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City of Los Angeles v. Gage

Court of Appeal for the Second District of California
274 P.2d 34 (1954)


In 1930, Gage (defendant) opened a plumbing business in a district of the City of Los Angeles (LA) (plaintiff), where that type of use was permitted. The district was later rezoned to forbid commercial use. The applicable zoning ordinances set fort an amortization schedule that required any nonconforming use to cease within the later of (1) five years after the use became nonconforming or (2) June 1, 1946. LA sued to enforce this ordinance against Gage. However, property zoned for commercial use existed within half a mile of Gage’s business. The cost of moving was less than 1 percent of Gage’s minimum gross business for five years. The trial court concluded that Gage's right to use the property for his plumbing business had become vested, that Gage could not remove his business without substantial loss or expense, and that Gage’s commercial use did not diminish his property values or detrimentally affect his neighbors. Consequently, the trial court held that LA’s enforcement of the ordinance upon Gage was void as a taking of property without due process. LA appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Vallée, J.)

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