Property Rights

Beach and Bluff Conservancy v. City of Solana Beach

Property owners have a right to protect their homes

The City of Solana Beach enacted regulations to prohibit beachfront owners from building retention walls or other protective structures to safeguard their homes from erosion unless they agreed to grant public access to their property. The regulations also require homeowners to grant public access as a condition for a permit to repair damaged staircases that provide beach access from their homes. A coalition of homeowners challenged the regulations as violating the California Coastal Act and the constitutional prohibition on takings without just compensation. The San Diego County Superior Court invalidated the regulations to the extent they required public access as a condition for protecting existing homes or repairing existing staircases, but refused to invalidate the regulations as applied to future development.

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