Subdivision Map Act
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Muting one of the more burdensome requirements of the Subdivision Map Act, the First Appellate has ruled in favor of “multiple sequential adjustments” in Sierra Club v. Napa County Board of Supervisors.
In the latest roundup of California land use news: The governor signs urgency legislation extending the life of all tentative subdivision maps by two years; the Los Angeles MTA approves its first congestion pricing project; a Desert Hot Springs development dream becomes species habitat instead; a developer takes its case directly to Mendocino County voters.
In the third decision in an emerging line of cases regarding antiquated subdivisions, an appellate court has refused to recognize the legality of a parcel shown on a 1909 subdivision map. The First District Court of Appeal ruled the Solano County map did not satisfy the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act’s grandfather clause because the law in effect in 1909 did not address the “design and improvement” of subdivisions.
The validity of a 1915 subdivision map has been rejected by the First District Court of Appeal in a decision that calls into question any subdivision recorded before 1929.
The court determined the 1915 map for a 25-lot subdivision in southern Sonoma County is not valid today because the county had very little discretion under the Subdivision Map Act in place at the time. The decision provides a significant victory to local governments concerned about an untold number of antiquated subdivision maps that do not conform to modern-day land use planning principles.
The owner of two parcels that the City of Berkeley wants to merge may not avoid the merger with a paper transfer of title to his wife, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled. However, the court stopped short of canceling the grant deed, ruling only that the city may be entitled to an injunction prohibiting further transfer of the property title.
The state attorney general cannot recover fees under the Code of Civil Procedure’s “private attorney general” provision, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled in a Tehama County case involving the Subdivision Map Act and the Williamson Act.
The newly incorporated City of Goleta had the authority to reject a final subdivision map after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors had approved the tentative map for property that was in unincorporated territory at the time, the state Supreme Court has ruled.
In a landmark ruling, the state Supreme Court has made clear that maps recorded prior to 1893 do not create legal, developable lots for today’s purposes. And the court at least hinted that maps recorded between 1893 and 1929 might not be valid unless a city or county somehow exercised discretion in approving the map.
In its first ruling directly addressing the validity of "antiquated subdivisions," the California Supreme Court has held that maps recorded prior to adoption of the first precursor to the Subdivision Map Act in 1893 do not create legal parcels for today’s purposes.