Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bottani v. City of San Diego (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 18, 2018)

Sometimes the best thing that the City can do for you is to declare one of your buildings a public nuisance and order you to tear it down.  Typically, that's something you don't want.  But in this case, it's crystal clear that the owners of the building were just itching for precisely that.  Because that way they could tear down the tiny, historic (formerly beachside) villa -- worth virtually nothing -- and build something much larger in its place, earn millions in profits, and avoid the need for an expensive environmental review.

The owners got their wish.  It was the owners of the building who hired a firm to try to convince the City that their own building was an unsafe nuisance.  The City so held, and told the owners that they could tear this nuisance down.  At which point the owners tore the thing down literally the next day.

The Court of Appeal agrees with the trial court that given these events, the owners don't have to submit to an environmental review.  Just go ahead and build on the (now empty) lot.

And rake in the dough.

It's definitely a nice lot.  Down here in La Jolla.  I bet it's going to be a nice replacement building as well.  Just a lot more modern.  And expensive.

One last thing.  Did I mention that the owner of the building is an attorney?