Environmental Law

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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 thei...
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