Facts: A coastal landowner applied to a local government for a coastal development permit (CDP) to build on a coastal property. After the landowner began construction, the local government approved the CDP, but conditioned the issuance of the permit on the landowner reserving a public access easement across the oceanfront portion of the property. The landowner was provided a period of time to appeal the easement condition. The time for appeal expired, and the landowner applied for a second CDP for further construction, using the application for the second CDP to challenge the easement condition of the first CDP. The local government refused to remove the original condition and conditioned the second CDP on the same easement requirement.
Claim: The landowner sought to avoid the easement condition from the first CPD and prevent it from being attached to the second CDP, claiming the condition was not valid since the landowner did not agree to the burden of the condition.
Counter claim: The local government claimed the landowner was not entitled to remove the easement condition since the landowner’s failure to appeal the terms of the first CDP within the given appeal time made the easement condition final and binding.
Holding: A California court of appeals held the local government was not required to remove the easement as a condition for the second CDP since the landowner’s failure to appeal the condition in the first CDP within the appeal time rendered the condition final and barred the landowner from retroactively attacking it in the second CDP. [Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (March 18, 2014)_CA4th_]