Facts: A property owner operated a non-agricultural business on a parcel of land zoned for agricultural use. A government agency passed a land-use ordinance to limit the use of agricultural land to projects which preserve open space or support agriculture. The owner’s business was permitted to remain on the land as an existing nonconforming use. Later, the owner applied for a permit to expand the land use of the nonconforming business. The government agency denied the application.
Claim: The government agency sought to bar the expansion, claiming the expansion was prohibited under the land-use ordinance since it did not preserve open space or support agriculture.
Counterclaim: The owner claimed the expansion was permissible since agricultural support facilities permissible under the land-use ordinance were as detrimental to the preservation of open space and agriculture as the expansion of the nonconforming business.
Holding: A California court of appeals held the land use of the nonconforming business may not expand since the land use expansion did not preserve open space or enhance agriculture, and thus was prohibited under the land-use ordinance. [Ideal Boat & Camper Storage v. County of Alameda (2012) 208 CA4th 301]