Keen v. City of Manhattan Beach

Facts: A property owner rents out their residential property within the coastal zone of a city on a short-term basis. A city ordinance bans short-term rentals by owner on property in the city.  The city never sought, nor obtained, approval of the ordinance by the coastal commission regulating activity within the coastal zone. The city proceeds to enforce the ordinance. The property owner seeks to invalidate the ordinance’s short-term rental ban.

Claim: The owner claims the ordinance banning short-term rentals is unenforceable by the city since the city is acting on an ordinance which regulates human activity within the coastal zone without prior approval by the coastal commission.

Counterclaim: The city claims they do not need permission from the coastal commission to enforce the short-term rental ban since short-term rentals do not alter activities of individuals within the coastal zone.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the property owner may rent out their property on a short-term basis and the city cannot enforce the ordinance since any ordinance regulating access by individuals to the coastal zone requires the approval of the coastal commission. [Keen v. City of Manhattan Beach (2022) 77 CA5th 142]

Read Keen v. City of Manhattan Beach here.