Friday, December 18, 2020

11 Lagunita LLC v. California Coastal Commission (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 18, 2020)

That's a pretty big administrative penalty.  A million dollars.  That's a pretty big spanking for violating various conditions of a coastal development permit.  Or at least that was my first thought.

At the same time, however, the homeowners -- Jeffrey and Tracy Katz of Laguna Beach -- did strip the house down to its studs, completely remodel it, and then label that work a "minor remodel" in an attempt to circumvent the coastal development permit that governed the property.  They then refused to stop work after the Coastal Commission expressly told 'em to do so.  That's fairly bold.

Plus, it's not like Mr. and Mrs. Katz are poor -- and, in the scheme of things, the $1 million penalty is almost a drop in the bucket.  Laguna Beach is a pretty ritzy place, after all.  And this property is literally on the sand on the beach.  Jeff and Tracy not only own the beach house at issue, but also the beach house next door.  And the remodel increased the value of the property from $14 million (!) to $25 million.

Given this background, what's another million or so amongst friends, eh?