UC Law Journal


In Arnel Development Co. v. City of Costa Mesa, the California Supreme Court ruled that the label of a land use regulatory change determines whether it is legislative or adjudicative in character. Regardless of the size of the subject parcel or the number of landowners affected, a rezoning is legislative, while a permit or variance is adjudicative. This Comment describes California's land use regulatory system and explains the procedural consequences of the legislative-adjudicative distinction within that system after Arnel. The Comment concludes that reliance on the label of a change to determine its character results in inadequate procedural safeguards in cases of small-scale rezonings, and suggests statutory modifications of the regulatory system to afford greater procedural protections to persons whose property interests are substantially affected by rezonings.

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