Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com.

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtCALDICOTT; DRAPER, P.J., and HAROLD C. BROWN
Citation89 Cal.Rptr. 897,11 Cal.App.3d 557
Parties, 2 ERC 1075, 3 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,446 CANDLESTICK PROPERTIES, INC., a California corporation, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. The SAN FRANCISCO BAY CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION of the State of California et al., Defendants and Respondents. Civ. 26216.
Decision Date24 September 1970

Page 897

89 Cal.Rptr. 897
11 Cal.App.3d 557, 2 ERC 1075, 3 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,446
CANDLESTICK PROPERTIES, INC., a California corporation, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
The SAN FRANCISCO BAY CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION of the State of California et al., Defendants and Respondents.
Civ. 26216.
Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3, California.
Sept. 24, 1970.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 23, 1970.
Hearing Denied Nov. 18, 1970.

Page 899

[11 Cal.App.3d 562] Quentin L. Kopp, San Francisco, for appellant.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen. of California, Clayton P. Roche, E. Clement Shute, Jr., Deputy Attys. Gen., San Francisco, for respondents.

CALDICOTT, Associate Justice.

Appellant, Candlestick Properties, Inc. (Candlestick) filed an application with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission of the State of California (BCDC or Commission) for a permit to fill a parcel of land. After hearings the permit was denied. Candlestick then filed an action with the San Francisco Superior Court seeking a review of BCDC's action by way of a petition for writ of mandate pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 1094.5 and, in the alternative, damages for an alleged taking of its property without just compensation. The petition for the writ of mandate was denied and a demurrer without leave to amend was sustained for the cause of action for damages. Candlestick has appealed from the judgment.

Appellant is the owner of a parcel of land submerged at high tide by the waters of San Francisco Bay. The parcel cost $40,000 and was acquired in 1964 as a place to deposit fill from construction projects. The parcel is located within the boundaries of the Hunters Point Reclamation District, which was created by the Legislature in 1955. (Stats.1955, ch. 1573, p. 2855; Water Code Appendix §§ 78--1 to 17.) The parcel is adjoined by other parcels which have either been filled or are in the process of being filled. Appellant's parcel is not navigable at high tide and contains the remnants of ship hulls. According to appellant the record establishes that the property has no value except as a place to deposit fill and as filled land. Respondents dispute the accuracy of this contention and indicate that there is no information in the record relative to alternative uses of the property, such as dredging for some water-related use or partial filling of the parcel for some water-related use instead of Candlestick's proposal to totally fill the property with demolition debris.

Appellant applied for the fill permit required by the City and County of San Francisco on August 20, 1965, and it was granted on September 7, 1965. Appellant then applied to the BCDC for a permit to fill the property. There is a question as to the date the application was filed. The material [11 Cal.App.3d 563] to be used was to be debris from demolition projects in the City and County of San Francisco.

The Commission heard the application of Candlestick at its meetings on January 5, 1967, and January 20, 1967. The application was denied by the Commission on January 20, 1967. Following this decision appellant commenced these proceedings.

Appellant contends, and respondents agree, that the legislation creating the BCDC did not repeal the Hunters Point Reclamation District Act by implication. Appellant maintains that the two legislative

Page 900

declarations should be reconciled so that the Hunters Point Reclamation District Act 'constitutes a specific declaration that fill within the Hunters Point Reclamation District will not adversely affect the comprehensive plan' being prepared by the BCDC. Under appellant's approach the BCDC would be required to grant permits for fill projects within the district established by the Hunters Point Reclamation District Act. As stated by appellant: 'a specific legislative declaration that certain bay land should be filled is a legislative statement that filling that particular land could not affect the comprehensive plan being prepared by the Commission for the entire Bay. * * * Under that analysis the Commission would have jurisdiction to pass upon fill permits within the District but could not deny them unless, for example, the composition of the proposed fill (not involved in this case) was such that it might adversely affect the water quality of the Bay or the fish and wildlife therein.'

Respondents, however, contend that the powers of the Hunters Point Reclamation District are not involved in this case. As indicated by respondents, the Hunters Point Reclamation District Act gives the District the power to reclaim and protect the lands within the district and to fill the lands within the district in private ownership. (Water Code Appendix § 78--9.) The Act states: 'The district may fill the lands of the district in private ownership * * * and, to that end, may, if necessary, obtain the right to do so by purchase, by agreement with the owners thereof, by condemnation or other legal means.' (Id.) The application to the BCDC in this case came from a private entity, Candlestick. There is nothing in the record of this case which indicates that the Hunters Point Reclamation District has determined to fill Candlestick's parcel by agreement or condemnation. Thus, the situation presented is one in which the owner of private land, which happens to be located within the Hunters Point Reclamation District, has applied to the BCDC for a permit to fill that land. Clearly, this situation does not raise an issue concerning the powers of the Reclamation District as opposed to those of the BCDC. Therefore, it is not necessary to attempt to reconcile the effects of the two acts.

[11 Cal.App.3d 564] However, if construction of the two acts is required, it is clear that the McAteer-Petris Act controls. The Supreme Court in People ex rel. San Francisco Bay etc. Commission v. Town of Emeryville, 69 Cal.2d 533 at 544--545, 72 Cal.Rptr. 790 at 797, 446 P.2d 790 at 797 stated: 'The 'objective sought to be achieved' by the McAteer-Petris Act is depicted with remarkable clarity. In the preamble the Legislature describes the public interest in the San Francisco Bay: 'The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the public interest in the San Francisco Bay is in its beneficial use for a variety of purposes; that the public has an interest in the bay as the most valuable single natural resource of an entire region, a resource that gives special character to the bay area; that the bay is a single body of water that can be used for many purposes, from conservation to planned development; and that the bay operates as a delicate physical mechanism in which changes that affect one part of the bay may also affect all other parts. It is therefore declared to be in the public interest to create a politically-responsible, democratic process by which the San Francisco Bay and its shoreline can be analyzed, planned, and regulated as a unit.' (Gov.Code, § 66600.)

'In the next section the Legislature stresses the dangers inherent in self-generated and unregulated fill activities: 'The Legislature further finds and declares that the present uncoordinated, haphazard manner in which the San Francisco Bay is being filled threatens the bay itself and is therefore inimical to the welfare of both present and future residents of the area surrounding the bay; that while some individual fill projects may be necessary and desirable for the needs of the entire bay region, And while some cities and counties may have prepared detailed master

Page 901

plans for their own bay lands, the fact remains that no governmental mechanism exists for evaluating individual projects as to their effect on the entire bay; and that further piecemeal filing of the bay may place serious restrictions on navigation in the bay, may destroy the irreplaceable feeding and breeding grounds of fish and wildlife in the bay, may adversely affect the quality of bay waters and even the quality of air in the bay area, and would therefore be harmful to the needs of the present and future population of the bay region. (Italics added.) (Gov.Code, § 66601.)

'The legislature then finds that a new, regional approach is necessary, and charges the BCDC with the task of preparing 'a comprehensive and enforceable plan for the conservation of the water of the bay and the development of its shoreline.' The BCDC is specifically obligated to consider the master plans of cities and counties surrounding the bay in formulating its own plan. (Gov.Code, § 66603.) In the next section the Legislature empowers the BCDC 'to issue or deny permits, after public hearings, [11 Cal.App.3d 565] for any proposed project that involves placing fill in the bay or extracting submerged materials from the bay.' This power is deemed 'essential' in order 'to protect the present shoreline and body of the San Francisco Bay to the maximum extent possible.' (Gov.Code, § 66604.)'

In creating the Hunters Point Reclamation District in 1955, the Legislature found 'that a compelling economic necessity exists for the reclaiming, drainage, and development of tidelands and submerged lands now lying in the district * * * which area now serves no useful purpose for industry, commerce, or navigation * * *.' (Water Code Appendix § 78--1.) Yet, when the BCDC was created in 1965, it was stated to be the policy of the State 'to protect the present shoreline and body of the San Francisco Bay to the maximum extent possible * * *.' (Gov.Code, § 66604.) As contended by respondents, to the extent that these expressions of policy are in conflict, the act creating the BCDC, being more recent in time, should control. (See Coker v. Superior Court, 70 Cal.App.2d 199, 201, 160 P.2d 885.)

The strong public purpose behind the McAteer-Petris Act is readily apparent from a reading of the act and the above quoted language from the California Supreme Court. In view of this purpose, and the power given the BCDC 'to issue or deny permits, after...

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57 practice notes
  • Simi Valley Recreation & Park Dist. v. Local Agency Formation Com.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 1975
    ...and Development Commission, the Court of Appeal in Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com., supra, 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 568, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 903, held: 'Clearly, there has been no attempt to vest in the commissioners an arbitrary power, or an uncontrolled an......
  • Today's Fresh Start, Inc. v. L.A. Cnty. Office of Educ., Nos. B212966
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 26, 2011
    ...was not disclosed, due process is not violated. (Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 570, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897 [English does not apply where there was no concealment].) The lack of a formal introduction of evidence did not render th......
  • Eldridge v. City of Palo Alto
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 23, 1976
    ...as appropriating or destroying it.' (Candlestick Page 583 Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation, etc., Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 572, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 906; emphasis in Courts will 'inquire as to whether an ordinance which rezones property so as to restrict the uses which ......
  • Eldridge v. City of Palo Alto
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 26, 1975
    ...purposes as appropriating or destroying it.' (Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 572, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 906; emphasis in Courts will 'inquire as to whether an ordinance which rezones property so as to restrict the uses which ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
57 cases
  • Simi Valley Recreation & Park Dist. v. Local Agency Formation Com.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 1975
    ...and Development Commission, the Court of Appeal in Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com., supra, 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 568, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 903, held: 'Clearly, there has been no attempt to vest in the commissioners an arbitrary power, or an uncontrolled an......
  • Today's Fresh Start, Inc. v. L.A. Cnty. Office of Educ., Nos. B212966
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 26, 2011
    ...was not disclosed, due process is not violated. (Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 570, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897 [English does not apply where there was no concealment].) The lack of a formal introduction of evidence did not render th......
  • Eldridge v. City of Palo Alto
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 23, 1976
    ...as appropriating or destroying it.' (Candlestick Page 583 Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation, etc., Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 572, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 906; emphasis in Courts will 'inquire as to whether an ordinance which rezones property so as to restrict the uses which ......
  • Eldridge v. City of Palo Alto
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 26, 1975
    ...purposes as appropriating or destroying it.' (Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com. (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 557, 572, 89 Cal.Rptr. 897, 906; emphasis in Courts will 'inquire as to whether an ordinance which rezones property so as to restrict the uses which ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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