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Santa Margarita Area Residents Together v. County of San Luis Obispo

California Court of Appeal
84 Cal. App. 4th 221 (2000)


Santa Margarita Limited (Santa Margarita) owned property in the County of San Luis Obispo (the county) and sought to develop the property. Santa Margarita entered into a development agreement (the agreement) with the county. Per the agreement, zoning on the property would be frozen in return for Santa Margarita’s commitment to submit a specific plan for construction. The specific plan would comply with the county’s land-use requirements. Santa Margarita was required to incorporate the standards in the Salinas River Areas Plan into the specific plan, engage in all necessary environmental review, and dedicate land to be used for a public swimming pool, sewer-treatment plant, and cemetery expansion. In exchange, the county would process, review, and approve or disapprove the specific plan and apply the land-use regulations set forth in the specific plan for up to five years without change. The Agreement was entered into under the authority of California’s Development Agreement Statute, which required that type of agreement to be approved only if the legislative body found that the provisions of the agreement were consistent with the general plan and any specific plan. The agreement satisfied the statute’s requirements. Santa Margarita Area Residents Together (residents) (plaintiff) petitioned for a writ of mandate to set aside the agreement, challenging the plan as contracting away the local government’s police power and violating the California statute. The trial court denied the petition, and the residents appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Perren, J.)

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