The Balloon Track fight continues


Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Today, PLF's client the Citizens for a Better Eureka filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court, asking it to review the First District Court of Appeal's decision holding that the Coastal Commission has jurisdiction over the clean-up of the blighted and polluted Balloon Track property in downtown Eureka, California.  The issue before the high court is how to interpret Section 30005(b) of the Public Resources Code.  That provision of the Coastal Act exempts from the Commission's jurisdiction local nuisance abatements, such as the Balloon Track clean-up.  But the court of appeal interpreted the provision to exempt only those abatements that are "narrowly targeted" to abating the identified nuisance.  Our petition for review argues that the court of appeal's "narrowly targeted" standard subverts Section 30005(b) by putting the onus on local governments to establish that what they have ordered is precisely tailored to the nuisance.  The appropriate standard is one of "reasonable relationship"; such a standard would avoid putting the Commission or the courts in the position of second-guessing public nuisance abatements.