Friday, November 09, 2012

West Washington Properties v. California DOT (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 5, 2012)

Call me crazy.  But before I spend ten million dollars or so to buy a building primarily because it has a huge wallscape facing I-10, I'd go ahead and make sure it had a permit.  I wouldn't just "assume" it had one since the thing had been up for a long time.

'Cause maybe it's not, in fact, permitted.  Maybe the Department of Transportation will eventually tell you to take it down.  Even though you rent it out for $50,000 a month.  You might assert defenses of estoppel and laches.  But you might well lose in the trial court.  As well as in the Court of Appeal.

The lesson -- as always -- is not to spend a lot of money on things that might well be illegal.