Case, Environmental Law: Nollan versus the California Coastal Commission

Essay by DarkmanHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 1995

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Environmental Law

Nollan vs. CCC

Abstract of:

483 U.S. 825, 97 L. Ed.2d 677

James Patrick Nollan, et ux., Appellant v. California Coastal Commission.

Case Definition:

The case is Nollan versus the California Coastal Commission. The

Nollans were the appellates against a decision made by the California

Coastal Commission (CCC).

The Nollans had been leasing a property on the California coast with

which they had an option to buy. The property lies directly at the foot

of the Pacific Ocean and is a prime piece of real estate on the

California Coast. The property had been used by the Nollans to rent out

during the summer months to vacationers. At the end of the Nollans'

lease they took the option to purchase the land and began preparing for

the terms of purchase by the previous land owner. Among those terms was

the demolishing of the small deteriorating bungalow that the Nollans had

been leasing.

The Nollans had planned to expand the structure from the

small bungalow that it was to a three bedroom house more complimentary

to the surrounding homes and their needs. In order to begin destruction

of the property and begin rebuilding the site the Nollans had to secure

a permit from the California Coastal Commission. Upon submitting the

permit application, the CCC found that the permit should be granted on

the condition that the Nollans provide public access to the beach and to

the local county park, which lay adjacent to the property. This

provision called for the Nollans to use a portion of their land to be

used as a public walkway to the beach and park. The Nollans protested

to the condition, but the CCC overruled the objection and granted the

permit with the condition intact.

Case Decision:

The Nollans filed a...