Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, No. 06-56306.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBybee
Citation582 F.3d 996
PartiesDaniel GUGGENHEIM; Susan Guggenheim; Maureen H. Pierce, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF GOLETA, a municipal corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Decision Date28 September 2009
Docket NumberNo. 06-56306.
582 F.3d 996
Daniel GUGGENHEIM; Susan Guggenheim; Maureen H. Pierce, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
CITY OF GOLETA, a municipal corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 06-56306.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted April 7, 2008.
Filed September 28, 2009.

[582 F.3d 998]

Mark D. Alpert, Robert S. Coldren (argued), and C. William Dahlin, Santa Ana, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellants.

Julie Hayward Biggs and Amy E. Morgan (argued), Los Angeles, CA, for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Florence Marie Cooper, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-02-02478-FMC.

Before ALFRED T. GOODWIN, ANDREW J. KLEINFELD, and JAY S. BYBEE, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge BYBEE; Dissent by Judge KLEINFELD.

[582 F.3d 999]

BYBEE, Circuit Judge:


Daniel Guggenheim and others bring a facial challenge to the City of Goleta's mobile home rent control ordinance. Guggenheim argues that the ordinance, which effects a transfer of nearly 90 percent of the property value from mobile home park owners to mobile home tenants, constitutes a regulatory taking under Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104, 98 S.Ct. 2646, 57 L.Ed.2d 631 (1978). We have fielded such challenges before, but have never reached the merits of the takings claim. See, e.g., Equity Lifestyle Props., Inc. v. County of San Luis Obispo ("Equity Lifestyle"), 548 F.3d 1184, 1190 n. 11 (9th Cir.2008); Carson Harbor Vill. Ltd., v. City of Carson, 37 F.3d 468, 475-77 (9th Cir.1994), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir.1997) (en banc); Levald, Inc. v. City of Palm Desert, 998 F.2d 680, 686-89 (9th Cir. 1993); Sierra Lake Reserve v. City of Rocklin, 938 F.2d 951, 955 (9th Cir.1991), vacated, 506 U.S. 802, 113 S.Ct. 31, 121 L.Ed.2d 4 (1992).

To determine whether a taking has occurred we must decide several issues. We must first determine whether the mobile home park owners have standing to bring this case. Additionally, we must consider whether this case is ripe under Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172, 105 S.Ct. 3108, 87 L.Ed.2d 126 (1985). If so, then we must determine whether the city ordinance constitutes a regulatory taking under Penn Central. We also address challenges to the ordinance under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

The district court did not address either the standing or ripeness questions due to the unusual procedural history of the case, but implicitly found the case was properly brought. The district court found that no taking had occurred. For the reasons explained below, we agree with the district court that this case is properly brought and ripe for decision, but we disagree with the district court on the merits of the takings claim. Because we find that a taking has occurred, we reverse and remand to the district court to determine what compensation is due. We affirm the district court's judgment on the due process and equal protection claims.

I
A

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, see Chicago, B. & Q.R. Co. v. Chicago, 166 U.S. 226, 236, 17 S.Ct. 581, 41 L.Ed. 979 (1897), provides that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation." The Takings Clause "does not prohibit the taking of private property, but instead places a condition on the exercise of that power." First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. County of Los Angeles, 482 U.S. 304, 314, 107 S.Ct. 2378, 96 L.Ed.2d 250 (1987). The Takings Clause was drafted so as "not to limit the governmental interference with property rights per se, but rather to secure compensation in the event of otherwise proper interference amounting to a taking." Id. at 315, 107 S.Ct. 2378. The Takings Clause "`bar[s] Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.'" Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 544 U.S. 528, 537, 125 S.Ct. 2074, 161 L.Ed.2d 876 (2005) (quoting Armstrong v. United States, 364 U.S. 40, 49, 80 S.Ct. 1563, 4 L.Ed.2d 1554 (1960)).

To determine whether a mobile-home rent control ordinance constitutes a taking under the Constitution, we must first understand

582 F.3d 1000

some unique characteristics of mobile homes. "The fact that these homes can be moved does not mean that they do move." JOHN STEINBECK, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY: IN SEARCH OF AMERICA 96 (Penguin Books 1986) (1962). As described by the Supreme Court:

The term "mobile home" is somewhat misleading. Mobile homes are largely immobile as a practical matter, because the cost of moving one is often a significant fraction of the value of the mobile home itself. They are generally placed permanently in parks; once in place, only about 1 in every 100 mobile homes is ever moved.... A mobile home owner typically rents a plot of land, called a "pad," from the owner of a mobile home park. The park owner provides private roads within the park, common facilities such as washing machines or a swimming pool, and often utilities. The mobile home owner often invests in site-specific improvements such as a driveway, steps, walkways, porches, or landscaping. When the mobile home owner wishes to move, the mobile home is usually sold in place, and the purchaser continues to rent the pad on which the mobile home is located.

Yee v. City of Escondido, 503 U.S. 519, 523, 112 S.Ct. 1522, 118 L.Ed.2d 153 (1992) (citation omitted).

The County of Santa Barbara, California (the "County"), first enacted its Rent Control Ordinance (the "RCO") in 1979, and amended it in 1987. In 2002, the City of Goleta incorporated within the County. As required by California law, the new City of Goleta immediately adopted by reference the County's code in its entirety, including the RCO, as its provisional new code. See CAL. GOV'T CODE § 57376 (2008); City of Goleta Ordinance No. 02-01. About two months later, the City re-adopted by reference most provisions of the County code, including the RCO, as permanent city ordinances. City of Goleta Ordinance No. 02-17.

The statement of "Purpose" in the RCO has remained unchanged since the RCO was first passed by the County in 1979. The purpose was to prevent mobile home park owners from charging exorbitant rents to exploit local housing shortages and the fact that mobile home owners could not easily move their homes:

A growing shortage of housing units resulting in a critically low vacancy rate and rapidly rising and exorbitant rents exploiting this shortage constitutes serious housing problems affecting a substantial portion of those Santa Barbara County residents who reside in rental housing.... Especially acute is the problem of low vacancy rates and rapidly rising and exorbitant rents in mobile home parks in the County of Santa Barbara. Because of such factors and the high cost of moving mobilehomes, ... the board of supervisors finds and declares it necessary to protect the owners and occupiers of mobilehomes from unreasonable rents while at the same time recognizing the need for mobile home park owners to receive a fair return on their investment and rent increases sufficient to cover their increased costs.

RCO § 11A-1.1

The RCO limits any increases in mobile home rents on an annual basis to 75 percent

582 F.3d 1001

of the increase in the local Consumer Price Index ("CPI"). RCO §§ 11A-5(a)(2), 11A-5(a)(3), 11A-5(g). This increase is referred to as the "automatic increase." Mobile home park owners may also increase the rent by an additional amount to pass through increased operating costs, capital expenses, and capital improvements. This increase is referred to as the "discretionary increase." RCO § 11A-5(f)(1); 11A-6. The RCO sets out an arbitration process by which park owners must work with the mobile home owners and an arbitrator to determine the total amount of the permissible rent increase for each year. RCO §§ 11A-4, 11A-5. The arbitrator must follow a complicated formula to determine the amount of any increase in excess of the automatic increase:

(1) First, grant one-half of the automatic increase to management as a just and reasonable return on investment. The arbitrator shall have no discretion to award additional amounts as a just and reasonable return on investment;

(2) Next, grant one-half of the automatic increase to management to cover increased operating costs. The arbitrator shall have no discretion to award less than this amount for operating costs.

(3) Next, add an amount to cover operating costs, if any, in excess of one-half of the automatic increase. The arbitrator shall have discretion to add such amounts as are justified by the evidence and otherwise permitted by this chapter.

(4) Next, add an amount to cover new capital expenses. Where one-half of the automatic increase is more than the actual increase in operating costs for the year then ending, the arbitrator shall offset the difference against any increases for new capital expenses.

(5) Next, add an amount to cover old capital expenses. Where one-half of the automatic increase is more than the actual increase in operating costs for the year then ending, the arbitrator shall offset the difference against any increase for old capital expenses unless such difference has already been used to offset an increase for a new capital expense or another old capital expense. ...

(6) Finally, add an amount to cover increased costs for capital improvements, if any. The arbitrator shall have discretion to add such amount as is justified by the evidence and otherwise permitted by this ordinance.

RCO § 11A-5(I). The RCO also contains a vacancy control provision, which limits the permissible rent increase to 10 percent when a unit is sold. RCO § 11A-14. In sum, the RCO mandates that a "just and reasonable return" for the park...

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18 practice notes
  • A Non-profit Corp.. v. USA, Case No. CV 04-08425-VAP (Ex).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 12, 2010
    ...556-57 (9th Cir.2004); Los Angeles County Bar Ass'n v. Eu, 979 F.2d 697, 707 (9th Cir.1992); see generally, Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009). In Lawrence, petitioners pled nolo contendere to charges under a Texas statute forbidding certain sexual acts between person......
  • West LINN Corp.ORATE PARK v. CITY of West LINN, USCA 05-53061
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    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • September 23, 2010
    ...that order, however, the Ninth Circuit has stated that the issue of Williamson ripeness is prudential only. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996, 1008-09 (9th Cir.2009), relying on Suitum v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 520 U.S. 725, 733-34, 117 S.Ct. 1659, 137 L.Ed.2d 980 (1997). ......
  • Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, No. 06–56306.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 22, 2010
    ...501–02, 61 S.Ct. 643, 85 L.Ed. 971 (1941). 12. 544 U.S. 528, 125 S.Ct. 2074, 161 L.Ed.2d 876 (2005). 13. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009). 14. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 598 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir.2010). 15. Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, ......
  • Laurel Park Cmty. Llc v. City of Tumwater, Case No. C09–5312BHS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • May 16, 2011
    ...On May 19, 2010, 2010 WL 2035916, the Court stayed consideration of these motions pending the disposition of Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009), which was to be reheard en banc. Dkt. 52. On December 22, 2010, Guggenheim was reheard. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 638 F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • A Non-profit Corp.. v. USA, Case No. CV 04-08425-VAP (Ex).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 12, 2010
    ...556-57 (9th Cir.2004); Los Angeles County Bar Ass'n v. Eu, 979 F.2d 697, 707 (9th Cir.1992); see generally, Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009). In Lawrence, petitioners pled nolo contendere to charges under a Texas statute forbidding certain sexual acts between person......
  • West LINN Corp.ORATE PARK v. CITY of West LINN, USCA 05-53061
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • September 23, 2010
    ...that order, however, the Ninth Circuit has stated that the issue of Williamson ripeness is prudential only. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996, 1008-09 (9th Cir.2009), relying on Suitum v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 520 U.S. 725, 733-34, 117 S.Ct. 1659, 137 L.Ed.2d 980 (1997). ......
  • Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, No. 06–56306.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 22, 2010
    ...501–02, 61 S.Ct. 643, 85 L.Ed. 971 (1941). 12. 544 U.S. 528, 125 S.Ct. 2074, 161 L.Ed.2d 876 (2005). 13. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009). 14. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 598 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir.2010). 15. Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, ......
  • Laurel Park Cmty. Llc v. City of Tumwater, Case No. C09–5312BHS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • May 16, 2011
    ...On May 19, 2010, 2010 WL 2035916, the Court stayed consideration of these motions pending the disposition of Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 582 F.3d 996 (9th Cir.2009), which was to be reheard en banc. Dkt. 52. On December 22, 2010, Guggenheim was reheard. Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 638 F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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