Property Rights Battle in Palo Alto


Should a retiring mobilehome park owner be forced to pay millions of dollars to his tenants simply for the right to close his rental business and take his property off the rental market? That question is at the heart of this federal constitutional lawsuit filed by Pacific Legal Foundation and the Jisser family in Palo Alto, Calif. The Jissers are a hard-working immigrant family who came from Israel in the 1970s. They scraped and saved thirty years ago to buy a mobilehome park property, but now want to retire.

The City has told the Jissers they must pay roughly $8 million dollars to their tenants due to a lack of alternative affordable housing in the city, or be forced to forever run the business they simply want to close. But it is the city’s own land-use policies that have created the housing shortage that makes it all but impossible for young families, retirees, and people of modest means to live their. And it is unconstitutional to force the Jisser family to pay for public benefits that, in fairness, should be borne by the public as a whole.