San Diego Union Tribune covers PLF's Lynch case
Earlier this week the San Diego Union Tribune covered our Lynch v. California Coastal Commission case which challenges the Coastal Commission‘s policy of phasing out private beach stairways and making it very difficult to build protective seawalls. As previously noted, PLF represents Encinitas bluff-top residents Barbara Lynch and Thomas Frick. They need to build a new seawall and stairway that were destroyed by storms in 2010, but the Coastal Commission has made that all but impossible. It denied them outright a permit to re-build the stairway, and conditioned their right to build the seawall on a series of onerous conditions. Ms. Lynch and Mr. Frick challenged those conditions, and the stairway denial, in court and won. Now, the Coastal Commission is appealing that decision; it filed its opening brief in the appellate court last week, and PLF’s brief is due in court on February 20. As the Tribune article notes, “Frick and Lynch said . . . they couldn’t have afforded to continue their case without the help of the foundation, which agreed to represent them for free.” Indeed, thanks to the generosity of our donors, PLF is able to help these property owners continue their fight to try and establish precedent in the court of appeal that the Commission cannot simply outlaw seawalls because it doesn’t like them. Property owners have the right to protect their homes from erosion and storm damage, whether the Commission likes it or not.
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Lynch v. California Coastal Commission
The Lynch family sought permission from the California Coastal Commission to repair a storm-damaged seawall and stairway that led from their home at the top of a bluff down to the beach. The Commission permitted the seawall restoration with a condition that they seek an additional permit in the future, and denied the permit for the stairway. To protect their home, the Lynches accepted the conditioned permit under protest and repaired the seawall. PLF represents the Lynches, arguing that the seawall conditional permit and denial of the stairway permit violated their constitutional property rights. California’s appellate courts rejected the Lynch’s claims, and the California Supreme Court added insult to injury by holding that the Lynches forfeited their claims altogether by accepting the permit and repairing the seawall.Read more
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