Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 18, 2017

CA Trial Court Finds Mayor’s Participation in Permit Hearing Did Not Constitute Bias

Petitioners applied for a coastal development permit to authorize the demolition and replacement of a small home with a much larger home. The City of Morro Bay conducted an investigation and heard testimony regarding the proposed project and ultimately denied the application when it determined that the project would result in a home that was inconsistent with land use policies and ordinances. Petitioners argued that the mayor, who participated in the hearings, was biased against the project and thus made the hearings unfair. The court held that the mayor’s arguments did not constitute bias because the mayor legitimately questioned whether the permit would exacerbate already-existing issues, rendering the project incompatible with the rest of the neighborhood. The court reasoned that such concerns did not “constitute the sort of personal, political, or pecuniary bias that would undermine the integrity of the proceeding.”

Adamson v. City of Morro Bay, 2016 WL 7163985 (Cal.Super.7/22/2016)


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