted by the state
West Hollywood City Council Rejects Mayor's Proposed
Moratorium on New Hotels
The West Hollywood City Council on April 3, 2017, unanimously
rejected a proposal by Mayor Lauren Meister to impose a moratorium
on the construction of new hotels in the city. Several West
Hollywood hotel projects already approved or under consideration
would add 1,229 rooms within the city – a 60 percent increase
over the current number of rooms. A recent study concluded that
such a dramatic increase could result in a decrease in hotel
occupancy rates, average daily room rates and transit occupancy tax
collected by West Hollywood. As a city that relies heavily on the
tourism industry, revenue generated by the transit occupancy tax
accounts for 26 percent of West Hollywood's annual general fund
While the city council rejected an outright moratorium on new
hotel projects, it decided to require future hotel projects to
conduct a financial report regarding the project's impact on
the existing hotel market and to explore alternatives other than a
hotel on the proposed building site.
Mojave Desert Water Project Benefits from Trump
Administration's Environmental Policy
A memorandum issued March 29, 2017, by the Department of
Interior's Bureau of Land Management rescinded two prior
memoranda issued under the Obama Administration that would have
required the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage
Project (Cadiz Water Project) to undergo a federal environmental
review as part of a permitting process to build a pipeline across
federal land. The Cadiz Water Project proposes to pump water from
aquifers under the Mojave Desert and sell it to Southern California
water districts. Under the policy prescribed by the March 29
memorandum, the owner of the Cadiz Water Project is now free to
route its pipelines along railroad right of ways and avoid the
expensive and time-consuming federal environmental review.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who authored the 1994
California Desert Protection Act, stated the policy change could
"destroy pristine public land" and have an irreversible
detrimental impact on the California desert. In response, the owner
of the Cadiz project said that the project has undergone multiple
environmental reviews, including a California Environmental Quality
Act review that survived court challenges, and would provide water
for 400,000 people, generate 5,900 new jobs and drive nearly $1
billion in economic growth.
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A trend, and now common practice, in the construction industry is for an owner or contractor to require contractors and subcontractors to name it as an additional insured on their commercial general liability insurance policies.
Foreclosure/Deficiency Judgment: where a foreclosing bank acquires in rem jurisdiction via service by publication in underlying foreclosure action, bank may still seek personal service over an individual to pursue deficiency judgment.
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