BIA of Central California v. County of Stanislaus (Unconstitutional Development Conditions)


California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District

NAHB Involvement


The BIA of Central California (BIACC) appealed an adverse appeals court ruling to preserve its victory in a challenge to a Farmland Mitigation Program (FMP). The ordinance at issue requires the mitigation of farmland on a 1 to 1 basis when agricultural land is rezoned for residential use. The mitigation must be accomplished through mandatory dedications of agricultural land of equal quality or the payment of a fee in-lieu. The BIACC asserted that the county had failed to meet its burden to show that the agricultural mitigation requirements had a reasonable nexus to actual agricultural preservation requirements.

On June 16, 2009, the trial court ruled in favor of the BIACC. Citing San Remo, the court held that the county failed to demonstrate that a reasonable relationship existed between the FMP's exactions and any adverse public impacts resulting from new development. The county appealed, and on Nov. 29, 2010, a state appeals court held that the fee was not an unconstitutional exaction and had a reasonable nexus.

The BIACC petitioned the Supreme Court of California for review on Dec. 31, 2010. In its petition, the BIACC argued that the appeals court misinterpreted statutory guidance and legislative history when it determined that the fee had a reasonable nexus.

NAHB agreed to write an amicus letter in support of review by the Supreme Court of California and a full amicus brief should the case be accepted.

On Jan. 28, 2011, NAHB filed its letter brief to the California Supreme Court. On March 1, 2011, the court declined to hear the case.