Pear v. County and City of San Francisco

Facts: An owner conveys a parcel of property to a local agency reserving the right to use the property for general agricultural purposes and to construct streets which do not cross the county’s pipeline placed under the property conveyed. The owner leases their property adjacent to the parcel conveyed and the rights to use the parcel conveyed to a tenant as a parking lot as authorized by a permit granted by the agency which required a monthly fee be paid by the owner to the agency. Years later, the agency determines the permit fee does not reflect the current market value and demands payment of a greater amount as the fee. The owner files a quiet title action to allow the use of the property conveyed to the agency without a permit based on the reservation in the deed to the agency.

Claims: The agency claims the owner may not use the land as a parking lot without a permit since the deed does not reserve this use.

Counterclaim: The owner claims they have the right to use the land as a parking lot since the use is allowed by the reservation for the constructing and repairing of streets when it does not interfere with or damage the aqueduct pipelines.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the owner may not use the land as a parking lot absent a permit agreed to by the agency holding title since the deed conveying the property to the agency does not reserve the right to use the property as a parking lot. [Pear v. County and City of San Francisco, (2021) 67 CA5th 61]

Read Pear v. City and County of San Francisco in full here.

Related Readings:

Legal Aspects of Real Estate

Chapter 13: Easements: running of personal

Chapter 19: Grant deed vs quitclaim deed