Big Creek Lumber Co. v. County of Santa Cruz et al.

38 Cal. 4th 1139 (2006)

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Big Creek Lumber Co. v. County of Santa Cruz et al.

California Supreme Court
38 Cal. 4th 1139 (2006)

Facts

In 1999, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz (county) (defendant) enacted ordinances restricting timber harvesting and supporting helicopter operations to certain areas, while also explicitly precluding timber operations near waterways and residences. The California Coastal Commission certified these ordinances as amendments to the county’s local coastal program. Not long thereafter, Big Creek Lumber Company, Homer McCray, and a nonprofit organization (collectively, Big Creek) (plaintiffs) sued the county and the California Coastal Commission, alleging that these ordinances were preempted by state statutes, including the Forest Practice Act (FPA) and the Timberland Productivity Act (TPA). The trial court found certain provisions of the ordinances preempted. Both parties appealed, and the court of appeals held that the county’s newly enacted ordinances were preempted by state law in their entirety. The California Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Werdegar, J.)

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