Essay on Environmental Law

906 Words 4 Pages
Nollan vs. CCC

Abstract of: 483 U.S. 825, 97 L. Ed.2d 677

James Patrick Nollan, et ux., Appellant v. California Coastal Commission.

Case Definition:

The case is Nollan versus the California Coastal Commission. The Nollans were the appellates against a decision made by the California Coastal Commission (CCC).

The Nollans had been leasing a property on the California coast with which they had an option to buy. The property lies directly at the foot of the Pacific Ocean and is a prime piece of real estate on the California Coast. The property had been used by the Nollans to rent out during the summer months to vacationers. At the end of the Nollans’ lease they took the option to purchase the land and began preparing for the terms of
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Case Decision:

The Nollans filed a petition to the Ventura County Superior Court asking that the condition to supply easement be removed from their permit. The Nollans’ argument was that there was not enough evidence to support the developments limiting of public access to the beach. The argument was agreed upon by the court and the case was remanded to the California Coastal Commission for a full evidentiary hearing on the issue of public access to the beach.

The CCC held a public hearing which led to further factual findings which reaffirmed the need for the condition. The CCC’s argument was that 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 the beach. To compensate for the limitations on the public the Nollans would have to provide access to the beach from their property. The CCC also noted that all of the other developments on the same tract of land had been conditioned similarly in having to provide public access to the ocean.

The Nollans filed a supplemental petition for a writ of administrative mandamus (a writ that would order a public official or body to comply with a specified duty issued by a superior court). The Nollans argument was that the permit condition violated the Takings Clause in the V Amendment, and also in the XIV Amendment of the Constitution. The court agreed that the
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