Hensler v. City of Glendale, No. S032210

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtBAXTER; LUCAS, C.J., MOSK, KENNARD, ARABIAN and GEORGE, JJ., and ANDERSON
Citation32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244,876 P.2d 1043,8 Cal.4th 1
Parties, 876 P.2d 1043 R.R. HENSLER, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CITY OF GLENDALE, Defendant and Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. S032210
Decision Date25 July 1994

Page 244

32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244
8 Cal.4th 1, 876 P.2d 1043
R.R. HENSLER, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CITY OF GLENDALE, Defendant and Respondent.
No. S032210.
Supreme Court of California,
In Bank.
July 25, 1994.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing Sept. 22, 1994.

Page 247

[8 Cal.4th 6] [876 P.2d 1046] Crosby, Heafy, Roach & May, Gideon Kanner, M. Reed Hunter and James C. Martin, Los Angeles, for plaintiff and appellant.

Ronald A. Zumbrun, James S. Burling, Alexander Dushku, Sacramento, Crahan, Javelera, Ver Halen & Aull, Marcus Crahan, Jr., Los Angeles, Laskin & Graham and Richard Laskin, Glendale, as amici curiae on behalf of plaintiff and appellant.

Scott H. Howard, City Attorney, Freilich, Stone, Leitner & Carlisle, Freilich, Kaufman, Fox & Sohagi, Benjamin Kaufman, and Robert H. Freilich, Los Angeles, for defendant and respondent.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, Roderick E. Walston, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., Jan S. Stevens, Asst. Atty. Gen., Richard M. Frank and J. Matthew Rodriquez, Deputy Attys. Gen., Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, Fran M. Layton and Susannah T. French, San Francisco, as amici curiae on behalf of defendant and respondent.

BAXTER, Justice.

The parties in this case ask the court to determine the statute of limitations applicable to a complaint in inverse condemnation which alleges a taking of real property resulting from the adoption, or application [8 Cal.4th 7] to the plaintiff's property, of an ordinance enacted pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act. (Gov.Code, § 66410 et seq.) We conclude that an action in inverse condemnation, whether or not joined with an action in administrative mandamus (Code Civ.Proc., § 1094.5) challenging the ordinance or its application to the plaintiff's property, is governed by Government Code section 66499.37 (hereafter section 66499.37) 1 unless it alleges

Page 248

[876 P.2d 1047] the existence of a final judgment establishing that there has been a compensable taking of the plaintiff's land.

The legislative intent is clear. Section 66499.37 was enacted to ensure that any challenge to local legislative or administrative acts or decisions taken pursuant to ordinances enacted under the authority of the Subdivision Map Act will be brought promptly. A complaint in inverse condemnation, even one which does not expressly attack the validity of the ordinance or its application, and seeks only compensation for an alleged taking, must be deemed a challenge to the local action. This follows because the constitutional validity of the governmental action if uncompensated must be determined in the course of ruling on the claim that compensation is owed. Moreover, the validity of the action must be determined to afford the local entity the opportunity to rescind its action rather than pay compensation for a taking. A landowner may not, by seeking only compensation, force a governmental agency to condemn the property.

Therefore, unless the complaint alleges that the existence of a taking has already been judicially established, the complaint necessarily states a cause of action which requires judicial review of a decision of the local legislative body concerning a subdivision or of the reasonableness, legality, or validity of any condition attached to a permit decision within the meaning of section 66499.37. An action which requires that review is governed by section 66499.37 regardless of the plaintiff's characterization of the cause of action.

Having reached that conclusion we shall affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

I
EVENTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

The complaint alleges that plaintiff purchased a 300-acre tract of land zoned for single-family residential use in 1978. In 1981, defendant City of [8 Cal.4th 8] Glendale (Glendale) adopted an ordinance which prohibited construction on major ridge lines within the city. 2 The ordinance was enacted pursuant to authority granted by the Subdivision Map Act. Plaintiff was advised by city representatives that development would not be permitted on ridge lines on his property. A plan for the construction of 588 residential units on the property was approved on April 1, 1986, but that approval rejected all proposed use of, and any encroachment within, on, or over, the major ridge lines within the tract. Claiming that the ordinance on which this action was based precluded development of 40 percent of the tract, plaintiff initiated this action in inverse condemnation in September 1989. Glendale demurred, asserting the 90-day limitations period of section 66499.37. It also argued that plaintiff's failure to challenge the conditions placed on development of his land barred the inverse condemnation action. The trial court sustained

Page 249

[876 P.2d 1048] the demurrer and entered judgment dismissing the action. Plaintiff appealed. 3

The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of dismissal. The court held that the longer limitations period of Code of Civil Procedure section 338, [8 Cal.4th 9] subdivision (j), and Code of Civil Procedure sections 318 and 319, which govern actions for damage to and taking of property, were not applicable to actions based on a decision made pursuant to an ordinance enacted under the authority of the Subdivision Map Act.

II

THE NATURE OF PLAINTIFF'S ACTION

Plaintiff argues that his action is one for a taking of his property, not a challenge to the city ordinance or to the actions taken on his application for a development permit. His position is, simply stated: The ridge line acreage on which development is not permitted was taken by virtue of the enactment and/or application of the Glendale ordinance which forbids development on the land. Therefore, he is entitled to bring an action in inverse condemnation based on his inability to develop that portion of the property notwithstanding his failure to initiate a timely challenge to the permit condition or application of the ordinance to his property through a proceeding in mandamus.

The question is not answered that easily, however. Before considering which limitations period applies to this action, it is necessary to address plaintiff's argument that, as a matter of federal constitutional right, an action in inverse condemnation seeking damages for a permanent taking may be initiated in the first instance without a challenge to the application of the ordinance to the affected property.

A. Fifth Amendment "Taking" Clause. 4

Because plaintiff relies in part on authority applicable to a taking of property which occurs when a public agency causes a physical invasion of private property, it is important to note that a "regulatory" taking differs. "Where the government authorizes a physical occupation of property [8 Cal.4th 10] or actually takes title), the Takings Clause generally requires compensation. [Citation.] But where the government merely regulates the use of property, compensation is required only if considerations such as the purpose of the regulation or the extent to which it deprives the owner of the economic use of the property suggest that the regulation has unfairly singled out the property owner to bear a burden that should be borne by the public as a whole." (Yee v. City of Escondido (1992) 503 U.S. 519, ----, 112 S.Ct. 1522, 1526, 118 L.Ed.2d 153, 162.) An individualized assessment of the impact of the regulation on a particular parcel of property and its relation to a legitimate state interest is necessary in determining whether a regulatory restriction on property use constitutes a compensable

Page 250

[876 P.2d 1049] taking. (See, e.g., Dolan v. Tigard, Ore. (1994) 512 U.S. 374, 114 S.Ct. 2309, 129 L.Ed.2d 304.)

Ignoring the distinction between regulatory taking and takings by action which affects title or involves physical invasion, plaintiff contends that a landowner may not be required to exhaust state administrative and judicial remedies, and may sue directly on a constitutional just compensation cause of action. He relies for that assertion on both Williamson Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank (1985) 473 U.S. 172, 105 S.Ct. 3108, 87 L.Ed.2d 126 and First Lutheran Church v. Los Angeles (1987) 482 U.S. 304, 107 S.Ct. 2378, 96 L.Ed.2d 250. Neither case supports such a broad proposition. Rather than supporting plaintiff's claim that a taking occurs at the time an ordinance which restricts development is enacted, Williamson Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank, supra, 473 U.S. 172, 105 S.Ct. 3108, 87 L.Ed.2d 126, held that the landowner's claim was not ripe for adjudication. The court held, as it had done in earlier cases, that "a claim that the application of government regulations effects a taking of a property interest is not ripe until the government entity charged with implementing the regulations has reached a final decision regarding the application of the regulations to the property at issue." (Id., at p. 186, 105 S.Ct. at p. 3116.) In that case the court noted that no variance had been sought from either the planning commission or the administrative appellate body, the board of zoning appeals. The court emphasized that until there has been a "final, definitive position regarding" how the regulations will be applied to the land, a court cannot determine whether a compensable taking has occurred. (Id., at p. 191, 105 S.Ct. at p. 3119.) As an alternative ground for concluding that the claim was not ripe, the court noted that the landowner had not utilized state procedures for seeking compensation. "[I]f a State provides an adequate procedure for seeking just compensation, the property owner cannot claim a violation of the Just Compensation Clause until it has used the procedure and been denied just compensation." (Id., at p. 195, 105 S.Ct. at p. 3121.)

Far from supporting plaintiff's position therefore, the Williamson decision holds: (1) until a final administrative decision has been made, one which [8 Cal.4th 11] affords the administrative agency and any reviewing body having similar authority the opportunity...

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    • United States
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    • March 14, 2012
    ...6, 2010. Among the grounds proffered for the new trial motion was that the City had the right, under Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043( Hensler ) “to rescind the RVL standard as an alternative to paying inverse condemnation damages.” The City ......
  • City of Perris v. Stamper, No. S213468.
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    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 15, 2016
    ...of fact.’ ” (Campus Crusade, supra, 41 Cal.4th at p. 971, 62 Cal.Rptr.3d 623, 161 P.3d 1175 ; see Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 15, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043 (Hensler ); People v. Ricciardi (1943) 23 Cal.2d 390, 402, 144 P.2d 799 ; Vallejo & Northern R.R. Co. v. Re......
  • Marin Healthcare Dist v. Sutter Health, No. C034127.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 14, 2002
    ...demanded determines the applicability of the statute of limitations under our code.' [Citation.]" (Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 22-23, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043, citing Leeper v. Beltrami (1959) 53 Cal.2d 195, 214, 1 Cal.Rptr. 12, 347 P.2d 12, and Maguire v. Hiber......
  • Semler v. Gen. Elec. Capital Corp., No. B221103.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 19, 2011
    ...The facts in this appeal are taken from the allegations of the complaint, which we accept as true. (See Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 8, fn. 3, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043.)A. Complaint The complaint, filed on May 13, 2009, alleged as follows. On or about November 2,......
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326 cases
  • Avenida San Juan P'ship v. City of San Clemente, Nos. G043479
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 14, 2012
    ...6, 2010. Among the grounds proffered for the new trial motion was that the City had the right, under Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043( Hensler ) “to rescind the RVL standard as an alternative to paying inverse condemnation damages.” The City ......
  • City of Perris v. Stamper, No. S213468.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 15, 2016
    ...of fact.’ ” (Campus Crusade, supra, 41 Cal.4th at p. 971, 62 Cal.Rptr.3d 623, 161 P.3d 1175 ; see Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 15, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043 (Hensler ); People v. Ricciardi (1943) 23 Cal.2d 390, 402, 144 P.2d 799 ; Vallejo & Northern R.R. Co. v. Re......
  • Marin Healthcare Dist v. Sutter Health, No. C034127.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 14, 2002
    ...demanded determines the applicability of the statute of limitations under our code.' [Citation.]" (Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 22-23, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043, citing Leeper v. Beltrami (1959) 53 Cal.2d 195, 214, 1 Cal.Rptr. 12, 347 P.2d 12, and Maguire v. Hiber......
  • Semler v. Gen. Elec. Capital Corp., No. B221103.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 19, 2011
    ...The facts in this appeal are taken from the allegations of the complaint, which we accept as true. (See Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1, 8, fn. 3, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 244, 876 P.2d 1043.)A. Complaint The complaint, filed on May 13, 2009, alleged as follows. On or about November 2,......
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