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Development Rights

Half Moon Bay, CA: (Dec-06-07) Charles "Chop" Keenan, a well known Peninsula developer, brought charges against the city of Half Moon Bay, over the development of Beachwood subdivision east of Highway 1 and north of downtown, alleging that the city unlawfully took away his developmental rights. Records show that the city won the last legal battle over Beachwood in 2005 and a state court established that the land was unsuitable for residential development as a wetland in the California Coastal zone. US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker supported Keenan's allegations that the city created those conditions as part of flood control work in the area, making the city government liable for an unlawful taking of his development rights. Further, the judge permanently enjoined the city from assessing Beachwood owners for costs related to a 1999 sewer expansion project and ruled that the city would take title to the long embattled 24.7 acre plot north of Terrace Avenue, after Keenan was paid for the land.

Sources claim that the multimillion dollar judgment reflects the difference between what the land would be worth now had the city not created wetlands on the tract and its present value, which the court put at $2,205,000. City officials state that the legal defeat could cost Half Moon Bay even more than an initial $36.8 million judgment. [HALF MOON BAY REVIEW: LAND DISPUTE]

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Published on Dec-6-07


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