Suit Filed Against City of San Clemente in Effort to Halt Unlawful Zoning Regs

By December 19, 2018Cities

On Nov. 26, 2018, Coast Law Group LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiffs San Clemente Coastal Access Alliance and Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation against the City of San Clemente. The groups challenge the City’s enforcement of its short-term lodging unit restrictions within San Clemente’s coastal zone.

Plaintiffs challenge the City’s unlawful enforcement of its Short-Term Lodging Unit (STLU) Zoning Regulations without the required approval from the Coastal Commission. Not only is the City’s enforcement of the regulations unlawful, it negatively impacts the public’s access to vacation rentals, which are often used by visitors seeking low cost accommodations. According to a recent statewide study conducted by Probolsky Research for the California Coastal Conservancy, while 51 percent of white California residents say they stay overnight when they visit the beach, 74 percent of Latinos, 70 percent of Asians and 64 percent of African-Americans say they do not, with price being the main reason.

The City declined Plaintiffs’ settlement offer at its December 18th meeting, opting instead to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on attorney fees. Plaintiffs will seek a preliminary injunction to stop the City from enforcing its regulations until the Coastal Commission has a chance to review and approve them.

Plaintiffs’ Petition for Writ of Mandate can be accessed here. 

Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enforcement of environmental laws, raising public awareness about coastal environmental issues, encouraging environmental and political activism, and defending natural resources in coastal areas.

San Clemente Coastal Access Alliance is a community group that was organized for the purpose of representing the interests of the public in assuring compliance with the State’s environmental and land use laws and the Coastal Act.