In the Headlines
July 25, 2023

Calif. City Sued Over Denial of 'Builder's Remedy' Proposal


West Coast Land Use and Environment attorneys Ryan Leaderman, Kevin Ashe and William Sterling were cited in a Law360 article breaking down a lawsuit filed against a California suburb over its refusal to approve a housing project. Developer 600 Foothill Owner LP sued La Cañada Flintridge, California, its City Council and its community development department, among others, in state court, saying the defendants violated multiple state laws and that its "builder's remedy" project should be approved. Under the builder's remedy provision, local governments that fail to submit a compliant housing plan to the state lose their local planning discretion, meaning a developer can have its residential housing projects approved, regardless of local zoning regulations, as long as the projects have at least 20 percent affordable units. 600 Foothill seeks a mixed-use development in La Cañada Flintridge and attempted to assert its right under the builder's remedy in its application for the project, understanding the city missed its deadline to adopt a compliant housing element. Holland & Knight is representing the developer, and Mr. Ashe explained that back-and-forth with the city has resulted in opacity and uncertainty. Mr. Leaderman added that the developer's local ties make it all the more confusing as to why the process has been so difficult.

"It's just unfair what they've done," he said. "The development team is local, so it's really painful to see a city be so obstructionist with a housing project in their own backyard."

READ: Calif. City Sued Over Denial Of 'Builder's Remedy' Proposal (Subscription required)

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